She has been in and out of court this year after her estranged husband, Robert Ngwenya, opened a case of assault against her, accusing her of attacking him during a domestic dispute at their upmarket home in Blue Valley Estate, Midrand, in June last year.
Actress Zinhle Mabena is a free woman after charges of assault against her were withdrawn this week.
National Prosecuting Authority Pretoria spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said the matter had not been permanently struck off the roll: “The charges against Mabena were provisionally withdrawn in consultation with the complainant.”
Celebgossip has learned that Ngwenya asked for the charges to be withdrawn due to struggles with his health.
The Pretoria Magistrates’ Court was the scene of drama on Wednesday morning during the former Isibaya actress’ appearance.
After a two-hour delay due to a missing police docket containing the star’s charge sheet, there was a heated verbal exchange between Ngwenya and Mabena’s supporters, who were led by musician Tebogo Lerole and self-proclaimed Casanova and blesser Serge Cabonge.
The alleged spat began when Ngwenya, who was walking with the aid of crutches following an accident last month, spotted the two men in the court gallery supporting his estranged wife, who they said was a victim of gender-based violence, according to a source who was in court.
“What are you guys doing here? How can she be a victim when she’s the one who’s accused? I’m the victim here and you’re just taking advantage and wasting government funds by supporting your friends and not real victims of gender-based violence!” Ngwenya allegedly shouted at the men.
Lerole is the chairperson of nonprofit company Mzansi Act Now, which was established last year after the murder of Tshegofatso Pule, who was found hanging from a tree in Roodepoort.
Asked about the incident after the court proceedings, Ngwenya said he had been annoyed by the two men’s presence.
“Why would they come in support of an accused person in a domestic violence case and then say they’re activists against gender-based violence? It makes no sense. Cabonge’s a proud blesser who looks down on women and gives them money in exchange for their bodies. How can such a person advocate any gender-based movements when he’s such a wena character?” he asked.
However, Lerole said that he and Cabonge were in court to support Mabena because she had told them that she was the victim in the case.
“We’ve been in support of victims since we launched Mzansi Act Now. Our stance is clear: if an alleged victim approaches us and requests our emotional support, we usually stand with women, because they feel violated at that time,” he said.
He reiterated his support for Mabena and insisted that, although she was the accused, she was still a victim.
“This gentleman [Ngwenya] started taking pictures where we were sitting [in court] and the next thing, he was hurling insults all over the place.
“We allow due process to take place. For us, it’s not about going into a boxing ring, but about supporting the alleged victim, who is Zinhle. We have to stand with her until the case has been decided by the justice system,” said Lerole.
Cabonge declined to comment on the matter.
By the time of going to print, Mabena’s lawyer, Joshua Shapiro, had not responded to requests for comment.
Accusations of violence in Mabena and Ngwenya’s relationship surfaced in January.
The businessperson accused the actress of attacking him with a bottle of perfume, a broomstick, a pair of scissors and a photo frame during an altercation at their home.
He also claimed to have sustained bruises to his body and a broken arm when she pushed him down the stairs of their home on the night he laid the charges against her.