Businessman Peter-Paul Ngwenya's use of a derogatory racial term was meant to insult and 'dehumanise' his former friend Fani Titi. This was the state's argument yesterday during closing arguments in the Randburg Magistrate's Court, reports TimesLIVE.

Ngwenya, who spent almost five years on Robben Island, is facing charges of contravening a protection order, and crimen injuria for allegedly calling Titi the K-word in a text message. The conflict between Ngwenya and Titi stems from a business deal that turned sour.

Ngwenya claims Titi owes him nearly R54m.

Ngwenya allegedly called Free State-born Titi a 'Qwaqwa kaffir' and a 'Bantustan boss' in an SMS that was intended for MRC Media MD Aqeel Patel. Ngwenya told Patel, 'You will bleed', and said Titi would 'see his mother', which Titi regarded as a threat to his life.

'It is disingenuous to suggest that the accused really believed that he could call Titi a Qwaqwa kaffir without causing serious harm to his dignity,' said prosecutor Yusuf Baba.

'The use of the word was clearly intended to insult and dehumanise Mr Titi and was clearly experienced by Titi to be extremely injurious,' Baba argued.

He said it was 'unimaginable' that Ngwenya thought it was morally acceptable for people of the same race to call each other kaffir. 'The accused wanted to convince the court that the word can be used among black people and that it only amounts to crimen injuria if used by racist white people.'

Baba said evidence presented by the state showed that Ngwenya was aggressive. 'He went to the offices of MRC and set the scene for disaster,' Baba argued. When he went to the MRC offices, Ngwenya knew he was in violation of a protection order which prohibited him from contacting Titi and Patel.'

Full TimesLIVE report