Send her to prison! Basetsana Kumalo wants court to send Jackie Phamotse to jail for criminal defamation

Basetsana and Romeo Kumalo. Picture: Instagram

Basetsana and Romeo Kumalo. Picture: Instagram

Published Mar 6, 2024


Media mogul Basetsana Kumalo has pleaded with the Randburg Magistrate Court to send author Jackie Phamotse behind bars for defamation.

The court found Phamotse guilty of criminal defamation, crimen injuria and contempt of court last year.

During the sentencing proceedings in court on Tuesday, Kumalo took to the stand to read out her victim impact statement. She said Phamotse’s defamatory comments had a devastating impact on her family.

She also told the court she had been to the court 51 times seeking justice.

In her statement, Kumalo pleaded with the court to give Phamotse direct imprisonment and detailed how the court case affected her family emotionally, mentally and financially.

Phamotse’s legal troubles began in 2018 when she claimed in a tweet that Romeo Kumalo had been engaging in sex with other men.

Kumalo told the court that Phamotse’s actions impacted her husband Romeo, her family, children, business and even forced them to move from Gauteng.

Kumalo explained how they could not stand to see the pain their children had been going through and because they want to provide their children - who are not public figures, a life of anonymity and peace of mind.

“My husband and I had always planned to stay in Gauteng until we retired and had our life here, but the crimes of Ms Phamotse had tainted it all and left us with no option but to try and make a new start.”

Kumalo also shared how Phamotse’s claims of the unfounded “sex-video” which was claimed to have been filmed in her home portrayed that they are parents with no morals.

Social standing affected

She recalled how her mother and father-in-law have had to live in shame and how it affected their interactions with extended family wanting to know what’s going on?

“We stopped being invited to family gatherings and social events. Business transactions which my husband and I were pursuing were suddenly called off and cancelled. Very few wanted to associate with us because of the lies that had been spread by Ms Phamotse.

"We lost a lot of family and friends at a very low time in our lives, and this also added to the emotional distress and trauma that we had already been going through," she said.

Basetsana detailed how Phamotse’s tweet portrayed her husband as a “paedophile” and herself as “a woman with no values” causing irreparable harm to their dignity.

Not only did Phamotse’s tweet attack the Kumalo’s moral standing but their positions as public figures affecting their income, while she benefited financially through her books.

Kumalo said the couple now lived in Cape Town, saying that she had been to court on at least 36 times, since the move and has had to carry all the costs attributed to being present in court.

“...I do believe that if the accused is not sentenced to direct imprisonment, she will continue her crimes against me and my family. She has already been found guilty of contempt of court and currently continues with her demeaning conduct towards me.”

Phamotse and the prosecution will present closing statements and the sentencing will take place on March 26.

IOL Entertainment