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Omotoso trial: 'Omotoso co-accused living in fear after attack by mob'

By Afikile Lugunya - Oct 22, 2018
Omotoso trial: 'Omotoso co-accused living in fear after attack by mob'

Controversial Nigerian televangelist and senior pastor of the Jesus Dominion International church, Timothy Omotoso, on Monday showed up alone at the Port Elizabeth High Court as his trial entered the third week.

Defence attorney, Peter Daubermann, said that the reason why his two co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, didn't show up in court was because they feared for their safety should they show up.

Also absent were Omotoso's supporters and his wife, Taiwo Omotoso.

Daubermann said that his clients informed him that when they come and leave court they have been "mobbed" by angry crowds.

"Crowds of people pressed upon them. They were allowed to abuse them verbally, threw items at them including water," Daubermann said.

He also told the court that he himself witnessed the attack on Taiwo, hence she arrived in the courtroom drenched in water.

Daubermann added that he intervened by asking the police to take steps upon that.

"After that only a few police showed up in court, who didn't have much influence and could not assist anyone, who wanted to come court."

Daubermann highlighted that the Constitution of South Africa says that anyone in court has a right to attend court proceedings.

"This situation occured to me too when I was chased by and unruly mob from the front of this building to where my car was packed and this mob was chanting and saying that I should drop the case."

He commended the two police officers, who ensured his safety from the mob by escorting him to his car.

"I don't usually respond to media reports but in this case I'm forced to respond for the sake of my clients sake. I'm not doing so in order to defend myself, I'm doing so in the interest of justice," Daubermann said.

"I support women's rights 100% and I'm appalled by how women have been treated in this country before."

He added that justice must be allowed to take its course while also announcing that he has been reading social media reports that have been judgeding his cross-examination against the State's first witness, Cheryl Zondi.

"I have been velified because of my cross-examination of Cheryl Zondi and the question asked is why would I possibly defend a person like Omotoso."

All we want is a fair trial

Daubermann asked Judge Mandela Makaula to give his clients a fair trial.

Makaula said that he doesn't have tne powers to ask the police to escort Sitho and Solani in and out of their homes and protect them from the "mob".

The State procecutor said that he has a plan that Daubermann and his clients will use the back door when coming in and leaving the court.

Judge Makaula said that he knows that the case is of public interest, therefore he has decided to not read papers or watch the news, so that he won't be influenced on his judgment.

He added that the State and the Defence must talk to each other and come to a mutual understanding about the case - and if they don't come up with a solution, then they must approach him.

Judge Makaula suggested that if anyone felt that their rights has been infringed upon, then they must get an interdict.

He added that while he won't be able to rule on who threw water one who and why by only listening to one side, he, however, intends to conduct a fair trial.