Five members of the Mthwakazi Republic Party who were arrested for public violence at the High Court have been granted $100 bail.
Partrone Xaba (43), Akim Ndebele (32), Prince Ncube (28), Ndabezinhle Ncube (38) and Mongameli Mlotshwa (38) pleaded not guilty to a charge of participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence.
Mlotshwa also appeared separately in the same court facing an assault charge where he is alleged to have beaten a police officer.
Bulawayo provincial magistrate Tinashe Tashaya remanded them to September 2 for trial.
The MRP members are being represented by Dumisani Dube of Mathonsi-Ncube law chambers.
State prosecutor, Mufaro Mageza told the court that on August 28 they were gathered outside the High Court where Chief Ndiweni’s bail hearing was in progress.
He said they started singing a Ndebele song with the lyrics “lina Mashona lalibulala obaba” while waving placards written Free Ndiweni, Ndiweni’s life is in danger, we want justice, No to tribalism, Hands off our Chief, Bulawayo magistrates for Bulawayo people, justice for Matabeleland, Devolution in action.
Mageza said the accused people were caught on camera by police photographers from the Criminal Investigation Department who had been deployed.
Mageza said Mlotshwa assaulted Wellington Masuna, a police officer who had been deployed to monitor rowdy crowds on the day.
“Masuna, who was wearing civilian attire, received a phone call. While on the phone Mlotshwa called him a thief. He started pushing Masuna and tried to strike him with his hand but failed since Masuna had turned and grabbed him by the belt. He then kicked Masuna once on the stomach,” said Mageza.