Monday, February 10, 2014

(NEWZIMBABWE) MDC-T activist accuses Cross of racial abuse
17/11/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

BULAWAYO South MP and MDC-T national executive member, Eddie Cross, has appeared in court charged with racially abusing the party’s Bulawayo provincial administrator.

Cross, 73, appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushove last Friday charged with contravening Section 88 (a) of the Post and Telecommunications Services Act (making a telephone call and sending an offensive message).

He was alleged to have racially insulted the party’s provincial administrator Nkululeko Ndlovu during a telephone conversation on October 17.

Ndlovu had asked the legislator to return excess money amounting to more than $5 000, which he was given to pay polling agents.

Cross, who denies the charges, allegedly said to Ndlovu: “Black people shall never run this country properly. You are stupid and talking crap.”

Ndlovu was offended and reported the matter to the police leading to the arrest of Cross.

On Friday, the magistrate dismissed an application by Cross’ lawyer Tim Cherry who had challenged the section under which his client was charged saying it did not criminalise him since he did not make any call to Ndlovu.

“He never made a telephone call, but received a telephone call. He denies making any insulting statements,” said Cherry.

“It is common cause that he didn’t make a telephone call as captured in the State outline. Section 88 is explicit that a person who makes a call is criminalised not the one receiving.

"He can’t be put on remand unless the State finds a proper section to charge him with.

“My client was arrested (on Monday), weeks after a report had been made to the police and the State had all the time to investigate and come up with a proper section of the Act.”

But the magistrate dismissed the application, agreeing with the prosecutors that Cross was charged under the correct section and should be placed on remand.

According to an MDC-T reconciliation form, Ndlovu received $66,470 from the party’s head office in Harare on behalf of the Bulawayo province.

The money, which he received in two batches, was for payment of the party’s polling agents during the elections. Each polling station was supposed to have three agents.

It, however, emerged that Cross took money for four polling agents while other candidates including the Member of Parliament for Nkulumane Thamsanqa Mahlangu, Dorcas Sibanda (Bulawayo Central), Tabitha Khumalo (Bulawayo East) and Mpopoma-Pelandaba MP, Bekithemba Nyathi ended up not fielding the required number of polling agents.

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