Independent Online

Monday, December 11, 2023

View 0 recent articles pushed to you.Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by location

Media mogul Kumalo relieved after a ruling against author Phamotse

Basetsana Kumalo and her husband Romeo Kumalo, cruelly embarrassed by sexual allegations on social media. | Instagram

Basetsana Kumalo and her husband Romeo Kumalo, cruelly embarrassed by sexual allegations on social media. | Instagram

Published Sep 20, 2023


Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed the judgment that found famous author Jackie Phamotse guilty of defamation and crimen injuria after a five-year legal tussle between the author and former Miss SA Basetsana Kumalo.

Kumalo reacted with relief following the judgment by Magistrate S Naidoo, who found the author guilty of crimen injuria, criminal defamation and contempt of court at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Naidoo ruled that under cross-examination, Phamotse’s version surrounding the circumstances that saw her publish controversial tweets in June 2021 was unlikely to be true, and that she was aware that it was harmful to Kumalo’s and her husband Romeo Kumalo’s reputation.

Reacting to the news, Kumalo said the judgment has seen her family torn apart by the 2018 tweet by Phamotse, who had indicated that her husband was involved in sexual relations with other men.

"This unprecedented judgment is for my children, who were forced to live in shame for the past five years, and also for my parents’ legacy. Today, I want to thank everybody who has been supportive," the former Miss SA said outside court.

The latest judgment stems from a tweet recorded on June 5, 2018, in which the author tweeted that she had overheard a conversation between a businesswoman and one of her friends about a video depicting her husband engaging in sexual activity with another man. When her followers linked the tweet with the Kumalos, Phamotse responded with a laughing emoji and said, "I love it" and did not deny it.

According to the NPA, Romeo Kumalo testified that the tweet was deeply hurtful; it caused enormous irreparable damage to his reputation and that of his business, while his wife testified in court that the tweet made her feel raw, attacked, violated, and insulted.

"Basetsana approached the harassment court and was granted a protection order against Phamotse, but that didn’t stop Phamotse’s onslaught," said NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane yesterday.

Mjonondwane said the accused had gone further with her onslaught on the Kumalos when, on February 22, 2019, she published a book titled I Tweet What I Like, So Sue Me, in which she violated the protection order against her.

In his arguments, senior public prosecutor Yusuf Baba argued that the actions of the accused had no regard to the complainants’ rights to a good name, privacy, and dignity. He further stated that her actions were intentionally aimed at injuring the reputation of the Kumalos.

"The NPA welcomes the judgment and hopes that it will serve to educate the public about the repercussions of using social media irresponsibly. Many people fall victim to cyber-bullying, and the judgment serves to empower the prosecution in its fight against such crimes," Mjonondwane added.

Attempts to get a comment from Phamotse were unsuccessful at the time of publication.

The Star

Related Topics:

NPACrime and courts