Port Elizabeth - The congregation of a charismatic Nigerian televangelist raised R100 000 to be used for his bail, if his second bail application in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court is successful.
Pastor Tim Omotoso is facing charges of human trafficking, sexual assault and the rape of young girls.
Omotoso, who is based in Durban, is alleged to have trafficked more than 30 girls and women from various branches of his church countrywide. He allegedly took them to a house in Umhlanga, in KwaZulu-Natal, where he sexually exploited them.
Advocate Alwyn Rossouw SC, for Omotoso, brought the second application on new facts, saying he was in fact deemed a legal immigrant, contrary to findings in his first bail application. He said that a letter from the home affairs director general, dated August 14, declared that the pastor's current work permit was valid.
Rossouw also handed up audited financial statements relating to his church and told the court that his congregants had been able to put R100 000 together for bail.
“They need that money, if he is released on bail, they will make sure that he does not leave,” he said.
Magistrate Thandeka Mashiyi asked why the financial documents were only now being presented to the court, as they must surely have been available to Omotoso during the first bail application.
Rossouw said that while the documents had been available, Omotoso had been hindered by logistics and time constraints.
However, State prosecutor, Nceba Ntelwa, said that there were no new facts before the court and again called Home Affairs immigration officer, Ivan Classen, who had earlier testified that Omotoso was an illegal immigrant.
Claasen said that the letter resented by Rossouw, was identical to one on record presented by himself in the first application, except for the date and the fact that it had been addressed to Omotoso 's attorneys as opposed to himself.
Omotoso is expected back in court on September 8, for judgment on his bail application.
African News Agency