Romeo and Basetsana Kumalo react to Jackie Phamotse sentence

Romeo and Basetsana Kumalo react to Jackie Phamotse sentence

The Kumalos hope their latest court victory will make keyboard warriors think twice before they post... 

Basetsana Kumalo and her husband Romeo
Romeo and Basetsana Kumalo/ Instagram (@basetsanakumalo)

Romeo and Basetsana Kumalo are calling for the Department of Basic Education to include social media engagement in the school curriculum.

The husband and wife made the call after winning a "groundbreaking" case against controversial author Jackie Phamotse on Tuesday, March 26. 

The Randburg Magistrate Court sentenced the 'I Tweet what I Like: So...sue Me!' author to two years of house arrest for defaming the power couple.  She was also fined a total of R30,000. 

Romeo and Basetsana sued Jackie over a tweet she shared in 2018.

"Just overheard a painful conversation, a female TV mogul Pleading with one of my girls to not share videos of her drunk and her husband (sic) rimming a celebrity boy!!!!!!!!! What the hell!!!! Kanti, what kind of marriages do we have now!!! I have asked to see this video," she wrote on Twitter (now known as X).  

While Jackie didn't mention the Kumalos' names, her social media followers assumed she was talking about them. 

Jackie, according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), did little to quash the speculation. She instead responded to some comments with laughing emojis. 

“I love it”, the NPA quoted her as saying in one reply.

Basetsana, a respected businesswoman and former Miss South Africa, did not take too kindly to the 'salacious' post and promptly sued Jackie.

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The Kumalos, who described the post as "deeply hurtful", were awarded a protection order against Jackie, which ordered her to stop talking about them. 

The couple returned to court after Jackie released her 2019 book about tweeting what she likes. 

The couple said  'I Tweet what I Like: So...sue Me!' was in violation of the court order. The court agreed and found Jackie guilty on two counts of crimen injuria and one count of defamation in September 2023. 

Basetsana and Romeo are finally putting the ordeal behind them following Jackie's sentence this week.

"This case was not just about getting the defendant charged; it is also a lesson on the systemic practice of unlawful and appalling behaviour - the malicious attack on our character, our dignity and credibility by misusing social media and the severe consequences associated with that," they said in a statement. 

The Kumalo team described the case as "groundbreaking" and "unprecedented". They hope their court victory will instil a culture of accountability and encourage people to use social media responsibly. 

"We respectfully call upon the Department of Basic Education to include social media engagement in the curriculum as a means of empowering the youth. Social media should be used to champion meaningful causes," Romeo and Bassie said. 

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Main image credit: Instagram/@basetsanakumalo

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