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Intelligence need to explain what happened before the riots flared up, says DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has requested President Cyril Ramaphosa to get clarity from intelligence as to what happened in the week before the riots broke out in KwaZulu-Natal and some parts of Gauteng.

It is estimated that over 330 people died in the violence, billions of rands worth of property and infrastructure destroyed, and thousands of jobs and livelihoods in jeopardy.

The violence was described as an uprising attempt to torn the country apart.

In a letter to President Ramaphosa on Friday, DA Federal leader, John Steenhuisen had requested the head of state to arrange a meeting with State Security Minister, Ayanda Dlodlo and Police Minister Bheki Cele to establish who knew about the violence and what action was taken.

Minister Dlodlo claimed she gave an intelligence report to law enforcement days before the unrest began, and Minister Cele contradicted the claim saying he didn’t see the report.

“The information we have indicates that the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure received such a warning on June 30 and that daily briefings were conducted, with specific warnings of the threat to shopping centres and major travel routes,” said Steenhuisen.

He said if Minister Cele claims to have no knowledge of the notice or briefing, then the question arises, who decided to disregard a notice deemed serious enough to be assigned orange status or withhold it from the Minister of Police?

“Crime Intelligence and the South African Police Service were unaccountable and disorganized when they responded to the incident. If credible intelligence reports were ignored or hidden, the culprits must be held accountable.  They cannot continue to serve on the Executive,” said Steenhuisen.

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