GOOD party gives police 'explosive evidence' of ANC members involved in instigating unrest

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  • The GOOD party has given law enforcement information related to the violent unrest.
  • The information points to alleged instigators of the unrest.
  • This comes after violent unrest claimed the lives of over 350 people in July.

Secretary-general of the GOOD party, Brett Herron, has furnished the South African Police Service with a dossier of copies of conversations conducted in three WhatsApp groups alleged to have been at the heart of instigating the unrest and looting that prevailed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal last month following the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma. 

Herron, who is a member of the Western Cape legislature and a lawyer, said the information from the three WhatsApp groups was obtained from whistleblowers, researchers and members of the public who approached his party to assist them with acting on the contents of the conversations. 

The WhatsApp conversations where from three groups - the Ethekwini Shutdown, INK Shutdown, and the Free Zuma Information - and have been stored on a USB stick and handed over to the police. 

From its information, "the Ethekwini Shutdown WhatsApp group was set up with the primary objective of promoting and coordinating unrest in eThekwini", said Herron. 

"The group was set up on the morning of the 8th July 2021 following which, “instigators and potential instigators were then encouraged to join the group through its link," read Herron's statement to the SAPS. 

READ | Anatomy of a violent July: Data mapping shows unrest was part of tactical plan to shut down SA

On the same day, 8 July 2021, the Free Zuma Information WhatsApp group was also created, according to the information shared with GOOD by the whistleblowers, researchers and members of the public. 

The Free Zuma Information group was initially called the "FREE ZUMA COORDINATORS".

"This group's objective [the Free Zuma Information] was promoting and sharing information on actions around the country, and notable members in this group included suspended ANC members Carl Niehaus and Andile Lungisa," Herron's statement reads. 

Both Niehaus and Lungisa have vehemently denied instigating any violent acts, saying their efforts have only been toward calling for the freeing of the former president.

They have also maintained that they were added to the group without their knowledge. 

The INK Shutdown went into operation a day later than the Ethekwini and Free Zuma Information groups, having been started on 9 July 2021. The WhatsApp group was set up at 11:31 with the initials INK standing for Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu regions.

Herron wrote that this group's objective appeared to have been "promoting, coordinating and sharing information of actions in these three regions". 

He said: 

It is clear that these WhatsApp groups contain clear evidence of incitement, planning and involvement of many individuals in the insurrection, looting and acts of terrorism witnessed in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

To date, the identities of 35 members of these groups have been obtained from information volunteered to the GOOD party, "and sourced through researching the mobile numbers, True Caller and submissions from various whistleblowers", said Herron. 

The names and numbers were all shared by Herron through a USB stick, which contains screen videos of the three "WhatsApp Groups plus folders for those mentioned above with audio-visual content in each folder" whose contents where seen by New24. 

On handing over the information to the SAPS, Herron said: "I am requesting that you include this information in your investigation into the events that occurred in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, described by the president as an insurrection, and investigate those in these groups for their participation and instigation of crimes of sedition, terrorism, destruction of infrastructure, theft and looting.

"The original audio visual material will be available should you need it."

National police commissioner General Khehla's spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo and Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale were not available for comment.

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