Politician detained for inciting supporters
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Cape Town – A senior politician from Joburg, who allegedly incited mobs to attack malls on West Rand in Gauteng, is due to appear in Roodepoort Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
This as Police Minister Bheki Cele said police had identified three other suspects positively linked to the violent protests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The identities of the three would not be revealed until after law enforcement carried out their arrests, Cele said during Mandela Day celebrations and a crime prevention campaign in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday.
The politician, who will be identified after his appearance in court, and who is linked to one of the political parties represented in the city of Jobourg, on Thursday launched an appeal to his supporters and members of the Youth League and of the ANC Women’s League. .
He urged the two component structures affiliated with the ANC to join him and his supporters and attack the shopping centers of Roodepoort, Krugersdorp and Randfontein, as well as businesses in the neighboring suburbs.
He also urged his supporters to block all main roads in Main Reef and to launch attacks on trucks delivering goods to various premises in West Rand towns.
Urging his supporters to be vigilant, the alleged instigator said: “The communities of the West Rand are much stronger, but we are much stronger. Don’t attack schools, don’t attack health facilities, but shopping malls, you can do whatever you want. Do not attack anyone except those who stand in your way.
The man was arrested on Friday in the suburb of Witpoortjie, west of Joburg. His was arrested after police got their hands on the voice clip and tasked all sources and contacts with establishing his origins.
The suspect has been arrested and the police have recovered three cell phones in his possession, which are part of their investigation.
He was held in holding cells at Randfontein Police Station and is facing a charge of incitement to public violence.
Brigadier Masolle Manamela, the commander of Randfontein Police Station, confirmed the arrest and thanked residents of West Rand for the information.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, for his part, tried to calm the inhabitants of Soweto where looting and unrest had swept through the township last week.
Ramaphosa, wearing ANC insignia, toured three shopping malls in Soweto. The worst damage was seen in Ndofaya, where he started his visit. A stampede took place during the looting, resulting in the deaths of 11 people.
The mall manager also suffered a broken arm during the looting and was recognized by Ramaphosa for his bravery in trying to stop him.
It was believed that the unrest in these two provinces could have been triggered by an ethnic mobilization. Ramaphosa himself had alluded to this, but Sunday said the opposite.
He told residents outside the Maponya shopping center that the unrest was not ethnic.
“It started almost as if there was a tribalism thing, and there isn’t. I have to clarify that there is no ethnicity in there. And our Zulu-speaking compatriots, we are all united against what is happening. This notion that there is ethnic division coming out of the window, we are united as the people of South Africa, “said Ramaphosa.