15 March 2019

South Africa: Judge Recuses Himself From Omotoso Rape Trial, Matter Postponed to July

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

Judge Mandela Makaula has recused himself from the rape trial of controversial pastor Timothy Omotoso.

This comes after Omotoso's lawyer Peter Daubermann previously pushed for the recusal of Makaula, accusing the judge of "being biased" following the testimony of the first witness, Cheryl Zondi.

It also emerged at a later stage that certain witnesses were allegedly being accommodated at a guest house owned by Makaula.

The trial may have to start afresh, The Citizen reported.

Makaula rejected the defence's applications for leave to appeal a ruling dismissing their bid for his recusal twice last year, citing that here were "no reasonable prospects of success" on appeal.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed Omotoso's bid to have Makaula recused as the judge presiding over his trial in December last year.

The SCA also rejected an application to have the charges against Omotoso quashed, News24 earlier reported.

The 60-year-old pastor and his co-accused Zukiswa Sitho, 28, and Lusanda Sulani, 36 are facing 97 charges which include rape and human trafficking.

The matter has been postponed to July 30.

Judge-President Selby Mbenenge will be presiding over the matter.

Source: News24

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