Three community leaders from Diepsloot, known as the “Diepsloot three,” are scheduled to appear in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court today, facing charges related to public violence.
According to EWN, the arrests of Lefa Nkala, Loyiso Toyiya, and Jack Hlongwane followed community-led protests in June in response to escalating crime concerns within the Diepsloot area. The demonstrations erupted after the tragic murder of former community policing forum leader John Makola, who was fatally shot while attempting to aid a shopkeeper under attack during a robbery.
The “Diepsloot three” were identified as prominent community leaders during the protests, which led to their subsequent arrest on charges of public violence, along with other allegations, including intimidation, incitement to commit public violence, malicious injury to property, and damage to essential infrastructure.
Following their arrest, the trio spent nearly a week in custody before being released on bail of R500 each in early July. The State did not oppose their bail application. However, investigating officer Khanisani Mathibela informed the court that the charges against them were serious. Mathibela alleged that the accused had intimidated shop owners within the Chuma Mall in Diepsloot, allegedly coercing them to join the protest actions under threat of looting.
Additionally, the community leaders face accusations of dismantling street vendors’ stalls purportedly to compel their participation in the demonstrations.
The “Diepsloot three” have consistently maintained their innocence, refuting any allegations of wrongdoing. The case has been postponed for further investigations, with the accused scheduled to reappear in court on Thursday.
Picture: Twitter / JacaNews
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