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‘We’ve been let down’: What you said about whether those responsible for the July unrest will be brought to book

12 July 2022 - 12:30
Trucks burn outside a warehouse in Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal during the unrest in July 2021.
Trucks burn outside a warehouse in Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal during the unrest in July 2021.
Image: Value Logistics

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While SA remembers the civil unrest, looting and criminality that gripped parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng a year ago, TimesLIVE readers have weighed in on whether those responsible will ever be brought to book.

The violence broke out after days of protests in KwaZulu-Natal linked to the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said those responsible for the unrest would “face the full might of the law”, and police minister Bheki Cele named 19 alleged instigators of the unrest who were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Free State last week.

Five of the 19 alleged instigators will have their matters proceed to trial this year, while cases against at least four have either been provisionally withdrawn or struck off the court roll.

Earlier this year, Mvelo Majola was sentenced to six years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to the theft of a motor vehicle during the unrest, and taxi driver Lungelo Nthenga was sentenced to an effective five years after he pleaded guilty to three counts of theft. 

We asked readers if they thought the instigators would be brought to book.

Most (90%) believe they would not and said “South Africans have been let down by government”, 5% remained hopeful and said the wheels of justice turn slowly, but they do turn.

The debate continued on social media.

“Inaction is a favourite and most productive action from government,” said Lucile Van de Wiele.

Papa Kelebogile Mphaludi Motsogi asked: “Will those responsible for money looting ever be held accountable?”

“Why didn’t they arrest all those people who had goods without buying slips in their homes when cops went searching? I think prisons would be overcrowded by now,” said MJ Hozanimadoda Qhali.

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