Alleged instigators of violence, looting to be named on Tuesday
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Cape Town – The names of the alleged instigators behind the recent deadly unrest and looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal are set to be made public on Tuesday.
This was according to Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshaveni, who emphasised that the recent violence in parts of the country was nothing less than an insurgency.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had earlier contradicted President Cyril Ramaphosa by denying that it had been an insurrection but rather a “counter-revolution creeping in, in the form of criminality and thuggery’’. But Ntshaveni, who was briefing the media on Monday afternoon, said the facts did not support the defence minister’s views.
Minister of Police Bheki Cele said on Monday a fifth alleged instigator had been arrested, who had accompanied the police to various locations in KZN where looted goods could be found. There are believed to be 12 suspects who masterminded the insurrection.
Former Ukhozi FM DJ Ngizwe Mchunu, one of the alleged instigators, was seen leaving the KwaZulu-Natal police headquarters in handcuffs on Monday.
Cele said two of the suspects had appeared in court and did not receive bail – one from Westonaria and another from Roodepoort, while a woman is yet to appear in court. Ntshaveni said, however, one of those accused of being involved in the ’’failed insurrection’’ has been released on bail.
On Monday, more than 1 000 people appeared in court for participating in the deadly riots, looting and damaging of properties in KZN and Gauteng.
A total of 587 people appeared in various courts in the West Rand district, bringing the total number of those facing prosecution to 682 for crimes committed in Soweto during the unrest. Their ages range from 18 to 72 years, the National Prosecuting Authority said.
They are facing charges ranging from public violence, theft, malicious injury to property, the contravention of the Disaster Management Act, housebreaking with intent to commit an offence and robbery.
Most of them were remanded in custody until their bail applications, which will be heard between today and varying from R1 000 to R5 000 each.
’’The NPA continues to deal with the influx of dockets related to the past week’s unrest and is expecting the number of people that face prosecution to increase as law enforcement is currently embarking on reclaiming the loot from alleged thieves,’’ said NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.