Pastor Timothy Omotoso's legal team was preparing to approach the Constitutional Court, after the SCA dismissed their application to have the judge overseeing the case recuse himself. The SCA found that Advocate Peter Daubermann's application to have Judge Mandela Makaula recuse himself had 'no reasonable prospect of success', notes News24.

Omotoso and one of his co-accused, Lusanda Sulani, lodged the applications shortly after the state's first witness, Cheryl Zondi, gave an emotional testimony in the rape-accused pastor's case.

The pair, as well as Zukiswa Sitho, face 63 charges and 34 alternative charges, which include rape and sexual assault.

In the recusal application, Omotoso's defence team argued that Makaula was 'too friendly' with Zondi and that it was believed that he would not be impartial. But Makaula rejected their assertions and their recusal application, labelling it 'ridiculous' and 'dubious'.

The SCA also rejected an application to have the charges against Omotoso quashed.

The trial was now expected to resume on 4 February. Omotoso will spend his second Christmas behind bars having been denied bail since his arrest in April 2017. His two co-accused are still out on bail.

Full News24 report