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Bishop Zondo rape accuser says all she wanted was apology not gifts, money

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Her brother claimed that Zondo offered the complainant R25,000 to withdraw the charges against him.

Rivers of Living Waters Church leader Bishop Bafana Stephen Zondo in court. Picture: Zelda Venter

ALL RIVERS of Living Waters Church leader Bishop Bafana Stephen Zondo’s alleged rape victim wanted from him was an apology. She was never interested in gifts or money, the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria was told.

The second witness to take the stand in Zondo’s rape trial was the brother of the woman who claimed she was raped by Zondo while she was seven and he was around 14.

Jabu Zondo told Judge Papi Mosopa on Tuesday that Zondo offered the complainant R25,000 with the instruction that she had to immediately go and withdraw the charges against him.

Judge Mosopa ordered that the media may not take pictures of Jabu, although his name may be published.

Jabu was the first person whom the alleged victim told about the “dark secret” she had carried with her since childhood, the woman testified last week.

Jabu meanwhile said that his sister, who may not be identified, told him in around 2011 that she was raped by Zondo. He said she never gave details about what exactly happened.

He said it came about as he wanted some “fatherly” advice about a relationship he had. He could not speak to his father, as the latter was deceased. He then contacted the bishop, who told him that if he needed to see him, he had to make an appointment at the church.

“His response had hurt me very much and the only person I could speak to about it was my sister. I told her what he had said and she responded by saying ‘stay away from that person, I beg you. He is not a good person. He raped me’.”

Jabu said he was shocked and they both cried. He did not know what to say to her, as he came to her with his problem, only to realise her problem was much bigger.

“I told her that God is here and that He will help her. She then assured me that it will all be fine.”

Jabu told the court that he later asked her why she had kept quiet all these years about her ordeal. “She responded by asking me who I think in the family will ever confront him (Zondo).”

Jabu said he only realised the full extent of what happened after he saw video clips of an interview his sister had with a radio station last year.

He broke down in tears and the court had to adjourn for him to compose himself as he testified that he had to face his mother, who was distraught about what had happened to her daughter.

In May last year, shortly after the interview and criminal charges were instituted, the family called a meeting. Jabu said the purpose for his uncles calling the meeting was to “resolve and fix the damage” which the interview had done.

According to him, she was offered cattle and money to withdraw the charges, but she had refused, “All she wanted was an apology.”

Zondo earlier pleaded not guilty to 10 charges, which included eight counts of rape. He claimed that the complainant and her family are lying about the rape accusations, because they know he is a wealthy man and they want to extort money from him.

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