Home South African SANDF chief to take the stand at hearing into July unrest

SANDF chief to take the stand at hearing into July unrest

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SANDF Chief General Rudzani Maphwanya had failed to arrive at the hearings last Wednesday to testify.

Members of the SANDF on patrol in Alexandra in July last year. Soldiers were deployed to Gauteng and KZN to curb rampant looting and civil unrest. Picture: Elmond Jiyane-GCIS

SANDF Chief General Rudzani Maphwanya is expected to appear before the SA Human Rights Commission’s Gauteng leg hearings of the July 2021 unrest on Tuesday afternoon.

This comes after Maphwanya failed to arrive at the hearings last Wednesday to testify. According to the SANDF there was miscommunication on their side.

President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed the SANDF members during the chaotic situation South Africa was in in July last year. According to Ramaphosa, the aim of the deployment was to stabilise, maintain peace and order and also make sure that unrest did not continue.

However, eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda told the commission that the July unrest was triggered by the Constitutional Court’s judgment of June 29, 2021 where former president Jacob Zuma was found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to a period of 15 months imprisonment.

When Police Minister Bheki Cele appeared before the commission last week, he said the intelligence agency deliberately withheld reports that could have helped the SAPS tackle the violence that broke out during the July unrest.

The July unrest claimed more than 350 lives and caused huge damage to businesses and infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng worth over R50 billion. Local businesses were damaged, jobs were lost and community members were left stranded by the unrest.

A number of witnesses previously told the commission that they believed the unrest was “organised” and “well-focused” to damage the economy and bring the government to its knees.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission is doing an inspection today in Alexandra township, Joburg on areas that were badly damaged or affected by the July unrest.

Political Bureau

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