NATIONAL NEWS - In yet another bizarre turn in the trial of controversial Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso on sexual offence charges, he rocked up at court in Port Elizabeth wearing Springbok colours.
He is known for his flamboyant, colourful outfits, along with being accused of rape and human trafficking.
He and his co-accused are facing 63 charges and 34 alternative charges, which include rape, sexual assault, and racketeering after the Supreme Court of Appeal last month dismissed an application brought by Omotoso and co-accused Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, challenging the jurisdiction of the Port Elizabeth High Court on some charges.
The SCA stated that “the application is dismissed on the grounds that there are no reasonable prospects of success and there is no other compelling reason why an appeal should be heard”.
The trial, therefore, resumes today after months of delay.
In a blow to the state earlier this year, the trial had to start from scratch after the first judge recused himself.
All evidence that had so far been heard by the court – including the stirring testimony given by Cheryl Zondi – would have to be presented afresh.
Despite all the efforts to secure his release from jail, Omotoso will still spend Christmas behind bars.
This year, he will spend his third Christmas at St Albans Correctional Centre, since his arrest in April 2017.
During his appearance in the Eastern Cape High Court, his followers were excited to see him in his regalia.
Jubilant followers screamed out: “Daddy! The General! Pappa!” as soon as he entered Court A.
But, unlike the Springboks, he was not triumphant, having failed in his efforts to have the charges against him reduced.
On Thursday, Schoeman postponed the matter to January 28, 2020, for “the outcome of the application to the Constitutional Court of South Africa”.
This means Omotoso will remain in jail.
The bail of his co-accused was extended.