Cops arrested Sedibe after a message to occupy land went viral on Facebook

CHARGED: Mpumalanga EFF leader Collen Sedibe was arrested on Sunday after promising residents of Mbombela free residential stands. PICTURE BY MfisoDIGITAL/ZK

Mpumalanga police said a decision to swoop on and arrest the provincial leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters came after a message inviting people to come occupy land ‘went viral’ on Facebook.

Provincial police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the land belongs to the Mbombela municipality.

People were invited to come at 8 o’clock on Sunday morning “with the necessary tools or materials”, to come and build homes there.

The White River Magistrates Court on Monday morning this week released EFF provincial chairman Collen Sedibe and organiser Cyril Chuene on R500 bail each after their arrest on Sunday afternoon.

“The Facebook message was calling on people living near White River precinct to illegally occupy land belonging to the Mbombela municipality,” Hlathi said.

“It is alleged that Mr Sedibe have called on those looking for residential stands to come with the necessary tools/material on Sunday, 29 January 2017.

The Facebook post by Mpumalanga EFF leader that went viral.

“A number of people showed up at Plaston near White River with equipment as directed and were unaware that a case had been opened at Mbombela police station by the Mbombela municipality as soon as the free residential stands message surfaced,” Hlathi on Monday afternoon.

He said this particular message was viewed as inciting people to commit an illegal act, “hence the arrest of the two”.

The matter was postponed to 20 February 2017 for further investigation, Hlathi added.

(edited by ZK)

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