Pastor Timothy Omotoso has been denied bail by the High Court in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.
Omotoso and co-accused Zukiswa Sitho and Lusanda Sulani are facing over 90 charges related to sexual offences.
This is the third time Omotoso has been denied bail since his arrest in 2017.
Below is the court proceeding:
Instead of the planned four days set aside on the court roll for the bail application of the pastor from the Jesus Dominion International Church, it eventually lasted three weeks.
On Tuesday, 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.