Two more alleged riot instigators to appear in court

A fire engulfed Campsdrift Park, which houses Makro and China Mall, during looting in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. File photo.
A fire engulfed Campsdrift Park, which houses Makro and China Mall, during looting in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. File photo.
Image: Reuters/Sibonelo Zungu

Two more people believed to have been instigators behind the riots in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have been arrested for incitement to commit public violence, the Hawks said on Sunday.

The suspects are a 35-year-old man, who is alleged to have been involved in the incitement of public violence through social media and other platforms during the period of unrest in KwaZulu-Natal, and a 36-year-old Gauteng woman who is believed to be behind the Twitter handle @African Soil, whose biography describes her as “Sphithiphithi Evaluator”, which means “disorder” or “anarchy” in isiZulu.

“As a result, Brookside Mall in Pietermaritzburg was broken into and criminal activities such as theft of goods occurred. During the incident, the mall was set alight,” said Hawks spokesperson, Col Katlego Mogale.

Mogale said the search and arrest warrants were authorised and executed on Saturday.

She added that the woman was arrested during a search and seizure operation in Leondale which resulted in the confiscation of exhibits for further investigation.

The man is expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg magistrate’s court on Monday while the woman 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,” Mogale said.

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