Peter-Paul Ngwenya's sentencing for use of k-word postponed

Peter-Paul Ngwenya, seen here with his legal representative, is facing a crimen injuria case after he called former business partner Fani Titi the k-word
Peter-Paul Ngwenya, seen here with his legal representative, is facing a crimen injuria case after he called former business partner Fani Titi the k-word
Image: Thulani Mbele

The sentencing of businessman Peter-Paul Ngwenya has been postponed due to the unavailability of his lawyer.

Ngwenya made a brief appearance in the Randburg magistrate’s court on Tuesday where he was facing two counts of contravening a protection order and one count of crimen injuria.

Prosecutor Yusuf Baba told the court that sentencing could not start on the day as Ngwenya’s lawyer, Nqabayethu Buthelezi,  is representing former South African Airways (SAA) chairperson Dudu Myeni in another matter at the high court in Pretoria.

“The matter is expected to take about five weeks,” Baba told the court.

Ngwenya's case was then postponed to March 24.

Ngwenya was found guilty of crimen injuria last year. He was accused of calling his long-time friend Fani Titi a “k***r” and “Bantustan boss” in a text message. The message was intended for Aqeel Patel, the managing director of MRC Media. He was acquitted on the two counts of contravening protection orders.

In the same text message, Ngwenya told Patel “you will bleed” and that Titi “will see his mother”. Titi regarded this as a threat to his life as Ngwenya knew his mother had died.

The conflict between Ngwenya and Titi, who had been friends for 20 years, stemmed from a multimillion-rand deal.

Ngwenya argued through his lawyers that the k-word only became offensive when it was used by a white person to a black person.

But, magistrate Pravina Raghoonandan said Ngwenya had a history of contributing to the Struggle against apartheid. Therefore, she said, he should have known that the use of the k-word amounted to hate speech and would impair Titi’s dignity.

Ngwenya spent five years on Robben Island during apartheid.

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