Terrorism accused politician Bruce Nimmerhoudt to undergo forensic voice analysis
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Johannesburg - Terrorism accused and Patriotic Alliance (PA) West Rand leader Bruce Nimmerhoudt is set to undergo forensic voice analysis test on Thursday to determine whether he is the creator of the voice note which encouraged people to attack and destroy malls in the West Rand on July 15.
This is part of the deal entered into between the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Nimmerhoudt’s lawyers and was made an order of the court and a condition as part of the decision of the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court to release him on bail of R3 000.
Nimmerhoudt was arrested at his home in the suburb of Witpoortjie, west of Joburg on July 16, after a voice note circulated widely urging people to block all major roads, including Main Reef Road.
In the voice note, the perpetrator of violence could be heard saying: “Communities of the West Rand are much stronger but we are much more. Do not attack schools, do not attack health-care facilities but malls you can do whatever you want. Do not attack any person except those who stand in your way.”
During his bail application, Nimmerhouldt was adamant it was not his voice note. He said that it was a plot to tarnish his political ambition to become a mayor in one of the West Rand municipalities.
Nimmerhoudt claimed in his testimony that he was framed. He also vowed to plead not guilty on charges of terrorism and inciting violence when the matter is set down for trial.
Nimmerhoudt tasted a first victory against the state when magistrate Annelie Africa ruled that he had cast doubt on the state’s evidence against him. She made the preliminary finding after Nimmerhoudt told the court that he was not the author or distributor of the voice note which urged people to attack malls and destroy various businesses in the West Rand.
In his testimony, he said he was part of a group of PA supporters who received and was shocked by the voice note. Nimmerhoudt also told the court that the voice note was sent to him by one of his party supporters, Luna Dickson.
Dickson testified in the bail application and corroborated Nimmerhoudt’s version. She told the court that she related the same version to the Hawks on July 16, the day Nimmerhoudt was taken into custody.
“I also told the Hawks that the voice note was sent to me by my aunt Rona, and I sent it to the Patriotic Alliance Whatsapp group and Mannekrag, who were busy defending local businesses against looting and destruction,” Dickson testified.
In her ruling, Africa lambasted the police for shoddy work, especially their failure to provide the court with evidence that Nimmerhoudt was indeed the author of the voice note which encouraged people to attack malls and kill those who “stand in their way”.
Africa also attacked the police for their failure to obtain a statement from Dickson’s aunt prior to Nimmerhoudt’s bail application, saying they had ample time to do so after Dickson had made a formal statement to the Hawks.
According to Africa, the two witnesses, Dickson and Ashley Sauls – the PA’s Joburg mayoral elect – had corroborated Nimmerhoudt’s story on material facts.
Now the state is hoping that the forensic voice analysis on Thursday will assist to build a strong case against Nimmerhoudt.
Commenting on magistrate’s Africa’s ruling last week, the NPA’s Joburg spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane, was adamant that they have a strong case.
“We accept the court’s judgment as it has no bearing on the merits of the case,” Mjonondwane said.