Peter Daubermann, the legal defence for Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso, has requested that Omotoso’s trial not be televised when it resumes on April 16.
Dauberman requested the court not to televise the trial and that a trained psychologist be present in court when the trial resumed in April.
Judge Selby Mbenenge sat in on the matter after Mandela Makaula officially recused himself from Omotoso’s rape trial today. Makaula tabled reasons for his decision for the recusal in the Port Elizabeth High Court, where it was revealed that accommodation arrangments used to house the state witness belonged to his wife.
He questioned the manner in which information was distributed by the media, but also, how the media got wind of the witness information.
First witness Cheryl Zondi will have to take the stand again since the matter will be starting afresh, with a new judge to be appointed to the case.
Daubermann had been relentless pushing for Makaula’s recusal and he accused the judge of being biased and protecting Zondi.
In October last year, Makaula dismissed an application for leave to appeal his earlier decision not to recuse himself.
At the time, Makaula said the defence’s argument that he had a “cosy” relationship with Zondi was disingenuous and deliberately taken out of context.
Then late last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal turned down Omotoso’s application for Judge Makaula to recuse himself and for the charges against the pastor and his co-accused to be quashed.
Omotoso, who faces 63 main charges and 34 alternative counts which include human trafficking, rape, sexual assault, racketeering, and conspiracy in aiding another person to commit sexual assault, has since filed a petition in the Constitutional Court in the matter.
His two co-accused, Lusanda Solani and Zukiswa Sitho are accused of recruiting girls from all over the country for purposes of sexual exploitation.
Meanwhile, a mob of congregants stands outside the court singing songs in support of Omotoso and his co-accused.
(Compiled by Gopolang Chawane)