- The GOOD party gave information to the police regarding the violent disturbances.
- The information points to suspected instigators of the unrest.
- It comes after violent unrest claimed the lives of more than 350 people in July.
GOOD Party Secretary-General Brett Herron provided the South African Police Department with a dossier of copies of conversations conducted in three WhatsApp groups that were believed to have been at the heart of the unrest and looting that prevailed in Gauteng and KwaZulu. Natal last month after the incarceration of former President Jacob Zuma.
Herron, who is a member of the Western Cape legislature and a lawyer, said the information from the three WhatsApp groups was obtained from whistleblowers, researchers and members of the public who approached his party to help them take action on the content. conversations.
WhatsApp conversations came from three groups – Ethekwini Shutdown, INK Shutdown and Free Zuma Information – and were stored on a USB stick and turned over to the police.
According to his information, “The Ethekwini Shutdown WhatsApp group was created with the main objective of promoting and coordinating the unrest at eThekwini,” Herron said.
“The group was formed on the morning of July 8, 2021, after which” instigators and potential instigators were then encouraged to join the group through its link, “Herron’s statement to SAPS read.
READ | Anatomy of a violent July: data mapping shows unrest was part of tactical plan to shut down SA
On the same day, July 8, 2021, the Free Zuma Information WhatsApp group was also established, according to information shared with GOOD by whistleblowers, researchers and members of the public.
The Free Zuma Information group was originally called the “FREE ZUMA COORDINATORS”.
“The objective of this group [the Free Zuma Information] was promoting and sharing information on actions across the country, and notable members of this group included suspended ANC members Carl Niehaus and Andile Lungisa, ”Herron’s statement read.
Both Niehaus and Lungisa have vehemently denied instigating any acts of violence, saying their efforts were only aimed at calling for the release of the former president.
They also claimed that they were added to the group without their knowledge.
The INK Shutdown group went live a day later than the Ethekwini and Free Zuma Information groups, which started on July 9, 2021. The WhatsApp group was created at 11:31 am with the initials INK for the regions of Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu .
Herron wrote that the purpose of this group seemed to have been to “promote, coordinate and share information on actions in these three regions.”
It is clear that these WhatsApp groups contain clear evidence of incitement, planning and involvement of many people in the insurgency, looting and acts of terrorism witnessed in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
To date, the identities of 35 members of these groups have been obtained from information voluntarily provided to the GOOD party, “and obtained by researching cell phone numbers, True Caller and various whistleblower submissions,” Herron said. .
The names and numbers were all shared by Herron via a USB stick, which contains screen videos of the three “WhatsApp Groups plus the folders for those mentioned above with audiovisual content in each folder” whose content has been seen by New24.
Handing over the information to SAPS, Herron said, “I ask you to include this information in your investigation into the events in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, described by the President as an insurgency, and to investigate those in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. these groups. for their participation in and incitement to crimes of sedition, terrorism, destruction of infrastructure, theft and looting.
“The original audiovisual material will be available if you need it.”
National Police Commissioner spokesman General Khehla, Brigadier Vish Naidoo and Hawks spokesperson Col. Katlego Mogale were unavailable for comment.