Ramaphosa expects report on July unrest soon

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa
Image: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa told parliament on Thursday he expects a report “soon” from the panel investigating the riots and looting in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July.

“The panel has been hard at work and will soon be reporting to me. They had expected to report a week or two ago. They have asked for an extension and they will certainly be giving me their report shortly,” said Ramaphosa.

He was answering a question from DA leader John Steenhuisen in the National Assembly.

Steenhuisen's question was a follow-up to a question asked about the work of the presidential task team on military veterans, looking into the incident in which members of the executive were held hostage in Irene in Pretoria on October 14 to highlight the challenges veterans face.

He asked Ramaphosa why the July unrest, which devastated the economy and led the huge job losses, had not received the same attention.

“We certainly welcome the justice that is going to come for the veterans in SA and I think you can see the effectiveness of the presidential task team. If this issue has received the attention of the presidential task team, how come we still do not have a presidential task team for the July unrest that happened in KwaZulu-Natal?

“Because there was a hostage situation there where the residents were held hostage because of warring factions between the governing party, and they have had to make do with an SA Human Rights Commission hearing.”

Four months later, no high-profile arrests had been made and no instigators fingered in the unrest had been taken into custody.

Ramaphosa replied that when he received the report, “I will be able to have a much more globular look at precisely some of the failures, some of which can still be carrying on. And then we can only determine exactly what action needs to be taken. Let us wait for that”.

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