Peter-Paul Ngwenya's lawyer believes the State's case is weak

2018-06-27 17:22
Peter-Paul Ngwenya (Deon Raath, Netwerk24))

Peter-Paul Ngwenya (Deon Raath, Netwerk24))

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Businessman Peter-Paul Ngwenya has failed in his bid to have two witnesses, who were already cross-examined by the State, recalled to give evidence in a case in which he is accused of contravening a protection order obtained by Investec chairperson Fani Titi.

This emerged during Ngwenya's appearance in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, in which he is also charged with one count of crimen injuria.

The State has already closed its case and it was the defence's turn to present its version.

"The recall of the witnesses will help the court to arrive at a better decision. We make this request in the interest of justice and for the accused to have a fair trial," said defence lawyer Benny Buthelezi.


Prosecutor Yusuf Baba opposed the application.

"Recalling the witnesses means we have to reopen the State's case and reopen the cross-examination. All we have heard is the application, we have not heard anything convincing why the court should grant this application, and therefore, the court should oppose this application," he submitted.

Magistrate Pravina Rugoonandan dismissed the application on the basis that Buthelezi did not provide the court with concrete reasons to explain why they wanted to recall the witnesses.

"It is the court's view that the defence might have forgotten to cross-examine the two witnesses on certain issues. The application is therefore dismissed," she said in her brief ruling.  

Buthelezi then told the court that he intended filing an application in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act, in which he will essentially seek to have the charges dismissed.

"We believe that the State has a weak case and therefore the charges against my client should be dismissed. The State has not made its case," he said.  

'QwaQwa k****r'

News24 previously reported that Ngwenya, who spent almost five years on Robben Island during apartheid, faced a charge of crimen injuria after he allegedly called Titi a k****r in a text message meant for Titi's business partner Aqueel Patel.

According to a TimesLive report, Ngwenya stormed into Titi's business premises and threatened to kill him and his business associates.

Titi then reportedly obtained a protection order, which prohibited Ngwenya from making direct or indirect contact with him.

Titi and Ngwenya were friends for 20 years, but the relationship fell apart when a business deal went south.

According to Ngwenya, Titi owes him almost R54m. The conflict ultimately resulted in Ngwenya calling Titi a "QwaQwa k****r" and a "Bantustan boss" in an SMS.

The matter was postponed for arguments to 10:00 on Thursday.

Read more on:    racism  |  courts

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