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Judge Makaula recuses himself from Timothy Omotoso trial

Makaula on Friday explained the reasons for the recusal.

A screengrab of Judge Mandela Makaula.

CAPE TOWN- It's been revealed that the judge who presided over the case against Pastor Timothy Omotoso and two others recused himself after it came to light that some state witnesses had stayed at a guesthouse in which his wife has business interests.

Judge Mandela Makaula made the announcement on Friday at the Eastern Cape High Court sitting in Port Elizabeth. Omotoso and his co-accused face a string of charges including rape, human trafficking and racketeering. Makaula denied that he personally has any financial interests in the guesthouse.

He said that he is not involved in any company or legal entity either as a director or shareholder but he admitted that his spouse was involved in businesses, including a guesthouse, in which she holds shares.

He said that this may potentially be used as a factor which could give rise to concerns over bias.

"Let me place it on record that I am not involved in any company or legal entity as a director or shareholder. It is indeed so, that my wife operates business ventures, including guest houses, and she holds shares through a registered corporation of which she is the sole member. I have no financial interest and play no role in its affairs."

Makaula said that for the sake of caution and in accordance with the conditions of his employment, he decided to declare this to the office of the Chief Justice.

Omotoso and his co-accused's lawyer had been trying to have the judge taken off the case.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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