The alleged Brookside Mall unrest instigator says he never meant any harm with the video he made inside the mall a day before it was looted and burnt.
Mdumiseni Khetha Zuma (35) was testifying yesterday during the second day of his trial at the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court.
Zuma told the court that when he made the video, it was only meant for his friends and colleagues, who he wanted to show that there was going to be a shutdown.
He said he wanted them to know that he was aware of what was happening in the country and what was going to happen.
“When I made the video, I was just talking, I was not serious. I was just being forward and fooling around. I was trying to show people that I was better informed than them about what was happening. In my mind, I never thought that what happened at the mall was going to happen.”
Asked by his attorney Clive Turton as to what he meant in the video when he said ‘we are going to destroy’, he said he never meant that people must go and loot.
“In my mind I was trying to say that there were people that will be going to the mall closing the shops that were going to open. I was just hyped by everything that was happening. It was never my purpose or my intention to make people do what they did. I am remorseful and I ask the court to please forgive me. That video has humiliated me and my dignity,” he said.
Zuma revealed that when he made the video, he was under the influence of alcohol and he was not in his right senses.
He added that he never sent the video to anyone, and mentioned he posted it on his WhatsApp status.
During the cross-examination by the state prosecutor advocate Yuri Gangai, Zuma again apologised for the words he uttered in the video admitting that the words were bad and had bad consequences.
He said he never thought that what was happening at Brookside Mall was because of the video that he made.
“After I made the video, I did not even go to the mall the following day. I was not leading or even a part of the people that went and looted the mall. I thought there was going to be a strike, not looting.”
The Witness previously reported that in 2019, Zuma worked at Brookside Mall as a security guard at Checkers. The state revealed that he left his employment because of a fallout with his employer.
Before his arrest, Zuma worked as a security guard stationed at Cambridge Food in Pietermaritzburg for three months.
He is facing two charges of contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act 17 of 1956, which includes inciting public violence and inciting arson.
The charges relate to the incidents of looting and violence that occurred in KZN in July 2021, in particular, the burning of the Brookside Mall, two of incitement to commit public violence and incitement to commit arson.
The trial continues today.
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