A politician from the West Rand, Gauteng – Bruce Nimmerhoudt has been accused of inciting violence in connection with the unrest in South Africa, News24 reported.
Nimmerhoudt is a leader of the Patriotic Alliance and a mayoral candidate for the party.
Today, Monday, July 19 saw Nimmerhoudt appear in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court.
He has been accused of circulating a WhatsApp voice note that called for people to block national highways and inciting public violence. According to Sowetanlive, the voice note called for people in the West Rand to join in on the violence.
The case has been postponed for police to investigate any links between him and other arrests as requested by state prosecutor Enock Makua. Allegedly, the state is also looking for other devices used to incite violence.
“The investigations are now in a very advanced stage. The information from the investigating team, is that there are some quite imminent arrests which are going to be carried out in a very short space of time,” Makua noted.
These are arrests that are similar to the arrest that leads to this accused being in court today. The investigation team wants to verify and check if there is any known links or connections between the imminent arrests and the accused before the court,” he added.
Currently, the state is opposing bail options. It’s been expressed that further arrests might be compromised if bail were to be granted.
Another reason for postponing the case, was that police needed to verify the accused’s address. However, according to Nimmerhoudt’s lawyer, Kelvin Richards, the police were aware of where his client lived, and that “he would in no way interfere with the State’s ability to investigate or arrest other people.”
“What the State is asking is for them to be afforded time,” Richards expressed.
“The accused was arrested on Thursday; I don’t understand how the accused will influence the case or whoever has to be arrested,” he added.
In Nimmerhoudt’s defense, PA deputy president Kenny Kunene told reporters that Nimmerhoudt “only instructed PA forces to be prepared to defend infrastructure from looters.”
Party president Gayton McKenzie also took to defending Nimmerhoudt on Twitter.
“This is a joke people, we stand by Bruce,” McKenzie wrote.
The case is set to be postponed to July 26 where a bail application will also be reviewed.