‘I’m very happy’: Norma Mngoma after charges provisionally withdrawn

Plans to sue

Norma Mngoma walked free from court on Friday. File photo.
Norma Mngoma walked free from court on Friday. File photo.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/The Sunday Times

The state has provisionally dropped all charges against Nomachule “Norma” Mngoma.

This comes after the docket and the high court judgment ruling her arrest unlawful was referred to the director of public prosecutions (DPP), as well as her legal team’s representations to the DPP.

Lumka Mahanjana, the National Prosecuting Authority's regional spokesperson, said the NPA took a decision to provisionally withdraw the charges of crimen injuria and malicious damage to property.

"The decision was taken in recognition of the High Court judgment which set aside Gigaba's warrant of arrest.

"The decision on whether or not to reinstate the matter will depend on the consideration of further representations of [Mngoma]."

The estranged wife for former cabinet minister Malusi Gigaba was arrested in July last year after allegedly damaging a Mercedes-Benz G Wagon that was being driven by him, by repeatedly scratching it. There was also an allegation, leading to a charge of crimen injuria, that she had sent an insulting text message to a friend of Gigaba’s.

She told eNCA outside court that she was very happy about the charges being dropped, saying it had been a long journey in a process that was “unfair” and an attempt to “humiliate” her and destroy her image.

Her lawyer said they are finalising papers to sue, saying: “The state must pay for what they have done to her.”

The high court recently ruled her arrest was unlawful. Pretoria judge Cassim Sardiwalla said the Hawks officers involved had “abused their powers and position” in the law enforcement agency. The aim was “presumably to avenge a wrong or perceived wrong” on the part of Gigaba.

It was not for any lawful purpose, Sardiwalla said.

The court order also declared the decision to confiscate her cellphones and laptops was unlawful and ordered the Hawks to return all the information unlawfully downloaded from them.

Police minister Bheki Cele and the Hawks have applied to appeal the high court ruling.

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