The trial of controversial televangelist, Timothy Omotoso, and his two co-accused Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, was postponed by the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday due to level 4 lockdown restrictions on provincial travel.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the case will now be heard on July 28.
State prosecutor advocate Mujaahid Sandan made the request for postponement, informing the court that all three accused were not present because of the lockdown restrictions, NPA spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said in a statement.
Ngcakani said: “He [Sandan] further requested for the matter to be postponed as the rules and regulations prohibit inter-provincial travelling, except for essential services. One of the accused resides in KwaZulu-Natal and some witnesses reside in various areas in the country.”
Ngcakani added that Sandan said it was in the interest of justice for the matter to be remanded.
Omotoso remains in custody.
Omotoso, Sulani and Sitho face 97 charges, including rape, human trafficking and racketeering, for allegedly targeting and recruiting young girls for sexual exploitation.
It is alleged that the girls were moved from their homes to two mission houses in KwaZulu-Natal, where they were allegedly made to engage in sexual acts with Omotoso.