Gopolang Moloko
1 minute read
11 Dec 2018
10:31 am

SCA dismisses application to have Judge Makaula recuse himself in Omotoso case

Gopolang Moloko

The appeals court has dismissed Peter Daubermann's application to have the current presiding judge step aside over allegations of bias.

Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso and his alleged henchwomen appeared in Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Thursday. Picture: Raahil Sain/ANA

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has dismissed an application by pastor Timothy Omotoso’s defence that Judge Mandela Makaula recuse himself.

The SCA was expected to rule on whether Makaula should recuse himself from the case on Monday but the ruling came in on Tuesday.

This was after advocate Peter Daubermann accused the judge of being prejudiced against the pastor in favour of first state witness Cheryl Zondi.

Daubermann said comments such as “leave it to us”, which Daubermann alleged showed bias towards the witness.

“I understand what happened, my lord, but it’s not your job to consult with the witness. A judge cannot hint bias,” said Daubermann.

The case against Omotoso and his co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, was postponed to February 2019.

The trio are facing several charges of rape, assault, and human trafficking.

Meanwhile, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has suggested that Omotoso’s defence was deliberately delaying proceedings.

The NPA spokesperson, Tshepo Ndwalaza, said: “It was the request of the defence that they petition the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein that they wanted Judge Makaula to recuse himself in the case and also quash all the charges against Omotoso and his two co-accused.

“Those were denied by the judge locally [initially], but they decided that they should petition the SCA, and we are fine with that, but now the delay has been the defence not sending the original copies of their documents that were supposed to be submitted there, making it difficult for the SCA to deal with the matter.”

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