#UnrestSA: State wants to adds treason charges to lawyer Ike Khumalo's incitement case

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  • Ike Khumalo was arrested on 25 July for allegedly inciting public violence.
  • The State plans on applying to the NDPP for treason charges to be added. 
  • His bail application is expected to be heard on Wednesday.

The State has indicated it intends on applying to the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) to have treason charges added to the charge sheet in the incitement case against advocate Ike Khumalo.  

Khumalo appeared in the Booysens Magistrate's Court on Monday, where he faces charges of inciting public violence. He had also been charged under the Cybercrimes Act. 

He is alleged to have have incited public violence during the recent unrest which flared up in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

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Prosecutor Cobus Ehlers asked the court for the bail application, which had been set down for Wednesday, to be postponed for him to write to the NDPP.

Magistrate Hasina Habib asked if the bail application could not be heard while waiting for a response and Ehlers said that should the NDPP add the treason charge, it would affect the nature of the bail as it would then be a schedule five offence. 

Ehlers said there is evidence that Khumalo instructed the general public to kill politicians, burn down their houses or the houses of their relatives.

"The crux of it is that he seems upset by the way that the politicians are running the country and saying that the politicians are looting from the people. To me, that seems to be a form of insurrection," he said. 

Khumalo is accused of having posted videos inciting violence and treason on social media.

Ehlers said the State received two search warrants for homes associated with Khumalo; he said that police had executed one warrant but that they had issues gaining access into the other premises because no one was home.

The premises is said to belong to Khumalo's mother. The State wants to collect electronic devices as evidence that would be used in its case.

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Habib asked if police had tried to make arrangements with the person living in the house, to which Ehlers responded "no", saying police were trying to catch them by surprise to preserve the integrity of investigations. 

Defence lawyer Bukhosi Sibanda said that Khumalo, who was visibly distraught while in the dock, could not afford another postponement of his bail application. 

Treated

"I know that the honourable court has specified that there is nothing special about my client on the previous occasion and that he should be treated like any other person though he is an advocate, but I just wish to bring it to the attention of the court that my client had a line up of cases for this whole week so if we consider any further postponement you can consider not only the prejudice on him, but a lot of his matters," said Sibanda.  

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In mitigation of bail being heard on Wednesday, Sibanda also told the court that Khumalo was expecting the birth of twins soon. 

Habib ruled that the State had not provided enough details for them to be granted a seven-day postponement.

"The State has not set out a lot of detail to this court to convince it that it is entitled to another seven-day postponement of the bail hearing. The accused was arrested on 25 July, so the police have had since 25 July to apply for these warrants and execute them. I have no explanation whatsoever with regard to the delay," she said. 

Khumalo's bail application is expected to be heard on Wednesday.  

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