Norma Mngoma – the wife of former finance minister Malusi Gigaba – appeared at the Pretoria Central Magistrate’s Court on Monday 14 September after being arrested by the Hawks on suspicion of malicious damage to property and crimen injuria in July. Her case was postponed until 23 October with outstanding documents still required by her council.
Mngoma – who has dropped her husband’s surname in favour of her maiden name – has repeatedly insisted that the case against her is merely an attempt to intimidate and bully her, and to gain unlawful access to her devices. She was arrested after she allegedly took a vegetable slicer to a Mercedes Benz G-Wagon that belonged to one of her “philandering” husband’s friends.
Norma Mngoma case postponed due to High Court application
Mngoma’s lawyer, Victor Nkwatshu, spoke outside the court and said that the matter would resume at the later date in order for the state to furnish him with outstanding documents, as well as to provide Mngoma with the opportunity to challenge her arrest and prosecution case in the Pretoria High Court.
Mngoma is challenging the lawfulness of her arrest in a civil case at the High Court, having claimed that she has become the victim of a malicious plot to extract information at the behest of her estranged husband.
“The case has been postponed to allow the state to get the outstanding disclosure and to allow the process in the High Court to be concluded,” said Nkwatshu.
Gigaba accused of adultery
In court papers submitted to the court, Mngoma described her husband as having provoked her to take extreme measures due to his “serial philandering”.
She explained that she has been informed that the statement she gave to the Hawks upon her arrest, in which she had effectively confessed to the crimes she is accused of, is inadmissible due to her rights not having been laid out to her at the time.
“I and Malusi Gigaba had differences and I have been harbouring anger against him… because I believe he has extra-marital affairs. On 20 July at around 20:00, I snapped and took a vegetable slicer and scratched the car,” she said shortly after her arrest.
Mngoma in the court papers said that the case against her “points to the extreme provocation and involuntary conduct traceable to the type of abuse many women face in our country at the hands of their spouses, who are serial philanderers”.
Mngoma has accused the former finance and home affairs minister – who was recently implicated in state capture accusations at the Zondo commission of inquiry – of committing adultery against her, which ultimately led to her taking her anger out on him by wrecking his friend’s luxury vehicle.
‘My gadgets were tampered with’ – Mngoma
Mngoma has complained that data from her devices has been mysteriously erased after Hawks seized a variety of “gadgets” from her home shortly after her arrest. Upon their return, Mngoma became suspicious that her arrest was part of something more nefarious than the incident in question.
“What was more shocking and concerning to me was that certain information had been deleted from my gadgets. The full nature and extent to which my gadgets were tampered with and the removed information is not yet clear,” she said in court papers.
She said that a variety of data had been removed from her devices, including:
- Emails sent and received between December 2014 and December 2015;
- Emails regarding international trips undertaken between 2015 and 2018;
- Text messages sent and received between 2014 and 2015;
- Pictures taken during local and international trips.
“It would seem that there was a conscious and systematic pattern to these erasures which my legal team and myself are still in the process of ascertaining,” she said.
“What is abundantly clear is that these items cannot conceivably have any relationship whatsoever with the fake criminal charges which have been proffered against me as a smokescreen to gain access to my information.”
Norma drops Gigaba surname
Mngoma took to Instagram on 27 August to announce that she was feeling like a new person in the wake of her arrest, and it was a case of out with the old.
“Let me reintroduce this beautiful lady, who I’m crushing on her today WCW… Her name is Norma Mngoma, I’m so excited to use my maiden surname again, this is who I am and where I belong. #NewBeginnings,” she wrote.