Former State Security Agency (SSA) Minister Ayanda Dlodlo believes unemployment, poverty and inequality are the biggest threat to state security.
Dlodlo appeared before the South African Human Rights Commission’s Gauteng leg of the July 2021 unrest hearings in Sandton north of Johannesburg on Tuesday.
About 350 people died in the week-long looting of businesses and damages to infrastructure estimated at billions of rand in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
The Minister says this did not come as a surprise.
“You cannot have more than 30% of your youth unemployed and not see that as a powder cake. It is going to erupt one day. It is not a prophecy, it just needs us to think that it is going to happen because people are unemployed.”
“If you looked at what was going on in the malls. At any given time there were always 2000 to 3000 people looting. Now you want to tell me that a person who is employed can leave his place of employ to go and loot. I wouldn’t think so,” she adds.
Gauteng leg of HRC hearings into July unrest:
Earlier, Police Minister Bheki Cele told the Commission that there was good collaboration between the private security companies and the police in combating crime.
Cele also told the Commission that police could have done more to prevent the situation from escalating but they were threatened.
He says police in KwaZulu-Natal were threatened by the instigators of the unrest that their families would be killed if they participate in efforts to quell the violence and looting of businesses.
Cele testimony at the Commission: