29 August 2017

South Africa: Nigerian Pastor Case Delayed for Visa Application

Photo: Nosipiwo Manona/Premium Times
Nigerian Pastor Timothy Omotoso escorted by South African police (file photo).

The much anticipated second bail application of the Nigerian pastor who is facing charges of human trafficking, sexual assault and the rape of young girls, was postponed until 14:00 on Tuesday due to an urgent application in the High Court relating to his work visa.

Appearing briefly before Magistrate Thandeka Mashiyi on Tuesday morning, the pastor's new legal counsel, Advocate Alwyn Rossouw SC, asked for the matter to stand down until the afternoon, as they had an urgent application in front of Judge Glenn Goosen in the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth.

Rossouw told the court that they had received notification from the Department of Home Affairs on August 14 advising them that the pastor's current work visa would expire on August 30.

The Magistrate's Court was under lockdown on Tuesday morning, with a strong police presence from the tactical response unit and public order policing, as hundreds of the pastor's supporters gathered outside in support of his application.

At least six armed police officers were inside the courtroom, wearing tactical gear and armed with rifles, while access to court was strictly monitored.

Rossouw said the application was seeking a court order to compel the police and correctional services to transport the Durban-based televangelist to the visa centre as he needs to be physically present to complete the application.

The 59-year-old pastor is alleged to have trafficked more than 30 girls and women, who were from various branches of his church.

He has been in custody since his dramatic arrest at the Port Elizabeth Airport on April 20, by members of the SAPS Tactical Task Team.

Source: News24

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