The K-word showed ultimate disrespect, a Randburg magistrate said yesterday when finding businessman Peter-Paul Ngwenya guilty of crimen injuria. TimesLIVE reports that Magistrate Pravina Raghoonandan said regardless of race, the K-word could not be accepted as part of a culture.

Ngwenya had argued that the use of the word between black people was normal and acceptable. Ngwenya had argued, through his legal counsel, that the K-word only became offensive when it was used by a white person to a black person.

'The K-word is a term that cannot be heard without cringing. It shows the ultimate disrespect,' said Raghoonandan.

She said Ngwenya had a history of contributing to the struggle of the country and should have known the use of the word amounted to hate speech and would impair Fani Titi's dignity.

'It can't be accepted by this court that it is part of the culture. It is hate speech irrespective of race,' Raghoonandan found.

She acquitted Ngwenya on two counts of contravening protection orders. Ngwenya's counsel said they would appeal.

'She used principles of hate speech to convict us on crimen injuria,' said Ngwenya's counsel, Advocate Nqabayethu Buthelezi.

Ngwenya had been charged with two counts of contravening a protection order granted to his former long-term friend Fani Titi and one count of crimen injuria for calling Free State-born Titi a 'Qwaqwa kaffir' and a 'Bantustan boss' in a text message.

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Referring to her previous judgment against former real estate agent Vicki Momberg, Raghunandan ruled that the 'K-word was unique in the SA context', and one associated with a past of emotional abuse, political violence and economic dispossession.

'It is intentionally used to reduce the status of all African people ...'.

According to BusinessLIVE, she said it was 'the most abhorrent word' and amounted to a 'denigration of African culture'. In light of the constitutional demand that all South Africans be treated with dignity, she found that Ngwenya had impaired Titi's dignity by referring to him in such a way.

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