A veil of uncertainty has shrouded Nigerian Pastor Timothy Omotoso‘s appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein.

Omotoso has petitioned the SCA for leave to appeal the removal of the High Court Judge Mandela Makaula in his multiple sexual offences trial. However, his papers did not conform to practice directives sought by the SCA. They have now been given until Monday to re-file. Omotoso and co-accused want the SCA to overrule the trial court.

Due to the initial submission not meeting SCA requirements, this may affect the matter being scheduled on the SCA roll and thus, possibly, affect the resumption of the trial.

“Whenever you bring a formal application for leave to appeal, that application must be in three copies, one original and two copies for that application – and then again you must also even attach a letter to confirm as to what is contained in your application. It must not even exceed certain number of pages… like when you file the initial application,” says legal expert Lebohang Mokhele.

This view is echoed by another legal expert, Sekonyela Moeketsi. “A person must see that in the manner that the proceedings are being conducted it actually responds to the doing of justice, now the application would always be done if there is an apparent bias from the side of the presiding officer.”

Proceedings in the High Court in Port Elizabeth were halted. This was done to allow the SCA to mediate.

Omotoso and co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, face a string of charges including rape, human trafficking and racketeering. The two accused women allegedly recruited the victims.

The defence has also punched holes on the charge sheet. It described it as nothing short of an abomination.

The criminal proceedings in the High Court are expected to resume on December 10.

 

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