The assault case against Oscar Ngobeni was postponed to Friday in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court after his lawyer failed to pitch.
Ngobeni allegedly beat his 34-year-old ex-girlfriend Palesa Mothokwa to a pulp in December after following her to her workplace.
She tried to close the gate to the store where she works, but Ngobeni pushed his way in and began to beat her in the store’s entrance. The incident was caught on CCTV camera.
He was charged with one count of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and was later released on bail.
According to Mothokwa, Ngobeni had been stalking her and had even broke her phone in another fit of rage.
The court on Monday advised Ngobeni to “straighten things” with his lawyer or request a state attorney. The court was expecting to hear from the defence lawyer after he requested to scrutinise the footage of the incident.
Mothokwa said she was disappointed that the court had to postpone the case again. Ngobeni had suggested through his lawyer that they settle out of court, she added.
“I don’t think he [Ngobeni] was honest with the court today. This is another delaying tactic from them. We are ready for trial, but the defence doesn’t seem to want the case to continue.”
“The lawyer called the prosecutor on Friday, asking that we talk out the matter ourselves without the court’s involvement… I agreed with the prosecutor that the trial must proceed. I am not doing this for myself only, I am also representing all the women who face abuse in this country,” she told The Citizen.
Groups of Mothokwa’s supporters held placards outside the court, calling for an end to gender-based violence.
The Gauteng Department of Community Safety, which sent representatives to the court hearing, said it was monitoring the case.
“Gauteng Community Safety gender-based violence brigades are out in full force to offer support to Palesa by picketing outside the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court to raise awareness on the impact of gender-based violence and femicide.
“The department has adopted a 365 days integrated plan of action to deal with violence perpetrated against women and children.”