Standard reporter Nqobani Ndlovu’s lawyer Josphat Tshuma Monday gave a formal notice to take the matter to the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of a section of the law, which relates to causing disaffection towards the police to be declared unconstitutional.
Tshuma gave the notice to challenge Section 31 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act when Ndlovu had gone to court for his routine remand.
One of the charges against Ndlovu is that the article he wrote caused disaffection towards the police force and was prejudicial to the state.
“Your Worship, we wish to formally give notice that on the next remand we will be challenging Section 96 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (criminal defamation) to be struck off.
“Such charges do not constitute an offence. We will be also applying for the referral of Section 31 of the same code to the Constitutional Court. Our brief submissions are that the section is unconstitutional and should also be struck off,” said Tshuma.
Admire Chikwayi for the state said he would be prepared to respond to the application after Tshuma tendered his submissions.
Ndlovu tasted freedom on Friday for the first time in nine days after he walked out of the prison gates at 1:20pm to be received by relatives and workmates.
He spent nine days in remand prison after the state, represented by Trust Muduma, invoked section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, suspending the bail which had been granted by Bulawayo magistrate Sibongile Msipa.
Ndlovu was arrested two weeks ago in Bulawayo in connection with a story published in the Standard about retired police officers and war veterans being recalled to occupy vacant top posts in the force to direct operations during the next polls.
The call, according to the Standard “follows the scrapping of this year’s promotional examination for the police force, which were scheduled to start in early November”.