Man pleads guilty to threatening to bomb Public Protector's office and university

Johannesburg – A 33-year-old man has pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening to cause an explosion after he made threats on social media against the office of the Public Protector and the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).

Themba Lebone Dubazana appeared on Thursday at the Alexandra Magistrate's Court in Wynberg, Johannesburg, wearing tan jeans and a faded yellow top to face the music for a tweet he posted on Twitter on January 13, 2016.

The first tweet read: "I need to #bomb public protectors offices and Tshwane university of technology."

Another read: "I’m going to #bomb public protectors offices and #tshwaneUniversityofTechnology in order to intimidate the Public Protector and Tshwane University of Technology."

The National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) Phindi Louw said police were tipped off by Interpol, and the information was then sent to the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks).

In his affidavit, which was read out in court, Dubazana admitted that he sent the tweet in order to instill fear and threaten both the institutions.

Louw told News24 that the suspect was frustrated because he had registered for two courses at TUT and was still unable to get a job. In 2004, he was registered for financial management and office skills. The following year, he was registered for advanced financial practices and office skills.

'Vented on social media'

Upon receiving his certificates in November of the respective years, he applied for a job, but was informed that his qualification was not accredited.

"He tried to engage them in order to solve the problem, but he was unhappy with the way it was resolved by TUT.

"He then took his case to the office of the Public Protector. They investigated the matter and, apparently, he was also not happy with the remedial action taken by the office of the Public Protector. Then he went on social media and vented his dissatisfaction and frustration," said Louw.

Louw said that the NPA's job was to promote respect for, and the upholding of, the law among citizens.

"As the state, we cannot allow citizens of this country to break the law due to their frustrations," she said.

Sentencing has been postponed to September 20.

Dubazana would be released on conditional bail of R1 500. The conditions stipulate that he may not have direct or indirect contact with the complainants in the case, and he is to refrain from using social media.

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