MaNtuli case: accused to admit crimen injuria

2014-04-25 00:00

STEVEN John Masunga, the Tanzania national who originally faced an intimidation charge filed by one of President Jacob Zuma’s wives, Nompumelelo ‘MaNtuli’ Ntuli, will instead plead guilty to a crimen injuria charge, the Durban Magistrate’s Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutor Blackie Swart told magistrate Vanitha Armu that the prosecution had a request for postponement to allow for another statement to be taken as Masunga, who is represented by Legal Aid, intended to plead guilty.

The intimidation charge against Masunga arises from a complaint made by MaNtuli in January that Masunga tried to force her to arrange a business meeting for him with Zuma. At the time of his arrest and subsequent bail hearing at the Camperdown Magistrate’s Court in January, the court heard that Masunga had threatened MaNtuli with a claim that Zuma was not the father of one of her children.

In another court appearance at the same court last Thursday, the court heard that the deputy director of public prosecutions had decided to abandon the intimidation charge and go for crimen injuria.

National Prosecution Authority national spokesperson Nathi Mncube said after re-evaluating evidence in the docket they concluded that the state would not be able to sustain the intimidation charge in court.

“For us to get a conviction it was necessary for us to go for the crimen injuria charge against the accused,” said Ncube.

Crimen injuria is defined as damaging the image and dignity or insulting a person. The case was postponed to April 29 for Masunga’s plea statement and he remains in custody.

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