'Violence was bound to be a consequence': Ngizwe Mchunu incited July unrest, senior cop testifies

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Ngizwe Mchunu flanked by his supporters outside the Randburg Magistrate's Court.
Ngizwe Mchunu flanked by his supporters outside the Randburg Magistrate's Court.
PHOTO: Ntwaagae Seleka, News24
  • Former Ukhozi FM radio personality Ngizwe Mchunu faces charges of incitement to commit violence and breaching the Disaster Management Act relating to the July unrest.
  • Mchunu admitted that the 15-month sentence against Jacob Zuma angered him.
  • A police official testified that Mchunu addressed journalists in Bryanston, where he incited violence.

A senior policeman testified that violent scenes prompted him to lay criminal charges against alleged July unrest instigator Ngizwe Mchunu – a former Ukhozi FM radio personality.

Colonel Mxolisi Edwin Nama told the Randburg Magistrate's Court that Mchunu instigated some of the unrest in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Nama was the State's first witness to testify against Mchunu, who had earlier pleaded not guilty.

Nama said he opened the case against Mchunu following violent scenes, allegedly sparked by Mchunu's utterances.

READ | July unrest: Tearful alleged instigator Ngizwe Mchunu says he was 'targeted' for showing support for Zuma

The colonel claimed the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma had angered the former Ukhozi FM DJ.

Nama added that if Mchunu and others who weren't happy with the Constitutional Court ruling against Zuma, they should have used legal channels to object.

"To encourage people to fight is incitement. Zuma has a large following ... violence was bound to be a consequence."

Nama said that before Zuma's incarceration in Estcourt prison, those against the Constitutional Court ruling made violent statements.

'State of pandemonium'

"Meetings were held, followed by an uprising in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. The looting of businesses and torching of trucks on the road characterised some uprisings. It was a state of pandemonium."

He said: 

The situation led police to be on a high alert. I also received complaints from the public at the time. Most were those whose businesses had been looted. The situation was uncontrollable.

"As the police moved from place to place in an attempt to control the situation, it required them to be on high alert to bring the situation under control. In that state of being alert, I became aware of the meetings that were to take place in Gauteng."

Nama claimed that Mchunu later addressed journalists in Bryanston, where he incited violence.

"By the time he made his statement, there was sporadic unrest in KwaZulu-Natal. He said Zuma mustn't be incarcerated. He encouraged people to fight," Nama said.

READ | 'I am innocent': Alleged instigator of July 2021 unrest says charges against him are 'rubbish'

Mchunu has pleaded not guilty to incitement and to causing public violence, contravention of the lockdown, and convening a gathering while contravening the lockdown regulations.

He claimed he didn't know where those charges emanated from and accused the State of lying.

Mchunu conceded that Zuma's incarceration angered him.

"I didn't condone any violence. I pleaded with fellow Africans to stop destroying infrastructure. I didn't incite any violence," Mchunu claimed.

More than 300 lives were lost in the unrest and millions of rands worth of infrastructure was destroyed.

The hearing continues on 7 December.



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