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Omotoso trial awaits SCA decision on charges that happened outside PE

Proceedings will resume in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday following a series of delays and postponements since it restarted in July.

Timothy Omotoso and his co-accused Zukiswa Sitho and Lusanda Sulani at the Port Elizabeth High Court on 9 October 2018. Picture: Gallo Images/Sowetan/Eugene Coetzee.

CAPE TOWN - It remains unclear when witnesses will be called to testify in the sex trafficking trial of controversial pastor Timothy Omotoso and two others.

Proceedings will resume in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday following a series of delays and postponements since it restarted in July.

Omotoso was arrested at the Port Elizabeth International Airport in 2017.

His two co-accused Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho were apprehended months later and are accused of having recruited young women and girls for sexual exploitation.

When proceedings were postponed earlier in October, it was because the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) had yet to rule on an application submitted by the defence relating to some of the charges.

The lawyer for the televangelist and his two co-accused brought an application questioning whether the Port Elizabeth High Court has the jurisdiction to preside over all the charges.

The trio wants the number of charges to be reduced arguing some of the alleged offences apparently occurred outside of Port Elizabeth as stipulated in the charge sheet.

But Judge Irma Schoeman dismissed the application resulting in the defence approaching the SCA.

At their last court appearance on 7 October, the SCA's ruling was still outstanding.

It's hoped that an answer will be available on Monday so the trial can resume following lengthy delays.

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