Rebels' supporters swell outside SA court

2013-02-14 13:50
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila. (File, AFP)

Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Security guards at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court had their hands full on Thursday before the appearance of 20 suspected Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) coup plotters.

They tried to limit the number of people attending proceedings.

The group's number of supporters started swelling outside Court 16, where the 20 men were set to appear on Thursday morning.

A security guard told the more than 60 supporters there was not enough room for all of them in court. The guard said only 15 would be allowed in.

Swearing and shouting followed.

"Your President [Jacob] Zuma has mining interests in the DRC, that is why you want to portray us as rebels to please [DRC President Joseph] Kabila," a woman shouted.

One of those trying to get into the court, Phillip Kaja from Lubumbashi, said his brother was one of the arrested men.

"How can they deny us access to hear the fate of our people? The arrested men are not rebels, unlike what your [South African] government wants the world to believe," he said.

Armed members of the police’s tactical response team arrived at the scene and escorted the group out of the court into the adjacent Francis Baard Street.

Bail applications

The supporters sang and chanted slogans in native DRC languages, including Lingala, Tchiluba, and Kikongo. Some waved flags and brandished placards.

Some of the placards read: "You [South Africa] are friends with Joseph Kabila because of gold and diamonds" and "Change your foreign policy".

The 20 men are accused of preparing to receive military training to topple Kabila.

Prosecutor Shaun Abrahams previously told the court the men were members of Nationalists for the Renewal of the DRC.

The plot's alleged ring-leader Etienne Kabila Taratibu, was arrested in Cape Town on 8 February. His 19 co-accused were arrested during a pre-dawn raid in Limpopo.

Kabila Taratibu claimed to be Kabila’s half-brother.

The matter was postponed to 27 February to give all the accused an opportunity to make formal bail applications.

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  drc  |  sa  |  west africa  |  southern africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.