Lawyer shifts focus to Ngwenya’s distress in crimen injuria case
The politically connected businessman faces a charge of crimen injuria for a racial expletive against Fani Titi
Politically connected businessman Peter-Paul Ngwenya had waited "patiently" for his money and had become "agitated" when his business associates refused to pay him‚ the Randburg Magistrate’s Court heard on Tuesday.
"He waited patiently for his money‚" Ngwenya’s lawyer‚ Bevin Ndebele‚ said‚ adding that Ngwenya’s business associates’ "conduct to ignore the accused and failure to pay him resulted in him being agitated".
Ngwenya‚ who spent almost five years on Robben Island‚ is on trial on a charge of crimen injuria for calling his friend and former business associate Fani Titi a k****r in an SMS.
In the same SMS‚ Ngwenya tells Aqeel Patel‚ the MD of MRC Media‚ that "you will bleed" and that Titi "will see his mother"‚ which Titi regarded as a threat to his life since Ngwenya knew his mother had died.
The conflict between Ngwenya and Titi‚ who had been friends for 20 years‚ stems from a multimillion-rand deal that went sour. Ngwenya claims that Titi owes him close to R54m.
It degenerated when Ngwenya called Free State-born Titi a "Qwaqwa k****r" and a "bantustan boss" in an SMS intended for Patel.
Patel earlier told the court that Ngwenya had stormed into his business premises demanding that dividends due to Columbia‚ a company of which he was an ordinary shareholder‚ be paid into his personal account. Patel said when he was told that Ngwenya was in an aggressive mood‚ he was left with no choice but to pay the money directly into his account even though it was to be paid into Columbia’s account.
Patel said he was also informed Ngwenya had said he would kill him and Titi if he did not get his money.
Ngwenya had apparently referred to them as dogs.
Ndebele told the court that his client would deny he had made such utterances. "The accused will say he did not say he will kill these dogs if he did not get his money."
The case continues.