Saturday , November 28 2020

Omotoso judge agrees to reuse himself



The monastery attempt by Pastor Timothy Omotoso is set to take a twist when Judge Mandela Makaula is set to recover from the case in March.

Omoto's lawyer Peter Daubermann confirmed to News24 that Makaula has agreed to recover from the case and will justify the recall on March 15.

Daubermann said that on Wednesday afternoon he had a meeting with the state as well as Makaula in his chambers, where he accepted Daubermann's request to remove him from presiding over the trial.

"The judge has also agreed that his decision to re-use may be made public," Daubermann told News24.

Read more: Omotoso case postponed, pending ConCourt application

In a letter to the Director of Prosecution in the Eastern Cape, Daubermann claims that the state informed Omoto's defense team that certain legitimate persons in the trial stayed in a guesthouse owned by Makaula.

He also claims that the guesthouse is indirectly owned by Makaula, through a company.

"Our clients are, for obvious reasons, rude to the mentioned revelations, and their perception of bias at Makaula J. has been enhanced thereby," Daubermann said in the letter.

The letter ends, stating that Daubermann intends, in the circumstances, to request that "Makaula regain from presiding in the mero motu case (at its own expense) in the interest of justice".

Chief Justice stated News24 that the case, which was originally postponed to April 16, will now be forwarded to March 15 by agreement between the state, the defense and the judge himself.

"On that date, the reasons for this hearing will become apparent when the case is dealt with in the open court regarding the issue that is the subject of your inquiry," said Head of President Nathi Mncube.

Repeated calls for recall

Daubermann has repeatedly pushed the revocation of Makaula and accused the judge of being "biased" by evidence of the first witness, Cheryl Zondi. He claimed he was "too friendly" with her.

Omotoso and his two defendants made a brief appearance in the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth on Monday morning, which was postponed until April 16.

News24 reported that the state agreed to postpone the omotoso legal team to file an application with the Constitutional Court. The appeal was an escalation to get Makaula recycled from the case.

Read: Omoto's lawyer is trying to get the case out of court

This would be Omotoso's fourth attempt to recycle Makaula.

After the referee rejected the first two applications, the controversial pastor's legal team then went to the Board of Appeal, which also rejected the application and cited no likelihood of its success.

Omotoso and his accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, face 63 charges and 34 alternative charges involving rape, sexual assault and racketeering.


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