National 2.8.2016 10:48 pm

Election violence a concern for NPA boss

NPA head Shaun Abrahams Picture: Gallo Images

NPA head Shaun Abrahams Picture: Gallo Images

Shaun Abrahams has said they are prosecuting people for everything from arson to murder.

The National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) on Tuesday expressed concerned over the high level of violence related to the elections and politics in South Africa.

Advocate Shaun Abrahams said he had put together committed teams of highly experienced prosecutors to work closely with other law enforcement agencies to investigate election, public and political violence-related crimes across the country.

He said there was a particular focus on incidents that took place in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

“All matters relating hereto will be prioritised to ensure speedy finalisation. Prosecutors will further provide guidance to investigators to ensure the expedition thereof,” Abrahams said in a statement.

“The NDPP is further perturbed about public statements which are inflammatory in nature and which negatively impact on public peace, order and the security of the republic. This conduct in effect negates the rule of law.”

Abrahams gave a rundown of all the court cases.

Baldwin Mutambe, Takalani Mavhina, Frank Muthathe and Takalani Mukhudi appeared in the Vuwani Regional Court on Tuesday, on charges of intimidation and for contravening the Electoral Act. It is alleged that they intimidated members of the Vuwani community not to vote on August 3 in the 2016 Municipal Elections.

The case was postponed to August 15 for formal bail application.

“The NPA is presently considering the merits of a number of criminal investigations emanating from various provinces in which members of the public were incited to commit other crimes.”

He said that 52 people recently appeared in the Vuwani Regional Court on numerous charges, including malicious damage to property, public violence, defeating the ends of justice, and 14 counts of arson, sedition, incitement, intimidation and robbery.

In one of these matters, Rothe Ratshifheti and 21 others appeared in court on nine counts of arson relating to the incidents in which schools were set alight in Vuwani.

“Many of the accused were denied bail but later appealed to the high court, where bail was granted. The aforementioned matters have been remanded to August 26 for further investigations,” Abrahams said.

“In Tshwane, Justice Mashoba appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court for the murder of Simon Modihe, who had been killed at an ANC meeting held at the Tshwane Events Centre.”

He said that Mbuyiselwa Shabalala and Thamsanqa Shezi appeared in court on two counts of murder, which took place at Mehlokazulu High School, Imbali, in KwaZulu-Natal where an ANC branch meeting was held.

Their matter had been postponed to August 23 for further investigation.

“In another matter, Bafanyana Shange and four others appeared in court on charges of murder and attempted murder, which stem from the eruption of violence at an SACP [SA Communist Party] meeting in Inchanga,” Abrahams said.

“The NPA will continue to work tirelessly with its stakeholders in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to eradicate crime and to ensure that South Africa is a safer place for all.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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