22 November 2017

South Africa: Police Nab Women Suspected of Recruiting Young Women for Nigerian Pastor

Photo: Nosipiwo Manona/Premium Times
Nigerian Pastor Timothy Omotoso escorted by South African police.

Two women, believed to have acted as recruiters of young women and teenagers for alleged sex pest pastor Timothy Omotoso, were arrested on Tuesday afternoon.

Omotoso, the charismatic Nigerian televangelist and senior pastor of the Jesus Dominion International Church, faces charges of human trafficking and rape.

A second case, relating to his immigration status and an alleged fraudulent work visa from 2000, is also being investigated.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Anelise Feni confirmed that the two women, aged 28 and 36, were arrested for their alleged involvement in recruiting young women for Omotoso.

"The two women were arrested by the Port Elizabeth Hawks trafficking in persons unit. It is alleged that the women recruited young girls all over the country and monitored their movements in the houses where they were kept," said Feni.

During Omotoso's first bail hearing, Hawks chief investigating officer Peter Plaatjies said the pastor had a modus operandi similar to that of a skilled sex offender who preyed on young girls.

Church services

Plaatjies told the court how Omotoso, 59, used older women to identify and recruit young women, some as young as 13, to join his circle of "sexual entertainers".

They were allegedly identified from church crusades and usual church services and it is alleged that recruiters would target vulnerable women from poor homes where there were no father figures.

Plaatjies said that they were paraded and travel tickets to Durban were bought for those who fitted the desired profile to go and meet Omotoso.

Once in Durban they would have allegedly been pampered, given luxuries and cash and groomed for alleged sexual encounters with the pastor.

Allegations included that Omotoso had the young women give him full body massages and made them lie next to him while he masturbated before they were sexually penetrated.

Feni said more arrests were expected to be made and added that both women were expected to appear in the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

Meanwhile, Omotoso is expected to appear in the same court on Thursday to appeal the refusal of his second bail application.

Source: News24

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