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Controversial Pastor Tim Omotoso makes fresh bail application

Aug 29, 2017
Controversial Pastor Tim Omotoso makes fresh bail application

Controversial Nigerian televangelist and Senior pastor of the Jesus Dominion International church, Tim Omotoso, who has been languishing at St Albans Prison since April, is on Tuesday expected to apply for bail in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court based on new facts.

Omotoso made a brief appearance before the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court in July where his new legal team was expected to present the new facts that would form the basis of this new bail application, however, the court moved the application to the 29th and 30th of August.

“My client is disappointed by the postponement of the case, but circumstances force us to accept it,” James Riley, Omotoso's new legal representative, told the court then.  

Unlike at previous hearings, Omotoso's followers from the Port Elizabeth branch of the Jesus Dominion International Church did not pitch up for that hearing.

Occupying the first row inside the courtroom was the media and the local African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) in the second row - not in their usual numbers as well. The ANCWL has been vocal about the court not allowing Omotoso to be released on bail until his case has been concluded.

Failed bail bid

Omotoso was arrested by the Hawks in dramatic fashion in April at the Port Elizabeth International Airport on allegations of sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

During his failed bail bid, the Department of Home Affairs told the court that he was actually in South Africa illegally.

A Home Affairs immigration officer, Ivan Klaasen, who was handed over five passports belonging to Omotoso by the defence team to investigate, told the court that while he was given five travel documents, he picked up from the system that the disgraced man of cloth had used six passports since the year 2000.

Klaasen further said that one of the passports had a Visa that entitled Omotoso to one entry into the country, however, the pastor had used it three times and it was never scanned.

He said that the Visa doesn’t have a barcode where authorities can refer to, which means that all the extensions and new working permits that were produced afterwards were illegal.

Klaasen concluded that pastor Omotoso is in the country illegally.

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.

Still, his followers believe he is innocent.