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Court finds ANC's Jacobs not guilty of colleague's assault

Crime & Courts
Cape Town – The ANC’s Western Cape secretary Faiez Jacobs has been found not guilty of assaulting his policy co-ordinator Wesley Seale.

Jacobs had asked the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court to discharge him, arguing that the State “had no basis” to convict him.

“The court is of the opinion that the State’s case at this stage is of such a poor nature and therefore the application is granted,” concurred Magistrate Alta le Roux, saying Seale’s single testimony did not hold enough weight to warrant a conviction.

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Faiez Jacobs, ANC Western Cape secretary, was discharged at Cape Town Magistrates' Court. Picture: Michael Walker

Seale’s bloodied face popped up on Facebook in November 2015.

Wesley Seale's bloodied face appeared on Facebook. Picture: Facebook

A caption with the picture claimed that Jacobs had punched him off a chair then repeatedly kicked him in his abdomen and face while he was lying on the floor.

The incident happened in Jacobs' office at Sahara House.

Seale testified that while Jacobs assaulted him, he kept on shouting: “Jy vat my lankal vir ‘* * **i”.

He had told Jacobs he hadn’t had time to write a report, and that he was actually helping him out because it wasn’t in his job description.

According to Jacobs’ version of events, he used his right hand to hit Seale away from him in defence, after Seale poked him in the chest.

He claimed he raised his leg to “ward off” Seale.

Le Roux said Seale had claimed he was seriously assaulted, but according to a medical report he only had a laceration behind his ear.

“If a person kicked another person hard a couple of times with a booted foot, one would expect at least some bruising,” she said.

The testimony of the witnesses who later entered Jacobs’ office also did not corroborate Seale’s version.

Outside the courthouse, Jacobs said he was “relieved" at the outcome and could now concentrate on his work, but had no further comment.

Jacobs was found guilty by his own party’s disciplinary committee for the incident and suspended for 18 months.

His sentence was, however, suspended for three years on condition that he not be found guilty for any incident of misconduct during this period.

Shortly after the incident at Sahara House, Seale resigned from his position and now teaches political science at Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape.

Speaking to the Daily Voice on Tuesday, he said: “Following the outcome of the court proceedings, I wish to state that I respect the outcome of the court."

“However, I feel for those workers who will continue to have to work with him [Jacobs].”

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