The trial of Nigerian pastor, Timothy Omotoso in South Africa for sexual assault suffered fresh hiccup on Monday, October 21st as his defence attorney said Omotoso would approach the highest court in the country, in a fresh appeal.
The embattled Nigerian pastor failed in his appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal against a Port Elizabeth judge’s decision to allow the trial to be heard in the court. On Monday, state prosecutor Nceba Ntelwa told Judge Irma Schoeman that the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) had dismissed Omotoso’s application to appeal her decision to have the trial heard in Port Elizabeth.
Ntelwa said the state was ready to begin the case. But Omotoso’s lawyer Peter Daubermann said that in the interest of justice, his clients’ instructions were to bring an application to appeal the SCA’s judgment to the Constitutional Court. “My instructions are to apply for a postponement to allow my clients to exercise these rights,” Daubermann said.
He told the court on Monday that he anticipated he needed at least two weeks to prepare the application for the appeal to the Constitutional Court. Schoeman postponed the matter till November 21. Omotoso and his two accomplices, Lusanda Sulani, 36, and Zukiswa Sitho, 28 are facing multiple counts ranging from human trafficking to rape and sexual assault.
They are yet to take a plea. Omotoso has been remanded in prison. It was the second time Omotoso, 60, and his co-accused, had lost a petition to the Supreme Court of Appeal. It was also the umpteenth time the case will suffer some adjournment. In its judgment, the SCA ruled that the application for leave to appeal Schoeman’s decision was dismissed on the grounds that there were no reasonable prospects of success, and that there was no other compelling reason why an appeal should be heard.
In August, defence attorney for Omotoso and his co-accused, Peter Daubermann, argued that the Port Elizabeth high court did not have the authority to hear the entire matter as some of the alleged offences took place elsewhere in the country and abroad. Daubermann claimed the authorisation certificate to centralise the case was invalid as some of the alleged offences took place outside the court’s jurisdiction..