The medical doctor who examined the VIP protection officer who is accusing the wife of Deputy Minister of Higher Education Buti Manamela of assaulting her when she was pregnant, has testified that he has seen the injuries she sustained during the alleged attack.
This is contained in the heads of arguments the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) submitted to the Joburg magistrate’s court to oppose Manamela’s wife, Nomvuyo Mhlakaza-Manamela’s section 174 application to acquit her from the cases of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and crimen injuria opened against her by the officer, Lizzy Mojapelo.
In her testimony, argued the NPA, Mojapelo said Mhlakaza-Manamela arrived at her home, where she was posted, from a party and parked outside the gate.
She hooted with the car’s lights shining bright, while in the company of the deputy minister.
Mojapelo said she did not immediately open the gate because it was dark since it was during loadshedding, but waited to see if indeed the car was coming to the house she was protecting.
She also testified that upon opening the gate for the couple, she entered the yard dancing and holding two bottles of Vodka.
Mhlakaza-Manamela then tried to gain entry into the house but struggled to open the sliding door. She approached the guardhouse, where Mojapelo was recording their arrival in her occurrence book.
“The accused banged the window and when the complainant asked her how she could help her, a conflict started. The accused felt offended by the question and asked the complainant who she thinks she is and why she is addressing her improperly in her house.
“The accused then insulted the complainant by calling her a ‘rubbish’ and poking her before assaulting her by punching her in the face and then pushing her with her body and then jumping on top of her, causing her to fall on top of the chairs,” reads the argument.
After the alleged attack, Mojapelo testified that she suffered bruises to the face and body.
She further testified that when she got home that morning, she bled from her vagina.
“Because of these injuries, the complainant went to a Dr Ngobeni, who then discovered that she is pregnant after he ran a urine test. The complainant had not been aware that she was pregnant, she had only suspected because her periods were late,” reads the argument.
The NPA said Ngobeni testified in his evidence that Mojapelo arrived at his surgery on March 2, 2021 for medical attention after the alleged incident.
“He testified that she had bruises on the cheek and on the body. He recorded his findings on the J88 [form], which he completed under oath. The J88 was submitted as evidence and marked as an exhibit.
The doctor described the injuries he observed on the complainant on that day as between acute and sub-acute. He testified that the injuries were fresh.
“The complainant was assaulted the previous day by the accused, therefore the injuries which she suffered were still very fresh hence the doctor correctly concluded that they were acute,” argued the NPA.
Ngobeni, argued the NPA, further testified that because Mojapelo had complained about vaginal bleeding, he had to run pregnancy tests on her as per the standard procedure.
The NPA also argued that three witnesses , who were Mojapelo’s bosses, were called to testify and provided context of what had happened.
They all testified that they were not present during the alleged assault and crimen injuria, however, argued the NPA, the complainant, contacted and informed them about the incident shortly after it took place.
“All three witnesses testified that they did not observe any injuries on the complainant, the key being that none of them bothered to make such an observation because the complainant did not indicate to them that she was injured,” argued the NPA.
At this stage of the case, argued the NPA, the state submits that the defence has a case to answer.
“The state submits that the complainant has told the truth to this court. Even her superiors/commanders at work testified that from the start she had been consistent in maintaining the fact that the accused had assaulted and insulted her.
“The defence have (sic) a case to answer, the S174 application should be dismissed and the case moves on to defence case,” argued the NPA.
NPA South Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane confirmed that Mhlakaza-Manamela had applied for an acquittal and they were opposing it. The court will make a decision, she said, when the case resumes on October 31.
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