Mthandeni Ngidi speaks to the media outside the Durban Regional Court after he was given a suspended sentence for assaulting his lover. Photo: The Mercury


Durban - A Durban man, who was severely beaten up at his plush Morningside home by his former lover, says he never wants to see the man again.

Stuart Grant, a financial director, on Monday testified in the trial of his former partner Mthandeni Ngidi in the Durban Regional Court.

Ngidi was charged with attempted murder, fraud and theft related to the incident in December last year. Grant was assaulted with a hammer and throttled by Ngidi at the home they shared on December 26.

His arm was fractured, he had a cut on his head and bruises on his body.

The fraud charge related to R8 000 Ngidi used from Grant’s credit card account to pay his tuition fees.

Ngidi also faced a charge for theft after Grant’s Mercedes-Benz was removed from OR Tambo airport in Joburg on December 31. Ngidi crashed the car in Estcourt while he was driving it back to Durban.

Magistrate Anand Maharaj handed Ngidi a five-year jail term – wholly suspended for five years – on condition he was not found guilty of assault or attempted murder in that period.

He found Ngidi guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm but not attempted murder because he said the State had not proved Ngidi had intended to kill Grant.

“The charge is not borne out by the injuries and the original statement taken from the complainant (Grant) was for an assault case.”

He also found Ngidi guilty of unauthorised borrowing and not theft as he said Ngidi had contacted Grant after he had crashed the Mercedes-Benz.

“If he had stolen the vehicle, he would not have phoned to say he needed assistance. He would have abandoned it.”

He acquitted Ngidi of the fraud charge due to insufficient evidence.

In aggravation of sentence, Grant said the incident had been “traumatic” and he was selling his Morningside home.

He said he had obtained a protection order against Ngidi and would give him his half of an Umlazi property they co-owned because he wanted nothing more to do with him.

Grant said his relationship with Ngidi had been terminated long before the assault, but he had allowed him to stay in the home, gave him an allowance and bought him gifts because they were still friends.

During mitigation of sentence, Ngidi’s advocate Fanie Slabbert said his client’s business Hlobane Waste Management Services had suffered due to him being kept in jail. Ngidi was refused bail because Grant had opposed his bail application, saying he felt threatened.

Ngidi also lost a R100 000 grant as a finalist in the SAB KickStart youth entrepreneurship development programme, due to him being in prison.

Maharaj said the suspended sentence was a sufficient deterrent because Ngidi had already spent seven months in custody.

“The court finds you truly remorseful

. You had no right to act violently but even intelligent people behave stupidly when there’s jealousy and fear.”

The Mercury