Insiza South MP Siyabonga Ncube will have to wait for another week before the High Court deliberates on his application for refusal to undergo a compulsory HIV test.
Three weeks ago Bulawayo magistrate Mark Dzira ordered Ncube to be tested for HIV after he appeared in court facing charges of deliberately infecting a female journalist with the virus and posting offensive messages on her mobile phone.
However, the State later back-tracked saying the magistrate had erroneously made the order and quoted a wrong section of the law.
The matter has now been set down for hearing on Thursday next week.
It was supposed to be heard last week, but High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha deferred the case instructing the matter be placed on an unopposed roll and that he be given time to research on guidelines to give to the State as per State’s request.
The new development comes after the State conceded last week the regional magistrate had erred by ordering the MP to an undergo HIV test, describing the ruling as “incompetent”.
State counsel Nonhlanhla Ndlovu made the concession after Ncube challenged Dzira’s ruling and said section 302A (2) which the magistrate relied on to arrive at his decision did not relate to section 79, which the MP is accused of contravening.
She said the section only applies to section 80 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act — which specifies the offences as rape, aggravated indecent assault and having sexual intercourse with a young person — only for purposes of sentence.
Ncube of Lot 2 Impateni Farm, West Nicholson, has not been formally charged with deliberate transmission of HIV and sending a message grossly offensive, or of an indecent, obscene or threatening character.
He is currently out of custody on $100 bail.