Omotoso taking bid to remove Judge and have charges dropped to ConCourt

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Omotoso taking bid to remove Judge and have charges dropped to ConCourt

Update
Port Elizabeth

Dec 11, 2018After suffering a setback in the Supreme Court of Appeals, controversial Nigerian televangelist and Senior Pastor of the Jesus Dominion International church, Timothy ‘Tim’ Omotoso, will now approach the Constitutional Court in a bid to have presiding Judge Mandela Makaula removed from the trial and have the charges against him and his two co-accused, Lusanda Solani and Zukiswa Sitho, dropped.Omotoso and his co-accused brought a petition to the Supreme Court of Appeals after Judge Makaula had refused to recuse himself from the trial over alleged bias.On Monday, the Omotoso trial was postponed to next year to allow the Supreme Court an opportunity to rule on the matter.On Tuesday, Defence attorney, Peter Daubermann, said that they do not agree with the findings of the Supreme Court of Appeals and will proceed with an application to the Constitutional Court.Reasons why Daubermann wanted Judge Makaula goneWhen the first witness on the Omotoso case, Cheryl Zondi appeared for the last time after days of cross-examination by the defence, Ntelwa revealed that Zondi has missed an exam while she was in court.In the following week, Zondi was expected to write more tests and Judge Makaula took an opportunity to wish her luck.In his best wishes for Zondi, he also told her not to worry about what is going on in court, but to focus on her exams, that’s what led to Daubermann seeking Judge Makaula’s removal.Daubermann said that Makaula had to go “because it is clear that his client will not get a fair trial”.Makaula stays as a presiding judge on the Omotoso trialNdwalaza said that the SCA dismissed the application saying there is no prospect of success in the Defence’s application.The trial is expected to continue as planned on the 4th of Frebuary to deal with the matter.“As the NPA, we feel vindicated by this decision and we are ready to ramble,” Ndwalaza said.Read the full judgement HERE.Not guilty pleaAt the start of the trial, Defence attorney, Peter Dauberman, also explained to Judge Makaula that his clients “refuse to plead to all the charges against them”.Omotoso, Solani and Sitho are facing 97 charges in total including for racketeering, sexual assault and rape. 63 of those charges constitute the main charge sheet while 34 are alternative charges.Judge Makaula then was forced to put on record that a “not guilty” plead would be recorded on their behalf.This is not the first time something like this has happened in the court. Earlier this year, a Zimbabwean man accused of killing another Zimbabwean man in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth over a lover, Trust Tofa, also refused to plead and the judge was forced to enter “not guilty” plea on his behalf.One of the victims and the State’s first witness, Chery Zondi, detailed how she joined the church and was later sexually abused by Omotoso at his Durban home.She also linked one of Omotoso’s co-accused, Lusanda Solani, to the abuses.Still, the accused refused to plead to all the charges against them.Defense lawyer Daubermann has since been joined by famous Defense Advocate, Terry Price, in a bid to quash the charges against Omotoso or have presiding Judge, Mandela Makaula, removed.Price, who became famous while defending disgraced Port Elizabeth businessman and convicted murderer, Christopher Panayiotou, came on board as a Senior Councillor.Omotoso followers seek interdict against ANC et alIn November, congregants from the Jesus Dominion International (JDI) church also applied the Port Elizabeth High Court to interdict the African National Congress and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as well as other respondents from marching against the church or calling them names – apparently the church members had called “cult worshipers”.The members subsequently withdrew their case.Drama at the Omotoso trialThe Omotoso trial has so far not been without its drama after two women were thrown out of court after claiming to be Omotoso’s security detail:Daubermann was also confronted by an angry mob over his cross-examination of Zondi:Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook.

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