The family of a former radio DJ Ngizwe Mchunu an alleged instigator of recent unrest in areas of the country says the state is using him as a scapegoat.
Mchunu appeared in Randburg Magistrates Court for the first time on Wednesday, accused of promotion to commit public violence. According to investigators, he was one of those responsible for the violence and looting that gripped portions of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last week.
The former Ukhozi FM host, a fervent admirer of former President Jacob Zuma, will be detained for another week. On Wednesday, prosecutors told the Randburg Magistrates Court that he was a flight risk after allegedly fleeing Gauteng in a private jet to KwaZulu-Natal to avoid arrest.
According to the NPA, he chose to surrender himself up after being pressured to be arrested. Following the postponement of his case on Wednesday morning, an upbeat Mchunu was led back to the cells while raising his fist in the air. Meanwhile, his family and fans, many of whom travelled from his home region of KwaZulu-Natal, rallied behind him.
Speaking outside the court, Bonginkosi Khanyile, a former Fees Must Fall activist and spokeswoman for the Mchunu family, questioned the court’s handling of the case. Khanyile claimed Mchunu was being persecuted by the government: “So now, you have a government that runs away from responsibility and want scapegoats because they are running away from their own responsibilities.”
Mchunu will return for a formal bail application on 28 July.