'Slap' vs 'punch and kicks' in ANC Western Cape secretary assault case

Faiez Jacobs pleads not guilty, says he slapped Wesley Seale after he was confronted

'Slap' vs 'punch and kicks' in ANC Western Cape secretary assault case

22 February 2017

Cape Town - Secretary of the African National Congress in the Western Cape Faiez Jacobs on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to assaulting his policy co-ordinator Wesley Seale in 2015, saying he slapped him after he was confronted.

Seale, however, said he was punched off a chair before being kicked repeatedly while lying on the ground.

He testified that Jacobs kept on shouting "jy vat my lankal vir 'n naai [you've treated me like a fool for long enough]" after he told him he had not written a report.

This emerged on the first day of Jacobs' trial in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court.

The ANC's national disciplinary committee found Jacobs guilty of assault in April 2016, following an altercation with the former ANC employee at the party's provincial offices in November 2015.

Jacobs had his party membership suspended for 18 months. The sanction, however, was suspended for three years.

Leg raised to ‘ward off’ complainant

His lawyer William King read out his plea explanation on Wednesday.

He explained that the two were alone in an office when a heated exchange took place.

"The complainant had raised his voice, moved forward and prodded the accused."

King said his client responded to that by using his right hand to slap Seale away from him, connecting with the left side of his face.

He also raised his leg to "ward off" Seale at the same time.

"He cannot say if there was contact between his leg or the complainant as the slap caused the complainant to fall down and to fall against a safe that was in the office."

Jacobs, dressed in a suit, listened calmly while ANC officials and supporters sat behind him in the public gallery.

'What is your problem?'

Called as the first witness for the State, Seale told a different story. According to him, his superior had summoned him to his office before confronting him.

With the door wide open, he told Jacobs that he hadn't had time to write up a report and that he was merely helping him as it wasn't in his job description, Seale said.

"He then said 'What is your problem?' I didn't respond."

Jacobs apparently got up to close the door while Seale sat looking out at the view through the window.

"He then came up behind me and hit me with his fist," said Seale.

"He said: 'Jy vat my lankal vir 'n naai'. He used his fist to hit me off the chair. I then fell off my chair and started shouting."

Seale claimed Jacobs kept repeating those words while kicking him in the abdomen and face, "between five and ten times".

7 stitches

Prosecutor Noloyiso Damba asked where the punch landed.

Seale balled his hand into a fist and placed it at his right temple and ear.

She asked if he retaliated and he said ‘no’.

"I was shouting 'help, help, help'."

His screams apparently caused three staff members to rush into the office.

"Two of them tried to restrain him and he said to them: 'I am not finished with him,'" said Seale.

Jacobs' personal assistant wanted to help him off the ground but he refused.

"By this time I was bleeding. I sustained seven stitches to my left ear, some bruises on my neck and arm."

He reported the matter to the Cape Town central police station and was referred to a hospital.

His testimony continues.

This article first appeared on News24, see here.