In August last year there were violent protests in Emzinoni. The Bulletin reported on the situation and today we were informed that the case that was opened against Ayanda Kubheka is coming to an end. Ayanda made allegations that a SAPS member killed a 14-year-old on Facebook.
Below was the press release from the police.
26 August 2019
MAN REMANDED IN CUSTODY FOR ALLEGEDLY SPREADING MALICIOUS LIES
Nelspruit – A 22-year-old man, Ayanda Kubheka, was remanded in custody after he appeared at the Bethal Magistrate’s Court today on charges of intimidation, crimen injuria and incitement to commit crime. The suspect was arrested on 22 August 2019, after he allegedly circulated malicious allegations on Facebook indicating that a police officer stationed at Emzinoni had shot and killed a 14-year-old child during a violent protest which broke out at Emzinoni Township last week. The false accusation went viral on the social media platform, thus putting the officer’s life in danger.
In light of the above, police registered a case hence his arrest and remand in custody. The police are taking these allegations seriously and make a clarion call to the public to refrain from intentionally tainting other people through social media by making false accusations as such is deemed an aggressive act.
These allegations levelled against Kubheka spiral from a violent protest which took place at Emzinoni last week, wherein the community tried to force the police to release suspects who were arrested for various crimes. When police refused, the community then threw petrol bombs with an attempt to burn the police station. The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, hereby condemns these acts of unnecessary protests including the attempt of setting the station alight. General Zuma mentioned that the community should refrain from destroying such infrastructure which plays an integral part of servicing the community. “Not only important infrastructure but any other property belonging to individuals or businesses should not be damaged as such actions are criminal in nature. It was also reported that on the very same day when they (suspects) attempted to set alight the police station, they senselessly burnt down a house belonging to a police officer and an investigation thereof is also underway,” said General Zuma.
During the protest, 35 suspects aged between the age of 18 and 41 were arrested and released on R1500 bail each and their cases were postponed to 05 September 2019.
The suspects which the community were forcing the police to release are Sakhile Sikhonde, 18, Siyabonga Mamba, 18, Moses Mokoena, 21, Siyabonga Madonsela, 22, Thabo Magagula, 22 and Sibusiso Mtsweni, 29, they made an appearance at Bethal Magistrate’s Court on charges of malicious damage to property, house breaking, theft and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH). Five of the suspects were granted R1 500 bail each and the remaining suspect, Mtsweni was remanded in custody for further investigation. He will appear again on 10 September 2019.
General Zuma cautioned members of the community to protest within the ambit of the law.
“As the South African Police Service, we are aware of the right that people have to protest, but that should be done within the ambit of the law. Any act of criminality shall be dealt with accordingly without any fear, favour or prejudice”, said General Zuma.
Ayanda Kubheka wrote a formal statement to apologise to the SAPS member and their family. The SAPS member is Constable Cynthia Mtsweni.
Formal Statement by Prince Ayanda Kubheka
On the 15th August 2019, there was an altercation between the eMzinoni community and a well-known gang called The Straghel. During the protest, I, Ayanda Prince Kubheka, began to make certain utterances about Constable Cynthia Mtshweni. I informed the community during the protests and on the Facebook social media platform that Constable Mtshweni was a member of the Straghel Gang. I went further on to say that she had killed a school child during the protests by shooting the child with a firearm. On Facebook I made the posts under the name Prince Khasi Xolani.
I would like to formally apologise to Constable Cynthia Mtshweni for all those utterances. All which I said on that day and on days following the incident were untrue. I further posted on the Facebook page MROVA. I understand that by doing so, I firstly put her life in danger. Those utterances were taken seriously by the community and incited potential violence against her. Secondly her dignity was impaired in her personal capacity and lastly, her character was defamed as a result and the community lost trust in her as a member of the South African Police Services.
This behaviour by me was very reckless and uncalled for. I make this formal apology freely and voluntarily without any undue influence. I was attending my court case on 10th March 2020 and approached the state as well as the complainant, Constable Mtsweni, to give me an opportunity to make this formal apology and rectify my wrongs. Any opportunity given to me to address the community members in this regard, to rectify my behaviour I will grab with both hands. I request the community to continue to trust Cynthia Mtshweni because everything I have said about her was untrue.
My advice to the community that we must be mindful of the people we talk about and refrain from making false statement about others. Especially in situations that will put other people’s lives in danger. We should not abuse social media platforms because when you are in trouble no one will back you up you will be all alone. I want to bring back trust and dignity of Constable Cynthia Mtshweni as she is always helping our community and she is Law Enforcement Officer for the community. Constable Cynthia Mtshweni is not a bad person and I did not witness her killing any child or being involved with the members of the mentioned gang.
To all the parents, teachers in all the schools I plead with you all to continue working hand and hand with Constable Cynthia Mtshweni and the eMzinoni South African Police Services like we worked before.