Court finds Hawks arrest of Norma Mngoma unlawful

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Norma Gigaba reacts inside the North Gauteng High Court.
Norma Gigaba reacts inside the North Gauteng High Court.
Phill Magakoe, Gallo Images
  • Norma Mngoma was arrested by the Hawks last July on charges of malicious damage to property and crimen injuria.
  • Her lawyer, advocate Dali Mpofu, argued that another motive for her arrest was to "punish her" for daring to confront her husband, Malusi Gigaba.
  • The High Court also ruled that information on her electronic devices be restored.

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ruled that the warrant of arrest for Norma Mngoma and its execution by the Hawks was unlawful.

Judge Cassim Sardiwalla - in a lengthy judgment handed down on Thursday - made the following order:

  • Norma Mngoma's application is granted on an urgent basis.
  • The decision to apply for the warrant of arrest is unlawful.
  • The decision of Hawks officials to execute the warrant of arrest is unlawful.

In addition, the court ordered that the confiscation of her information and communication technology equipment was unlawful and as a result the Hawks have been ordered to restore all information unlawfully removed from her equipment.

Lastly, the Hawks were directed to return the information which was downloaded from her electronic gadgets.

This comes after Mngoma challenged her arrest by the Hawks in the High Court, arguing that it was nothing more than a "favour for her husband", former finance minister Malusi Gigaba.

The court previously heard that, in addition to contending that Mngoma was arrested as part of an unlawful scheme by the Hawks to seize her devices and delete material from them, her advocate Dali Mpofu, argued that "another motive might have been to punish [her]" or to "teach her a lesson" for daring to confront him and his questionable "friends who apparently aided and abetted his nefarious activities in all spheres", News24 reported.

Meanwhile, Hawks advocate Dawie Joubert argued that there was "no justification" for her to turn to an urgent civil court to challenge the pending criminal case against her, before the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

The former minister's wife was arrested by the Hawks in July 2020 on charges of malicious damage to property and crimen injuria.

The two are not divorced however Mngoma opted to drop her married surname for her maiden surname, shortly after the arrest.

It is unclear how this decision would impact her prosecution before the magistrate's court. She is due back in the said court on Friday.

Norma's lawyer, Victor Nkwashu told News24 on Thursday that they would give "full comment on the judgement tomorrow at the Magistrate's Court".

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