Two more arrested for ‘inciting’ July public violence


Two more suspects are on Monday expected to appear in court for instigating last month’s widely ruinous public violence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

This comes after members of the Hawks’ Crime against the State, working together with Crime Intelligence, arrested two suspects, aged 35 and 36, for incitement to commit public violence. The two were arrested on Saturday, 28 August 2021, in Gauteng and KZN, respectively.

The arrests are the latest in a litany of other apprehensions linked to the July unrest, which saw the two provinces sustain infrastructure losses amounting to billions of rand, and thousands of job losses.

In a statement, Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said: “It is alleged that the KZN suspect, a 35-year-old man, was involved in the incitement of public violence through social media and other platforms during the period of unrest in KwaZulu-Natal.”

Mogale said as a result of the incitement, Brookside Mall in Pietermaritzburg was broken into and criminal activities such as the theft of goods occurred. The mall was also set alight.

The suspect is expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Meanwhile the Gauteng suspect, who is a 36-year-old woman who operated on Twitter as Sphithiphithi Evaluator @_AfricanSoil, with a followership of 59 900 people, was also arrested on Saturday during a search and seizure operation in Leondale, which resulted in the confiscation of exhibits for further investigation.

“The suspect is expected to appear in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of incitement to commit public violence.

“Investigations against those who incite, instigate or conspire with others to commit crime, including public violence, are continuing,” said Mogale.