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Omotoso trial: Daubermann and Price partner to remove Judge Makaula

By Afikile Lugunya - Oct 25, 2018
Omotoso trial: Daubermann and Price partner to remove Judge Makaula

Defense lawyer in the trial of controversial Nigerian televangelist, Tim Omotoso, Peter Daubermann has joined forces with famous Defense Advocate, Terry Price, in a bid to quash the charges against Omotoso or have presiding Judge, Mandela Makaula, removed.

Price, who became famous while defending disgraced Port Elizabeth businessman and convicted murderer, Christopher Panayiotou, has come on board as a Senior Councillor as the Defense hopes to have the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) hear why Judge Makaula should recuse himself from the trial.

Price will now effectively be representing Omotoso and his two co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho.

Omotoso, Sitho and Sulani face a total of 97 charges. 63 are the main charges and 34 are listed as alternative charges.

On Thursday, Price and Daubermann brought an application before Judge Makaula for leave to appeal his decision to not recuse himself from the Omotoso trial.

Judge Makaula is biased in the Omotoso trial

According to Daubermann, his clients based the application to have Judge Makaula step down on a message he delivered on Wednesday last week in which he wished the State's first witness, 22-year-old Cheryl Zondi, well on her exams and to forget about what is happening in court, but to focus on her exams.

The Defense said that this was among many of the remarks made by the Judge towards Zondi, which showed he may have already decided that her version of events was correct.

"There is no point of continuing this trial before you. There is no alterio motives on their sides, Omotoso is only asking for a fair trial and he believes that he won't get it before you," Daubermann continued.

He advised Judge Makaula to think hard before making a decision to the application.

He had added that if he stepped down, Zondi would be called again to testify before another judge.

"If you refuse this application now, and other witnesses come forward with their testimony and later your decide that you want to excuse yourself from this, then we would have to start over again."

Zondi detailed how she joined the church and was later sexually abused by Omotoso at his Durban home.

She also linked one of Omotoso's co-accused, Lusanda Solani, to the abuses.

Still, the accused refused to plead to all the charges against them.

"How do you plead if you don't even know the charges? The charges are very vague they are impossible. This case won't be over," Price described.

Judge Makaula is now expected to announce his decision on Tuesday next week.

Judge Makaula wishing Zondi well on exams

Price said that they don't have a problem with the Judge wishing Zondi well on her exams, but what they have a problem with is when he said that "she is not here for herself, but for justice and that she must go and write exams while she let justice prevail."

He added that the meaning of what judge Makaula said can be easily interpreted as "meaning that you go and write exams and I'll sort this man out."

Meanwhile the State Prosecutor, Nceba Ntelwa, argued that the defence has failed to come up with grounds that there was bias on the part of the court in the three weeks that the Omotoso trial has been heard.

He added that the test to grant leave to appeal is based on whether there is a prospect success to Defence's side and he is confident that it will fail.

The Deputy Minister of Police, Michael Mkongi, who was also present in court said that he was very satisfied of the dignity the court possess and the support given outside to the victims.

"Generally we are giving support that is necessary for us as police. Victims as police are our metals and we need to defend them, Mkogi said.

The trial is expected to conclude in December.

Drama at the Omotoso trial

The Omotoso trial has so far not been without its drama after two women were thrown out of court after claiming to be Omotoso's security detail:

Daubermann was also confronted by an angry mob over his cross-examination of Zondi:

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