“I will not give up” – Cheryl Zondi set to brave re-trial

Cheryl Zondi at Tuesday morning's media briefing [image by iAfrica]

Cheryl Zondi will have to take the stand again following the recusal of the judge in her rape trial against televangelist, Timothy Omotoso.

On Tuesday morning Zondi addressed the nation saying that though she expected this second time in court to be more antagonising than the first, she was determined to live up to the confidence South Africa had in her.

“There are people who are waiting for me to give up but I will not give up,” she said.

Though she would probably have to testify all over again, she said she would tell her truth as many times as necessary in the name of justice.

Zondi publicly came forward last year about being sexually abuse allegedly by Omotoso, and was the first witness to take the stand against him. He and his co-accused, Zukiswa Sitho and Lusanda Sulani are facing 97 charges, some of which include rape and human trafficking.

From left to right: Omotoso (60); Sulani (36); Sitho (28). [image by SA Life]
Omotoso’s legal counsel called for the former presiding judge, Mandela Makaula, to recuse himself saying he showed bias towards Zondi.

Judge Makaula formerly recused himself on Friday because state witnesses in this case were found to be staying at a guesthouse owned by his wife. Zondi had also stayed at the residence as it was arranged by the state, but said she had no knowledge of who the owner was.

In the media briefing, Zondi said the National Prosecuting Authority was yet to let her know how the recusal would affect her.

Judge President Selby Mbenenge will preside over the trial which is set to resume on 30 July 2019.