Chiefs star George Lebese may face up to three years in jail

By Drum Digital
10 March 2015

Legal expert says Kaizer Chiefs player George Lebese might face up to three years in jail for assaulting his girlfriend, Sizakele Manonga.

The Mamelodi-born Lebese (26) appeared briefly in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on Monday but the case was postponed to Wednesday 1 April to allow for further investigation, following his arrest last month.

Lebese faces charges of assault and malicious damage to property after allegations that he assaulted Sizakele and smashed her car windows. The soccer star is out on R1 000 bail.

In South Africa, assault has no stipulated sentence but according to Stephen Tuson, practicing attorney at the Wits University Law clinic, the categorisation, nature as well as the seriousness of the assault will determine how heavy the sentence will be.

"There are two kinds of assault – common assault and assault with intent to cause bodily harm," he begins. "Common assault could be a slap, punch or a kick, and the punishment also depends on its seriousness. It could range from a warning, fine or a fine with a suspended sentence. Meaning that if you're found guilty of another crime, you will go to jail," he continues.

"Assault with intent has to be proved in terms of evidence in the form of a weapon or if the victim has cuts or broken bones."

Stephen also mentions that sentencing is totally dependent on the magistrate. "It's all up to the magistrate. The perpetrator could go directly to jail with no option of a fine," he says.

"In South Africa, the maximum punishment at a District Magistrates Court is three years maximum for sentencing and R300 000 in terms of a fine."

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