Omotoso rape trial: Defence to appeal judge’s jurisdiction ruling

More alleged delay tactics by the defence team for controversial Nigerian Pastor Timothy Omotoso has resulted in his rape and human trafficking trial, which was meant to begin on Tuesday, postponed for yet another day, 30 July 2019. Picture: Gallo Images

More alleged delay tactics by the defence team for controversial Nigerian Pastor Timothy Omotoso has resulted in his rape and human trafficking trial, which was meant to begin on Tuesday, postponed for yet another day, 30 July 2019. Picture: Gallo Images

The appeal brings yet another delay to the trial, which started last Tuesday, after Judge Mandela Makaula recused himself.

The lawyers for rape-accused televangelist Timothy Omotoso and his two co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, have rejected a ruling that the Port Elizabeth High Court has jurisdiction to hear some of the charges levelled against their clients.

On Tuesday, Judge Irma Schoeman ruled the court had the right to review charges Omotoso allegedly committed while on international trips to and from South Africa.

Despite Judge Schoeman reminding the court the matter had been set down for two trials already and they could no longer waste time, defence advocate Peter Daubermann said he would appeal the ruling in the Grahamstown High Court.

During her ruling, Judge Schoeman said: “This court has jurisdiction over the matter if the offence was committed in its jurisdiction, or a crime has been committed outside the jurisdiction and the accused has not objected.”

She corroborated her statement with the Criminal Procedure Act and National Prosecuting Authority Act, which state that an accused cannot consent to jurisdiction.

It was clear the reference by the National Director of Public Prosecutions corresponded to the charges and areas that were committed, as described in the indictment, Judge Schoeman said.

She added it was clear the majority of the offences the accused have been charged with formed part of the indictment that was referred by the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority).

The appeal brings yet another delay to the trial, which started last Tuesday, after Judge Mandela Makaula recused himself.

The case has been postponed to Monday morning.

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