NPA adds Terrorism charge against Patriotic Alliance’s Bruce Nimmerhoudt
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* This article has been updated to fix a factual error
Patriotic Alliance (PA) West Rand leader Bruce Nimmerhoudt was slapped with an additional charge of terrorism in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court when he was due to apply for bail on a charge of incitement of violence.
Drama unfolded after state prosecutor advocate Enoch Makua told the court that the prosecution had added a charge of terrorism under the Terrorism and Related Activities Act.
Makua also indicated that another charge of contravention of electronic communication was also pending against Nimmerhoudt.
Nimmerhoudt told the court that he would plead not guilty on all charges against him when a trial date is set.
In his application for bail, Nimmerhoudt denied that the voice note which purports to incite violence and contains graphic details of which malls should be attacked, was his.
Nimmerhoudt told the court that he was part of his party’s Toekomsrus, Randfontein, branch WhatsApp group. According to Nimmerhoudt, he and 94 other members of the group received the voice note through WhatsApp from Luna Dickson – a councillor-elect for the Rand West Municipality.
Dickson confirmed Nimmerhoudt’s version when she testified in his bail application on Monday. She said she originally received the voice note through WhatsApp from her aunt and she distributed it to fellow PA members, who were instructed by the party to protect malls and other businesses in the West Rand.
Denying that he wrote the voice note, Nimmerhoudt told the court that the charge of incitement of violence was to dent and damage his campaign to become a mayor in one of the municipalities on the West Rand. He said he received the voice note on July 15 and had intended to hand it over to Randfontein police station commissioner Brigadier Masolle Manamela the next day, but police arrived in the early hours and arrested him.
“They did not have a search warrant. They stormed into my house and called me a criminal. A master instigator. A looter,” Nimmerhoudt said.
But the police, in opposing the application, maintained that they have a strong case against Nimmerhoudt. Investigating officer Captain Phakamile Gumede said they executed the arrest after obtaining information from their intelligence unit that the voice note was manufactured and distributed by Nimmerhoudt.
Gumede said that Nimmerhoudt allegedly agreed that it was his voice in the note and only denied distributing it – a claim the accused vehemently denied.
The State asked the court not to grant Nimmerhouldt bail, saying it would undermine the administration of justice and he was likely to be injured by those who were angry due to the recent violent protests which caused major infrastructure damage in the country.
Judgment in the application is due on Friday.
** The original article incorrectly stated that Nimmerhoudt would plead guilty. He in fact indicated that he would plead not guilty.