The assault case against ANC Western Cape provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs has been dismissed in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
Jacobs was accused of assaulting former ANC researcher Wesley Seale and pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault to do grievous bodily harm.
Jacobs asked the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court to discharge him, arguing that the State had no basis to convict him.
Wesley Seale accused Jacobs of assaulting him in the party’s provincial offices in November 2015.
Seale claimed Jacobs punched him off a chair in his office and kicked him repeatedly as he was lying on the ground.
Pictures of a bleeding Seale circulated on social media with a caption claiming he had been moered for not writing a report which Jacobs had asked him to do.
During the trial Seale testified that Jacobs attacked him by hitting him in the face from the back.
Seale said: “I was summoned to his (Jacobs’) office and I immediately went. We were sitting and he asked me why I did not write up a report.
“I told him it was not in my job description and he asked me what my problem was. He stood up, closed the door and hit me with his fist in my face from the back.
“I fell from the chair; he then started kicking me in my abdomen, saying: “Jy vat my lankal vir ‘n n***”.
“I was shouting and screaming for help and three staff members came in to help, two restrained him. He then said that he wasn’t done with me yet. I sustained seven stitches to my left ear and bruises in my neck and arm.”
According to Jacobs’ version of events, he used his right hand to slap Seale away from him, in defence, after claiming he prodded him in the chest. He claimed he raised his leg to “ward off” Seale. He could not say if his leg made contact with Seale as the slap had caused him to fall against the office safe.
Magistrate Alta le Roux said Seale’s testimony had to be treated with caution as he was a single witness.
“The court is of the opinion that the State’s case at this stage is of such a poor nature and therefore the application is granted,” said le Roux.
Seale claimed he was seriously assaulted, but according to a medical report he only had a laceration behind his ear.
“If a person kicked another person hard a couple of times with a booted foot, one would expect at least some bruising, on the face, head and behind the head,” she said.
“Not to say it needs to turn blue. But there needs to be an indication. (Kicking someone) three or four or five times is a lot.”
She found the testimony of the witnesses who later entered Jacobs’ office did not corroborate Seale’s version.
Jacobs’ lawyer William King hinted at factionalism as a motive for assault charge. The judge said that while there may be motive, it would not reflect in her judgement.
The ANC’s national disciplinary committee found Jacobs guilty of assault in April 2016. He was suspended for 18 months, but the sanction was however suspended for three years.
Seale currently works as a politics lecturer at Rhodes University.