EFF tears into Omotoso lawyer for ‘barbaric’ cross-examination of Zondi

The party has joined the voices of many South Africans who have expressed outrage at the treatment of Cheryl Zondi on the witness stand.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have released a statement in which they “note with disdain” the “barbaric cross-examination of Cheryl Zondi in the rape case of the accused Timothy Omotoso by his lawyer Peter Daubermann”.

Televangelist Omotoso faces 63 main charges and 34 alternative counts, which include human trafficking, rape, sexual assault, racketeering and conspiracy in aiding another person to commit sexual assault.

One of his alleged victims, Cheryl Zondi, who accuses him of raping her when she was just 14 years old, has been giving testimony in the Port Elizabeth High Court, with Omotoso’s advocate Daubermann cross-examining her in a manner that has caused widespread outrage.

The party called on Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to “transform the dehumanising and demeaning manner in which victims of sexual violence are treated in the courtroom”.

This, the party says, contributes to “the protection and perpetuation of toxic patriarchal masculinity”.

“This is because once men rape they know women will not stomach being humiliated through cross-examination processes at the court. As a result, the country is unable to hold rapists accountable and punish them,” the statement continues.

The party is not alone in its concerns over advocate Daubermann’s techniques.

On Tuesday, the Citizen reported that Daubermann was widely vilified for his style of cross-examination.

READ MORE: ‘Vicious’ Daubermann reviled for defence tactics in Omotoso case

The lawyer continues to cause widespread outrage on social media.

When, earlier today, public speaker Clive Simpkins mentioned the “disgraceful humiliation” of Zondi in court, journalist Karyn Maughan expressed her view that, “sickeningly”, this kind of treatment of rape victims was “not unusual”.

The EFF has asserted their support for women’s rights before, but a statement released in August on behalf of disgruntled junior EFF member Maggie Klaas (32), Seitebogeng Nkitseng, an EFF member of North West’s provincial legislature, said that EFF leader Julius Malema was not walking the talk when it came to his comments on the abuse of women.

The Citizen reported at the time that the statement alleged that EFF member Maggie Klaas had been assaulted by a senior EFF member. The Sonke Gender Justice sent a reminder on Twitter to Malema about his controversial remarks in relation to the decade-old rape case between former president Jacob Zuma and a woman known to the public as Khwezi.

And while Malema is now outspoken against rape culture in South Africa, in 2009 he was taken to the Equality Court over earlier comments about rape.

READ MORE: Khwezi enjoyed it – the words that haunt Malema

At the time the president of the ANC Youth League, when he was still “prepared to kill for Zuma”, Malema claimed that, in his opinion, a woman who had not enjoyed a night of sex normally wakes up and leaves early in the morning.

He claimed the HIV-positive Khwezi had actually had a “nice time” and “enjoyed it” with Zuma.

“When a woman didn’t enjoy it, she leaves early in the morning. Those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, request breakfast and ask for taxi money,” said Malema while addressing 150 Cape Peninsula University of Technology students in 2009.

“In the morning, that lady requested breakfast and taxi money,” Malema added to a cheering audience.

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