Ricochet News

'No way Judge Makaula would have known about Omotoso trial witness accommodation'

By Afikile Lugunya - Mar 15, 2019
'No way Judge Makaula would have known about Omotoso trial witness accommodation'

Port Elizabeth - The Chief Justice's office on Friday said that there's no way Port Elizabeth High Court Judge, Mandela Makaula, who stepped down from hearing the ongoing trial of controversial Nigerian televangelist and Senior Pastor of the Jesus Dominion International church, Tim Omotoso, would have known that there were State Witnesses staying at his wife's guesthouse.

Nathi Ncube, Chief Director in Court Administration for Office of the Chief Justice‚ joined court proceedings at Port Elizabeth High on Friday where a new presiding Judge, Selby Mbenenge took over.

Ncube confirmed Judge Makaula's explanationthat he really didn't know that there were State Witnesses staying in his wife's guesthouse.

How accommodation for State Witnesses is handled

He said that what happens is that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) send a request to them to make arrangements for travelling witnesses.

"Say we want five witnesses, we then we go to a guesthouse and say please provide them with a place," he explained.

"The judge will be not involved, the Court Manager will not be involved, anyone in the Chief Justice's office will not be involved.

"The Court Manager then sends the request to the travelling urgency, which then organises the accommodation."

Ncube emphasised that the Judge will not have known.

"The reason for that is because when we arrange a place to stay for witnesses, we don't say they are witnesses to a certain case, a name and surname is required and that's all," he explained.

"That is important to explain that the Judge would not have known that there are witnesses at his wife's guesthouse just like in any other trial, no Judge knows the places arranged for the witnesses to stay in."

Omotoso and his co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, face a total of 97 charges - 63 of which are the main charges and 34 are listed as alternative charges.

The trial is now set to resume on 30th July.

Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook. For news on the Western Cape click here.