“Police did the best they could, under very difficult and challenging circumstances”, Ramaphosa on July unrest

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President Cyril Ramphosa says the organised nature and speed with which the July 2021 riots unfolded, made it impossible for the police to handle the unrest even if they had intelligence.

The SAPS have been criticised for not being able to prevent the looting and destruction of properties and businesses.

Some of the police failures have been blamed on the divisions and poor working relations between then National Police Commissioner Kehla Sitole and Police Minister Bheki Cele.

Cele has also denied receiving any intelligence from the State Security Agency warning of the impending riots.

Ramaphosa has been testifying at the hearings of the South African Human Rights Commission’s investigation into last year’s unrest.

“Given their lack of resources they had, lack of being properly organised themselves they would have been challenged themselves. The police did the best they could, under very difficult and challenging circumstances. The weaknesses they suffered from was the system, it was inherent, the system they operated under.”

President Ramaphosa testifies at the SAHRC July Unrest hearings: