Peense to pay R8?000 fine

2011-12-01 00:00

FINANCIALLY crippled, Daryl Peense was still elated to avoid a jail term and instead pay a fine for the charge of assault after he spilling whisky on President Jacob Zuma.

Yesterday Peense waited with bated breath in the Durban Magistrate’s Court as magistrate Guguletu Mpikeleli delayed sentencing until late in the afternoon before giving her lengthy judgment.

“I cannot stress enough the fact that our president is our first citizen and he and his office need to be respected. He, too, is entitled to his constitutional rights which the court protects,” she said as Peense nodded in agreement.

Mpikeleli said she considered Peense’s financial situation, which is strained because of the lengthy proceedings and the fact that his business, which involves online horse betting, has been crippled. She also considered that he is paying maintenance for his seven-year-old son.

Mpikeleli sentenced Peense to a fine of R8 000 or a suspended jail term of four months. Peense chose to pay the fine. He will also have to continue consulting the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (Sanca).

Peense, who resides in Johannesburg, was charged with assault after presidential security and police arrested him for throwing alcohol on to the president at the Vodacom July in Durban last year.

He explained that it was an accident and admitted to being intoxicated at the time.

Mpikeleli did not buy his story and convicted him of assault on the president. Zuma, however, denied having any knowledge of the matter in an interview with Peense’s probation officer, Masisi Modikoane.

Modikoane, who was flown down from Johannesburg for the matter, told The Witness that Peense did not have a violent disposition and had religiously attended all Sanca meetings as prescribed by the court.

Modikoane was not, however, called to the stand to give her supplementary report on Peense.

Modikoane said, “They flew me down here and it was under the court’s instruction that I compile a report, and now that I’m here they say that it’s not necessary.

“Daryl is a decent human being. I feel sorry for him for having to foot the bill for hefty lawyers’ fees and flying to and fro from Johannesburg for this matter since last year.”

The state, represented by Thami Ntuli, said it opposed a fine and preferred that Peense be jailed since it was not satisfied with the findings of the probation officer and correctional officer.

Peense said he may take the matter on appeal, but needs some time to get over the ordeal.

“I definitely feel cheated and humiliated. Zuma said that he was not aware of the incident and the magistrate kept saying that he was the complainant. There were many things that did not make sense,” he said.

Peense added that he simply wants to relax and then focus on getting his business back on track.

“This has been emotionally and financially draining. I’m just glad it’s over,” he said.

In an attempt to recover over R100 000 in legal fees Peense has resorted to selling T-shirts bearing his picture. He has also set up a blog, www.darylpeenseofficialblog.blogspot.com, through which members of the public can highlight their weird and wonderful stories.

Peense’s facebook status after getting the news was quickly updated and read, “Allo ALLo ALLo — im free man :) big smiles.”

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