The Pretoria high court has ruled that the arrest of Norma Mngoma, previously known as Norma Gigaba, by the Hawks was unlawful.
Judge Cassim Sardiwalla also ruled on Thursday that the confiscation of Mngoma’s information and communication technology equipment was unlawful.
Sardiwalla ordered the Hawks to “restore all information unlawfully removed” from Mngoma’s ICT equipment and pay the costs of her application on an attorney and client scale.
Mngoma launched the urgent application in July last year after being arrested for allegedly causing damage to a luxury Mercedes-Benz driven by her estranged husband, former Minister Malusi Gigaba.
She faces charges of malicious damage to property and crimen injuria, but argued that her arrest was aimed at intimidating her and deleting information from her gadgets.
The Hawks denied Mngoma’s claims, saying the raid that netted her gadgets was part of an investigation on alleged threats against Gigaba’s life.
Hawks ‘acted with malice’
Judge Sardiwalla nevertheless ruled that the Hawks had acted “with malice, in that their actions appeared to have been motivated by an abuse of power by a former Minister and member of the Executive.”
“There is no evidence that an investigation was conducted regarding a conspiracy to commit murder of Mr Gigaba and the respondents have failed to give any evidence to gainsay the applicant’s version,” the judge added.
Mngoma and Gigaba have had a high profile but turbulent marriage which unravelled last year amid allegations of Gigaba’s infidelity.
In a sign that the drama between them was far from over, Mngoma appeared on eNCA in December 2020 and claimed Gigaba often received cash from the infamous Gupta family.
Reports indicate that she is also willing to testify before the state capture commission of inquiry on her allegations against Gigaba.
The former Minister has however refused to comment on Mngoma’s claims. “My energy is exclusively reserved for my fight with the askaris who are the de facto puppet masters,” he tweeted in December.