July unrest: 22 alleged instigators granted bail, Hawks say more arrests on the cards

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The July unrest alleged instigators matter in Durban has been adjourned to 26 August with the accused receiving bail of R3 000 each.
The July unrest alleged instigators matter in Durban has been adjourned to 26 August with the accused receiving bail of R3 000 each.
Kaveel Singh
  • Twenty-two people, who allegedly instigated the July 2021 unrest, were each released on R3 000 bail.
  • The arrests come well over a year after the unrest.
  • Police insiders claimed the individuals were part of a social media group.

Twenty-two individuals, who briefly appeared in the Durban Magistrate's court, in what the Hawks described as the "first of many arrests" linked to the July 2021 unrest, were released on R3 000 bail.

After arresting the accused on Thursday, just over a year after the July unrest, the Hawks said they were confident more arrests were on the cards.

The unit said the initial group of 20 included 19 people from KwaZulu-Natal and one from the Free State.

On Friday, two more were hauled before the court in connection with the unrest.

A packed public gallery anxiously waited for the accused to make their appearance, with many entering the court donning ANC regalia.

Even members of the eThekwini youth league attended court proceedings.

READ | July unrest: Charges withdrawn against seven of the 19 instigators

The first 20 were brought before the magistrate, Anand Maharaj, who swiftly granted each R3 000 bail.

The magistrate warned them to be back in court on 26 August.

All 20 were charged with conspiracy to commit public violence, incitement to commit public violence, and incitement to commit arson, related to the looting and public violence which took place during the unrest.

Their bail conditions prevent them from posting any information regarding the case on social media.

They are also to inform the investigating officer should they wish to leave KwaZulu-Natal or change their residential address and/or contact number.

After the court proceedings for the group of 20 were finalised, the other two individuals appeared before Maharaj. One was fully dressed in ANC gear.

They were also released on R3 000 bail each, and similarly charged for inciting violence, conspiracy to commit public violence and incitement to commit arson.

Hawks insiders said more arrests were expected in the coming weeks, but the unit did not want to confirm if any prominent public figures were on their radar.

According to one insider, the accused were all allegedly part of a WhatsApp group that incited violence.

The individuals who appeared in court on Friday were: Sanele Masuku, Sandile Cebekhulu, Mduduzi Mkhize, Qedukazi Dladla, Mbongeni Mkhize, Lindokhule Shilenge, Smangaliso Zwane, Mbongeni Mzimela, Sipho Tchezi, Nkanyiso Dlamini, Ncamisile Ndlovu, Sthembiso Mthiyane, Zanele Bhengu, Malibongwe Khbheka, Sisanda Ntshona, Sfiso Sokhulu, Thobile Mfeka, Ntombizonke Msalela, Gods Surprise Ntuli, Sanele Mhlongo, Lwazi Memela and Sibusiso Gwala.

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