SCA dismisses Omotoso's bid for judge's recusal, trial to proceed

2018-12-11 10:35
Timothy Omotoso. (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Lulama Zenzile)

Timothy Omotoso. (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Lulama Zenzile) (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Lulama Zenzile)

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The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has dismissed rape-accused pastor Timothy Omotoso's bid to have Judge Mandela Makaula recused as the judge presiding over his trial.

The SCA also rejected an application to have the charges against Omotoso quashed.

The trial is expected to resume on February 4, 2019.

Omotoso and one of his co-accused, Lusanda Sulani, lodged the applications shortly after the State's first witness, Cheryl Zondi, gave emotional testimony.

Zondi filed for a leave of absence from the trial so that she could write her exams earlier in October.

In the recusal application, Omotoso's defence team – led by advocate Peter Daubermann - argued that Makaula was "too friendly" with Zondi and that it was believed that he would not be impartial.

But Makaula rejected their assertions and their recusal application, labelling it "ridiculous" and "dubious".

The matter was taken to the SCA and that court delivered its decision this week.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Tshepo Ndwalaza said the awaited SCA order was delivered to senior prosecutor Nceba Ntelwa on Monday evening. 

"The SCA says there are no prospects of success in the application of [advocate] Daubermann on the recusal of Judge Makaula," said Ndwalaza.

This means the trial can continue.

"We will deal with the matter as planned," he said. 

Ndwalaza added that the State felt vindicated by the decision.

Prosecutor Nceba Ntelwa said they were "over the moon", and added that they were ready to proceed.

"I could not sleep last night with excitement after receiving the order," Ntelwa said.

"When we resume with the trial in February, we will up the game."

Daubermann and advocate Terry Price could not be reached for comment.

Read more on:    timothy omotoso  |  port elizabeth  |  crime

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