The case against controversial pastor Timothy Omotoso has been postponed to October, due to complications arising from the coronavirus pandemic – putting a spanner in the works for the case once again.
The matter will now be heard on 6 October 2020.
The flamboyant priest made an appearance before the High Court in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, 28 July 2020, sporting casual attire – a far cry from the usually colourful ensemble he dons in the dock.
OMOTOSO TRIAL: ‘PROSECUTION NOT READY’
State prosecutor Ishmet Cerfontein told the court that they sought a postponement of the matter, citing issues with consulting with witnesses and securing them to testify during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Omotoso’s lawyer, Peter Daubermann said they would not oppose the request, despite the prosecution having failed to mention it.
The flamboyant 60-year-old pastor and his two female co-accused — Lusanda Sulani, 36, and Zukiswa Sitho, 28 — face 97 charges, including human trafficking, rape, sexual assault and racketeering.
Sulani and Sitho are accused of recruiting young women for the purposes of sexual exploitation by Omotoso.
WITNESS: ‘I KNEW THE ROUTINE’
In February 2020, Andisiwe Dike, a witness in the trial testified how she was sexually groomed inside a Durban home she had lived with close to 30 other girls.
Dike said after three days at the home, having been exposed to his sexual side, “knew the routine”
“It was my third day at the house, so I knew the routine by now… I knew that I had to wash my hands before touching him. I did this and then massaged his feet”
“He then asked me… When are you gonna be ready for me? I said anytime,” she said.
The trial has been nothing short of eventful with the replacement of the prosecutor back in March 2020.
Nceba Ntelwa withdrew from the case after moving to East London.
“Before the Omotoso case, Ntelwa was working on the prosecution of organised crime based in East London. There are urgent matters that need his attention in that division, where he normally works,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Luxolo Tyali.
While back in January 2020, Constitutional Court dismissed the accused’s appeal against an earlier judgment that ordered that the Port Elizabeth High Court could preside over the almost 100 charges they are on trial for.
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