The past few weeks have seen public outcries throughout the country following the arrest of Jesus Dominion International Televangelist, Tim Omotoso.

Omotoso who is facing charges of human trafficking and sexual assault after a number of women brought forward sexual abuse allegations, has been denied bail and set to appear at the Port Elizabeth Magistrates court in two weeks’ time.

Tim Omatomo’s case is not one that is unfamiliar in our newspapers, communities and our country. In fact every year, the abuse of women by men in authority is a conversation that we are well accustomed to. One discourse that we still need to have though, is that of women who still support men who degrade and are oppressive, be it young or old instead of holding them accountable for their actions.

Those who have attended the court hearing of Omotoso’s case can attest that the real scandal can be found outside of the courtroom. On the 23rd of April, news24 reported that two groups were gathered outside, one demanding that Omotoso not get bail and the other, which was mainly made up of women and members of his church, coming to defend him.

This can’t help but take us back to a time, when our very own president was accused of rape in 2005. When multiple members of the ANC’s Women League gathered outside of the courtroom calling the victim all types of derogatory names and calling for the release of Jacob Zuma.

The irony though is that, the ANCWL can be seen in the forefront of defending the victims of Omotoso and calling for a heavy sentence. Does this then not communicate a double standard on their part? Why is it that women, instead of coming together in solidarity and speaking against sexual abuse of women and patriarchy, instead enable these men to get away with these crimes?

In such cases, we hardly see women who are supposed to be pillars of the communities defend the victims. No one defended Khwezi, and definitely no older women now are standing for Omotoso’s victims without ulterior motives. The needs to be a discourse set to end patriarchy and misogyny.

Sinesipho Joyi

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