‘Trollip may have flown’
Jack changes her story
Claims that Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip could have used “the quickest possible method” to get to Port Elizabeth from Port Alfred to bribe a former DA activist during the run-up to the 2016 local government elections were part of the defence argument presented to the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Nontuthuzelo Jack, 47, is facing charges of criminal defamation and supplying a false statement in an affidavit after she alleged Trollip offered her a R5,000 bride to dig up dirt on former DA provincial chair Veliswa Mvenya.
Advocate Eric Skepe, who is representing Jack, said Trollip’s evidence that he had never flown in his friend Rory Gailey’s light aircraft was improbable at best.
“[Trollip] is very powerful and resourceful, therefore there is the likelihood that he could use the quickest methods to get to Port Elizabeth,” Skepe told the court.
Earlier in the week, Skepe handed in evidence a photograph of Gailey’s aircraft which, according to Trollip, was only purchased in December 2016.
According to Jack’s affidavit to the chair of the DA federal council, James Selfe, and presented in court as evidence, Trollip called her twice on March 20 2016, once at 7am and again at 9am, before meeting her at the Motherwell police station after 9am that day.
But Jack later claimed Trollip called her before 7am and met her between 7am and 8am.
Prosecutor Jomari du Toit told the court during closing arguments that Jack had contradicted herself on several occasions and made up new evidence as the case continued.
“The new time selection only came about during [Jack’s] testimony,” Du Toit said.
In addition to the mounting evidence against Jack, four witnesses, including Trollip’s wife, Janine, testified in court that Trollip was attending a church service in Port Alfred on the day the alleged bribe took place.
Photographs of Trollip at the church were also submitted as evidence.
Cellphone records of both Jack and Trollip were also used as evidence which showed there were no phone calls between the pair at any time during the weekend on March 19 and 20 2016.
“The evidence against [Jack] is overwhelming – there is no evidence that [Trollip] was in Port Elizabeth to bribe [Jack],” Du Toit said.
Skepe conceded that there were indeed contradictions in the defence’s case with regard to the times given by Jack, but asked the court to consider that Jack had not deviated from the alleged material facts of the incident itself.
“In terms of times there are discrepancies, but [as regards] the incident itself, she confirms her story,” Skepe said.
Judgment will be given on September 28.