Zuma attacker shocked by ruling

2011-07-27 20:38
Cape Town - A Gauteng betting agent expressed shock on Wednesday after being found guilty of assault for spilling his drink on President Jacob Zuma at the Vodacom Durban July last year.

Daryl Peense told News24: “I’m shocked by the ruling, it’s like a big puzzle…”

Magistrate Gugu Mphikeleli also wanted to keep Peense in custody but after some wrangling managed to be convinced to extend Peense’s R500 bail.

Peense said that Mphikeleli found him guilty on the basis of the bodyguard’s statement stating that he intended to spill the drink on the president and that the bodyguard saw the liquid falling.

However, the betting agent said that one of the bodyguards who testified contradicted himself when he wrote in his police statement after the incident that “no liquid touched Zuma or anyone in his envoy” but when he testified in court he said that some liquid did spill on him (the bodyguard).

The bodyguard also claimed in court that the liquid smelled like beer but Peense said that in the complaint, it was stated that the liquid smelled like “whisky and water”.

Peense said that he also tried writing a letter of apology to the presidency but to no avail. In fact, communication with anyone in the presidency or government has been almost non-existent for the betting agent.

He said he wasn’t even sure who laid the charge, with a query to prosecutors even not getting a response.

A presidency spokesperson refused to comment on the matter.

The case has been adjourned to September 7 for sentencing, the National Prosecution Authority said.

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