South Africa: Omotoso Heads to Constitutional Court After SCA Denies Leave to Appeal Bid

Rape-accused pastor Timothy Omotoso and his co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, will be heading to the Constitutional Court after they lost their bid to appeal Judge Irma Schoeman's dismissal of their application for the exclusion of international charges against them.

On Monday, the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth heard that the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) had denied their request for leave to appeal Schoeman's ruling.

"The application for leave to appeal is dismissed on the grounds that there are no reasonable prospects of success and there are no other compelling reasons why an appeal should be heard," the SCA judgment read.

The accused face 97 charges, including rape, human trafficking and racketeering.

Included in these are the international charges, which relate to offences that allegedly took place on international business trips.

Omotoso's defence lawyer, Peter Daubermann, initially argued that the High Court did not have jurisdiction to try the accused on those charges.

But Schoeman dismissed the application for the exclusion of the international charges, saying the High Court was qualified to hear the matter.

Daubermann said he anticipates it will take two weeks to petition the Constitutional Court.

"I do not want to bind myself, but we have a month," he said.

The hearings in the new trial which started in July, have been stalled by a litany of applications for appeal by the defence. No witnesses have taken the stand to date following the recusal of Judge Mandela Makaula in March.

Schoeman has postponed the matter to November 21 for the outcome of the Constitutional Court application.

Omotoso remains in custody and the conditions of bail for his two co-accused remain intact.

Source: News24

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