Timothy Omotoso congregants take political groups to court
Members of the Jesus Dominion International Church will be applying to the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday to bar members of the ANC Youth League, Women's League and the EFF from protesting in front of the Port Elizabeth branch.
The church is led by controversial pastor Timothy Omotoso who is standing trial on charges of sexual assault, rape and human trafficking.
Church members Ntombomzi Mbaza, Mbeko Mnyatheli and Madoda Cingo want their application to be heard on an urgent basis, urging the court to rule that members of the different political parties refrain from picketing within 200m outside their church in Govan Mbeki Avenue.
The application also stated that members of the political parties must be ordered not to assault, intimidate or harass congregants when entering the church.
They want the respondents ANC Youth League, Women’s League, EFF and Jesus Dominion International Church to be ordered to pay the costs of the application as well as their legal costs should the judgment be in their favour.
In their accompanying affidavits the applicants stated the closure of JDI was a material violation of their rights to practice religion, that it was a violation of their right to freedom of association and added that JDI had lawful possession of the building.
Last month, members of the ANCYL, the ANC Women's League and EFF gathered outside of church and called for it to be shut down. The political parties argued that the church building did not have the correct zoning rights to operate as a church.
ANC Youth League Nelson Mandela Bay secretary Luyolo Nqakula confirmed they would oppose the application.
He said it was merely an attempt to derail their pursuit in advancing the struggles of the youth.
"We want to reiterate our contempt in relation to the persons undermining our societal efforts to deal with the scourge of gender-based violence in our country.
"We remain steadfast in our position to continue to fearlessly defend victims of gender-based violence," Nqakula said.