Cape Town - Poo protesters Andile Lili, Loyiso Nkohla and two others pleaded not guilty to contravening the National Environment Management: Waste Act in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
Lili, Nkohla, Thembela Mbanjwa and Songeza Mvandaba appeared before a new magistrate after their attorney argued with magistrate Alida le Roux on Monday, causing her to end the hearing.
The four allegedly emptied buckets of faeces on the steps outside the provincial legislature in Wale Street in June. Nkohla, who has recently been reinstated as an ANC member, appeared in court wearing a jacket and cap emblazoned with the ANC insignia. The State called police constable Mxolisi Mdodi to the witness stand on Wednesday.
Mdodi arrested the accused on the day of the alleged incident, and claims he took statements from each of them.
The defence intends to argue that they did indeed empty buckets of faeces at the legislature – but that no human waste was involved and therefore did not contravene waste management laws. However, Mdodi read out a statement allegedly given to him by Lili that may prove otherwise.
“Myself and Loyiso Nkohla were going to legislature before lunch on 3 June. We took out container buckets with human faeces from Loyiso’s car and poured it on the stoep of provincial legislature. People who saw us throwing out toilet buckets assisted us.”
Duncan Korabie, appearing on behalf of the four accused, said there was no proof the statement had actually come from Lili, despite his signature appearing on every page of the document. Korabie also said photographs in the media depicting the men with buckets of faeces could have been “doctored”.
The trial continues on Thursday.