Pastor’s sordid life unveiled in court

2017-05-07 06:01
Timothy Omotoso (Picture: Nosipiwo Manona)

Timothy Omotoso (Picture: Nosipiwo Manona)

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Timothy Omotoso made his victims massage him with Vaseline before penetrating them without condoms and reciting a psalm afterwards.

An investigating officer in the case of jailed pastor Timothy Omotoso this week gave chilling testimony of how the clergyman allegedly used the modus operandi of a skilled sexual predator to lure young girls and later abuse them.

Omotoso is facing various sexual offence charges, including human trafficking and rape.

His appearances at the Port Elizabeth Magistrates’ Court have been marked by huge crowds of supporters, who have gathered outside court insisting he is innocent.

ANC supporters, on the other hand, have also assembled, calling for him to be denied bail.

In affidavits presented as evidence before court, Omotoso was characterised as being the kingpin of a sex ring involving mostly unsuspecting girls, some as young as 13.

Speaking in court during Omotoso’s bail hearing this week, Hawks chief investigating officer Peter Plaatjies said the accused had a modus operandi similar to that of skilled sex offenders who preyed on young girls.

“He has a set of older girls that identify and recruit young girls ... to join his circle of sexual entertainers,” said Plaatjies.

“These recruiters identify young girls who visit the church for crusades and ordinary church services,” he said.

Plaatjies drew a gloomy picture of how the alleged recruiters also went into their communities to find vulnerable girls from homes without father figures.

He said an individual interview process was then embarked upon, which sought to vet each girl for information about her family background.

“His first interest area is to ensure that these girls have no male family members who will come looking for them,” he said.

“Ideally, they should come from poor homes, where money is needed for survival.”

He said the girls were then paraded, and those who fitted the desired profile were bought tickets to travel to Durban, where Omotoso was based, to meet him.

“They are enticed with money because they are poor and need money.”

Plaatjies said the girls would then undergo a transformation process, which involved a complete makeover that turned them into absolute beauties.

He said the girls were then given large amounts of money. These transactions were made either in cash or through money transfer services from shops such as Shoprite.

“The girls are kept in the same house and the same room(s) in his house, and in his mission houses in Durban. One by one they are called into a dark room, where Omotoso makes sexual advances to them.”

He said the girls were given strict orders to always be clean as Omotoso wanted them to be clean all the time.

“When in the bedroom with him, they are given Vaseline petroleum jelly to massage him with, starting at the toes and spreading it on his entire body.

“He then makes them lie on the bed next to him and strokes himself while masturbating, and eventually ejaculates on their thighs,” he said.

“Then he recites Psalm 51, as he prays after the sexual act.”

Plaatjies said that over time, the act would advance to sexual penetration, when Omotoso felt the girls had been properly initiated to satisfy his desires.

“The penetration is without a condom,” said Plaatjies.

He said Omotoso kept more than 40 girls at a time, over different periods, in these houses.

“He does not keep them in his own residence, but in houses called the mission houses,” said Plaatjies.

“If they refuse, their benefits are withdrawn as a form of manipulation and punishment.

“The older girls, known as the handlers, bear the brunt if the recruits do not perform according to Omotoso’s expectation.”

During the narration of her husband’s conduct, Omotoso’s wife, Taiwo, sighed and gasped in disbelief.

Omotoso’s lawyers have denied the allegations against him and lambasted the state for being vague.

His legal representative, Alfonso Hatting, made his first presentation to the court on Friday, saying his client’s rights were grossly violated during the arrest.

He dismissed Plaatjies’ claims that the Hawks had found half-naked women at a Bloemfontein resort during the Easter weekend, when the crime fighters had acted on a tip-off that Omotoso was staying there.

Omotoso sat with his eyes shut during his lawyers’ presentation of the affidavit.

In the affidavit, Omotoso said he was ill-treated and manhandled by the police on the day of his arrest, shortly after he landed at Port Elizabeth International Airport.

“I was stopped in the middle of relieving myself at the airport toilets by gun-wielding men,” it read.

Omotoso said before he could work out what was going on, he looked up and found guns pointed at him.

“They tied my hands behind me with tight cables. When I asked them to loosen them a bit, they tied them even tighter,” he said, adding that he was humiliated because many people took video clips of the arrest and the whole world had seen the way he was treated.

“There were journalists waiting for my arrest at the airport. My constitutional rights were violated,” read the affidavit.

Omotoso went on to express his disgust at the condition of the toilets at the Mount Road Police Station, where he was initially detained.

“I was put in a place with filthy toilets. I struggled to sleep. I now have flashbacks of the experiences,” he said.

“I have requested a psychologist because I am now becoming suicidal.”

His lawyers said they would be suing the state for the unlawful arrest of their client.

The case has been postponed to Friday, pending the verification of Omotoso’s two passports.

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Read more on:    timothy omotoso  |  sexual abuse

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