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No need to name those who provoked July unrest, looting in KZN and Gauteng, says David Mabuza

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The deputy president says there is no justification to mention the names of the so-called ’agent provocateurs’ behind the July unrest because the accused have appeared in court.

Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Cape Town – Deputy President David Mabuza says there is no justification to mention the names of the so-called “agent provocateurs” behind the July unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng because the accused have appeared in court.

“In each of these cases where there is evidence of criminal conduct they will be prosecuted in accordance with laws.

“We are pleased the affected provinces KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng are starting to normalise, businesses and logistics networks are back in full operations,” Mabuza said.

He made the statement when responding during an oral question session in the National Council of Provinces.

DA MP Tim Brauteseth asked him whether, in his responsibility in respect of social cohesion, Mabuza would make the identity of such “agent provocateurs” available and explain steps being taken to hold them accountable.

The July unrest was sparked after the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma and led to more than 359 deaths.

Mabuza said law enforcement agencies were still busy with investigations of criminal action and the violence of looting that took place during that period.

He also said people’s security and livelihoods had been restored.

“As for what measures had been taken to ensure the security of the country and its people, the president appointed a panel of experts to thoroughly conduct the country’s response to deal with such incidents in future.

“The Parliament will engage with the findings and recommendations.”

Mabuza also stated that the events and aftermath of July unrest were a stark reminder that “the project of building and consolidating a democratic society that is inclusive and reflective of the aspiration of the Constitution is far from over.”

He also said they acknowledged the support of all who found solutions to the problems brought by the unrest and supported efforts to restore calm in various affected areas during the post- unrest period.

He, however, said the extent of the poverty and inequality in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng suggested that all should work together and harder across the political divide to deepen and achieve inclusive growth as social cohesion was enhanced.

“It is incumbent on us to find shared solutions so that such incidents don’t repeat themselves,” he said.

Brauteseth said contrary to his statements, there were many businesses that had not opened in Durban.

“We know what the unrest was about; to liberate the former president from prison. Today, you can’t give the names. South Africans are not fools but demand answers when you will put South Africa first and ANC a distant second?” he said.

But, Mabuza said more than 18 people had been arrested.

He also said if anyone had any information that could help the police and justice authorities, they should step forward and disclose that information.

“We want to restore order in our country and want those involved to finally held accountable. We know where to go, so I would encourage our people to report such cases to our law enforcement agencies.”

Mabuza said he took note of Brauteseth’s comments that some businesses were not opened yet.

“As much as we say the situation is back to normal there are businesses that have applied to SASRIA for support, along with the Department (of Trade and Industry). A lot of work is being done to support smaller businesses by the Department of Small Business.

“All the interventions are starting to take root. It will take time to restore some of the businesses that were destroyed and burnt.”

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