Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) hopes the conviction of a man who threatened to blow up the public protector's office on Twitter will be a deterrent to others who express violent intent on social media.
Themba Dubazana appeared at the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for a series of tweets from early 2016, in which he threatened to bomb the office of then public protector Thuli Madonsela as well as the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) campus.
NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said Dubazana had achieved two certifications at TUT.
However, when Dubazana tried to enter the workforce, he discovered the two qualifications were not accredited.
It was after taking his case to the office of the public protector, who was unable to help him, that he took to Twitter to threaten both institutions.
“I need to #bomb public protector’s offices and Tshwane University of Technology,” he tweeted.
Mjonondwane said the tweets were apparently discovered by Interpol. The international policing organisation then alerted the SA Police Service. The SAPS subsequently handed the case over to the NPA.
It was only on Wednesday this week that Dubazana was arrested on a charge of contravening the Explosives Act, because of his threats. This was after a lengthy investigation into how to prosecute him was conducted.
On Thursday, Dubazana pleaded guilty to the charge and was granted bail of R1500 pending his sentencing.
It's understood that because he chose to plead guilty - and a series of other mitigating factors - that he is unlikely to receive a prison sentence for the crime.
However, Mjonondwane did not wish to speculate and said the decision would be decided by the court when Dubazana returns for sentencing on September 20.
“As the NPA, we hope this case will serve as an eye-opener for the South African public. Rather than breaking the law and threatening people online, it's better to seek remedial action elsewhere.
“He (Dubazana) was frustrated with his situation, but that did not give him the right to make such threats,” said Mjonondwane.
In his plea statement, Dubazana wrote: “I accept that my actions caused fear and threatened the public protector and the Tshwane University of Technology."