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shun WOZA case
September 26, 2013
a Women of Zimbabwe
Arise (WOZA) leader, was to appear in Tredgold Magistrates Court
on 25 September 2013 to be formally charged under the Postal and
Telecommunications Act Chapter 12:05, two counts under section 88
(c) 'making offensive phone calls without reasonable cause for the
purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needle anxiety'.
that despite appearing in court at 8:30am, no magistrate would accept
the case, one after another recusing themselves for personal reasons.
The drama in court had comical moments as law and Order police officers,
Mahlangu, her lawyer Nontokozo Tachiona and over 20 WOZA activists
attending the court in solidarity kept traipsing in an out of various
courts hoping for a hearing. As the police officers insisted Mahlangu
should appear in court, justice department personnel had no option
but to issue a summons for her to appear in court on Monday 30 September
2013 for trial in the hopes that a magistrate would have been found
to hear the matter.
appeared in court one on this matter on 7 August 2013 wherein the
magistrate advised the police to proceed by way of summons once
they had their case in order. The police officers, recharged Mahlangu
on Monday advising her to come to court on 25 September 2013 to
appear and be formally charged.
is Gladys Dube, a ward chair of the MDC-T. She alleges that Mahlangu
called her on two occasions and threatened her saying, "you
are a big sell out from the ruling party, we are coming to get you
with police, CID personnel, if Welshman loses you will see it."
On the second occasion, she alleges that Mahlangu said "you
will see it I don't want to talk to you again". The state paper
alleges that this caused the complainant annoyance and needles anxiety.
not dispute that phone calls took place but disputes that threats
were made. Mahlangu and Jenni Williams the national coordinator
of WOZA, made several calls to both MDC parties to advise them of
a flyer being circulated in Matshobana suburb of Bulawayo on Elections
day 31 July 2013. This flyer, whose authorship is unclear, bears
stolen WOZA logos and uses the name of WOZA to de-campaign Morgan
realising that the timing of this mysterious flyer on Election Day
could disturb the peace and so decided to be proactive in disassociating
WOZA with the contents. Despite calls being made to various political
leaders, including MDC-T Nelson Chamisa and to David Coltart and
MDC Secretary General Pricilla Msirambwe -Mushonga, Gladys Dube
decided to fabricate threats and made a report to the police resulting
in the charges against Magodonga Mahlangu.
The first call
on was in response to a report that Gladys Dube in the company of
another women had gone door to door threatening members for the
flyers distribution. Mahlangu called the other women who immediately
apologised when told that WOZA had not authored the flyer.
Ms Dube when
called denied any knowledge of the flyer or the threats on members
and so she was just asked to keep calm and ignore the flyer and
the call was gut short. Surprisingly she called back two hours later
in the company of WOZA members who she asked to vouch for her that
she had not threatened anyone and once again she was asked to just
ignore the flyer and keep calm.
At a meeting
of WOZA Human rights monitors on 2nd August 2013, a member Christine
Dube reported that Gladys had threatened her for reporting on her
to the WOZA leadership, calling her a sell out. In the presence
of 20 members, a further call was made to Gladys Dube asking her
to please stop the threats.
With the call
on speaker phone, all 20 witnesses over heard her shouting insults
and threats against Magodonga who could not get a word in edgeways.
Stranger still is the fact that Ms Dube admitted making a vulgar
insult to Magodonga in the presence of police officers in the senior
area prosecutors office on 6th August 2013 but no charges were made
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