Rape accused Nigerian pastor Tim Omotoso appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday, where his bail hearing was scheduled to be heard.
Omotoso was later denied bail in the court which found him to be a flight risk with no real ties to South Africa.
More so, in the event that Pastor Tim Omotoso is released on bail, the court expressed strong likelihood that the alleged victims would be threatened and intimidated.
Addressing the packed court, Magistrate Thandeka Mashile added that the accused has no extraordinary circumstances.
The court premises hosted a large number of people from his church and women organizations who came to witness the proceeding.
The 52-year-old accused is the senior pastor of Jesus Dominion International, headquartered in Durban‚ with a Port Elizabeth branch in Govan Mbeki Avenue.
Omotoso was arrested on April 20 at Port Elizabeth Airport and could face life imprisonment if found guilty. He is facing 22 charges related to contravening the Sexual Offences Act‚ with two definite charges of rape contained in the charge sheet.
His charges include human trafficking and sexual offenses. Omotoso, at one time, kept about 40 girls in some houses in Durban, known as ‘mission houses’. The common factors among the girls were that they were from poor homes and had with no father figure.
His dirty and shady deals came to light after the SABC aired a documentary, showing how he assaulted young girls from his church.
Two of his victims reportedly laid charges against him but the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) believes there are more victims shying away from shaming him.
The Home Affairs Department told the court previously that Omotoso was living in the country illegally because one of his visas was fraudulently obtained.
Hawks spokesperson Robert Netshiunda expressed happiness that the court did not give the accused bail.
A newly-launched movement with the name ‘FreeTimOmotoso‘ has been kicking for the pastor’s release, claiming that the ‘man of God’ was arrested without a warrant in a planned campaign with faked allegations.
Following the Cape Town Storm and Knysna fire disasters that occurred on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, some of Omotoso supporters said South Africa should expect more for keeping an innocence man behind the bars since April.
Latest update: Bail verdict / Judgement will be given Friday 9 June 2017. Let us not grow weary. We shall overcome. #FreeTimOmotoso
— Free Tim Omotoso (@freetimomotoso) May 23, 2017
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Televangelist pastor is expected to appear in court again on 17 July. The case is still under investigation.