Ricochet News

Pastor Tim Omotoso case continues in Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court

Nov 1, 2017
Pastor Tim Omotoso case continues in Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court

Controversial Nigerian televangelist and Senior pastor of the Jesus Dominion International church, Tim Omotoso, who has been languishing in the St Albans Prison since his arrest in April, is again expected in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Wednesday after the court denied him bail for a second time in September.

He was slapped with an additional five charges for contravening the Immigration Act.

This is after it emerged that Omotoso has used five passports to move in and out of South Africa since his first visit in 2001. The court also heard that he was now technically an illegal immigrant.

Charges

In addition to the new 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.

He has been waiting at St Albans Prison after his first bail application failed - resulting in his wife, Taiwo, appointing a new legal team.

However, the team again failed to convince the courts about new facts that could warrant his release on bail.

Polarised community

The matter of Pastor Omotoso's innocence has divided the city - with many of his followers claiming he is innocent while others feel, the man of cloth has a case to answer.

There has been tension outside the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court as many residents have come out during the bail hearings either to support him or to make sure he gets no bail.

One resident and a choir member at the Port Elizabeth branch of the Jesus Dominion International church, Hlengiwe Khubone, told RNEWS that she believes Omotoso, who is called 'Daddy' by his followers, is innocent and she will continue to support him until he is released.

“I have travelled to many countries with ‘Daddy’ if he is not innocent then why didn’t he try anything with me, if he is not innocent then where are those girls because I don’t see them,” she said.

“I will continue to support ‘Daddy’ until this ends.”

However, a group led by the African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) had been leading calls for the courts to deny him bail until he has been cleared of the charges against him.