South African fined $1,000 for spilling whiskey near president
REPORTING FROM JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA -- A South African man was found guilty of assault and fined $1,000 for spilling a glass of whiskey near the country's president, Jacob Zuma, at a meeting in July last year -- an incident the president didn't even recall, according to court evidence.
The man, Daryl Peense, insisted that he accidentally spilled whiskey from an upper balcony and meant Zuma no harm.
But one of Zuma's bodyguards, Funani Nemaenzhe, told authorities that he saw Peense pour his drink on Zuma as the president passed.
Nemaenzhe said another bodyguard shielded Zuma from the falling whiskey using his jacket. He said immediately after pouring the drink, Peense withdrew from sight.
"I noticed he had a tumbler in his hand and then he poured it on the president. After doing so he moved back," Nemaenzhe said in court evidence.
Peense claimed he was drunk at the time and that the incident occurred when people behind him surged forward to get a view of Zuma.
-- Robyn Dixon
Photo: President Jacob Zuma at the opening of the United Nations climate conference in Durban, South Africa, on Monday in an imagemade available by the government. Credit: Elmond Jiyan / European Pressphoto Agency