DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA. Members of Jesus Dominion International (JDI) held a protest march in Durban, KwaZulu Natal on Friday 11 August 2017 to ask for “release” of their Senior Pastor Rev Tim Omotoso charged with multiple r*pes and held in custody on court order since his arrest on 20 April 2017. After the latest court appearance on 24 July at which he was denied bail, a second bail hearing date was given for 29 and 30 August 2017.
The members of Jesus Dominion International (JDI) gathered at King Dinizulu Park which was the designated gathering point for the start of the march. People came from all 9 provinces of South Africa, some traveling through the night just to be in Durban. JDI members came from Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, East London, Richards Bay, Umthatha to name a few cities. This was to support FreeTimOmotoso peace walk campaign.
According to South African law Rev Omotoso is presumed innocent until proven guilty as stipulated in Section 35, sub-section 1 (d) of the Bill of Rights.
Placards were in the air with different messages; ‘Set our Leader Free’ ‘Asijiki (meaning we are not turning back/or our backs on our leader) and many many more. The crowd was united, in this justice demand for Rev Tim Omotoso.
The March started from The King Dinizulu Park and went to the Durban City Hall, shutting down Durban’s busiest and biggest Street, West Street/Pixley ka Seme Street. The crowds chants caused people coming out of their shops, flats and some jobs to watch and witness this movement. The March didn’t just consist of the members of the church who are youth but even elderly women, men, and even children. Rev Tim Omotoso is clearly a Father to many and this was more than visible during the peaceful march.
The media in attendance included: SABC News, ANN7, Isolezwe, East Coast Radio, and other local newspapers.
The protesters were accompanied by the Metro Police and SAPS (South African Police Services), and about 100 marshals for crowd control. Upon arrival at the City Hall, 2 representatives of the Department of Justice received the Memorandum which was handed over to them by Pastor Sanele Myeni accompanied by other Jesus Dominion International pastors. The Memorandum of Demand served stated amongst other things that, “….The basis of our discontentment is derived from the fact that the Hawks scheduled a meeting in Port Elizabeth with Rev Tim Omotoso and his legal representatives on 20 April 2017 under pretext of an ‘inquiry’ over allegations made against him. He consequently bought a return flight ticket with a bid to cooperate with the authorities and answer any questions they had. Whilst Pastor Tim was denied the truth, the Hawks offered it to various media houses and the general public so much so that all were gathered and prepared to witness the arrest and mock him as the so called inquiry turned out to be a scheduled arrest, dramatically played out at the Port Elizabeth airport in full view of the media and public….”
A number of demands were made including, …. that there be a thorough investigation of the circumstances leading to Tim Omotoso’s arrest and all those implicated in framing Pastor Omotoso be brought to book and there be an immediate end to xenophobia which is prompting some members of the Hawks and Justice Department to facilitate the miscarriage of justice.
March for Tim Omotoso charged with multiples sax crimes
Jesus Dominion International says it believes two weeks (14 days) is a sufficient and reasonable time for the Dept of Justice and Correctional Services to give a response and that was stated in the memorandum.
No Bail Yet For Nigerian Pastor Omotoso Charged With Multiple Sax Crimes.
The bail application of controversial Nigerian televangelist and Senior pastor of the Jesus Dominion International church, Tim Omotoso, will resume on the 12th of May after the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court postponed proceedings on Friday to allow for the verification of his travel documents.
Meanwhile Omotoso, whose bail application began on Wednesday, was remanded in custody.
Omotoso now faces 22 charges relating to saxual exploitation and human trafficking after eighteen more charges were added to the original four. He is alleged to have saxually abused several young women at his church in Umhlanga, Durban, under the pretext of healing them.
The disgraced man of cloth was arrested on the 20th of April by the Hawks shortly after he landed at the Port Elizabeth International Airport after evading arrest for days after the scandal came out. Rumours had made rounds that he had already skipped the country.
At the airport, he had apparently tried to avoid arrest by first lying about his flight’s arrival time then hiding in public toilets at the airport when he found armed officers waiting for him.
Omotoso complains about prison conditions
On Friday Pastor Omotoso’s attorney, Alfonso Hattingh, read out his affidavit in court in which he complained about the jail conditions at St Albans Prison where he is being kept.
Omotoso said that his constitutional rights were being infringed on since the day of his arrest as the public gathered to take video and pictures of his arrest.
He said that he was now having ‘suicidal thoughts’ as the events that have unfolded so far have had an impact on his physical and mental state.
Omotoso also complained about the mattress and blankets he was given at Mount Road Police Station.
He also said that he has been struggling to sleep in his jail cell.
Meanwhile, Omotoso’s lawyers claim that their client’s arrest was unlawful and they have handed in his two Nigerian passports for the Magistrate to examine.
Many travel documents
Pastor Tim Omotoso’s bail application has been postponed to the 12th of May for the Home Affairs to lodge an investigation into his travel documents.
On Thursday, Warrant Officer Peter Plaatjies, a member of the Hawks in Port Elizabeth, took the stand and told the court why Omotoso must not be granted bail.
He highlighted that Omotoso is a flight risk because he has connections all over Africa through his church, which would make it easy for him to leave the country.
W/O Plaatjies said that there was a chance of Omotoso also going after his victims if he was released on bail.
He claimed that a Hawks official, who is a member of the Jesus Dominion International church had alerted Omotoso about the investigation and that is how he managed to get away in their first attempt to arrest him in the Free State.
The State also argued that Omotoso doesn’t have a permanent address where they could locate him if he were released on bail.
Prosecutors added that he also doesn’t have a permanent passport and has been using several temporary passports when travelling.