Pastor Timothy Omotoso will return to the High Court in Port Elizabeth on Monday to apply for leave to appeal the ruling of the judge, Philip Zilwa, to refuse to grant him bail.

Judge Zilwa ruled that Omotoso had remained a flight risk particularly since he was declared a prohibited immigrant and that the possibility that he will interfere with witnesses could not be ignored.

Omotoso has been denied bail three times since his arrest in 2017.

The pastor and two co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, are facing charges relating to more than 90 alleged sex crimes.

Omotoso is also facing human trafficking charges.

The trial itself is set to continue on Tuesday.

Omotoso’s co-accused are out on bail of R10 000 each.

At Omotoso’s last court appearance defence advocate, Terry Price, argued the delays are unjustifiable in the case that has been ongoing for three and a half years.

Price also said Omotoso fears contracting the COVID-19 virus in prison. Price says Omotoso is not a flight risk and will not interfere with state witnesses. He is also apparently affected psychologically by the prolonged process in his trial.

Advocate Price argued that Omotoso’s dramatic arrest in April 2017 was illegal, as he was ordered to come to Port Elizabeth for an interview with the Hawks, as they investigated his involvement in human trafficking.

His citizenship was a bone of contention during the bail proceedings. State Advocate, Nceba Ntelwa, says Omotoso has been declared a prohibited person in the country and could be deported to Nigeria if granted bail.

More than five witnesses were called during the bail application. Some of the witnesses are Omotoso’s attorney, the former head of the Hawks in the Eastern Cape, Omotoso’s wife, an official from the Department of Home Affairs and the investigating officer.

Timothy Omotoso in court for bail application: