Alleged riots instigator Ngizwe Mchunu could face additional charges, says NPA
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Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has not ruled out the possibility that former Ukhozi FM and SABC presenter Ngizwe Mchunu could face more charges when he returns to court next week.
Mchunu briefly appeared at Randburg Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday to face charges of the commission of the offence of incitement to commit public violence.
Advocate Mthunzi Mhaga, special director of public prosecutions in National Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Shamila Batohi’s office, said the NPA has accessed the video that was recorded during one of the public addresses by Mchunu and used the services of a Zulu translator.
”We are convinced that the words that he used amount to the commission of an offence of incitement to commit public violence,” said Mhaga.
Video: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)
He said the evidence that has been collected is sufficient to prove when the prosecution proceeds an offence of incitement to commit public violence.
”That is the only charge that he is facing but we are analysing the evidence, the video recordings and we are conducting further investigations with the possibility of adding other charges,” Mhaga said.
However, Mhaga would not explain details that emerged in Mchunu’s brief court appearance that he had allegedly fled Gauteng and travelled to KwaZulu-Natal in a private jet.
”We will not be giving those details at the moment because that’s part of the investigation because it has a bearing on our decision to oppose bail,” he said.
Mhaga also would not be drawn into commenting on whether Mchunu would be charged as one of the instigators of the widespread violence and looting in the two provinces.
At the height of the violence on Sunday, July 11 Mchunu hosted a #FreeJacobZuma address to the nation from KwaMai-Mai in Johannesburg.
Mhaga said law enforcement agencies were at an advanced stage in respect of a number of alleged instigators but by yesterday they had arrested about six and four of them including Mchunu have appeared in court.
”In terms of masterminding it, I am not able to comment at this stage because there is a wide range of investigations that are conducted which might lead to more charges being added,” he said.
Bonginkosi Khanyile, former #FeesMustFall activist and spokesperson for Mchunu’s family, defended the man who describes himself as former president Zuma’s homeboy outside the court.
”People looted the malls because in South Africa this government is presiding over hungry people. That is the reason why people looted, the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma gave the platform for people go and loot. Now you come and charge a single individual.
That damage which was created in the country, you say it was because of Ngizwe Mchunu. It is very unfair, it is very political what is happening to him and it is very dumbfounding and if such thing in a country where democracy is supposed to prevail we are very worried,” said Khanyile.
He said there was no incitement and that Mchunu has never incited violence.
”In fact, when violence broke out he was the one who was amongst people who called out and said people must stop the violence. There are videos there you will find him where he is actually condemning people who are engaged in violence,” Khanyile said.
He said the charges against Mchunu were a politically motivated prosecution.
”It is government which is trying to find a scapegoat and the only thing he has ever called for was for Zuma’s release and if everyone who has called for Zuma’s release must be arrested, it means half of this country must be sent to prison,” added Khanyile.
Magistrate Hleziphi Mkhasibe granted the prosecution the seven-day postponement it had requested for further investigations until July 28.