Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
1 minute read
1 Dec 2021
4:58 pm

SAHRC July unrest: Another instigator arrested, Hawks chief confirm

Cheryl Kahla

Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya said the suspect will be charged within 48 hours.

A South African police officer arresting a suspected looter in Durban on July 12, 2021. Photo: AFP/Stinger. Insert: Lt Gen Godfrey Lebeya. Photo: Gallo Images/Sunday Times/Alaister Russell

Hawks’ Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya on Wednesday testified at the South African Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) investigative hearing into the July unrest.

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu took to the stand first, followed by Lebeya and KZN police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi

July unrest: Updates from SAHRC

Lebeya had been tasked with identifying instigators and other individuals of interest.

During his testimony, the Hawks chief confirmed another instigator had been arrested on Tuesday, 30 November, bringing the total number of cases to 25.

Lebeya said the suspect will be charged within 48 hours.

Riots at planned at political level

S’bu Zikode, the leader of the shack dwellers movement Abahlali baseMjondolo who represents poverty-stricken communities, testified on Monday.

He said the “riots were planned at a very high political level”; one of the indicators, was how calm police appeared at the time.

Zikode said the officers he interacted with “were not really concerned about what was happening. […] It looks like there was an instruction from someone to stay unbiased to keep your job”.

Sitole’s report discrepancy

Then on Tuesday, Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole was questioned regarding an intelligence report about the unrest, which Police Minister Bheki Cele said he had not received.

Sitole told the commission not all intelligence reports had been sent to Cele, as he “picks out what is relevant for the briefing of the minister”.

Sitole said he “personally did not receive a report relating to modus operandi pertaining to the violence” prior to the outbreak of the riots back in July.

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