The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says the human trafficking trial of pastor Timothy Omotoso and two others will have to start from scratch after the judge recused himself.

Judge Mandela Makaula made the announcement in the high court sitting in Port Elizabeth yesterday.

The matter has now been postponed to the end of July when a new judge will preside.

Omotoso and two women face a string of charges including rape, human trafficking and racketeering.

Makaula told the court it’s in the interest of justice that he recuses himself.

He did so after it emerged that some state witnesses had been accommodated at a guesthouse in which his wife has business interests.

Makaula said he would do so even though he does not personally have financial interests or a role in the affairs of his wife’s business venture.

While an application based on this fact was not brought before court, the judge says he felt it was the right thing to do.

The NPA’s Tshepo Ndwalaza says

“It’s going to start from the beginning and Cheryl Zondi will have to testify in court again.”The Defence team of detained Pastor Tim Omotoso may make a fresh bail application before the scheduled trial of 30th July 2019. The senior pastor of Jesus Dominion international has been detained since April 2017. All the previous bail hearings has been unsuccessful. With the new development that his case is to start afresh, the lawyers representing him is considering an option of making fresh applications. Locally, Pastor Omotoso has been receiving supports of recent. A group, Christian of South Africa COAS has been campaigning for fair hearing and has condemned his detention . The president of COAS Pastor Derick Mosoana visited him in detention on the 2nd February 2019l. After the visit, Masoane said none of the evidence presented in the trial suggested Omotoso was a rapist .Also, the Association of the Yorubas in Diapora (AYIDSA), is making progressive efforts  Nigeria authority gives a position on his continue detention WITHOUT a bail.

While contacting over the weekend, Dr Olusola Agbeniyi of AYIDSA confirmed that he received phone calls from some media in Nigeria after the Friday court proceedings on the fate of Rev Omotoso now that his case has to start from the beginning again. He also is of the opinion that his legal team has a case to make a fresh bail application.

Shamiela Fisher / EWN

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Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 1715 posts

We are about democracy, human rights, public opinion, political behavior, civil rights and policy aimed at improving the human condition, with a focus on African countries.

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