Police Minister General Bheki Cele told the Human Rights Commission on Friday that he did not remember seeing National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole involved in ensuring stability during the July looting and violence.

This is after the police and South Africa’s Intelligence Forces have come under fire for failing to prevent and deal with the unrest that cost businesses tens of billions in damages and losses.

More than 350 people were killed. The Commission has heard that many communities took matters into their own hands and secured their neighbourhoods.

Cele has told the commission that Sitole was missing in action

“I don’t remember seeing the commissioner in all these things whether in Pretoria whether in Soweto, whether in eThekwini, whether in Empangeni, can you please explain the commissioner being off? Police, national, provincial  General Khehla Sitole I don’t know. I’m told I being here we were trying to find him in the wrong places. I think those that wanted him in the wrong place, he should have tried and been in the right places not to be in the wrong places, he should have found things in the right places. The right place is where things were happening.”

KZN hearings concluded

The KwaZulu-Natal leg of the hearings by the South African Human Rights Commission into July’s civil unrest has concluded.

The Commission says it will resume in February next year in Gauteng.  For the past three weeks, the Commission heard testimony from victims, civil society groups and government ministers among others.

Commission chair Advocate Andre Gaum also announced that the window period for public submissions has been re-opened.

“So we are opening up the window of opportunity for submissions and the reason, therefore, is  basically because of the immense public interest that we are receiving. So all the submissions that were received after the 26th of last month November will also be taken into account and we will announce it at a later date when the time for submissions will close but secondly, this is the last day of our hearing in KwaZulu-Natal. The hearing will continue but in Gauteng in February.”

SAHRC hearing into July unrest: 03 December 2021