Durban – “Is there any proof? How is the court to accept this when there is no proof and it is just her saying her car broke down?”
This was what Magistrate Jackie Jonck put to the attorney representing Gqom queen Bongekile “Babes Wodumo” Simelane, her sister Nondumiso, and fellow musician Thobeka “Tipcee” Ndaba, who were in court for absconding from the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
On Monday the Simelane sisters were found guilty by Jonck for wilfully defaulting from a court appearance.
The three failed to appear in court on an assault charge on Friday, and warrants of arrest were issued for them.
The sisters told the court they were on their way to Durban when their car broke down on Friday, while Ndaba told the court she was ill and unable to come to court – she produced a doctor’s note.
The sisters said their car had finally been fixed around 11.30am and they proceeded to Durban, where they learnt of the arrest warrants. This scared them.
Jonck said they could still have come to court, but chose not to.
She ordered the sisters to pay a R1000 fine or face 30 days imprisonment.
“The court system will treat everyone equally. It doesn’t matter if you are a cleaner or a musician; the court will not favour people because of what they do professionally,” said Jonck.
Ndaba was released on warning after being found not guilty of absconding from court.
Jonck also issued her with an indemnity letter which she is to carry around with her for her own safety after it emerged in court that the warrant of arrest had gone missing from the investigating officer’s office after being issued on Friday.
The prosecutor, advocate Nkululeko Msiya, told the court that investigations into the assault matter were complete and asked for an adjournment for statements to be handed over to the defence.
The Simelanes and Ndaba are alleged to have assaulted a woman the trio accused of leaking videos of the Gqom queen following the arrest of her boyfriend, musician Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo, for allegedly assaulting her.
Wodumo made headlines when a video showing Maphumulo beating her went viral.