Omotoso rape trial postponed to the new year

The rape trial of controversial pastor Timothy Omotoso has been postponed pending the outcome of a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decision on his application for Judge Mandela Makaula's recusal.

Omotoso and his co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, made a brief appearance in the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth.

The case has been postponed to February 4, 2019.

READ: Omotoso back in court over request for judge to recuse himself

"All the papers are in order and before the Supreme Court of Appeal, we are simply awaiting the decision of the judges of that court at this stage," defence advocate Peter Daubermann told the court before proposing the postponement.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Tshepo Ndwalaza told journalists afterwards that the lawyers should have submitted original documents, not copies.

Ndwalaza said the defence team was experienced enough to know the correct procedure.

"This is a clear delaying tactic which seeks to prolong the case," charged Ndwalaza.

ALSO READ: Omotoso trial: Judge rejects defence bid to appeal recusal ruling

In October, Makaula twice rejected the defence's applications for leave to appeal a ruling dismissing their bid for his recusal. He said there were "no reasonable prospects of success" on appeal.

Daubermann accused Makaula of "being biased" following the testimony of first witness, Cheryl Zondi. He approached the SCA over the decision in November.

Makaula said the grounds for his recusal were "dubious" and "ridiculous".

"It is ridiculous in the extreme to assume that I had accepted Miss Zondi's version of events before the accused has testified. I am taken aback by this argument, there is nothing to suggest that I was consoling Miss Zondi."

Omotoso will now spend his second Christmas behind bars having been denied bail since his arrest in April 2017. His two co-accused are still out on bail.

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