SABC 1:News -The trial of a Nigerian Pastor, Timothy Omotoso

Date: December 10, 2018
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Name of the monitor: Sakhile Dube
Name of Television station: SABC1
Name of programme: Xhosa News
Date of broadcast: 10/12/2018
Story number in the bulletin 1
Time: 19:00 – 19:30
Genre: News
Theme: The legal system
Skills: Fairness
GBV focus explicit or implicit? Explicit
Gem Classification: Gender Blind
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A brief description of the news story:

The trial of a Nigerian Pastor, Timothy Omotoso and co-accused Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho has been postponed to February 4, 2019. The trial was postponed earlier to allow the defence attorney to petition the Supreme Court Appeal. Omotoso and the two co-accused are charged with 97 cases of sexual assault, rape, human trafficking for sexual purposes and fraudulent business dealings.

Previous stories related to Omotoso’s trial could be classified as gender aware but this one is classified as gender blind because it fails to look at the side of women who are the victims of all these cases charged against Omotoso and the two co-accused.


The news story highlights the slow progress or widespread failure to enforce existing laws which remains a significant hurdle to further GBV progress. Omotoso was arrested in April 2018 and still no judgment – the legal system is failing women who are victims of GBV and this leads to insecurity and failure to trust the legal system. The legislation is designed to handle GBV cases in a swift and effective way to address the challenges that victims face and so that they may feel safe and secure.

Although mostly the GBV perpetrators are detained in prison cells their trials usually take long with many postponements regardless of firm evidence provided, which is disheartening to the victims. While still considering the legal system that is failing women, we have no idea how many cases have been dropped before even reaching the High Court. Reporting GBV issues at the police station has even become a laughing matter for police officers themselves. Understanding how the legal system works in South Africa is a major obstacle that is hindering the progress of fighting against all forms of GBV.

This story has been classifies as gender blind as it missed an opportunity to include the voices of women. Court reporting has never been easy for journalists as there are many legalities to consider when reporting cases of sexual violence. This story could have been considered gender aware if it also included the voices of the victims and found out on how they felt about court proceedings and the ongoing postponements of the trial.

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