Action SA leader Herman Mashaba. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
Action SA leader Herman Mashaba. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Herman Mashaba calls for inquiry into unrest, gives Ramaphosa 60 days

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jul 27, 2021

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Johannesburg - ActionSA is giving President Cyril Ramaphosa 60 days to appoint a judicial inquiry to probe the unrest that spread through Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal two weeks ago, its leader Herman Mashaba says.

Citizens went on a looting rampage in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal which left many businesses damaged and infrastructure damaged.

more than 200 people lost their lives and law enforcement authorities have begun probing murder cases and inquest dockets.

Ramaphosa had labelled the violence an attempted insurrection and deployed 25 000 SANDF members to help calm the situation in both provinces.

He has since promised that those behind the planning of the events would be found and held accountable.

Only a handful of people have been arrested for activities linked to inciting violence.

On Tuesday, Mashaba said the actions of the past two weeks could only be labelled as high treason and crimes against the state. He said that Ramaphosa should have characterised it as such.

He said the state had failed to get wind of the unrest in the days leading up to it. The threats had begun in the days leading up to former president Jacob Zuma beginning his prison sentence.

Mashaba said the actions were an attack on democracy and had used genuine concerns from citizens to mask political intentions.

The government was treating this matter lightly and as an "agenda item". He warned that such actions could be repeated.

To force Ramaphosa's hand, ActionSA said it would write to the president to institute a commission of inquiry into the unrest. The party would give him 60 days to do so. Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo should pick the judges who would help chair the inquiry, Mashaba said.

ActionSA wants the inquiry to:

* Identify the ringleaders from the ANC and wherever else they might have come from and who were responsible for the co-ordinated attacks on communities.

+ Establish the culpability of senior ANC members and politicians in inciting acts of violence and destruction.

* Determine who funded the operation of the co-ordinated attacks.

* Determine whether any current and former members of the SAPS, SANDF or South African intelligence apparatus supported the insurrection.

* Examine the impact of the security cluster’s failure to timeously address violence on the well-being of residents’ lives and livelihoods in KZN and Gauteng.

* Make recommendations for criminal prosecutions for those implicated in the co-ordinated attacks, where appropriate.

Mashaba said that if Ramaphosa did not appoint an inquiry, then the party would report the matter to the public protector. He compared it to when Zuma was forced to appoint a probe into state capture allegations.

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Political Bureau

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