The three individuals who were arrested last week during protests against crime in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, will continue to be held in custody until their next court appearance.
The protest leaders, namely Lefa Nkala, Loyiso Toyiya, and community member Jack Hlongwane, appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday for their initial hearing.
They were apprehended during community demonstrations that took place on Thursday.
The trio is facing multiple charges related to the destructive protests, which include intimidation, public violence, malicious injury to property, and damage to essential infrastructure.
The police responded to sporadic incidents of violence connected to the protests, which were initiated by community members demanding improved policing due to the high levels of violent crime in the area.
The residents of Diepsloot are urging President Cyril Ramaphosa to address their concerns and are requesting the government to provide specific plans and timelines for addressing their service delivery issues.
During the court proceedings, State Prosecutor Tebogo Sello requested a seven-day postponement to conduct further investigations, including verifying the addresses and profiles of the accused individuals.
However, Magistrate Nosiphiwo Gcawu only agreed to reschedule the matter to Wednesday.
Phindi Mjonondwane, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), stated that at this stage, the State intends to oppose bail due to the nature of the charges against the three individuals.
The charges fall under schedule five offenses, and the State plans to reach a conclusion regarding bail once all investigations are completed.
Following the news of the postponement, the wife of one of the accused suffered an anxiety attack and collapsed outside the courtroom.
In response, community leader Reverend Thokwane Dithuge addressed the crowd and accused the State of fabricating some of the charges against the three men.
Although some supporters expressed their intention to resume protesting if their leaders were not released, Dithuge urged residents to remain calm and avoid engaging in further demonstrations.
He claimed that any damage occurring in the next two days would be used as evidence to support what he described as false allegations by the authorities.
Leaders from various political organizations, including Action SA, African Transformation Movement, Economic Freedom Fighters, and the South African National Civic Organization, echoed this call for calm.
However, residents are planning to mobilize a larger crowd to attend the court proceedings on Wednesday.