Pretoria – Judgment was reserved in the urgent application brought by Norma Mngoma, the estranged wife of Malusi Gigaba, in which she is asking for her arrest and subsequent prosecution to be declared unlawful.
Mngoma turned to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, on an urgent basis with the formidable team of advocates Dali Mpofu and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi arguing her case.
She was arrested at the end of July at the Waterkloof home she shared with her former minister husband following claims that she, among others, had damaged a luxury car by scratching it. She was detained overnight in a police cell before she was granted R5 000 bail.
She briefly appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of assault and malicious damage to property and the case was postponed to October 23.
Her gadgets, such as cellphones, a laptop and other devices were confiscated by members of the Hawks about a week before her arrest.
While they have handed the devices back, it is claimed they had downloaded personal information which were contained on the devices.
Six disks, apparently containing this information, forms part of the case dockets in the criminal case against her. They also form part of her urgent application, as Mngoma wants to have access to the disks to see what exactly was downloaded.
In arguing that the matter is urgent, Mpofu said they have tried in vain to obtain these disks from the Hawks and the prosecution.
“Here is a woman whose entire personal life is sitting in the State’s hands… all because of a damaged car,” he said.
He called the actions by the Mpumalanga branch of the Hawks “fruit of a poison tree”. He argued that as in the case of Collins Khoza, who was allegedly killed by armed forces during the lockdown, this court must also declare the conduct of the officials involved unlawful.
Advocate Dawie Joubert argued on behalf of the Hawks that the matter was not urgent as Mngoma could request from the prosecution to be handed the disks she wanted. He said while her arrest was lawful, it is no use to try to overturn it now, as “the horse has bolted” and her criminal trial must take its course.
Ngcukaitobi, during his argument, however, said there was a “double agenda here.” He questioned why her personal space was invaded and her gadgets taken.
He also questioned that if the “priority crime” here, according to the Hawks, was conspiracy to murder Gigaba, why did the Hawks not state in their court papers that “this priority crime” involved Mngoma.
Ngcukaitobi said Mngoma should have been investigated by the police on the malicious damage to property and crimen injuria charges, and never by the Hawks.