Omotoso Trial: 'I'm not threatening you' - lawyer tells judge as he prepares to go to SCA

2018-10-25 22:31
Timothy Omotoso in court. (Lulama Zenzile)

Timothy Omotoso in court. (Lulama Zenzile)

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The trial of rape-accused Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso is expected to be brought to a halt while the defence approaches the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein in a bid to have the trial judge removed.

Omotoso's legal team has called on advocate Terry Price after Judge Mandela Makaula dismissed an application for his recusal.

"I'm not threatening you, but I want you to know that we will petition the SCA," Price told the judge.

"The case will have to be put on hold while we petition the SCA on the matter," he warned.

Price explained that the recusal application was based on utterances Makaula had made and perceptions of statements he had made.

He said Omotoso and his lawyer, Peter Daubermann, were not happy.

News24 previously reported that Daubermann had requested that Makaula recuse himself over what he termed questionable judgments regarding the case.

WATCH: Omotoso rape trial resumes after lawyer asked judge to recuse himself

Price also rubbished evidence given by one of the complainants in the case, Cheryl Zondi, during her four days in the witness stand.

Zondi, the first witness in the trial, testified that Omotoso raped and sexually assaulted her from the age of 14.

"Her evidence will be discredited by the court," Price said.

But Prosecutor Nceba Ntelwa argued that the defence had failed to prove bias.

"My learned friend has failed to come up with grounds to prove bias on the part of the court."

READ: Omotoso rape trial: 'We continue to support the man of God', says church

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Police Bongani Mkongi said the main concern he had with the case was the safety of witnesses.

"We need to understand their needs for safety and understand their circumstances; every witness in a case like this needs to be ensured safety."

"We are engaging with the necessary channels to ensure that their safety is not compromised and that they are protected from threats and related matters," he added.

According to an earlier report, witnesses were threatened before the trial started.

Some witnesses were forced to change their contact details.

One of the messages sent to the witnesses read: "Think about your daughter!"

Omotoso and his two co-accused are facing 63 charges and 34 alternative charges, which include rape, sexual assault and racketeering.

Read more on:    timothy omotoso  |  port elizabeth  |  courts  |  gender violence  |  crime

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