Alleged SA unrest instigator Ngizwe Mchunu remanded in custody
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Johannesburg - Former Ukhozi FM deejay Ngizwe Mchunu will remain behind bars for the next seven days after the Randburg Magistrate’s Court denied his bail application following his appearance yesterday.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson advocate Mthunzi Mhaga said the State had opposed Mchunu’s bail application because he was viewed as a “flight risk”.
“Mchunu stated that he recorded a video saying that he intended to leave Johannesburg when police were searching for him. The State says it has information that the accused left Gauteng in a private jet and may incite violence similar to what we have seen in the past week. He may also interfere with evidence,” Mhaga said.
Mchunu surrendered himself to the police on Monday after he was wanted for allegedly instigating violence during last week’s unrest and looting in two of the country’s provinces.
The former SABC 1 presenter handed himself over to the KwaZulu-Natal police.
His legal team said their client had, like any other leader who had called for the release of former president Jacob Zuma, saying only one word in isiZulu, which the State misinterpreted.
“The word my client used in the video is ayikhale, which is being misinterpreted by the State. If my client is guilty of inciting violence because of a simple video where he expressed his grievances about the imprisonment of the former president, then half of the country needs to be arrested for this because many citizens expressed their fury about the matter on social media,” Mchunu's legal team said.
In response to the bail application, the lawyers said he could not be a flight risk because he handed himself over to the police, a sentiment also expressed by Mchunu family spokesperson Bonginkosi Khanyile.
“The State has made someone who is not popular, popular. Now it’s all over social media that my client has been arrested for allegedly inciting violence.
“He was once a radio announcer. He is now a traditionalist and engages with people who require traditional needs. Traditional issues are what he speaks about mostly on social media,” Khanyile said.
The matter will be back in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on July 28.