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Victims speak of sexual abuse at the hands of Omotoso

Three women have given harrowing accounts of how Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso allegedly abused them while they lived with him in Umhlanga.

A young woman is one of the first to give her statement on the abuse she suffered at the hands of Pastor Timothy Omotoso. Picture: Katleho Sekhotho/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Several victims of sexual abuse allegedly at the hands of religious leaders have given statements at the CRL Commission in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Three women have given harrowing accounts of how Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso allegedly abused them while they lived with him in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal almost eight years ago.

The commission has been holding a dialogue which aims to launch a support structure for young people who have been sexually abused by religious and traditional leaders.

There have been heartbreaking scenes at the CRL Commission where three young women have told their stories of abuse, allegedly perpetrated by Omotoso when they were just 14-years-old.

The women are now between the ages of 22 and 23.

Commission chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva is leading the dialogue.

“You cannot say you’ve got freedom of religion, this is not freedom of religion, this is madness and people have looked at us like ‘this one is traumatised and out of control’. Of course, I’m traumatised.”

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva says a proposal is before Parliament that a peer review body be set to help victims of abuse within the religious sector report crimes.