Wife begs Nigerian Govt to help bail husband, Pastor Omotoso who is incarcerated in SA over alleged rape
Taiwo, wife of Reverend Timothy Omotoso, his church members and Centre for Justice, Mercy and Reconciliation (CJMR) have appealed to the Director General of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NDC) to bail the cleric out of the St. Alban’s Prison Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Rev. Omotoso, the senior pastor and founder of Jesus Dominion International, Durban, South Africa, was arrested on April 20, 2017 for alleged rape and human trafficking.
The 62-year-old pastor and his co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, face 63 main and 34 alternative charges related to contravention of the Sexual Offences Act. His alleged victims included girls as young as 13.
The accused pastor lost his third bid for bail after the Port Elizabeth high court dismissed his latest application on November 2020.
Tired of the situation and with no help in sight, his wife, Taiwo Omotoso and the members of the church had sent an appeal to the Director General of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NDC), against what they termed the indefinite incarceration and prolonged legal prosecution of hate against Rev. Timothy Omotoso in St. Alban’s Prison Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
They also appealed for immediate intervention and his release from custody on bail through the Centre for Justice, Mercy and Reconciliation (CJMR), a non-governmental Organisation with focus on promoting human rights and advocacy in Nigeria Correctional Service.
The Executive Director CJMR, Hezekiah Deboboye Olujobi, stated that “we are severely disturbed at the nature of prosecution/persecution that the South African Government is meting down on a Nigerian citizen without any hope of justice in view.”
“We therefore urge you to use your good office and step into this matter. To ensure the dispensation of justice and to effect the immediate release of Rev. Timothy Omotoso from unjust and indefinite incarceration through bail,”
“We strongly hold the view that there are some individual using the South African Government in destroying him in incarceration. We therefore plead with you to immediately investigate this perversion of justice and come to the rescue of a fellow and true Nigerian,” he said.
Olujobi added that, having done personal research on the matter online and in light of the content of the 562 pages of the court proceedings received on June 6, 2021 along with the affidavit sworn by Alwyn Griebenow and analysis of the circumstances that surrounded the arrest of Timothy Omotoso, CJMR is forced to conclude that his arrest and prosecution emanated from hatred and is masterminded by someone somewhere.
CJMR added that there are disturbing facts in the matter; Rev. Timothy Omotoso was arrested in the full glare of cameras, on live television and in the presence of a multitude of media personnel, placed in handcuffs without a warrant and prosecution has been more of a media trial than the actualisation of justice for any of the parties.
“More disturbing is the fact that most of the witnesses that have testified in court mentioned that they were contacted by Captain Brenda Mangqawana or Investigating Officer Peter Plaatjies to open a case against Rev. Omotoso,”
“This shows they ordinarily did not desire to commence a case on their own volition. There is obviously strong political interference in the prosecution of the charge against Rev. Timothy. This still boils down to the xenophobic attitude of some South Africans towards Nigerians as there have been personal attacks on the wife of the accused,” CJMR stated, adding that the suit has been conducted by the fifth prosecutor, who is also threatening to also withdraw.