Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

Hawks off the hook as Public Protector drops investigation into ‘Sphithiphithi Evaluator’ arrest

Acting Public Protector says the office cannot conduct a parallel investigation.

Acting Public Protector, Kholeka Gcaleka has not made any findings in relation to the arrest of Zamaswazi Majozi since her case is still in court.

The Public Protector’s office had launched a preliminary investigation to look into whether officers of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), also known as the Hawks, followed the correct procedure while arresting Majozi in August 2021.

Non-profit Organisation (NPO), Democracy In Action had filed a complaint with the Public Protector claiming that Majozi and her family had been “negatively affected” by the Hawks’ search-and-seizure.

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Majozi’s devices – which included cellphones, laptops, a router and a memory stick – had not been returned to her possession three weeks after her arrest, according to the NPO.

As a result, she and her family were not able to communicate with their clients and affected their children’s schooling.

“In the Democracy In Action’s view, this was violation of the family’s human rights,” Gcaleka said while releasing an investigative report into the matter during a media briefing on Friday. 

‘Misalignment of findings’

Gcaleka said the Public Protector’s office found out during its investigation that Majozi, who is behind the controversial Twitter account “Sphithiphithi Evaluator” (@_AfricanSoil), had been subject of a criminal and civil proceedings.

Therefore, the office could not investigate any further, the Acting Public Protector said.

“On the basis of the above, the Public Protector is disinclined to engage on a parallel investigation with the matter pending before a court of law, particularly a criminal matter, to avoid misalignment of findings between the office and the court and a potential in conflict in decision or been seen as defeating the ends of justice,” Gcaleka explained.

Majozi is currently out on bail having appeared in the Germiston Magistrate’s Court in September last year.

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She was granted bail of R3 000 with conditions that she surrender her passport and report to the nearest police station daily.

Majozi was arrested in Leondale, Ekurhuleni, for incitement to commit public violence on social media.

This was after she was identified as an instigator of the July 2021 violent unrest that took place in parts of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng.

Former president Jacob Zuma’s incarceration ostensibly triggered the widespread riots, which left more than 300 people dead.

In addition to the complaint with the Public Protector, Majozi had sued Police Minister, Bheki Cele claiming that her arrest had ruined her life.


A total of 50 alleged instigators have been arrested and some of the suspects have already been granted R3 000 bail while another was released on warning.

The suspects will return to court 30 November, after the case was adjourned.

According to the Hawks, Duduzuile Zuma-Sambudla was under investigation following a case opened by the Democratic Alliance (DA).

Last year, DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach laid criminal charges against Zuma-Sambudla and Duduzane Zuma as well as their older brother Edward Zuma, and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, over their comments on social media and in the media during the unrest.

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