unrest

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 15, 2021 Community members hold weapons as they stand at a road block in Phoenix Township, North Durban, to prevent looters from reaching the community. – June 8, 2022 marks the one year anniversary of the outbreak of deadly rioting triggered by the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma for ignoring a corruption inquiry. Violence spread through Zuma’s home province KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, the two most populous provinces which together account for half of South Africa’s economic output, claiming more than 300 lives. The violence escalated into the worst unrest since the end of apartheid, prompting President Cyril Ramaphosa to label it an attempted “insurrection”. (Photo by GUILLEM SARTORIO / AFP)

July Unrest one year later: 19 arrested for incitement, 86 more ‘being monitored’

Bheki Cele said the State is monitoring 86 more people who allegedly incited public violence during the July Unrest in 2021.

unrest

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 15, 2021 Community members hold weapons as they stand at a road block in Phoenix Township, North Durban, to prevent looters from reaching the community. – June 8, 2022 marks the one year anniversary of the outbreak of deadly rioting triggered by the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma for ignoring a corruption inquiry. Violence spread through Zuma’s home province KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, the two most populous provinces which together account for half of South Africa’s economic output, claiming more than 300 lives. The violence escalated into the worst unrest since the end of apartheid, prompting President Cyril Ramaphosa to label it an attempted “insurrection”. (Photo by GUILLEM SARTORIO / AFP)

The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster provided an update on the progress it’s made since the July 2021 unrest, which saw 354 people lose their lives.

SECURITY CLUSTER PROVIDE UNREST UPDATE

Thandi Modise, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, read a statement on behalf of the government. The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, also dealt with quite a number of the questions posed by members of the media.

Modise said the 354 people who died were not mere numbers and said the State is committed to ensuring that South Africa will not be subjected to the level of anarchy and destruction seen in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng between 9 and 18 July 2021 again.

Modise said that more than 8000 incidents were reported to the police, which led to at least 5000 arrests.

However, more than 3300 cases were finalised through non-prosecution – some were withdrawn in or before court. “Over 2900 cases were closed as undetected or unfounded,” said the minister.

More than 2435 cases are currently on the court roll and over 50 of those cases have been finalised with a guilty verdict.

Thousands more could still face a trial. “The investigation of about 2 200 cases is concluded pending a decision on the viability of the prosecution of the cases. A number of dockets have been referred to the Directors of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a decision further guidance and direction on the matter,” said Modise.

STATE MONITORING MORE ALLEGED UNREST INSTIGATORS

The State made special reference to 19 cases where suspects were arrested for alleged incitement of public violence. The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) is looking into eight of these cases while a special police detective team, set up in the wake of the unrest, is investigating 11 cases.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said two of the 19 cases have been withdrawn and “almost all” of the other incitement suspects are out on bail. He said the fact that they are out on bail means they have a case to answer.

In response to questions about why two of the cases were withdrawn, Cele said “A withdrawn case is not a case that is gone – it’s a case that can be reinstated if more information is found.”

The Minister also confirmed that some of the alleged instigators were involved in some form of government but could not say what their “credentials” are.

“I think one is a certain advocate, others are councillors, and others could be in some sort of level of government,” he said.

Cele previously named the alleged instigators in response to a written parliamentary question in March 2022.

They are Orifile Oratile Sedika, Crispin Bethwell Sibongiseni Sikhakhane, Themba Mnisi, Motsamai Phenias Letsoalo, Bonginkosi Khanyile, Mdumiseni Zuma, Zamaswazi Zinhile Majozi, Joe Bernington Mabaso, Mboneni Clarance Tabane, Brian Ngizwe Mchunu, Bruce Nimmerhoudt, Sibusiso Mavuso, Sabelo Msomil, Ike Thamsanga Khumalo, Solani Silawule, SD Nhlapo, DS Weyi, CS Zondo, M Mahlangu.

PHOENIX MURDERS

Modise said 164 cases were investigated in Phoenix, Durban, which was a hotbed of racial tension during and in the wake of the unrest. The investigation into 120 matters is still ongoing. In total 69 suspects were arrested for various crimes.

At least 35 people were murdered in Phoenix and 36 suspects were arrested in this regard while 31 suspects were arrested for attempted murder.

READ: