The past year has been a turbulent time for South African media personality Somizi Mhlongo.
Not only has he had to deal with the death of his mother and the breakdown of his marriage but he is set to face the full might of the law, when the matter of his alleged contravention of the Disaster Management Act goes to trial in October.
Speaking outside the Randburg Magistrates Court to The Citizen’s Narissa Subramoney on Thursday, Somizi’s lawyer Jaya Moodley confirmed that the case had been postponed for trial.
#Somizi made a brief appearance @Randburg Court,dressed in a white tracksuit. Charged with contravening lockdown regulations after @MbalulaFikile pressed charges for name dropping & misinformation over lockdown extension in April 2020. Trial will begin 12 Oct. @TheCitizen_News
— Narissa Subramoney (@NarissaS3) August 12, 2021
“Somizi, in April last year, 2020, he apparently made a remark to Dineo Ranaka on radio Metro that the lockdown will be extended and she asked him how he knows that and he said that Fikile Mbalula told him,” said Moodley.
“So he was charged in terms of Section 27 of contravening the Disaster Management Act. This was a live Instagram chat and somebody very mischievously screen recorded that from Instagram and just before the president [Cyril Ramaphosa] could announce the lockdown, they published this on various social media platforms,” he added.
According to Somizi’s lawyer, the matter had been postponed too many times for their liking over the last year for representations. During that time, a warrant for Somizi’s arrest had even been issued and later withdrawn. The reality TV star and celebrity choreographer had even been arrested and released on bail at some point.
He further added that the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) has, to date, not made a decision in regard to this.
“So I decided today that we’re fed up of the director of public prosecutions, we are going to postpone it for trial, there is no case against Somizi,” said Moodley.
Following the backlash of the recorded livestream, Somizi took to social media to clarify he just made the statement to “scare” Dineo about the extended lockdown.
He said he had not spoken to Mbalula about it, and his comment had merely been speculation based on his observations.
He further apologised to Mbalula for the “bad joke”.'
– The Citizen