Violence instigator accused Bruce Nimmerhoudt denies it’s his voice in recording
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Johannesburg - Patriotic Alliance (PA) West Rand leader Bruce Nimmerhoudt, charged with terrorism and incitement of violence, has vowed to plead not guilty to all charges against him.
On Monday, his lawyers argued that the charges of incitement of violence and terrorism against him was an “over zealous act” by the police.
Nimmerhoudt’s counsel, Calvin Richards, made the submission during his closing arguments in his client’s bail application in which he argued that Nimmerhoudt was not the author of the voice note.
Richards also expressed concern to the court that they only became aware of the new charge of terrorism against their client during their arrival for the bail application on Monday.
He said Nimmerhoudt was initially charged with a schedule 1 offence of inciting violence but the charge preferred to add another charge without their knowledge.
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 indicated that another charge of contravention of electronic communication legislation was also pending against Nimmerhoudt.
Nimmerhoudt, however, told the court that he would plead not guilty to all charges against him when a trial date is set.
In his application for bail, Nimmerhoudt denied that the voice in the voice note, which purports to incite violence and contained 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 Whats App group. According to Nimmerhoudt, he and 94 other members of the group received that 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 made 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 in the West Rand.
He told the court that 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 also said that Nimmerhoudt allegedly agreed that it was his voice in the note but only denied distributing the message – a claim the accused vehemently denied.
The State asked the court not to grant Nimmerhoudt 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 damages in the country.
Judgment in the application is due on Friday.