Ricochet News

Being in South Africa illegally added to Pastor Tim Omotoso’s 22 trafficking charges

By Afikile Lugunya - Aug 29, 2017
Being in South Africa illegally added to Pastor Tim Omotoso’s 22 trafficking charges

Controversial Nigerian televangelist and Senior pastor of the Jesus Dominion International church, Tim Omotoso, now faces another charge of being an illegal immigrant in addition to his 22 charges of human trafficking.

This was announced by National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson, Tsepo Ndwalaza, as he addressed the media after the first day of Omotoso's second bail application.

“New charges were introduced against Timothy Omotoso because he was here in South Africa illegally and the Hawks had to have him charged.

“We have a strategy that we want to use and that is to make sure that case goes freely as it is and we will work hard to ensure that he is convicted,” Ndwalaza explained.

Omotoso has been languishing at the St Albans Prison since April when he was arrested in dramatic fashion at the Port Elizabeth International Airport.

Charges

Omotoso faces 22 charges relating to sexual exploitation and human trafficking after eighteen more charges were added to the original four. He is alleged to have sexually abused several young women at his church in Umhlanga, Durban, under the pretext of healing them.

The disgraced man of cloth was arrested on the 20th of April by the Hawks shortly after he landed at the Port Elizabeth International Airport after evading arrest for days after the scandal came out. Rumours had made rounds that he had already skipped the country.

At the airport, he had apparently tried to avoid arrest by first lying about his flight's arrival time then hiding in public toilets at the airport when he found armed officers waiting for him.

NPA opposing second bail application

According to Ndwalaza, the NPA is working hard in opposing the second bail application.

“He has the right to apply for the bail if he says that he has new facts that will be proven in court, but it is our duty to ensure that we oppose that and we will prove that reasons have not changed on our part.

“They are saying that the 30th of August is the last time that this visa is expiring, but we as the NPA believe that he is not here legally and we’re going to deal with that,” he added.

Proceedings were postponed to the afternoon, in the morning as Omotoso's new legal team made a dash to the Department of Home Affairs - apparently to extend his working visa.

Due to his visa expiring on 30th of August, Omotoso’s lawyer asked the Magistrate to approve the postponement of the court until 14h00 while they go to Home Affairs to get the verification of a letter that was issued on 13th of August 2017.

His lawyer also said the if they don’t get the verification of the letter before Wednesday, then Omotoso will be standing in the court as an illegal immigrant when the bail application resumes.

Ndwalaza told reporters that he believes that this is a tactic to delay the case against Omotoso as much as they can to make it look like he is in South Africa legally while he is not.

Jesus Dominion congregants came in their numbers on Tuesday morning chanting and waving placards in support of their Pastor, who they refer to as 'Daddy'.

Outside the court, armed policemen stood ready to respond to any protests.

Omotoso's wife also attended the proceedings in support her husband, who entered the room wearing a blue-navy suit matching what she was wearing.

The pastor will remain in custody as the new facts of his second bail application will be heard on Wednesday.