Twitter divided over Cheryl Zondi's new foundation

05 December 2018 - 12:38 By Ntokozo Miya
Cheryl Zondi, who testified against Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso at the Port Elizabeth High Court, has launched her own foundation - to mixed reactions.
Cheryl Zondi, who testified against Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso at the Port Elizabeth High Court, has launched her own foundation - to mixed reactions.
Image: Werner hills

Cheryl Zondi launched a foundation on Tuesday that encourages women to use the pain of their abuse to raise awareness and help victims "through a legal process". But there have been mixed reactions on social media. 

Zondi was the first person to take the stand against Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso,  who was accused of rape. His trial in the High Court in Port Elizabeth began in October and Zondi's testimony turned her into a national figure.

She testified that Omotoso sexually abused her from the age of 14 while she was a member of his Jesus Dominion International church in Port Elizabeth.

The Cheryl Zondi Foundation will focus on women who have been abused in sacred spaces or places of worship.

"People out there are warned to be careful when they are out at night, but they are not necessarily warned when they are going to a church, a traditional space, ancestral space or any other kind of religious setting," said Zondi at the launch.

Zondi's initiative has the support of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (known as the CRL Rights Commission). 

The Cheryl Zondi Foundation was welcomed by people on social media who congratulated Zondi on her courage and desire to help other victims of abuse.

However, others were not so supportive. They questioned not only Zondi's motives but also those of the CRL Rights Commission.

One critic accused Zondi of being a "publicity seeker". Others called the new foundation "a business opportunity" and "a rash idea".

"I smell a rat here," warned another Twitter user. 

Cheryl Zondi, the young woman who testified in the pastor Timothy Omotoso trial, has launched a foundation to help survivors of sexual abuse. Zondi said that with this foundation, she aims to assist women and young people who have gone through the same experiences as her in sacred spaces.


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