Controversial televangelist Timothy Omotoso is expected back in the High Court in Port Elizabeth on Monday, 12 October 2020, to apply for bail – more than three years after law enforcement pounced on him for a myriad of charges.
This would now be his third attempt to be granted bail after it was denied twice.
Delay after delay in sex trafficking case
The matter was heard on Friday however, there was yet another delay as the defence was not ready for its witness to take the stand. The police officer who took down the statements from the victims is set to take the stand.
Defence Advocate Terry Price told the court they would push for the main trial to get underway on Tuesday, to finally get the ball rolling. He has blamed the state for not being prepared and playing games.
“We will insist that the case continue on Tuesday, 13 October because a decision by this court on whether or not we get bail, is irrelevant from the main trial. If the main trial cannot continue, through the fault of the state, that they are no ready after all this time to continue, that is a crucial issue in favour of the applicant and just confirms our claim wholeheartedly that the state is playing games and are delaying this case unnecessary,” Price said.
He maintains his client is not a flight risk and would not intimidate the witnesses.
Price had grilled a prosecutor who had been working on the case, Ishmet Cerfontein’ on allegations made against her in a letter penned by state witness, by Cherly Zondo. This is believed to have partly influenced her decision to withdraw from the case after being appointed in July 2019.
The pastor’s defence team want the testimonies of two witnesses, one of them Zondo, to be dismissed. She gripped the country with her account of how Omotoso with help from some of his congregants, began sexually abusing her as early as 14-years-old.
Omotoso and his co-accused, Zukiswa Sitho and Lusanda Solani face at least 97 charges including rape, sexual assault, human trafficking and racketeering. While Sitho and Solani were both granted R2 000 bail, Omotoso remains behind bars.
Both women are accused of recruiting and grooming girls for the pastor.