Ruling due in Omotoso trial to continue in Port Elizabeth or not

Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso and his two co-accused
Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso and his two co-accused
Image: Eugene Coetzee

Port Elizabeth High Court Judge Irma Schoeman is expected, on Wednesday, to hand down her ruling on whether or not to grant Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso and his two co-accused leave to appeal her earlier decision to allow the trio’s trial to continue to be heard in Port Elizabeth.

Schoeman had last week ruled that the PE court had the jurisdiction to hear the matter after Omotoso’s defence counsel attorney Peter Daubermann raised concerns that the authorisation certificate to centralise the case was invalid and lack vital information.

On Monday Daubermann argued that Schoeman had erred in her judgment and did not take into consideration the merits of the case.

Daubermann, for Omotoso and his co-accused Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho said Schoeman’s citing of a Supreme Court of Appeal judgement in a similar case was irrelevant to the matters at hand and asked for the matter to be sent to the SCA.

State prosecutor Nceba Ntelwa argued that the centralization directive was in line with provisions set out in the Criminal Procedures Act and the National Prosecuting Authority Act.

The trio fave 97 charges among them ranging from Human Trafficking to rape and racketeering.

At the beginning of the trial in July they pleaded not guilty to seven charges for offences alleged to have taken place in Port Elizabeth but refused to plead to the other charges claiming they did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Port Elizabeth High Court.

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