Pastor Timothy Omotoso’s lawyer, Peter Daubermann, has succeeded in having Judge Mandela Makaula recused from the Nigerian pastor’s trial.
Omotoso faces 63 main charges and 34 alternative counts, which include human trafficking, rape, sexual assault, racketeering, and conspiracy in aiding another person to commit sexual assault.
This is Daubermann’s second attempt at replacing the presiding judge, and this time it worked.
Makaula has agreed to recuse himself after a meeting with Omotoso’s lawyer, saying he will give reasons for this when he steps aside on March 15.
The Citizen reported on Tuesday that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) would intervene to oppose the recusal application.
Last year, Daubermann’s first attempt saw him petitioning the Supreme Court of Appeal for Makaula’s recusal. The application was dismissed, which led to him taking the fight to the Constitutional Court in an attempt to overturn the decision.
The NPA’s Tshepo Ndwalaza said the authority intended to contest the appeal. According to EWN, Ndwalaza said the NPA was in the process of sending papers to the Constitutional Court.
Omotoso and his co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, appeared in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday where their case was postponed to April 16.
The case was postponed pending the outcome of Daubermann’s recusal bid.
Omotoso and his alleged accomplices, Sulani and Sitho, are accused of recruiting girls from all over the country for purposes of sexual exploitation.
The 58-year-old televangelist allegedly trafficked more than 30 girls and women who were from various branches of his Jesus Dominion International Church to a house in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal, where he allegedly sexually exploited them.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman. Additional reporting by Gopolang Chawane)