NPA looking into 'old' abuse case against Mkhari

Media mogul Given Mkhari and his wife Ipeleng exit the Randburg Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg after the pair laid assault charges against each other following an alleged fight at the weekend.
Media mogul Given Mkhari and his wife Ipeleng exit the Randburg Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg after the pair laid assault charges against each other following an alleged fight at the weekend.
Image: Alaister Russell

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has ordered police to investigate another alleged domestic violence case against media mogul Given Mkhari.

Mkhari, the boss of PowerFM, and his businesswoman wife, Ipeleng, laid charges against each other following an alleged violent dispute in their Johannesburg home on Saturday.

A source close to the couple claimed there was a family gathering on Saturday at their Bryanston house before the alleged assault.

Although the assault cases were provisionally withdrawn at the Randburg
Magistrate's Court yesterday, the docket was returned to police with instructions to
investigate another alleged previous
assault case.

Sowetan has learnt that the instruction came after the NPA was alerted to a similar domestic violence case, allegedly laid against Mkhari by his wife at the Douglasdale police station.

NPA spokeswoman Phindi Mjonondwane confirmed there was "new information" which the prosecuting body would like police to get to the bottom of.

"It does not mean this matter is over as there's new information that has surfaced which the NPA would like police to investigate further," Mjonondwane said yesterday.

Mjonondwane said once police had investigated as per the NPA's directive, the docket would be returned for a decision by the director of public prosecutions.

Ipeleng's lawyer, Mfana Gwala, denied his client had ever laid a case against Mkhari at the Douglasdale police station.

"It's within the NPA's right [to ask police to investigate anything] but from where we are, my client can confirm that there's no such a thing, there's no pending matter or any case ever laid against Given," Gwala said.

The Mkharis, who were both arrested on Sunday, released a statement ahead of their court appearance indicating they were withdrawing the charges against each other as they wanted to "resolve the matter at home".

However, withdrawing the charges proved to be an uphill battle as the Mkharis needed two back-to-back court appearances in the space of about an hour, which only got them a provisional withdrawal.

Mkhari and Ipeleng, the founder of Motseng Investment Holdings, did not even speak to each other inside Court 3, where they were seated more than a metre from each other.

Prosecutor Marike Kersop contested the withdrawal of the charges, telling the court that the docket had been perused by a senior prosecutor who found clear prima facie evidence for the state to prosecute.

Kersop said the docket had indicated that there were serious injuries suffered by Ipeleng to the eye, chest and hand.

"The withdrawal statements [submitted] were saying 'we will withdraw the matter...' but it does not indicate steps to resolve the matter," Kersop said.

Gwala, however, argued that the couple had been married for 16 years and had chosen other means to resolve a domestic matter.

"I don't know if we need to get into the sensitive details," he added.

Mkhari's lawyer, Mark Pienaar, also chipped in, saying both parties have filed withdrawal statements as they wanted other means of resolving the matter.

Magistrate Lizelle Davids told Mkhari he should put together "a proper withdrawal statement" which indicated steps to be taken to resolve the matter.

Davids then stood the matter down
before the parties were back in court after about an hour, when it was provisionally withdrawn.

Mkhari refused to speak to the media, only saying: "We said in a statement that we will resolve this matter at home, please respect that."

X