The case against a West Rand politician accused of inciting violence through a voice note during the country’s civil unrest has been postponed for police to investigate any links between him and other imminent arrests.
Bruce Nimmerhoudt, who is a mayoral candidate for his party, the Patriotic Alliance (PA) in the West Rand municipality, appeared in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Monday, where he faces charges of incitement to commit public violence.
It is alleged that Nimmerhoudt circulated a WhatsApp voice note inciting public violence and calling people to block national highways.
State prosecutor Enock Makua asked for the matter to be postponed for police to verify Nimmerhoudt’s address and conclude other aspects of the investigation.
“The investigations are now in a very advanced stage. The information from the investigating team is that there are some quite imminent arrests which are going to be carried out in a very short space of time.
Nimmerhoudt’s lawyer Kelvin Richards opposed the State’s request for a postponement, saying police were aware of where Nimmerhoudt lived and that he would in no way interfere with the State’s ability to investigate or arrest other people.
“He has nothing to do with what the State wants to do. If they want to arrest other people, they can do so. What the State is asking is for them to be afforded time. The accused was arrested on Thursday; I don’t understand how the accused will influence the case or whoever has to be arrested,” said Richards.
Richards also criticised police for allegedly sending out a statement with information that identified his client before he had appeared in court.
Meanwhile, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said that law enforcement took matters like these very seriously.
“As the NPA, we view these cases in a very serious light. As you might be aware that these incidents such as this one that we are alleging as the NPA… have promoted confusion and threatened the safety and security of ordinary South Africans. It is therefore important for law enforcement to deal harshly with whoever is alleged to incite violence.”
The case will be back in court for a bail application on 26 July.