Why ‘Daddy’ can do no wrong in supporters’ eyes
While critics of Timothy Omotoso have been quick to point out traits they associate with narcissism, members of his church say the man being portrayed in the media is not a true reflection of their beloved leader.
One such supporter, Martha Mapengo, 51, originally from Soweto, said she had been transformed and become a better person after joining Jesus Dominion International 12 years ago.
“I joined this ministry in June 2006,” she said.
“At the time my life was at a standstill.
“I was confused, not knowing what had befallen me, sickly – [I] had things moving in my body, abused by my family, failed in every project I attempted to do and I was about to die.
“But God used Rev Tim Omotoso to revive my life, he gave me the courage and hope to live again.
“His teachings transformed me and made me a better, enlightened individual,” Mapengo said.
She claimed to be witness to a number of miracles performed by Omotoso during her time with the church, which included converting criminals and exconvicts, convincing prostitutes to leave the streets and healing the sick.
“[Omotoso] is disciplined, has integrity, rare musical talent and the unusual miracles that God performed through him.
“One of them is a miracle of a baby that was born without an oesophagus and anus. Doctors operated 37 times on this baby and all their attempts to heal the boy failed.
“It took one short prayer of less then two minutes from Rev Tim Omotoso to heal the boy.
“I am talking about amazing miracles in their thousands,” Mapengo said.
According to Mapengo, during her years with Omotoso’s ministry she saw many people being saved, some presenting with what she claimed were ailments impossible to solve by man but according to her “the man of God had a solution”.
“I have been holding on to the teaching of this man of God, teachings that have brought light and life.
“This man taught me to hold on to Jesus and him alone.
“He taught me prayer and the ways of God that made me have encounters with the supernatural.
“I got to experience what other people mentioned in the Bible experienced.
“All of us in the ministry have some sort of testimony to tell. Some of us were bewitched, rejected, unemployed, unloved, without hope, but Rev Tim became a father, a brother to us, a friend and hope.
“He took some to school, provided others with accommodation, money, food.
“Many of the people who sleep in the streets of Durban call him ‘Daddy’, for that is what he is to them – a father. He has prayed for many who went back to their families and now live normal lives,” Mapengo said.
On Monday, senior church member and Omotoso’s son-in-law, pastor Osuagwu Chuks, gave a rare interview, in which he said Omotoso had brought many
good things to the lives of church congregants.
“He has brought so many good things to our lives, transforming our lives from bad ways to good ways.
“The image of the person [Omotoso] is what is important so that is why we want to put it right, to say that this person has done more good [so to keep him in jail] is an injustice,” Chuks said.
He said that he, Omotoso and other members of the church were all law-abiding citizens of the country and he did not believe the state had a strong case against Omotoso.
“I don’t feel bad [about the allegations against Omotoso] because we are law-abiding citizens and we believe in the constitution of the country . . . we know only good will come from this,” he said.
“Most of the things that are said [about the church] are not investigated and are one-sided.”
Mapengo said Omotoso was too preoccupied and involved in taking care of the church, teaching and training members in the ways of God, to have committed any crimes.
“We spent most of our time in church,” he said.
“My description of the man of God might sound exaggerated but it is true – he is addicted to excellence and consumed with the ideal of perfection.”
Mapengo questioned the investigation into Omotoso, claiming irregularities in how the state has handled the case.
“We’ve experienced unnecessary postponements in court hearings, there [are so many] irregularities in how the case is handled.
“There is a lot to be desired from South Africa’s judicial system.
“It kills us to see this man compromised [and] punished for nothing,” Mapengo said.
Chuks said the manner in which Omotoso was being portrayed and how he was being treated was barbaric.