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Operation Dudula man in court over voice note that 'incites violence' in KZN

06 April 2022 - 14:34 By LWAZI HLANGU
Operation Dudula general secretary Zandile Dabula, left, with members at a KwaZulu-Natal briefing in Durban on Tuesday.
Operation Dudula general secretary Zandile Dabula, left, with members at a KwaZulu-Natal briefing in Durban on Tuesday.
Image: Lwazi Hlangu

Operation Dudula member Philani Gumede, who was arrested for incitement to cause public violence via a voice note, was granted bail in Durban on Wednesday.

Gumede appeared briefly in the Durban magistrate’s court where he was released on R5,000 bail.

Brig Jay Naicker, KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, said Gumede was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly creating a voice note calling for violence against foreigners in Durban. Gumede was charged with incitement to commit public violence and contravention of section 14 of the Cyber Crimes Act, according to NPA provincial spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara.

“It is alleged that Gumede created and forwarded a voice note to members of Operation Dudula asking people to gather and remove foreigners and their goods and lock their shops,” he said.

As part of his bail conditions, Gumede has to report to a local police station every Friday between 6am and 6pm. He is not allowed to use his social media platforms to incite or encourage violence against foreigners and he must report to the investigating officer when he wants to leave the Durban area or province.

The matter was adjourned to May 24 for further investigation.

Operation Dudula says it will march to the home affairs offices and then to the Point police station on Sunday, pending permission from the municipality. 

Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said on Wednesday the city “denounces disinformation by Operation Dudula to the effect that it has granted it permission to march this Sunday”. 

He said the application is being drafted and will thereafter be evaluated by the city manager. 

“eThekwini municipality subscribes to the constitution that guarantees the right to march, however it has an inalienable responsibility of satisfying itself that marches are within the law and won't threaten the rights of other citizens.”

In response to the proposed march, Daniel Dunia, secretary of the African Solidarity Network, an NPO that supports foreigners’ rights, said: “We don't have a problem with them marching because they are exercising their democratic right. What we have a problem with is looting foreign-owned shops and targeting foreigners. That is the only problem we have with them.”

The arrest comes amid a warning from police that the organisation is poised to cause disruptions in KwaZulu-Natal and other provinces. 

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