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Nigerian pastor in S.African court for sex abuse, trafficking

A flamboyant Nigerian televangelist appeared in a South African court on Wednesday facing 22 charges of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Tim Omotoso, 58, was arrested on April 21 when he landed in the southern city of Port Elizabeth, initially facing two charges of sexual assault and two of trafficking.

But by Wednesday, 18 more people had laid charges.

“He is facing numerous charges of human trafficking and sexual exploitation,” National Prosecution Authority spokesman Tshepo Ndwalaza told AFP.

“He is facing about 22 charges, but this figure can increase again as more people are coming forward to testify against him,” added Ndwalaza.

Omotoso will return to court on Thursday to apply for bail.

Dozens of his supporters, mostly women, staged a protest outside the court, demanding his release.

Omotoso is accused of luring women and young girls from his churches across the country to his luxury home in the coastal resort town of Umhlanga Rocks near Durban where he allegedly assaulted them.

He was arrested at Port Elizabeth airport after being on reportedly been on the run for several days.