A 31-YEAR-OLD woman appeared before the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for allegedly recruiting girls for purposes of sexual exploitation for Timothy Omotoso, the senior pastor of the Jesus Dominion International Church.
Nobubele Mlindi’s first court appearance was after she handed herself over to the Hawks’ Trafficking in Persons (TIP) team in Port Elizabeth on Thursday morning. She faces charges of trafficking in persons and exploitation for sexual purposes.
Mlindi is a third suspect who has been arrested by the TIP team for allegedly recruiting girls all over the country and monitoring their movements in the houses were they were being kept. Zukiwa Sitho, 28, and Lusanda Solani, 36 are the first two suspects and they were each granted R2 000 bail by the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court in November last year.
It is alleged that between 2012 and 2016, while working for the Department of Health in Port Elizabeth, Mlindi recruited girls from around the country to reside at Omotoso’s house in KwaZulu-Natal. It is further alleged that she, at certain periods, was the house mother for this house. Mlindi now resides at Mmabatho in the North West.
Omotoso, 59, was arrested on April 20 by the TIP team in Port Elizabeth. He is facing multiple charges related to the contravention of the Sexual Offences Act, including numerous charges of rape. Some of the alleged victims were as young as 13 years old.
Mlindi was granted R2 000 bail and she and her three co-accused (including Omotoso) will appear before the same court on April 11.
The acting provincial head for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in the Eastern Cape, Major-General Zintle Mnonopi, congratulated her members for their determination in fighting Trafficking in Persons.