The state says it has a strong case against former Ukhozi FM host Ngizwe Mchunu, and have opposed his bail application on the grounds that he may be a flight risk.
Mchunu is charged with inciting public violence related to widespread looting in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng. He is also charged with two counts of contravention of the Disaster Management Act.
Senior prosecutor Yusuf Baba stated that although Mchunu was charged with a schedule-one offence, he should be denied bail. Among the reasons cited was that the 40-year-old Phoenix resident is a flight risk and has the capacity to secure funding from outside sources. Mchunu, by his own admission, also managed to evade police on five occasions.
Baba described Mchunu as a high-profile individual with thousands of followers across all social media platforms, including a personal website, Ngizwe Online TV.
According to evidence led by the state, Mchunu was interviewed by SABC News outside former president Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home before Zuma handed himself over to authorities. Mchunu then flew to Lanseria Airport where he made a recording admitting that he was on the run from police and managed to evade officials.
He followed this up with a series of videos outside a taxi rank in Kwa Mai Mai in the Johannesburg CBD, and later an address to the country shot in Bryanston.
In these videos, Mchunu told viewers in isiZulu that Zuma was their father and he was being treated cruelly by the state. He said it was painful to see Zuma dragged to jail.
Mchunu distanced himself from political alliances in his videos, saying he was addressing them as a layman and leader of the illiterate and young men.
He said President Cyril Ramaphosa and Justice Raymond Zondo had to answer for the bloodshed in South Africa and called for his followers to “fight until our heads are cut off”.
Proceedings are continuing.