Magistrate passes judgement on Speaker’s case

Speaker of the AbaQulusi council, Michael Khumalo, has been charged with assault, intimidation and incitement to public violence.

Magistrate MN Nkosi found AbaQulusi’s Speaker of the council, Michael Khumalo, not guilty at the Vryheid Regional court this afternoon.

Cllr Khumalo had been charged with intimidation and incitement of public violence after a video surfaced in which he said he would burn the police station and the court during a protest march held in the Zwathi area.

Also read: Community stands against farm attacks

Thousands had marched to the police station during the protest in order to demand justice for the murder of farmer, Billy van Rooyen, as well as other crimes that had taken place in the area.

Also read: BREAKING NEWS: Two killed in farm attack

At the march, Cllr Khumalo, who is also the ward councillor in the area, was tasked with reading the memorandum of demands to the police. It is while reading the memorandum that he had threatened to ‘burn’ the police station and the court.

Also read: Van Rooyens’ memory tainted by political games… 

During the week-long trial that began on Monday, the court heard from Cllr Khumalo’s attorney that Cllr Khumalo did not mean that he would burn the buildings down literally, but had actually meant that he would report the police and the court to a higher authority should the demands not be meant.

Cllr Khumalo was described as a ‘Man of Metaphors’ and two witnesses testified that, in that area, the Zulu word for burn, ‘shisa’, can actually mean ‘to report to a higher authority’ and not to literally burn something with fire.

Mr MN Nkosi said that there was not enough evidence to find Cllr Khumalo guilty of a crime.

After judgement was passed, Cllr Khumalo said he was happy with the verdict and thanked the community for their support.

  AUTHOR
Vryheid Herald

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