Ngizwe Mchunu appears in Randburg magistrate's court, Johannesburg, July 21 2021. Picture: THAPELO MOREBUDI
Ngizwe Mchunu appears in Randburg magistrate's court, Johannesburg, July 21 2021. Picture: THAPELO MOREBUDI

Former radio DJ Ngizwe Mchunu made a brief appearance before the Randburg magistrate's court on Wednesday on a charge of incitement to commit public violence, before he was remanded in custody until next Wednesday for a formal bail application.

Mchunu is the fourth suspect after Bruce Nimmerhoudt, Sbusisio Mavuso and Clarence Tabane to appear in court  in Gauteng over the violent unrest that broke out in the province and in KwaZulu-Natal following the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma on July 7. 

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said Mchunu allegedly made utterances during a press conference in Johannesburg that amounted to incitement to commit public violence.

Mchunu, a staunch Zuma supporter, left police headquarters in Durban in handcuffs on Monday and was transported to Johannesburg to face charges.

Before turning himself in to law enforcement, Mchunu had given President Cyril Ramaphosa three days from July 11 to release Zuma from Estcourt prison where the former president is currently serving a 15-month jail term. If Ramaphosa failed to release Zuma, Mchunu warned that he would stage a sit-in outside the prison until Zuma is set free. 

“We will be opposing bail. When he heard he was wanted by law enforcement, he allegedly left Joburg through a private jet,” Mhaga said.

Mhaga said when the pressure mounted for him to be arrested, Mchunu handed himself to the police.

“We will be arguing he is a flight risk. We will be arguing that incidents of commission of these offences induced outrage within the community,” Mhaga said.

Mhaga said the NPA had assessed the video of Mchunu’s address and have used an isiZulu translator.

“We are convinced that the words that he used amount to the commission of an offence of incitement to commit public violence,” Mhaga said.

Mhaga said the NPA was analysing the evidence it had and was conducting further investigations, with the possibility of adding other charges.

Mchunu will be held at the Johannesburg police station until he reappears on July 28.

Bonginkosi Khanyile, a Fees Must Fall activist who said he represented Mchunu’s family, said outside the court that the family was saddened about how the court had handled the matter of bail.

“The family is dumbfounded, because those who were inside the court were able to see that this was a Schedule 1 offence and under normal circumstances, when it is a Schedule 1 offence, bail becomes something which is automatic.

“Today we were not able to see that, but the case was postponed to the 28th,” Khanyile said.

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