Omotoso retrial kicks off... only to be postponed again

2019-07-30 11:23
Pastor Timothy Omotoso.

Pastor Timothy Omotoso. (Photo: Lulama Zenzile)

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The retrial of rape-accused pastor Timothy Omotoso and his two co-accused - Zukiswa Sitho and Lusanda Sulani - began on Tuesday, with yet another request for a postponement.

Defence lawyer Peter Daubermann asked presiding Judge Irma Schoeman to allow a postponement, arguing that the State had delayed filing particulars pertaining to the charges.

The case was postponed to Wednesday.

The trial was due to restart after Judge Mandela Makaula recused himself in March. Judge Schoeman will now be presiding.

First witness Cheryl Zondi, whose emotional testimony gripped the nation in October last year, previously said she was prepared to take the stand again to testify against her alleged abuser, "until justice is served".

The three accused are facing 97 charges, including rape, human trafficking and racketeering.

The new trial quickly showed similar characteristics to that of the old.

As has been the norm, the court was filled with Omotoso supporters – many chanting slogans and dancing outside the court room.

The first appearance took less than 20 minutes, following Daubermann's request to postpone in order to prepare arguments that would help compel the State to furnish the defence with further details on the indictment.

Defence demands documents

Daubermann said the State had failed to supply the defence with documents they had requested at a pre-trial meeting in the offices of the Judge President on the July 5.

News24 has been reliably informed that Daubermann wanted the trial to be postponed until Friday, but the judge did not agree.

State prosecutor Nceba Ntelwa said they would oppose the application by the defence team.

Acting spokesperson Sibulele Mboyi said the NPA hoped the defence was not applying delaying tactics once again.

"Mr Daubermann is currently applying to compel the State to provide more details on the charges. As the State, we are planning to oppose the application because we have given the defence sufficient information informing the accused of the nature of the charges against them," said Mboyi.

Mboyi said the State had given the defence everything due to them, saying that information withheld was what they could not share.

"We cannot provide them with the dates and times of the incidents."

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