Peter-Paul Ngwenya to ask for discharge in his k-word case

Investec CEO Fani Titi has brought a crimen injuria case against former partner Peter-Paul Ngwenya.
Investec CEO Fani Titi has brought a crimen injuria case against former partner Peter-Paul Ngwenya.
Image: Robert Tshabalala

Businessman Peter-Paul Ngwenya‚ who is facing a charge of crimen injuria for allegedly calling Investec CEO designate Fani Titi the k-word‚ will on Thursday apply to be discharged.

Ngwenya’s advocate‚ Benny Buthelezi‚ told the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday that Ngwenya would bring the application in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

The section provides for the accused to be discharged if‚ at the close of the case for the prosecution‚ the court is of the opinion that there is no evidence that the accused committed the offence referred to in the charge sheet‚ or it may return a verdict of not guilty.

Buthelezi indicated this course of action after magistrate Pravina Rugoonandan earlier on Wednesday dismissed the defence’s application to ask the prosecution to reopen the case so that Buthelezi could recall two state witnesses to re-examine them.

Rugoonandan said the court must decide whether the defence’s failure during the initial cross-examination was sufficient for the court to reopen the state’s case.

She said the defence forgot to re-examine the witnesses on certain aspects and this did not warrant the reopening of the state’s case and recalling of witnesses.

The application for Ngwenya’s discharge will be heard on Thursday morning.

If the court refuses to discharge him‚ he may either begin his defence or close his case.

Ngwenya‚ who spent almost five years on Robben Island‚ is on trial for allegedly using racist and threatening language against Titi in a SMS sent to another businessman.

The conflict between Ngwenya and Titi‚ who had been friends for 20 years‚ stems from a multimillion-rand deal that went sour.

Ngwenya claims that Titi owes him close to R54-million. According to Titi's team‚ Ngwenya wanted money from dividends paid into a personal account instead of those of a company of which Ngwenya was an ordinary shareholder.

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