One of the two men accused of disrupting a memorial lecture by President Jacob Zuma failed to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Chantal Gillion, for the defence, said she had tried calling Siviwe Gxothiwe, 27, but he did not answer his phone. She left a message with his family.

His co-accused, Sibusiso Nkomiyahlaba, 25, told the court he had also not seen him.

At their last appearance, Gxothiwe was absent due to an illness. Magistrate Zwelidumile Sogwagwa ordered that his bail of R500 be forfeited and that a warrant of arrest be issued.

The case was postponed to July 26 for determination of a regional court date. Nkomiyahlaba's bail was extended.

The two initially faced charges of public violence for allegedly participating in the disruption of Zuma's speech at the Good Hope Centre, near the Cape Town CBD, on the night of February 23. The charges were changed to assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

They were arrested after Zuma was heckled, and were believed to be the ringleaders of the ensuing commotion in which fist fights broke out and chairs were thrown.

One of those injured in the ruckus was SABC cameraman Rudi le Roux, who had to have stitches to his left eye. – Sapa