A former Democratic Alliance (DA) activist accused of making defamatory allegations against Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip did not pitch up for the case against her in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Nontuthuzelo Jack, 47, is facing a charge of criminal defamation. She stands accused of defaming Trollip by claiming he had offered her a bribe to “dig up dirt” on DA provincial chairwoman Veliswa Mvenya.
Last month, Jack was also not at court due to a fractured leg and the court was supplied with a medical certificate. The case was postponed accordingly and a warrant of arrest was issued but held over until her next court date when the trial against her was expected to get under way.
On Monday, a family member was sent to court and indicated that Jack was not fit to attend. But the prosecution wanted proof that Jack was unable to attend court proceedings because a doctor had only booked her off until March 3.
According to the charge sheet, Jack is facing a charge of criminal defamation for falsely accusing Trollip of having offered her money in exchange for working in his faction, digging up dirt on Mvenya, and adding her name to the DA’s candidate list for the 2016 municipal elections.
Jack made the claims to a newspaper and they were published last year in the run-up to the 2016 municipal elections.
The alleged offence was committed at a time when the party was campaigning and identifying its candidates for party and public positions.
The charge sheet states that both Jack and Trollip aspired to hold such positions.
“The accused, whether to improve her own chances for selection, or whether to diminish Trollip’s, proceeded to repeatedly publish, or caused to be published, false and defamatory allegations of Trollip having attempted to bribe her with cash in turn for undue favours.”
According to court documents, Jack also deposed to an affidavit containing false accusations and forwarded it to the DA federal executive chairman, MP James Selfe.
Selfe is responsible for investigating the party’s legal affairs and disputes between members.
The court case was postponed until March 8.