Cheryl Zondi to speak on way forward after Judge Makaula’s recusal

Zondi will have to relive the trial trauma of testifying, should she chose to face Omotoso in court again.


The first state witness in Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso’s rape trial, Cheryl Zondi, is expected to provide her views after Judge Mandela Makaula provided reasons for his recusal from the trial last week.

Zondi will be hosting a press conference at Milpark Garden Court on Empire Road on Tuesday morning, in an effort to answer much-needed questions on her way forward following Makaula’s recusal. She is expected to highlight if she would brave the witness stand to testify against Omotoso for the second time since the trial kicked off last year.

She is also set to address the implications of Makaula’s recusal and her views on a new judge taking over when the trial starts on April 8.

Zondi will have to relive the trial trauma of testifying, should she chose to face Omotoso in court again.

The trial, however, may not be televised should Omotoso’s defense counsel Peter Daubermann get his way. Dauberman requested the court not to televise the trial and that a trained psychologist be present in court when the trial resumes. The court is yet to rule on the application.

Daubermann, who was relentless in pushing for Makaula’s recusal, accused the judge of being biased and protecting Zondi.

In October last year, Makaula dismissed an application for leave to appeal his earlier decision not to recuse himself.

At the time, Makaula said the defence’s argument that he had a “cosy” relationship with Zondi was disingenuous and deliberately taken out of context.

Then late last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal turned down Omotoso’s application for Judge Makaula to recuse himself and for the charges against the pastor and his co-accused to be quashed.

Omotoso, who faces 63 main charges and 34 alternative counts which include human trafficking, rape, sexual assault, racketeering, and conspiracy in aiding another person to commit sexual assault, has since filed a petition in the Constitutional Court on the matter.

His two co-accused, Lusanda Solani and Zukiswa Sitho, are accused of recruiting girls from all over the country for purposes of sexual exploitation.

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Cheryl Zondi

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