Basetsana Kumalo sheds tears of joy after Jackie Phamotse found guilty of defamation

Written by on 21 September, 2023

Controversial author Jackie Phamotse was on Tuesday found guilty by the Randburg Magistrate’s Court of defamation, crimen injuria and contempt of court.

In 2018 Phamotse tweeted about an alleged sex tape that social media users concluded involved power couple Romeo and Basetsana Kumalo and a boy celebrity. The couple took legal action against the author.

Sentencing will be handed down on October 24.

Speaking outside the court, Basetsana said it was a victory for those who had been bullied online.

“Somebody decided to wake up and get on a Twitter mountain with their keyboard. This is a victory for every single person. There are many people in this country who’ve taken their lives from being cyber bullied and today this unprecedented judgement is for all of us.”

Basetsana painted a picture of a traumatised family over the last five years.

This is for my children, who had to live in shame for the last five years, for my parent’s legacy who raised us well and today I want to thank everybody… I mean this is my guy,” said Kumalo, embracing her lawyer with a hug.

While making an argument in July, state prosecutor Yusuf Baba said the constitutional rights to dignity and privacy of the former Miss SA were infringed when Phamotse sent out the tweet.

“It’s been horrendous, it’s been horrific, it’s been hurtful it’s been so breaking, it’s been unkind. That somebody will just wake up and attack people she does not even know.”

 

Five years ago, Phamotse shocked social media users when she tweeted:

Just overheard a painful conversation, a female TV mogul pleading with one of my girls to not share videos of her drunk and her husband [sic] rimming a celebrity boy!!!!!!!!! What the hell!!!! Kanti, what kind of marriages do we have now!!! I have asked to see this video.

Naidoo, however, said that Phamotse could not provide proof of the omitted reply tweets by the State.

She said:

It was never disputed that Ms Phamotse had only made memes when Mrs Kumalo’s name was mentioned, however, when Ms Phamotse was challenged under cross-examination on this specific issue, she sort to distance herself by saying, ‘I comment on different things, sir, I cannot remember all of them’.

Naidoo cited that Phamotse’s comments were vague and did not provide any detail.

The magistrate also found that Phamotse failed to clarify to her followers that she was not referring to the Kumalos in the tweet.

“In answering questions under cross-examination, Ms Phamotse gave the impression that she was trying to latch on to everything that could serve as a possible answer. Her evidence is not compatible with the circumstances of the case as reflected in the facts, which are common course,” she said.


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