Eight more alleged unrest instigators arrested in connection with last year’s deadly July riots in KwaZulu-Natal have been granted bail of R3 000 each.
2021 July unrest
The suspects, aged between 31 and 46, made their first court appearance on Thursday, in the Durban Magistrates’ Court, after they were arrested by the Hawks.
They face charges of conspiracy to commit public violence, incitement to commit public violence and incitement to commit arson relating to the acts of looting and public violence that took place in parts of KZN during the riots.
The 8-19 July riots – that rocked parts of KZN and Gauteng – claimed the lives of more than 330 people and caused extensive damage to public infrastructure and businesses, resulting in billions of rand lost in the local economy.
The violence was ostensibly triggered by former president Jacob Zuma’s incarceration by the Constitutional Court for contempt of court.
The latest arrests on Thursday brought the total number of suspects arrested recently for allegedly instigating the July unrest to 34.
Thirty-two suspects were nabbed in KZN, one in the Free State and another in the North West.
Strict bail conditions
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson, Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, said the eight suspects were released subject to various strict bail conditions.
They were ordered not to post any information regarding the case on social media, to inform the investigating officer (IO) should they wish to leave KZN, and to inform the IO should they change their residential address or their contact numbers.
The suspects were expected to appear in court again on 26 August 2022, along with their co-accused, while police carried out further investigations.
Other alleged unrest instigators
Last week, the Hawks rounded up 21 suspects in different parts of the country – including Gauteng, KZN and the Western Cape.
The alleged instigators appeared in the Durban Central Magistrates’ Court and were released on R3 000 bail each. One of the suspects was released on a warning after being ordered not to pay bail.
The group faces similar charges to the eight alleged unrest instigators arrested on Thursday.
An additional three more suspects were arrested on Friday and Saturday, in KZN and North West as part of the Hawks’ national operation.
They appeared in the same court on Monday, and were granted bail of R3 000 each.