Omotoso's lawyer attempts to have case thrown out of court

2018-10-08 14:14
Timothy Omotoso arrives in the PE High Court for his trial. (Nosipiwo Manona/News24)

Timothy Omotoso arrives in the PE High Court for his trial. (Nosipiwo Manona/News24)

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The trial of pastor Timothy Omotoso, who was arrested on April 20 last year on rape and human trafficking charges, got underway in the High Court in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

Omotoso enjoyed massive support during his three previous appearances for bail application.

ALSO READ: Whistleblower in Omotoso case allegedly threatened, shot at

On Monday, however, his supporters were drastically reduced to a small group of fewer than 100 supporters who were standing outside court.

His wife, Taiwo, and the inner circle of his church filled up Court A's public gallery.

Omotoso and his two co-accused, Zukiswa Sitho and Lusanda Sulani, are facing a total of 97 charges, with 63 as main charges and 34 as alternative charges.

ALSO READ: 'We were forced to please him' – Idols SA twins on Pastor Tim Omotoso

The two women are charged with recruiting Omotoso's alleged victims.

Omotoso arrived in court dressed in black and gold and clutching a Bible in his right hand.

In another attempt to have the charges against Omotoso dismissed, his lawyer Peter Daubermann lodged objections to Judge Mandela Makaula, who is presiding over the case.

He argued that he was only given a summary of the case docket by prosecutor advocate Nceba Ntelwa.

He said that information given to him made it impossible for the accused to defend their case.

"The accused are facing a wide range of charges... In the rape matter, I wish to bring it to your attention that in no instance is the information specific," said Daubermann.

"We have 63 charges, and there is no instance where the date of the offences has been mentioned," he said.

State has had 'enough time'

He further stated that the rape victims shouldn't have difficulty in determining the periods and dates on which they were raped.

"It is improbable that they all cannot supply the periods of the offences," he said.

He asked that the matter be struck off the court roll, arguing that "the State has had enough time to work on the case".

He also argued that there was no mention of specific locations where the alleged offences took place.

"At best it is stated that 'and or near Richards Bay, and or near Umhlanga, and or near Bloemfontein once again and or near Port Elizabeth'," he said.

"Let me refer you Your Lordship to the Constitution, which provides as follows – 'that every accused person has a right to a fair trial, which includes the right to be informed of the charge with sufficient detail'," said Daubermann. 

"The indictment falls far short from the requirements."

Ntelwa, in his response, referred the court to section 92 of the Criminal Procedures Act, which states that "certain omissions or imperfection not to invalidate charge 
(c) because of an omission in any case, where time is not of the essence, to state the time at which the offences was committed".

Makaula stood the matter down until 15:00 for his judgment.

He warned the legal representatives that he would give his judgment without any reasons to substantiate them.

"I will only give the reasons during the duration of the trial," said Makaula. 

Read more on:    timothy omotoso  |  port elizabeth  |  human trafficking  |  rape  |  crime

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