Popular cameraman Habofanoe Ntsie appeared before the Ladybrand Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for allegedly sexually harassing actresses who were part of a movie he was shooting in South Africa.
Mr Ntsie was arrested on 26 January 2016 in Ladybrand after two of the artistes had reported him to the police for the alleged abuse.
Ladybrand South African Police Service (SAPS) Communications Officer, Sergeant Martin Xuna, on Friday told the Sunday Express that Mr Ntsie was granted M1500 bail and would be back in court on 23 February 2016.
According to Sergeant Xuna, two state witnesses, who are also the alleged victims, are from Lesotho and Ficksburg.
Sergeant Xuna said: “One of the witnesses is a 21-year-old lady from one of the farms in Ficksburg here in the Free State, who is claiming that she was rehearsing with colleagues in one of the hotels in Ladybrand. The woman said she felt dizzy and very tired during the rehearsals until Mr Ntsie gave her a key to one of the bedrooms, so she could rest. While she was asleep, she reported that she felt someone rubbing her thighs and quickly raised her head to see what was going on. She said she then realised that it was Mr Ntsie. She said she was convinced that it was one of his tricks to have sex with her because he had been demanding to sleep with her since the beginning of their working relationship.”
The other complainant, Sergeant Xuna said, had made almost similar claims against Mr Ntsie, who is wanted by the Lesotho police after leaving the High Court on 26 March 2012 as Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase read her judgement in the cameramen’s double murder trial. The High Court later found Mr Ntsie guilty of the double murder in a judgment delivered in his absence on 9 August 2012.
Said Sergeant Xuna: “Another lady is a 19-year-old from Lesotho. She had made almost similar claims that Mr Ntsie had always wanted to have sex with her, while she refused. She said sometime in December last year, when she was preparing to have a bath, Mr Ntsie barged into her room and volunteered to help her bathe. When she refused, he forcefully undressed the lady, took her into the bathtub and forcefully bathed her. She said he then asked her to wrap herself with a towel while he went out and left her there terrified. The lady then managed to escape and went to the police to report the case.”
Meanwhile, after his dramatic escape from Lesotho while the judge read his ruling, Mr Ntsie was arrested on 1 March 2013 while purchasing a car in Vereeniging near Johannesburg.
He was later released on M10 000 bail by the Vereeniging Magistrate’s Court and on 16 October 2015, the court dismissed a case for Mr Ntsie’s extradition to Lesotho.
Magistrate Ferreira said the Lesotho government had failed to convince the court why Ntsie should be returned home, adding an appeal was unlikely to succeed.
Mr Ntsie of Sehlabeng, Thuathe, was charged for the murder of his two neighbours, Souru Masupha and Habaka Mahao, on 30 November 2004, at Lancer’s Gap in Maseru.
The independent cameraman said he shot the pair in self-defence but the High Court still convicted him of murder.