'Sex pest' pastor Timothy Omotoso to ask ConCourt to quash charges
Controversial Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso and his two co-accused will approach the highest court in the country after the Supreme Court of Appeal turned down their petitions to appeal against a Port Elizabeth High Court judge's decisions not to recuse himself or to quash the charges against them.
Defence attorney Peter Daubermann for Omotoso, 60, and his alleged henchwomen - Zukiswa Sitho, 28, and Lusanda Sulani, 36 - confirmed on Tuesday they would approach the Constitutional Court with an application to overrule the SCA’s decision.
"We do not agree with the finding of the SCA and are proceeding with an application to the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal [against the decision]," Daubermann said.
The trio is facing 63 main and 43 alternative charges, including human trafficking, rape, sexual assault and racketeering.
At the start of their trial Daubermann brought an application to have the charges quashed, claiming that the indictment did not contain sufficient information about the charges.
Port Elizabeth High Court Judge Mandela Makaula dismissed the application, prompting Omotoso’s lawyers to apply for leave to appeal.
This was also dismissed.
A further application was brought by Omotoso for Makaula to recuse himself after the testimony of state witness Cheryl Zondi. Omotoso claimed Makaula had sided with Zondi and had already decided on the outcome of the matter, among other claims.
This application as well as an application for leave to appeal against that judgment was also dismissed by Makaula.
Advocate Terry Price SC, for Omotoso, then petitioned the SCA to apply for leave to appeal against Makaula’s judgments.
National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Tsepo Ndwalaza confirmed on Tuesday that state prosecutor Nceba Ntelwa was informed late on Monday afternoon that the SCA had dismissed the applications - citing that there were no prospects of success.
"As the NPA we feel vindicated by this decision and we are ready to rumble,” Ndwalaza said.
Ndwalaza said the state was ready to continue with the trial when the matter is back in court on February 4.