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‘Black bitch’ insult not heard by Chief Magistrate

Publish date: 09 October 2019
Issue Number: 4799
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Category: general

Pietermaritzburg Chief Magistrate Mpho Evelyn Monyemore has testified that she believes that her colleague Divesh Mootheram spoke about her in an insulting way despite not hearing the actual words from him. The Witness reports the trial is being heard in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court before Magistrate Eric Vellem, who was brought in from the Eastern Cape to preside over the case. Monyemore said she first heard that Mootheram allegedly called her a ‘corrupt black bitch’, from another magistrate, ‘Mr Narayansamy’, who is now based out of the province. The utterances allegedly took place in April 2017. Monyemore only charged Mootheram in June that year. Monyemore was cross-examined at length by Advocate Shane Matthews, who suggested to her that she only laid the charges because Mootheram had complained to the Magistrates' Commission about her and another magistrate, Ashin Singh, in May 2017. The court has heard evidence that when Mootheram found out about this ‘breach’, he became angry and allegedly insulted Monyemore. This is what gave rise to him being charged. Monyemore denies she only charged Mootheram after he complained to the commission.

Full report in The Witness (subscription needed)