Ramaphosa appoints expert panel to probe unrest response
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PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed an expert panel to assess the government's response to the unrest that swept through KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng three weeks ago.
Ramaphosa announced the panel on Thursday as he detailed changes to his national executive.
He spoke to three challenges facing the country, one of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, economic recovery and also providing support to those in need.
Ramaphosa had repeatedly said the government had not done all it could to respond timely to the unrest.
He apologised and announced a package of economic relief measures meant to assist businesses and workers who were affected as looters rampaged through stores.
"While calm has been restored to the affected areas and our law enforcement agencies are working hard to bring those responsible to justice, we have acknowledged that our security services were found wanting in several respects.
"As part of the critical measures we are undertaking to strengthen our security services and to prevent a recurrence of such events, I am appointing an expert panel to lead a thorough and critical review of our preparedness and the shortcomings in our response," he said.
The members of the panel are:
–Professor Sandy Africa, as chairperson,
– Mojanku Gumbi
– Silumko Sokupa
"The panel will examine all aspects of our security response and will make recommendations on strengthening our capabilities," he said.
There were specific concerns over the state security clusters’ response to the unrest and Thursday's reshuffle indicated Ramaphosa's awareness of the issue.
He has removed the state security portfolio and this will lie within the presidency. He said this will help strengthen it. The ministry was previously chaired by Ayanda Dlodlo who has now been moved to the public service and administration ministry.
Ramaphosa has also appointed Dr Sydney Mufumadi as a national security adviser, a position which was previously held by Charles Nqakula.
Mufumadi has previously served in the security ministry and has been outspoken about the government’s state security.