South Africa-Religion-Bail

S/African judge denies bail to Nigerian pastor

APA-Port Elizabeth (South Africa)

Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso, who is facing 90 sex-related charges that include rape and sexual assault, racketeering, and human trafficking was on Wednesday denied bail for the third time since his arrest in 2017.

Making his ruling the Port Elizabeth High Court, judge Phillip Zilwa said Omotoso would remain in custody because he was a high flight risk suspect at this time.

Due to the bail application’s failure the trial was set to begin Wednesday afternoon – just hours after the bail application appeal was dismissed Wednesday morning.

The Nigerian pastor, who has lived in the country for many years running his own church, tried to get bail after his arrest three years ago at the Port Elizabeth International Airport, Zilwa recalled.

He told the pastor that there was no reasonable prospect that another court would come to a different conclusion following this latest and third failure to secure the bail.

Zilwa said he had come to this conclusion after considering all the old and new facts of the bail application and the reasons advanced to deny him bail as a high flight risk suspect.

Omotoso, aged 62, failed twice to secure bail in the Port Elizabeth magistrate’s court after his 20 April 2017 arrest at the Port Elizabeth International Airport.

Omotoso, along with his co-accused Lusanda Sulani, aged 37, and Zukiswa Sitho, aged 29, face 63 main and 34 alternative charges – ranging from rape to sexual assault, human trafficking and racketeering.

NM/jn/APA

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