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Mail & Guardian Online reporter and Sapa, Sapa-AFP21 Sep 2007 15:49
Kroonstad blogger Juan Duval Uys (39) stepped free from the dock of the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday, after a charge of crimen injuria, laid by Independent Democrats politician Simon Grindrod, was withdrawn.
Uys said that he in turn had laid charges of crimen injuria and harassment against Grindrod.
The charge related to an internet blog by a person who claimed to have been a South African male prostitute. Among his celebrity clients, he named Grindrod.
Uys’s appearance before magistrate Phindi Norman on Friday was his third since his much-publicised arrest at his Kroonstad home on July 30.
At his previous hearing in August, defence attorney Reaz Khan told that court he had studied the police docket but had found nothing in it that implicated Uys in any offence.
He said the complainants were all politicians, and that the case was based on suspicion and media reports, adding that senior prosecuting authorities at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court had also been unable to find anything in the docket linking Uys to any offence.
For this reason, the case had been forwarded to the Western Cape directorate for public prosecutions.
On Friday, Uys and his lawyer waited all morning at the court, while the case was once again under discussion.
Finally, when the case was called after the lunch break, prosecutor Titi Mthimunye told the court he had instructions to withdraw the charge.
Uys said afterwards he was “delighted” at the decision, which will allow him to pursue his political career—he is spokesperson for the newly formed National People’s Party—without distractions.
“I said from day one this whole thing was built on malicious prosecution, which turned out to be the truth,” he said.
Uys said he has also instructed Khan to proceed with a civil claim for defamation.
“I think it’s time for Mr Grindrod to move on to the next person in his hunt for the blogger,” he said.
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