It was like a TV drama series this week at the Randburg magistrate’s court in Joburg when self-proclaimed television mogul and former Miss South Africa Basetsana Kumalo and her husband Romeo appeared as complainants in their case against author Jackie Phamotse.
Phamotse faces two charges of crimen injuria over a tweet she posted on June 5, 2018 alleging that she overheard a TV mogul and former Miss South Africa pleading with one of her friends not to release a video of her husband involved in a s.e.xual act with a male celebrity.
The exchanges between Phamotse’s lawyer and the former Top Billing presenter would have you believe you are watching a high-level boxing match.
During cross-examination on Thursday, Basetsana asked the magistrate to protect her from Phamotse’s lawyer, who wasn’t allowing her to finish her responses; was raising his voice; and pointed fingers at her.
Phamotse’s lawyer rebutted that he felt they were being put in a media class by the witness instead of being given yes or no answers.
He argued that the tweet did not refer to Basetsana, but to a TV mogul, questioning how she knew it was her.
According to Basetsana, every time the media reports on her they refer to her as a TV mogul. She confidently went on to affirm that as a producer of 10 television shows, a production house and over 200 staff members, she believes she is a TV mogul.
Another line of questioning from Phamotse’s lawyer was whether Kumalo was the only Miss South Africa, to which she answered she was the only Miss SA in 1994 and first runner-up to Miss World in 1995.
The questioning then moved to Phamotse’s book I Tweet What I Like, So Sue Me, which is the reason why the Kumalos found themselves in court again.
Phamotse defied a previous court ruling that she was not to write or tweet about the couple.
Her legal representative asked Basetsana if she read the book and how she knew it was about them.
The executive producer of shows such as Date My Family and Our Perfect Wedding, answered: “No, I have not read Miss Phamotse’s book.”
Phamotse’s lawyer, who was visibly frustrated on Thursday asked for the matter to be postponed to July, saying that he did not get enough time to prepare for the case.
Bassie’s sister, Johanna Mukoki, was there to support her, so were her friends Savita Mbuli and Patience Mlengane.