Ricochet News

Alleged recruiter in Omotoso sexual assault case fails to pitch up at court

By Afikile Lugunya - Jan 29, 2018
Alleged recruiter in Omotoso sexual assault case fails to pitch up at court

Controversial Nigerian televangelist and Senior Pastor of the Jesus Dominion International Church, Tim Omotoso, and one of the two women accused of recruiting and grooming girls for him, Zukiswa Sitho, appeared again in court on Monday.

Omotoso has been languishing at the St Albans Correctional Facility since his arrest last year in April after his two bids for bail failed.

The 59-year-old Pastor faces a number of charges relating to his alleged sexual abuse of girls at the Durban branch of his church as well as additional charges of contravening the country’s immigration laws as well as for racketeering.

Two women were arrested in Port Elizabeth last year for apparently acting as his recruiters – however, they were released on bail with conditions.

At Monday’s hearing, one woman, Lusanda Solani, failed to pitch up prompting the State to ask the Judge to consider issuing a warrant of arrest. Solani then became the focus of Monday’s hearing.

Advocate Peter Daubberman, who will be representing the three accused going forward, submitted a doctor’s certificate that stated the reason why Solani could not be present in court.

It stated that Solani was unfit to travel because she hasn’t healed yet after giving birth via caesarean section.

Daubberman said that he had talked to Solani on Monday morning, asking her when she will be back to court, but she said that she was not sure because she is still in pain.

State Prosecutor, Nceba Ntelwa, told Judge Thandeka Mashiyi that the State will not dispute the doctor’s note. However, the accused had broken her bail conditions by not attending court on Monday.

The Defence, still, argued that Solani had a valid reason for not attending court and the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) does not state should face arrest in such a scenario. Daubberman argued that it would be unfair to have Solani arrested because she could not attend the court on valid medical grounds.

Judge Mashiyi then ruled that she must appear before the court within 14 days or a warrant of arrest will be issued by the court.

She also said the hearing on the racketeering charges against Omotoso will continue in March as the determination of the case is still in the hands of the Director of Public Prosecutions and Representations.

The case was postponed to the 8th of March.