Judge Makaula agrees to recuse himself from Omotoso trial

Judge Mandela Makaula in the Port Elizabeth High Court
Judge Mandela Makaula in the Port Elizabeth High Court
Image: Eugene Coetzee

Presiding Port Elizabeth High Court judge Mandela Makaula has agreed to recuse himself from the Timothy Omotoso trial following a request by the defence attorney for the pastor, and his two co-accused, Peter Daubermann.

This emerged in a statement on the matter – which involves allegations of human trafficking, among others – released by Daubermann late on Wednesday.

Omotoso, 60, and his co-accused, Zukiswa Sitho, 28, and Lusanda Sulani, 36, face a total of 97 charges ranging from rape to human trafficking.Other than providing the basic facts, Daubermann said he had no further comment on the matter.

In an earlier statement released by Daubermann, the attorney said: "We record that at about 09.30am yesterday [Tuesday], prior to the matter being postponed as aforesaid, our Mr Daubermann and your Advocates Ntelwa and Cerfontein met with Makaula J. in chambers to discuss the further conduct of the matter."

We record, further, that at the outset of the said meeting and in the presence of Makaula J. your Adv Ntelwa informed our Mr Daubermann that he felt that it is his duty to disclose that certain of the state witnesses [whom he did not name] in the matter stayed in a guesthouse owned by Makaula J. during the trial."

Upon inquiry by Mr Daubermann, Adv Ntelwa disclosed, further, that Makaula J. owns the said guesthouse indirectly through a company.

"In his latest statement on Wednesday, Daubermann said "...The judge has agreed to recuse himself, pursuant to my request."

This will happen on 15 March 2019.

"He will hand down his reasons then."

The judge has further agreed that his decision to recuse himself may be published," Daubermann said.


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