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Judgement expected end of September in Trollip 'bribe' case

By Afikile Lugunya - Aug 20, 2018
Judgement expected end of September in Trollip 'bribe' case

Judgement is expected at the end of September in the case of a former Democratic Alliance (DA) activist, Nontuthuzelo Jack, who claimed that Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, paid her a bribe so that she can dig up dirt on his then political rival, Mveliswa Mveya, who was the DA's Eastern Cape chairperson.

In her testimony, Jack contradicted herself under oath, about how she allegedly got bribed, leaving her attorney to ask the Magistrate to find some truth somewhere in what she was saying.

Jack appeared before Magistrate Phumla Sibiya on Friday.

State Prosecutor, Jamari du Toit, stated reasons why she must be found guilty of crimen injuria as well as perjury.

"There is no truth in what the defence is saying and if found guilty, she will also be charged for perjury," du Toit described.

Jack made her claims on an article published in an East London-based newspaper in March 2016 - before Trollip was elected a Mayor.

Du Toit argued that at the time of publication, Trollip was running for a mayoral position, which damaged him because it not only appeared in the newspaper, but it also went viral on social media.

Trollip testified that he was in Port Alfred and at church with his wife at the time Jack claims they met and the R2 000 bribe was made.

The Mayor also provided photos to the court as proof, which means that "it was impossible for him to be in Port Elizabeth, bribing Mrs Jack while in Port Alfred at the time."

The church's Pastor, who the State says is a credible witness, was also called to testify.

The Pastor confirmed that indeed Trollip and his wife were in church at the time that Jack claims she met with Trollip in PE.

Mrs Trollip also testified, confirming that they were in Port Alfred from Friday to Sunday that weekend.

During the course of the trial, Jack changed the time that she claims Trollip called her.

Du Toit argued that the reason why she changed the time was because she saw that she was being put in a corner.

Phone records produced by du Toit show that there were no phone calls made by Trollip to Jack during that weekend.

The State said that the four witnesses that were called to the stand in defence of Trollip were credible as they did not contradict each other during cross-examination.

"It was impossible that Trollip would have been in church same time and be in PE bribing Mrs Jack, James Selfe also confirmed that," du Toit said.

She added that Jack knew it was unlawful to publish the article, but the main reason was to damage Trollip's name.

She further argued that Jack was desperate for the story to be true that she even wrote a letter to Selfe knowing that Trollip would be investigated.

Defence attorney, Eric Skepe, also confirmed to the court that "it is indeed true that there are contradictions in the case".

Apparently Mvenya, as the defence witness, confirmed Jack's story and Skepe asked Magistrate Sibiya to consider that there is some truth in the story because it was confirmed.

Mvenya has since left the DA.

Skepe added that "Trollip is powerful and resourceful" therefore it was possible that he used an aeroplane to fly to PE and quickly ent back to Port Alfred."

Magistrate's Sibiya postponed the matter to the 28th of September to make her judgement.