The case against radio and television presenter Somizi Mhlongo has been postponed for further investigation and to give the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) time to consider representations by the celebrity choreographer’s lawyers.
Mhlongo did not appear in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday, resulting in a warrant of arrest being issued as a matter of procedure.
The warrant has been stayed until his next hearing.
NPA regional spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the case against Mhlongo was postponed until 23 July.
“Mhlongo didn’t appear in person. As per procedure, a warrant was issued, but stayed until his next court date. The matter was postponed for further investigations and for the outcome of representations submitted to the NPA by his legal team,” said Mjonondwane.
Mhlongo was charged for allegedly contravening the Disaster Management Act after a video in which he’s heard talking to his Metro FM co-host Dineo Ranaka, went viral in April.
In the video, Mhlongo tells Ranaka that “Fikile” told him the level 5 lockdown would be extended.
Hours later, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a two-week extension to the lockdown.
With speculation growing that Mhlongo was referring to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, the politician opened a case against the celebrity.
Mhlongo later apologised, claiming it was a “very bad joke”. He apologised to the minister and said Mbalula hadn’t spoken to him about the lockdown extension.
Mbalula still laid the charges against Mhlongo, despite confirming that he had forgiven the celebrity.