More delays in the July 2021 unrest case that cost the economy almost R50 billion

The Makro Pietermaritzburg store after the 2021 July unrest. File Picture: DA KZN

The Makro Pietermaritzburg store after the 2021 July unrest. File Picture: DA KZN

Published Jan 30, 2024


The 65 people charged in connection with the unrest and public violence that took place July 2021 made their first appearance in the Durban High Court on Tuesday.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the matter was adjourned to April 8 for some of the accused to finalise their legal representation.

The accused face a total of eight charges, including terrorism, conspiring the commission of terrorism, sedition, public violence, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit public violence, and incitement to commit public violence.

According to the eight-page indictment, the accused were disgruntled following the Constitutional Court decision to jail former president Jacob Zuma for a period of 15 months in June 2021.

This was following the proceedings of the State Capture Commission, which was chaired by Justice Raymond Zondo.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) released a report on Monday following their investigation into the July 2021 unrest.

It found critical lapses in law enforcement, particularly within the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the role of private security companies.

The unrest, according to the report, cost the South African economy R50 billion and 354 people died.

The SAHRC also found that the unrest was orchestrated by perpetrators who were well resourced.

“The evidence further points to two types of actors in and during the July unrest. Primary actors, who were well resourced, led and executed the widespread destruction of property and perpetrated arson attacks. They in turn mobilised secondary actors, who participated in acts of theft at malls and other business premises.”

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