The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has expressed satisfaction with the verdict in the long-standing legal dispute between author Jackie Phamotse and former Miss South Africa Basetsana Kumalo, where Phamotse was found guilty of defamation and crimen injuria.
Magistrate S. Naidoo delivered the judgment at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, stating that Phamotse’s account of events leading to her controversial tweets in June 2021 was unlikely to be true as reported by DFA. Naidoo also noted that Phamotse was aware of the harm her tweets caused to Kumalo and her husband Romeo Kumalo’s reputation.
Basetsana Kumalo, in response to the verdict, expressed relief and stated that the judgment was a significant moment for her family, especially her children, who had endured years of shame due to Phamotse’s 2018 tweet. Kumalo thanked her supporters outside the court and acknowledged the impact of the judgment on her parents’ legacy.
The case stemmed from a tweet posted on June 5, 2018, in which Phamotse claimed to have overheard a conversation about a video depicting Romeo Kumalo engaging in sexual activity with another man. Phamotse’s response to her followers linking the tweet to the Kumalos exacerbated the situation.
Both Romeo Kumalo and Basetsana Kumalo testified that the tweet had severely damaged their reputations and businesses. Despite obtaining a protection order against Phamotse, she continued her attacks, including publishing a book violating the order.
Senior public prosecutor Yusuf Baba argued that Phamotse’s actions showed a disregard for the Kumalos’ rights to a good name, privacy, and dignity. He emphasized that her actions were intentionally aimed at damaging their reputation.
The NPA welcomed the judgment, highlighting its importance in raising awareness of the consequences of irresponsible social media use and its potential to empower the prosecution in combating cyberbullying and similar offences.
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Photo: Facebook / @ Basetsana Kumalo