Man admits spilling drink on Jacob Zuma

2011-03-22 14:16

Durban - The man accused of spilling his drink on President Jacob Zuma during the Durban July last year admitted in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Tuesday that he did so, but said it was unintentional.

"The accused, Daryl Peense, admits that a small quantity of the whisky and water which he was drinking spilled from his glass," said defence attorney, Jimmy Howse, reading from a sworn statement.

He said Peense was standing over a balcony when this happened.

"The accused was drunk at the time and his drink spilled accidentally. None of the drink spilt [on] the president.

"The accused didn't intend to cause injury to the president nor to impair his bodily integrity in any way. There has been no complaint by the president," said Howse, reading from the statement.

No harm

Howse said there was no physical contact and no harm was inflicted on the president.

"It is necessary for the alleged victim [Zuma] to at least complain and explain that his bodily integrity was violated. The president has not made any complaint of assault."

Constable Funani Edgar Nemaenzhe, based in Pretoria with the presidential protection unit, gave evidence on what occurred on that day.

"I was protecting the president. We were walking with the president and greeting jockeys. As we walked toward our holding room we had to walk under a balcony."

Nemaenzhe said he and the other police officers were walking in a diamond shape and that President Zuma was in the middle. There were seven of them.

"I was walking at the back as we walked past the balcony. There was a man and people were waving at the president. The man was leaning on the balcony with his hands on the rails."

From a few metres away, he could see Peense on the balcony.

'Poured it onto the president'

"Just before we passed through, I noticed he had a tumbler in his hand then he poured it onto the president. After doing so he moved back," said Nemaenzhe.

He said bodyguard number one protected the president with his jacket so that he did not get wet. He said Peense's glass was directed down toward the president.

"We and the other police officers pursued the guy looking for him. He was not where he was standing. After a few minutes... I noticed him."

Nemaenzhe said he held Peense back and asked him what he had done.

"He said it was not intentional. I asked why he moved back if it was unintentional and he could not answer that."

The police officer told the court that he then took Peense to a satellite police station where he made a statement.

He said he could smell alcohol on Peense, the accused could not walk straight and his speech was slurred.

Peense, 31, of Alberton is a racehorse owner. He is facing an assault charge.

- SAPA
Read more on:    daryl peense  |  jacob zuma  |  durban
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