#UnrestSA: Alleged Vaal mastermind Themba Mnisi back in the dock

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Alleged mastermind behind the lootings in the Vaal, Themba Mnisi, in court.
Alleged mastermind behind the lootings in the Vaal, Themba Mnisi, in court.
Ntwaagae Seleka
  • One of the alleged instigators of the July unrest has made a brief appearance in court.
  • Themba Mnisi appeared in court accompanied by his supporters.
  • He is facing a charge of incitement to commit public violence.

The alleged mastermind behind the July unrest in the Vaal, Themba Mnisi, has appeared briefly in court.

Mnisi, 45, arrived at the Vereeniging Magistrate's Court on Tuesday accompanied by a handful of supporters.

He was arrested at his Ironside home in the Vaal by the Hawks on 6 August.

During his arrest, they confiscated seven devices, including a cellphone he allegedly used to distribute messages of incitement.

READ | #UnrestSA: 'Mastermind' behind Vaal looting used WhatsApp group to incite violence - charge sheet

The Hawks found Mnisi was the creator and administrator of the Vaal Operation Dudula WhatsApp group which had more than 200 participants. 

They also found he was actively involved in the Zuma Army, Zuma Real Activists, and Liberation Fighters WhatsApp groups.

Mnisi allegedly recorded and distributed an audio clip calling for attacks on police stations and officers, and for their homes to be torched.

GRAPHIC | #UnrestSA: Counting the cost of rioting and looting

He was previously arrested in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng for rape, intimidation, pointing of a firearm, contempt of court, assault, kidnapping, illegal possession of explosives, crimen injuria, malicious damage to property, intimidation, possession of stolen property and driving under the influence.

Mnisi was convicted and sentenced for theft, kidnapping, twice for malicious damage to property and assault.

He is out on R40 000 bail under strict conditions.

Magistrate Ziphora Phage ordered him to report to the nearest police station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

READ | Pick n Pay lost R1.7bn in sales due to unrest and alcohol restrictions

Mnisi, an ANC organiser in the Sedibeng region, was also ordered to close all social media accounts and refrain from participating in political and social activities until his case is finalised.

He is expected back in court on 9 November.

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