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File picture: Pexels

Family's concerns over relative's safety after 'abusive' husband gets bail

By Lungile Matsuma Time of article published Jan 17, 2020

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Johannesburg - The family of a woman who was allegedly strangled into a coma by her estranged husband is worried about her safety after the man was granted bail.

Nthabiseng Dikgale’s disappointed family say they need to come up with a plan to keep her safe after her estranged husband, Matome Jonas Dikgale was granted bail on Thursday.

After five months behind bars, Dikgale was granted R50 000 bail by the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.

He is facing six charges of violence. A case of attempted murder against him was withdrawn.

Nthabiseng’s sister, Monica Sitai, said her family were worried.

“We are disappointed. I WhatsApped her the judgment and she did not like it,” she said.

Sitai said they were expecting bail to be denied and would now have to find ways to protect Nthabiseng.

In his decision, magistrate Jan van den Heuvel said Matome should move to Limpopo to live with his family and have no contact with Nthabiseng.

If he had business in Gauteng, he had to inform the court and police station. He also had to arrange visitation rights for his two daughters through lawyers.

Matome was arrested in September last year for allegedly breaking a restraining order and strangling Nthabiseng, who was admitted to an intensive care unit.

In arguing for bail, his advocate Pet Pistorius told the court Matome needed to be released so he could sort out his business affairs. The 42-year-old is the owner of Lemmon Peel, a communication and marketing solutions company.

Matome’s family members attended the court hearing in red T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan, “Bail for Jonas”.

Nthabiseng’s supporters, including the ANC Women’s League members, wore T-shirts demanding “No to bail, no to violence”.

Matome’s family spokesperson Dumisani Mbatha said the judgment was fair.

“I am overjoyed,” Mbatha said.

He added that going forward the court will decide. “The case is still continuing. We hope the judge will make a good decision,” Mbatha said.

But a Nthabiseng supporter, Gugu Mofokeng, said the bail decision was disappointing.

“If our justice system fails like this, which women will speak out? Women will be staying in their abusive relationships ,” she added.

The estranged couple are in the middle of finalising their divorce after being married for 10 years. Nthabiseng has moved out of their marital house.

The case will resume next month. 

The Star

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