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March 3, 2019

Televised rape trial grips South Africa

A televised rape trial is gripping South Africa – a country plagued by high levels of sexual violence.

For the past three days, a woman has been giving evidence against a televangelist she says repeatedly raped her when she was a member of his church at the age of 14.

Pastor Timothy Omotoso, a Nigerian, is facing multiple charges of rape, assault and trafficking.

The case has hit a nerve in a country where there more than 100 rapes are reported to police every day.

There is also growing concern about the influence of wealthy evangelical churches with charismatic preachers and routine promises of miracles.

What has shocked many has been the aggressive cross-examination of Cheryl Zondi, now 22, by the defense team.

Ms. Zondi’s composure in the witness box has been widely praised, and crowds have been gathering outside the courthouse to voice their support for her.

Televised trials have become almost routine here since cameras were first allowed to broadcast the Oscar Pistorius case.

The trial continues.


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