Johannesburg: The 36-year-old woman identified as Zamaswazi Zinhle Majozi and known as "Sphithiphithi Evaluator" on Twitter, has finally spoken out about her social media accounts, her political beliefs and her abuse, allegedly at the hands of police.
Majozi, a married mother of two, was arrested by the police on Sunday, and appeared in court on Monday for her alleged involvement in stoking violence during the riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last month.
Majozi has accused police of abuse when they arrested her and detained her at the Garsfontein Police Station.
A tearful Majozi told The Star that three police officers stormed her Ekurhuleni home at about noon on Saturday afternoon and demanded that she and her husband surrender all their cellphones and other devices.
According to a statement issued by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks), Majozi is alleged to have published content on social media “which resulted in the looting and burning that occurred at Brookside Mall in Pietermaritzburg, KZN”, an accusation Majozi denies.
She claimed that as she arrived at the police station, one police officer held her arm and asked her: "Do you think Zuma is still in charge, look where you are now?"
“They demanded my devices and then told me I was under arrest for inciting violence. I told them I was just sharing posts and videos and that could not be linked to inciting violence.
“Journalists across the country were sharing videos. Why is it me that is being arrested? I asked them to show me any post or tweet where I incited violence, but they didn't,” she said.
“They took my husband's phones, my children's phones. The female police officer followed me even to the toilet of my own home.
“I asked them what I did wrong, but they wouldn't answer.I told them I believe in the pro-black views of president Zuma. I told them that I believe what is happening to him is an injustice." Majozi said.
Majozi said about 15 police officers were around her home, some inside and others watching the house.
She alleged that she wasn't given food and was told the toilet and lights were broken at her police cell.
"I'd like the minister of justice to go and see if the cells I was kept in are human enough for a person to be kept. If this is the price to pay for supporting Zuma, it's really painful. I did nothing wrong, I simply shared breaking news and my views on Twitter. How could I incite violence and insurrection in KZN?”
By Tuesday evening, the Sphithiphithi Evaluator (@_AfricanSoil) Twitter account had 70 000 followers.
Zuma supporter and blogger Khanya Siboza told Independent Media that there were planned arrests on other popular social media users.
"We know that they are coming for @Land Noli, White Man's Confessions, Zinhle Khumalo and Indoda Yamaciniso. As we speak, Bonginkosi Khanyile is behind bars. They want to intimidate us until we love Cyril.“
Thabo Mtsweni of Democracy in Action has confirmed to Independent Media that his organisation paid the R3 000 bail for Majozi.
"In a Constitutional Democracy that we enjoy, such acts by the police serves not only to intimidate social media users, but also infringes on their rights to freedom of expression, rights which are protected by the constitution of the country," Mtsweni said.
“Whilst the real instigators of the unfortunate violent incidents are not being arrested, this includes but is not limited to the Constitutional Court judges who handed down an unconstitutional judgment that incarcerated former president Jacob Zuma; Cyril Ramaphosa for his comments on “Racial Mobilisation” and promoting vigilantism that led to the Phoenix Massacre; and lack of decisive leadership by the current government to fight against poverty and unemployment. We have since provided Zinhle Majozi with legal assistance to make sure she is returned home safe, where she belongs with her husband and children. We are also providing psychological support to the family and her since this traumatic, unlawful detention by the Hawks," Mtsweni said.
The Hawks have not responded to allegations about police abuse.