Port Elizabeth – Charismatic Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso is to hear the outcome of his bail appeal in the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth next week.
The Durban-based televangelist’s legal counsel, headed by Alwyn Rossouw SC, has approached the High Court to overturn Magistrate Thandeka Mashiyi’s dismissal of Omotoso’s application for bail.
The 59-year-old pastor is facing charges of human trafficking, sexual assault and the rape of young women.
He has been in custody since his dramatic arrest at the Port Elizabeth airport on April 20, by members of the SAPS Tactical Task Team.
Two women accused of acting as Omotoso’s recruiters are expected to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Proceedings were initially delayed before Judge Glen Goosen because the application related to Omotoso’s first application, even though he lodged a second bail application after that on the basis of new facts.
The second application also failed because the court found that no new facts had been presented.
Once it was established that the defence could indeed appeal the first bail application, they argued that Mashiyi had been misled by the State.
Mashiyi found at the time that Omotoso was a flight risk because his relatives were UK nationals, his residential address could not be determined, his church had international branches and he was an illegal immigrant.
Among Rossouw’s submissions was an argument that the investigating officer’s report, that he was unable to determine the address, was flawed.
He also submitted that the State later conceded that it had indeed been able to find his home in Durban.
The defence also argued that the pastor had been in possession of a valid work permit and had been to Nigeria on various occasions during the investigation, but that he always returned to South Africa.
Goosen is expected to give judgment on November 30.