The Judiciary has dismissed claims that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is behind the audio clip predicting further violent civil unrest across the country.
This is after a voice note was circulated on social media, wherein a man could be heard calling for prayers due to the country possibly seeing more acts of violence in the future.
In a statement, Judiciary spokesperson Nathi Mncube said the voice note, which has been attributed to Mogoeng, was not the chief justice.
“It has been brought to the attention of the Office of the Chief Justice [OCJ] that there is a voice note article circulating on WhatsApp and social media purporting to be a recording of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
“In the voice note, the speaker invites prayers for the country after presenting so-called facts of future events related to civil unrest and further actions of prominent South African political leaders he is privy to.
“The voice note is not that of the chief justice. Any communication from the chief justice will be done through formal channels either through his private office, through the spokesperson for the Judiciary or through the OCJ.
“Members of the public and media are requested to contact the OCJ to verify the authenticity of any article, communication or social media post that purports to be that of a judge before attributing statements made on any platform to a judge,” Mncube said.
More than two weeks ago the country witnessed violent protests and rampant looting in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, sparked ostensibly by the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma, which left more than 300 people dead to date.
The unrest, which has also been widely seen as an expression of anger and frustration by people living in poverty, was also worsened by the impact of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, 11 of the 12 suspects who are believed to be the instigators of the violent unrest are in police custody.
Last week, General Godfrey Lebeya, head of the Hawks, revealed that law-enforcement agencies were making progress in their investigations.
“Regarding the 12 people that have been mentioned, the national commissioner has indicated that there are other people already arrested. What I can assure the committee is that there is a whole process is taking place behind closed doors between the investigating team that is working closely with the National Prosecuting Authority [NPA].
Lebeya told the committee that more charges could be added for the instigators who have been arrested.
“The investigation is continuing. As the national commissioner has indicated, certain individuals have already been taken into custody.”