Nigerian Pastor Facing 97 Criminal Charges In South Africa Could Soon Walk Free

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Port Elizabeth, South Africa The possibility of a mistrial exists for rape accused pastor Timothy Omotoso if confidential e-mails between the lead prosecutor and his team are anything to go by. It is now up to judge Irma Schoeman to decide, with lawyers for Omotoso claiming he prosecution team under advocate Nceba Ntelwa conspired to persuade witnesses to commit perjury. In an astounding development, Ntelwa stands accused of withholding crucial evidence and allegedly causing complainants to lie in the witness box. Ntelwa also allegedly instructed a former colleague in the case, advocate Ishmet Cerfontein, to ignore additional charges against Omotoso “because it will impact so negatively to [sic] the case”. What is the trial about? Omotoso and his two co-accused are facing more than 90 sex and human trafficking-related charges. The state alleges that the two co-accused lured young women from the Jesus Dominion International Church in Port Elizabeth to a mission house near Durban where they were expected to undergo spiritual training. Up to now, the testimony of all the witnesses painted the same picture, the promise of a better life, money, a career in music, or spiritual training. But the promises ended up in sexual abuse with the witnesses testifying they were all influenced by the pastor’s so-called power over them. They all saw him as a man of God. Omotoso was arrested more than four years ago and remains in custody.

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