Judge Makaula to give reasons for his recusal from Omotoso trial

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

Port Elizabeth High Court judge Mandela Makaula who has been presiding over the controversial Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso trial is expected to give reasons for his decision to recuse himself on Friday.

This after it emerged that certain state witnesses had allegedly been staying at a guesthouse said to be owned by Makaula during the trial.

In a statement issued by Omotoso’s defence attorney Peter Daubermann last month Makaula was said to have met with Daubermann and state prosector advocate Nceba Ntelwa.

According to the statement the decision was made by Makaula to recuse himself after Ntelwa had indicated that certain witnesses, whom he did not name, had stayed at the guesthouse owned by Makaula “through a company”.

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.

Only one state witness, Cheryl Zondi, has testified in the matter since the trial began in October.