The first witness in the trial against Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso took to the stand in the Eastern Cape High Court on Wednesday.
Omotoso and his two co-accused face multiple charges, including human trafficking, racketeering and rape.
Omotoso, Zukiswa Sitho and Lusanda Sulani face almost 100 charges, reports EWN's Shamiela Fisher.
The Hawks arrested the pastor at Port Elizabeth International Airport in April last year.
He's accused of having sexually exploited and sexually abused up to 30 young girls and women.
The televangelist is a member of the Jesus Dominion International Church and the victims were said to have been members of various branches of his church.
Omotoso's alleged accomplices are accused of having groomed the young girls for sexual exploitation by the pastor.
The first witness, Cheryl Zondi, says she was asexually abused by Omotoso when she was 14, Fisher explains.
Zondi, now 22 years old, testified how she was abused by Omotoso during a trip to attend a church meeting in KwaZulu-Natal.
She says she was invited to stay at his Umhlanga home, where between 20 and 30 other girls also lived.
Cheryl Zondi said that she joined the Jesus Dominion International Church in 2009 when she was 13 years old.— Shamiela Fisher, EWN reporter
She says the new girls who were at the house were expected to have one on one meetings with him in his office.— Shamiela Fisher, EWN reporter
She says he called her into the office, told her to lock the door... and eventually, she claims he sexually abused her in the room.— Shamiela Fisher, EWN reporter
It was a very emotional testimony. She broke down while she was recalling what she claims was sexual abuse at the hands of Omotoso over a period of more than two years.— Shamiela Fisher, EWN reporter
The trial started on Monday and the defence for the trio tried to have the charges withdrawn, but the judge dismissed the application.— Shamiela Fisher, EWN reporter
Many of his supporters and congregants of the church are often going to court proceeding in support of him.— Shamiela Fisher, EWN reporter
The State is expected to call several other girls who were allegedly victims of Omotoso.
Take a listen to the EWN update:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Woman alleges pastor Omotoso began sexually abusing her at 14