News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
2 Aug 2019
1:52 pm

Omotoso rape trial: ‘International’ charges to be added, as defence argues over jurisdiction

News24 Wire

The department of home affairs official also paid him a visit in court to deliver some bad news.

Timothy Omotoso, 60, and his co-accused Lusanda Sulani, 36, and Zukiswa Sitho, 28. Picture: Eugene Coetzee/The Herald

The state intends to add charges against rape-accused televangelist Timothy Omotoso, involving alleged offences that took place across the borders of South Africa.

Omotoso and his co-accused, Lusanda Lusani and Zukiswa Sitho, appeared in the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth on Friday for what was meant to be the first day of his retrial before Judge Irma Schoeman.

Defence advocate Peter Daubermann attempted to have some of the charges dropped, arguing that jurisdiction was an issue if the alleged offences did not occur in the country.

Witnesses were expected to give evidence on alleged rapes that took place while they were escorting Omotoso on international trips.

Daubermann said he would not allow the reopening of those international matters, as it would lead to another postponement, which would not be “fair or favourable” to his client.

The matter was postponed to Monday for the State to get a new authorisation certificate to centralise all the charges, which must then be read before the court.

The three accused are facing 97 charges, including rape, human trafficking and racketeering, with the state now hoping to add additional charges.

On Thursday, Schoeman ordered that the trial go ahead as scheduled after denying an application by the defence that the State give them more details on the charges.

It was a bad day for Omotoso on Thursday, as the department of home affairs official also paid him a visit in court to deliver some bad news.

The official informed him that his application to lift his prohibition as an illegal resident in South Africa had been unsuccessful.

His supporters demanded the official speak through Daubermann.

Daubermann, however, declined and said: “I only represent you on this [trial] matter.”

Omotoso then left the courtroom, with his supporters shouting: “My Pappa, My Daddy! We love you, Daddy.”

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