Pastor Timothy Omotoso trial begins afresh in Port Elizabeth High Court
The protracted trial of alleged rape and human trafficking accused Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso and his two co-accused is expected to begin afresh on Tuesday in the Port Elizabeth High Court.
This comes after the initial trial, which began in October 2018, resulted in the original presiding officer, Port Elizabeth High Court Judge Mandela Makaula, recusing himself from the case following allegations from Omotoso’s defence team that:
- Witnesses had stayed at a guesthouse owned by his wife;
- The indictment before court was not detailed enough; and
- Makaula had not showed impartiality during the testimony of the state’s first witness, Cheryl Zondi.
HeraldLIVE reports that after various applications - including to the Supreme Court of Appeal and to the Constitutional Court - to have the 97 charges against Omotoso, 60, Zukiswa Sitho, 28, and Lusanda Sulani, 36, quashed, the trial is set to start again before Judge Irma Schoeman.
In March, Eastern Cape Judge President Selby Mbenenge ruled that the trial will run its entire course, starting July 30.
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