The Randburg Magistrate’s Court has found that a businessman’s use of the k-word against his fellow African citizen is “not part of the culture”.
“The use of the word is hate speech.
“It cannot be accepted that it is part of the culture, irrespective of race,” Magistrate Pravina Raghoonandan said in a judgment on Thursday.
She was delivering the judgment in a case involving a dispute between businessman Peter Paul Ngwenya and his friend of 20-years, Fani Titi. Ngwenya claimed that Titi owed him R52 million, which Titi’s lawyers disputed.
Ngwenya claimed it was the culture of black people to use the word among themselves, Daily Dispatch previously reported.
This ultimately resulted in Ngwenya not only calling Titi a “QwaQwa k****r”, but also a “bantustan boss” in a text message.
The message was sent to Titi but was apparently meant for Titi’s business partner, Aqueel Patel.
The court previously heard that the k-word made Titi feel dehumanised because of its historical context.
Prosecutor Yusuf Baba previously argued that Ngwenya clearly understood that he had committed crimen injuria when he impaired another person’s dignity, News24 reported.
The court earlier heard that Ngwenya reportedly stormed into Titi’s business premises and threatened to kill him and his business associates.
Titi reportedly obtained a protection order in October 2016, which prohibited Ngwenya from making direct or indirect contact with him, News24 earlier reported.
The matter was taken to the Randburg Magistrate’s Court where Ngwenya, who spent almost five years on Robben Island during apartheid, faced three charges, including harassment and crimen injuria.
On Thursday, he was found guilty of crimen injuria and acquitted of two counts relating to alleged harassment and the contravention of the protection order.
Ngwenya’s legal team intend to appeal the conviction, citing that the magistrate “used the principles of hate speech to convict Ngwenya of crimen injuria”.
His bail has been extended.
Update: An earlier version of this article suggested Titi owed R52 million to Ngwenya, instead of making it clear this is only Ngwenya’s claim.