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Ma Ntuli extortion accused to plead

Durban - A Tanzanian national accused of threatening one of Jacob Zuma's wives is set to plead guilty to crimen injuria, the Durban Magistrate's court heard on Thursday.

Steven John Masunga, who had previously been charged with trying to intimidate Zuma's wife Nompumelelo Ntuli -- commonly known as MaNtuli --appeared briefly in the court before the matter was postponed to April 29.

Tanzanian Steven Masunga is accused of trying to blackmail the wife of President Jacob Zuma, Nompumelelo MaNtuli Zuma. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Prosecutor Blackie Swart told Magistrate Vanitha Armu that Masunga would plead guilty to the charge of crimen injuria but the plea had to be heard in another court and statements had to be obtained.

Masunga originally appeared in the Camperdown Magistrate's Court after he was arrested in January.

It had been alleged at the time that Masunga had tried to force MaNtuli to arrange a business meeting for him with Zuma.

However, Masunga had complained that it was Ntuli who had threatened him and prompted him to lodge a complaint with KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Betty Mmamonnye Ngobeni.

During his bail hearing the court heard from Brigadier Clifford Marion that Masunga threatened Ntuli with a claim that Zuma was not the father of one of her children.

However, Masunga told the court he was arrested only after he had complained to KwaZulu-Natal's top cop that Ntuli was threatening him.

On April 17, the Camperdown Magistrate's Court was told that the deputy director of public prosecutions had decided not to proceed with the intimidation charges but with a charge of crimen injuria.

Crimen injuria is a South African common law crime defined as injuring, insulting and/or impairing the dignity of a person.

Masunga remains in custody.

Sapa

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