July unrest: Cele reveals list of alleged instigators – report

The names of those said to be the instigators of last year’s devastating July unrest have been revealed.

According to News24, Police Minister Bheki Cele revealed a list of 19 names in response to a parliamentary question posed by DA MP Dean Macpherson.

In addition to the names of the people allegedly behind the unrest, Cele also confirmed they had already been arrested.

Investigations into adding more names to the list are ongoing, Cele added in his response.

Below is the list provided by Cele:

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

July unrest warning signs

During the South African Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) investigative hearings into the July riots, Cele said last moth during his testimony he did not recall receiving any intelligence report on riots from police or the State Security Agency.

This despite signs of a looming unrest, which took over parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, and left more than 300 people dead and billions in damages.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said the warning signs of what was coming were all there, ahead of the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma last year.

Cele said at the time, Saps’ Crime Intelligence division head and other top police officials had been removed.

However, despite internal strife, Cele said he should have received reports from crime intelligence, and that “some deliberate decision was taken” not to brief him.

National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole previously told the SAHRC not all intelligence reports were sent to Cele, and that it was not necessary to send the early warning report received on the July riots to Cele.

During shack dwellers movement Abahlali baseMjondolo leader S’bu Zikode’s SAHRC testimony, he said apart from “the level of hate and anger” which lead to the riots, that they were planned at a political level.

A panel of experts appointed to investigate the reasons behind the July 2021 riots, found that internal ANC battles have become a serious source of instability in the country.

Poorly rolled-out programmes of service delivery and unacceptable living conditions were also said to have been at the core of the unrest.

Compiled by Nica Richards. Additional reporting by Molefe Seeletsa, Narissa Subramoney, Thapelo Lekabe and Siyanda Ndlovu.

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