Omotoso wants inquest to probe trial delays

Timothy Omotoso
Timothy Omotoso
Image: Eugene Coetzee

Rape and human trafficking accused pastor Timothy Omotoso was back in court on Tuesday — this time to apply for bail and to bring two other applications.

Omotoso, 62, who has been in custody since his April 2017 arrest, is applying for an inquest to be instituted to establish why his trial has been so  delayed since starting two years ago.

He also wants the Port Elizabeth High Court to dismiss the testimony of two state witnesses, Andisiwe Diko and Lerato Msibi, who testified before judge Irma Schoeman when the trial restarted.

The trial restarted in July 2009 after the recusal of the previous presiding officer, judge Mandela Makaula, over a perceived conflict of interest.

On Tuesday, advocate Terry Price SC, for Omotoso, brought the first application for the inquest to ascertain the causes of the delays.

Judge Phillip Zilwa, who is hearing the three applications, questioned whether he should decide on the inquest application because the criminal case was pending before Schoeman.

Price said it was vital that a determination be made on the granting of an inquest to determine the facts surrounding the delays.

He said this was needed for the defence’s bail argument.

Zilwa said he would deal with the bail application and asked for Price to furnish the state and himself with heads of arguments and other documentation related to the application.

Zilwa adjourned the matter until 2pm for Price to supply the necessary documents.

Omotoso and his co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, face 63 main and 34 alternative charges, among them, ranging from rape to sexual assault, human trafficking and racketeering.

They have all pleaded not guilty.

Sitho and Sulani are out on R2,000 bail each.



Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.