Hawks arrest 20 alleged instigators of public violence during July Unrest

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In a large-scale operation spanning six provinces, the Hawks have arrested 20 alleged instigators of public violence during the unrest in July last year.

The Hawks says in a statement that the suspects were arrested in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, North West, Free State, Western Cape, and the Northern Cape.

The multi-disciplinary team who worked on the investigation included the digital forensic investigation team.

Members of the National Intervention Unit, Tactical Response Team, and Public Order Policing Unit of the police assisted in the arrests.

It is alleged that the suspects used social media and other platforms to incite public violence.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Durban Magistrates Court tomorrow.

The unrest, believed to have been sparked by the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma, for contempt of court, caused widespread looting of shops and businesses.

It also led to the deaths of over 300 people.

Hawks makes arrests linked to the 2021 July unrest: Godfrey Lebeya

Earlier this month, the trial of an alleged instigator linked to last year’s looting incidents and civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal was postponed to next month at the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court.

Mdumiseni Khetha Zuma is charged with incitement to commit public violence and incitement to commit arson. This is in relation to the burning of the Brookside Mall.

The defense requested a postponement to allow time to consult with their client.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in KwaZulu-Natal, Natasha Ramskisson-Kara says, “While the State was ready to proceed to the effect that the witnesses were warned to be in court, the matter was postponed at the behest of the defense. The defense made an application for an adjournment stating that they required more time to consult with Zuma and finalise their instruction.”

July Unrest KZN | A look back at the worst unrest since apartheid: