Ricochet News

Omotoso case transferred to the PE High Court, case against an accused withdrawn

By Afikile Lugunya - May 15, 2018
Omotoso case transferred to the PE High Court, case against an accused withdrawn

The case against a controversial Nigerian Pastor and Senior Pastor of the Jesus Dominion Church (JDI), Timothy Omotoso, has been transferred to the Port Elizabeth High Court.

This after the long-awaited authorisation by the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP).

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. 

State Procecutor, Nceba Ntelwa, handed over the copies of the required documents to take the case against Omotoso and his co-accused to the Port Elizabeth High Court.

According to the documents presented before the court, Omotoso now faces 63 charges - of which five charges are immigration-related.

He and his two co-accused Zukiswa Sitho (28), Lusanda Solani (36), will appear at the Port Elizabeth High Court on the 2nd of August 2018 for a pre-trial conference.

Adv. Ntelwa revealed that  accused number four, Nobubele Mlindi’s case, has been withdrawn due to the fact that her involvement in the matter, is not clear.

Mlindi was absent at court and issued a doctor’s certificate. Her attorney had also stated that due to her pregnancy, she was unable to attend court proceedings.

The trio briefly appeared in court in the morning, led by accused number one, Omotoso who kept holding a King James English Bible in his hands throughout the proceedings.

All charges have also been centralised while the immigration charges have been provisionally withdrawn so that they can be addressed as a separate matter.

The court precinct was again a hive of activity as JDI congregants chanted and sang in support of Omotoso.

National Prosecuting Authorisation spokesperson, Tsepo Ndwalaza, said: “It has been a long time coming, the case will be transferred to the High Court, we are ready to go and we are looking forward to that.”