Durban woman guilty of kidnapping, assault and defamation
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has issued a warning to the public regarding the posting of defamatory videos on social media.
This comes after a woman was slapped with a R20,000 fine for kidnapping, assaulting and defaming a 52-year-old woman in Chatsworth, south of Durban, last year.
A video of the assault was subject to harsh criticism on social media after going viral.
Sara Banu Ishwarlall appeared in the Durban magistrate's court on Tuesday, where she pleaded guilty to kidnapping, assault and defamation.
Her friend and co-accused, Samadhanum Jane Andrew, had pleaded guilty to the same counts in March.
In a statement on Wednesday, NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara said the complainant was in a relationship with Andrew’s boyfriend.
"Andrew discovered the affair and decided to attack the complainant, enlisting the assistance of Ishwarlall. Andrew and Ishwarlall accosted the complainant, forced her into a car and took her to Ishwarlall’s house, where they assaulted her and cut off portions of her hair. They filmed this interrogation and posted it on social media. The post went viral."
During their court appearance, prosecutor Sureka Marimuthu handed in a victim impact statement, compiled by the complainant and facilitated by court preparation officer Nondumiso Nyembe.
"The complainant mentioned that this ordeal caused her immense embarrassment. She and her family had to refrain from going out into society as the community mocked and humiliated them."
The court sentenced Ishwarlall to a fine of R20,000 or six years' imprisonment, wholly suspended for three years on condition that she is not convicted of the same offence during the period of suspension.
She was ordered to submit a written apology to the complainant and compensate her with R5,000.
KwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions Elaine Zungu said the complainant suffered humiliation not only at the hands of the accused but also on social media.
"Matters of a similar nature are becoming prevalent and we hope that like-minded individuals take note of the court’s response. Congratulations to the officials involved in this successful finalisation," she said.