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Omotoso trial: Omotoso and co-accused might get over 30 life sentences, judge warns

By Afikile Lugunya - Oct 10, 2018
Omotoso trial: Omotoso and co-accused might get over 30 life sentences, judge warns

Controversial Nigerian televangelist and Senior Pastor of the Jesus Dominion International church, Timothy 'Tim' Omotoso, and his co-accused, Lusanda Solani and Zukiswa Sitho, face over 30 life sentences if convicted the Port Elizabeth High Court warned them on Tuesday.

This followed after the Defence attorney, Peter Dauberman, explained to presiding Judge, Mandela Makaula, that his clients had "refuse to plead to all the charges against them”.

Omotoso, Solani and Sitho are facing 97 charges in total including for racketeering, sexual assault and rape. 63 of those charges constitute the main charge sheet while 34 are alternative charges.

A clear explanation of each of the 63 main charges was read out in the Port Elizabeth High Court by the State Prosecutor, Nceba Ntelwa, while he was giving the trio a chance to plead.

Their response didn't change, each stating; "I refuse to plead".

Not guilty plea

Judge Makaula then was forced to put on record that a "not guilty" plead would be recorded on their behalf.

This is not the first time something like this has happened in the court. Earlier this year, a Zimbabwean man accused of killing another Zimbabwean man in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth over a lover, Trust Tofa, also refused to plead and the judge was forced to enter "not guilty" plea on his behalf.

Judge Makaula warned Omotoso and his two co-accused

According to, Advocate Ntelwa, the Director of Public Prosecutions requested sentences against Omotoso and his co-accused, according to the law with specific reference to 27 counts and the provisions of Section 51(1) of the criminal act Law amendment Act 105 0f 1997 relating to a discretionary minimum sentence of life imprisonment per count will apply in that the accused have committed the offence of trafficking persons for sexual purposes/exploitation or involvement of trafficking of persons for sexual purposes.

Judge Mandela Makaula warned Omotoso and his two co-accused, explaining to them that they will have to answer to each count of the 27 charges.

“It’s just a warning that you should be aware of the conviction that there is likelihood that you will be sentenced to life imprisonment."

He said that provision of Section 51 (1) of the criminal Law amendment Act 105 of 1997 relating to a discretionary minimum sentence of life imprisonment per count will apply in that the accused have committed the offences of rape by more than one person acting in the execution.

The provision of Section 51 (1) criminal law amendment act, 205 0f 1997 relating to a discretionary minimum sentence of life imprisonment per count will also apply in that the accused have committed the offences of rape on the complainant whilst she was a girl under the age of 16.

The trial will continue on Wednesday.