Home South African Politician to appear in court for allegedly inciting supporters to attack malls

Politician to appear in court for allegedly inciting supporters to attack malls

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This as Police Minister Bheki Cele said the police had identified three more suspects positively linked to the violent protests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

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A SENIOR Joburg politician, who allegedly incited mobs to attack malls on Gauteng’s West Rand, is due to appear in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

This as Police Minister Bheki Cele said the police had identified three more suspects positively linked to the violent protests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The identities of the three would only be revealed after law enforcement agencies had executed their arrests, Cele said on Sunday.

The politician, who will be identified after he appears in court, and who is linked to one of the political parties represented in the City of Joburg, made the call to his supporters and members of the ANC Youth League and Women’s League on Thursday last week.

He urged the two ANC-affiliated component structures to join him and his supporters and attack malls in Roodepoort, Krugersdorp and Randfontein, and businesses in the neighbouring suburbs.

He also urged his supporters to block all the main roads in Main Reef, and to launch attacks on trucks delivering goods to various premises in the West Rand towns.

Urging his supporters to be vigilant, the alleged instigator said: “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 for those who stand in your way.”

On Friday the man was arrested in the suburb of Witpoortjie, west of Joburg. His was arrested after the police got hold of the voice clip and tasked all sources and contacts to establish its origins.

The police recovered three cellphones in his possession, which form part of their investigation.

He was detained in the Randfontein Police Station holding cells and is expected to face a charge of inciting public violence.

Brigadier Masolle Manamela, the station commander of Randfontein police station, confirmed the arrest and thanked West Rand residents for the tip-off.

President Cyril Ramaphosa meanwhile attempted to calm residents of Soweto where looting and unrest had swept through the township last week.

Ramaphosa, wearing ANC regalia, took a tour of three Soweto shopping malls. The worst damage was witnessed at Ndofaya, where he began his visit. A stampede had taken place as people looted, leading to the deaths of 11 people.

The mall’s manager had also suffered a broken arm during the looting, and was acknowledged by Ramaphosa for his bravery in attempting to stop it.

There was a belief that the unrest in these two provinces might have been sparked by ethnic mobilisation. Ramaphosa himself had hinted at this, but on Sunday spoke to the contrary.

He told residents outside Maponya Mall that this unrest was not ethnically based.

“It started almost like there was a thing of tribalism, and there isn’t such. I must make it clear there is no ethnicity in this. And our Zulu-speaking compatriots, we are all united against what is happening. This notion that there this is ethnic division is out of the window, we are united as the people of South Africa,” Ramaphosa said.