Hawks working to arrest more people for instigating July 2021 unrest

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The Hawks says it is working to arrest further instigators of last year’s July unrest.

Twenty alleged instigators were arrested on Thursday, in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, North West, Free State, the Western Cape and the Northern Cape.

They are expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Over 350 people died as a result of the violence, with R50 billion lost in damage to businesses and infrastructure.

The unrest allegedly stemmed from former president Jacob Zuma imprisonment.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Thandi Mbambo says, “Last year we arrested eight and yesterday [Thursday] we arrested 20. It should have been 21 but the other one [suspect] we found that the person is already deceased. The operation is continuing until we have rounded up everybody who played a role during that period.”

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 assisted in the arrests.

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

Below is the full interview with National Head of the Hawks Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya: