PORT ELIZABETH, October 4 – A former Democratic Alliance (DA) activist convicted of defaming former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip had her sentencing proceedings postponed in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Nontuthuzelo Jack, 47, was convicted of crimen injuria and defamation after she claimed Trollip had offered her a bribe to “dig up dirt” on former DA provincial chairperson Veliswa Mvenya.
Her claims were published in a local newspaper in the run-up to the municipal elections in 2016.
Magistrate Pumla Sibiya accepted as true, the evidence before the court that Trollip was in Port Alfred during the time he was alleged to have bribed Jack. The court found that allegations that Trollip used a friend’s light aircraft to fly to Port Elizabeth were baseless and had no merit.
During pre-sentencing proceedings on Thursday, a new lawyer Simphiwe Jacobs represented Jack as a stand-in.
Jacobs said the defence would accept the court’s decision on sentencing, however direct imprisonment was not an option.
“We hope the court brings justice to the matter. Direct imprisonment is not an option and that is our appeal to the court,” said Jacobs.
The defence said that Jack had only completed grade 10, was unemployed and received a social grant for her four minor children.
It further emerged that Jack has a previous conviction of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
She received a suspended sentenced for the conviction in 1996.
The matter was postponed after the court requested a report by a probation officer and social worker.
Pre-sentencing proceedings will continue again on November 15.
-African News Agency (ANA)