Abortions: herbalist keeps his silence

2011-11-10 00:00

UGANDAN national Jonathan Kinane (27), who claims to be a legally practising herbalist, chose to remain silent during his bail application in the face of the state’s allegations that he ran an unregistered “abortion clinic”.

But Kinane told Pietermaritzburg magistrate Amanda Bezuidenhout that he plans to plead not guilty. He is charged with having administered medication to at least two women to terminate their pregnancies in September, even though he was not registered to do so.

Giving evidence in broken English yesterday, Kinane testified that he regards South Africa as his home and declared he will not abscond if given bail because his fiancée, a student nurse, is pregnant and they plan to marry.

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Sally Singh he admitted that he has a family in Uganda.

Singh suggested to Kinane that his work here as a herbalist is in fact illegal and that if he were released this would be an added incentive for him not to stand trial.

Kinane’s advocate, Brad Osborne, disputed the suggestion. The court has asked that both representatives present argument on that point.

The court yesterday heard evidence from a Home Affairs immigration officer, Dumisani Mncube, who described Kinane’s immigration history as “untrustworthy” even though he is legally in South Africa in terms of a “life partnership” permit granted to him earlier this year.

Mncube said Kinane left Uganda in April 2008 and visited various African countries, including Kenya and Tanzania, and Zambia.

He said he is not certain how or when Kinane entered South Africa because there is no stamp indicating lawful entry on his passport.

The case was adjourned until today for possible legal argument and judgment in the bail application.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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