ANC Western Cape secretary ‘relieved’ after court discharges him of assault

2017-04-11 13:04
ANC Western Cape secretary Faiez Jacobs says he is relieved that a court found him not guilty of assaulting a former policy coordinator in 2015 (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

ANC Western Cape secretary Faiez Jacobs says he is relieved that a court found him not guilty of assaulting a former policy coordinator in 2015 (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – The ANC’s Western Cape secretary Faiez Jacobs was on Tuesday found not guilty of assaulting his policy co-ordinator Wesley Seale.

He had asked the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court to discharge him, arguing that the State had no basis to convict him.

“The court is of the opinion that the State’s case at this stage is of such a poor nature and therefore the application is granted,” concurred Magistrate Alta le Roux.

Jacobs appeared to hold his emotions back as he stood up and left the room. Outside, he said he was very relieved and could concentrate on his work. His lawyer would issue a statement later on Tuesday.

Seale claimed Jacobs punched him off a chair in his office and kicked him repeatedly as he was lying on the ground in the party’s provincial offices in November 2015.

He testified that Jacobs kept on shouting: "Jy vat my lankal vir 'n naai [You've treated me like a fool for long enough]". He told Jacobs he hadn't had time to write a report and that he was merely helping him as it wasn't in his job description.

Seale, now a politics lecturer at Rhodes University, alleged Jacobs kept repeating the profanity while kicking him in the abdomen and face "between five and 10 times".

Factionalism

According to Jacobs' version of events, he used his right hand to slap Seale away from him, in defence, after claiming he prodded him in the chest. He claimed he raised his leg to "ward off" Seale.

He could not say if his leg made contact with Seale as the slap had caused him to fall against the office safe.

Le Roux said Seale’s testimony had to be treated with caution as he was a single witness.

He had claimed he was seriously assaulted, but according to a medical report he only had a laceration behind his ear.

“If a person kicked another person hard a couple of times with a booted foot, one would expect at least some bruising, on the face, head and behind the head,” she said.

“Not to say it needs to turn blue. But there needs to be an indication. [Kicking] three or four or five times is a lot.”

She found the testimony of the witnesses who later entered Jacobs' office did not corroborate Seale's version.

Defence lawyer William King had hinted at factionalism as a motive for Seale laying the charge.

Le Roux said while there might be a motive, she would not refer to anything in her judgment.

In April 2016, the ANC's national disciplinary committee found Jacobs guilty of assault. His party membership was suspended for 18 months. The sanction, however, was suspended for three years.

Read more on:    anc  |  faiez jacobs  |  cape town  |  politics

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