Former Idols SA contestants Neliswa and Anele Mxakaza have finally spoken out against their former pastor, Timothy Omotoso. Last year the Nigerian-born pastor made headlines after he was charged for human trafficking and rape and later discovered to be in South Africa illegally due to fraudulent papers The senior pastor of the Jesus Dominion International Church was accused of keeping young female congregants of his church in a house in Umhlanga in Durban and sexually assaulting them.
During his court case early last year, Neliswa and Anele – who were members of his church and lived with him – came out in his defense and even claimed they loved him. Now the twins have issued a statement and revealed they always knew about the abuse that went on in the house in Umhlanga.
“We have lived in his house in Umhlanga for about a year, it was the worst experience ever,” they said. “We were actually pushed to please the man, we were told that God will punish us if we ever say anything against [Pastor] Omotoso. We lived a life full of threats and fear.”
It is not clear whether these twins were sexually violated or not because according to DRUM they asserted that they were not sexually violated and that he only made sexual comments directed at them.
“He would make comments about certain parts of our bodies in front of all the other girls. He would also ask us personal questions about whether we’re having sex with our boyfriends.”
She added that this made them very uncomfortable, which is why they eventually decided to leave the house because they feared they would eventually be assaulted.
“We were made to believe Omotoso is the closest person to God and we can never have a relationship with God but only through Omotoso,” the statement further read.They added that they believe their spirits were controlled by the pastor and they could see all the wrongs, but were never bold enough to speak out.“We were even asked to go do newspaper interviews to protect Omotoso,” they said in the statement.
Speaking about the abuse they faced in the pastor’s house, the twins said they saw everything that happened to all those women who’ve spoken out against the alleged rapist. There have since been 18 additional charges of sexual misconduct brought against Omotoso.
“The rape allegations were not new to us when Omotoso was arrested – it’s something we knew long before he got arrested.
“The girls would talk immediately after it happened in the house and when one was called to the upper room we knew what was going to happen to them, we were made to keep quiet and never say anything.
“Even when we had left the church we were still not free to talk, we were afraid something bad will happen to us or our families,” they said.
Omotoso’s newly appointed attorney Peter Daubermann said that he is unsure how these allegations by the twins will affect the case at this point.
“We have not heard anything about these new allegations yet, so it is too soon to tell how it will affect our moving forward,” he told DRUM.
NPA communications manager Tsepo Ndwalaza was not immediately available for comment. The twins were contestants on season 9 of Idols SA.
According to News24, Omotoso and one of his co-accused appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Monday. The case was postponed to March 7 because a third accused wasn’t present.
The pastor is accused of trafficking more than 30 girls and women who were from various branches of his church, and as of today remains incarcerated awaiting trial.
Omotoso’s website is still active and can be found here.