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July Unrest Principal Mdumiseni Zuma to Remain in Jail Pending Verdict

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

Mdumiseni Zuma, the provocateur behind the July 2021 unrest in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), will remain incarcerated while awaiting his verdict scheduled for October 2023. The 36-year-old has been held at the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court for two years under charges related to unabashedly inciting public violence and organizing riots across the nation.

The Pietermaritzburg Regional Court found Zuma guilty of contravening sections 17 and 18 of the Riotous Assemblies Act. His felonies were linked to numerous instances of theft and public destruction which enveloped parts of South Africa, notably in KZN, during the July 2021 unrest. In the midst of this upheaval, the Brookside Mall in Pietermaritzburg was notoriously ransacked and torched.

Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, the regional spokesperson for the KZN arm of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), explained that during sentencing, the presiding judge noted Zuma's instrumental role in sparking the violent outbursts. His WhatsApp video, in which he effectively incited the public to join in the upheaval, coupled with his own admission of being inspired to commit public violence if he were to receive a similar message, left little doubt of his culpability.

As the legal proceedings progress, Zuma will remain in confinement. Meanwhile, the lasting effect of the rampant looting and arson attacks—where several shopping centres in KZN were razed—is still palpable in communities, laying bare the disturbing aftereffects of his instigation.

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