THE State has dropped charges of inciting hatred of another tribe against 23 Mthwakazi Youth Leaders’ Joint Resolution (MYLJR) activists, who allegedly led a protest against Zesa for employing people from outside Matabeleland to dig trenches.
REPORT BY SILAS NKALA
Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushove dropped the charges after the State indicated that it was no longer pursuing them.
Mushove also relaxed reporting conditions for the 23. They will now report to the police monthly instead of weekly.
However, the court is yet to make a ruling on their application for referral of the case to the Supreme Court, where the activists intend to contest the constitutionality of charges laid against them.
Mqondisi Moyo and 22 others were initially charged with inciting hatred of another tribe, holding an illegal protest and being a criminal nuisance.
Moyo and Busani Sibindi, as conveners, were separately further charged with failure to notify the regulatory authority prior to their intended protest, while the 21 others will only face criminal nuisance charges.
But their lawyer Dumisani Dube said he was still opposing the constitutionality of charges laid against his clients.
The magistrate remanded the case to August 23 and the protesters are out of custody on $50 bail.
The 23 were arrested on April 8 this year while demonstrating against Zesa’s move to employ 300 people from outside Bulawayo at its Insukamini substation in Emganwini.
They were charged with two counts, one of criminal nuisance and the another of causing an offence to persons of a particular race or region as defined in Sections 46 as read with Section 2 (v) of the third schedule to the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and Section 42 (2) of the same Act, respectively.
The State is yet to get advice from Deputy Attorney-General Florence Ziyambi on how they should respond to the application for the referral of the case to the Supreme Court.
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