Ricochet News

NPA seeks permission to have Omotoso case heard in one court

By Afikile Lugunya - Mar 8, 2018
NPA seeks permission to have Omotoso case heard in one court

Controversial Nigerian Pastor of the Jesus Dominion International Church (JDI), Timothy Omotoso, again appeared before the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Thursday where the case against him and his co-accused was postponed to next month.

Omotoso faces multiple charges relating to sexual exploitation and human trafficking. He is alleged to have sexually abused several young women at his church in Umhlanga, Durban, under the pretext of healing them. Charges of contravening immigration laws have also since been added against him.

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 when the scandal came out.

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.

Last year, he made two attempts to get bail, which failed.

Two women, who are alleged to have been responsible for recruiting and grooming girls for the 59-year-old Pastor, Lusanda Solani and Zukiswa Sitho, were also arrested last year. 

They were granted bail and also appeared in court with Omotoso.

The court heard from the Defence, represented by Advocate Peter Daubermann, that he has petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal to deal with the matter of him being denied bail.

Spokesperson of the National Prosecuting Authority Of South Africa (NPA), Tsepo Ndwalaza, said that they have applied to the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) to decide where the case is going to happen - between Port Elizabeth or Durban.

“We required permission so that it can be centralised because it happened all over the country. So, we need it to happen in one place where the trial will take place so that is why we have asked for that authorisation,” Ndwalaza said.

He added that they have also asked the NDPP to add another charge of racketeering because the accused was unable to say where he receives his money.

“There is also the issue of us asking the NDPP to add another charge of racketeering because this involves a lot of money and we need to know where it comes from and the possibility is believed to be a lot of money laundering and racketeering involved in this case.

“We want him to agree with us so that we can proceed when we proceed then we will proceed along with the other charges including racketeering charges."

Image: The two women, Solani and Sitho, are still out on bail and left the court dramatically with umbrellas hiding their faces from the media.