24 September 2017

South Africa: Assault Case Was Closed - Minister Molewa

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa on Sunday said a common assault case against her by her former husband had been closed, not quashed.

"He [her ex-husband] voluntarily submitted a withdrawal statement to the South African Police Service (SAPS) in 2015," said Molewa in a statement issued by her ministry.

"Not only was the matter fully investigated by the SAPS, but the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions declined to prosecute.

"The case was closed, and not quashed as the article tries to suggest," she added.

Molewa was reacting to a City Press newspaper article that detailed an affidavit related to a case of common assault which he previously laid against her.

Her husband, Richard Molewa, told the City Press that at the time, he had been approached by a senior police officer who told him a charge could not be made against a minister.

According to the newspaper, Gauteng Police spokesperson Kay Makhubela could not find the relevant case number in the system. However, an unnamed senior police source said that Richard Molewa had opened a case but then withdrew the charges.

Richard Molewa denied this to the newspaper.

The affidavit in question contained allegations that he had been chased around his kitchen by his wife's lover.

On Sunday, in her response, Molewa said that the article was based on "an attempted smear by someone with no reputation to speak of"

Molewa said that the allegation made by her former husband were "wholly devoid of substance".

She also noted the timing of the allegations in the article, saying that the report had emerged in the week their divorce was finalised.


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