PASTOR TIM OMOTOSO LOSES BID TO HAVE CASE WITHDRAWN.

PASTOR TIM OMOTOSO LOSES BID TO HAVE CASE WITHDRAWN.

An attempt to have the case against controversial Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso withdrawn has been rejected by the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions (NDPP).

Omotoso’s lawyer, Advocate Peter Daubermann, told the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court yesterday about the rejection.

“The difficulty is we still do not have a copy of the indictment or copies of the docket, which we will take up with the [Directorate of Public Prosecutions],” he said.

Omotoso, in his signature blue suit and clutching a bible, stood briefly in the dock before magistrate Thandeka Mashiyi with his co-accused, Lusanda Solani, 36, and Zukiswa Sitho, 28.

Daubermann also represents Solani and Sitho.

The matter was postponed to next month.

All three accused are charged with several offences, including rape, human trafficking and sexual assault.

In stark contrast to his previous appearances, only a small crowd of supporters gathered outside the court.

Prosecutor Zelda Swanepoel asked the court to postpone the matter while the prosecution awaited the authorisation from the NDPP to have the case centralised.

She said a request to have an additional charge of racketeering added would also have to be authorised.

“We should have this within the next three weeks,” she said.

A provisional trial date of July 31 has been set down, but this may change later.

Daubermann said he had also petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) to have Mashiyi’s bail application refusal ruling overturned.

The state is charging Sitho and Solani as accessories to the 48 charges against Omotoso.

Omotoso is facing an additional charge of contravening the immigration act. He was arrested in April and has twice been denied bail.

Solani and Sitho were granted R2 000 bail each in December.

After their appearance yesterday, Sitho and Solani left the court before being escorted to a waiting BMW X5 with tinted windows.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesman Tsepo Ndwalaza said the additional charge of racketeering would shed light on where Omotoso and the Jesus Dominion International (JDI) church group had been receiving money.

“At this stage, we do not know where the money comes from,” he said.

The case was postponed to April 11.

 

Devon Koen / HeraldLive

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Nigerians in South Africa
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