Timothy Omotoso trial postponed to Wednesday

Supporters of the pastor were chanting his name outside the court, while a handful of DA supporters called for him to be jailed.

The trial against alleged human trafficking-accused pastor Timothy Omotoso and his two co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, kicked off to a shaky start on Tuesday morning before its postponement in the Port Elizabeth High Court.

Omotoso’s defence, Peter Daubermann had prepared arguments and plans to lodge an application to instruct the state to provide more particulars on the charges Omotoso faced. State advocate Nceba Ntelwa has indicated the state planned to oppose the application before the court was adjourned for Wednesday at 9am.

The trial begins afresh following controversy around the initial trial, which had Judge Mandela Makaula officially recuse himself from the trial. It was revealed that in the initial trial, the accommodation arrangements used to house one of the state witnesses belonged to his wife.

That, and a number of other incidents, led Omotoso’s defence, Peter Daubermann, to believe the Makaula was biased in regards to first witness Cheryl Zondi and the trial.

On Tuesday, a group of Omotoso supporters were chanting his name outside the court, while a handful of DA supporters were on the opposite side calling for Omotoso to be jailed.

Omotoso’s wife, Taiwo, was also inside courtroom A to support her husband as the trial will see a new Judge Irma Schoeman presiding over it.

Omotoso 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.

Solani and Sitho are accused of recruiting girls from all over the country for purposes of sexual exploitation.

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Cheryl Zondi Timothy Omotoso

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