The trial of Insiza South MP Siyabonga Ncube, facing a charge of deliberately infecting a female journalist with HIV, has been deferred to August 18 to allow the High Court to deliver judgment in the legislator’s application for refusal to undergo a compulsory HIV test.
The trial was supposed to have opened at the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Court Thursday.
Ncube’s new lawyer, Lizwe Jamela, confirmed the development, adding he needed time to prepare his defence after the MDC MP’s former lawyer, Mweliwenkululeko Ncube, renounced agency before trial started.
Three weeks ago, Bulawayo regional magistrate Mark Dzira ordered the MP to undergo HIV tests, but the latter immediately challenged the order as unconstitutional. The High Court is expected to deliver judgment over the matter next Thursday.
Last week, State counsel Nonhlanhla Ndlovu conceded Dzira had quoted a wrong statute and erroneously made the court order.
Ndlovu said Dzira’s ruling was “incompetent” because section 302A (2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which the magistrate relied on to arrive at his decision did not apply to the section 79 of the Act, which Ncube is accused of contravening.
She said the section only applied to section 80 of the Act which states suspects can be compulsorily ordered to undergo HIV tests if the case involves rape, aggravated indecent assault and having sexual intercourse with a minor.
Ncube (48) is facing charges of deliberately infecting a Bulawayo female journalist with HIV and sending an abusive mobile phone text message to her.
Ncube, who is on $100 bail, has been ordered to stay at his given residential address at Lot 2, Impateni Farm, West Nicholson, until finalisation of the matter.