Lebeya: None of the suspects linked to July unrest face high treason charges

This was revealed by Hawks head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya during his virtual testimony at the inquiry sitting in Umhlanga on Wednesday afternoon.

Rioters loot the Jabulani Mall in Soweto on 12 July 2021. South Africa's army said Monday it was deploying troops to two provinces, including its economic hub of Johannesburg, to help police tackle deadly violence and looting as unrest sparked by the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma entered its fourth day. Picture: Luca Sola/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has heard that none of the suspects linked to the incitement of violence that led to the July civil unrest face charges of high treason.

This was revealed by Hawks head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya during his virtual testimony at the inquiry sitting in Umhlanga on Wednesday afternoon.

Lebeya said 24 cases relating to the incitement of violence in July had been registered so far.

Of those, twelve are criminal dockets while the rest are still at the inquiry stage.

Lebeya said seven suspects had their day in court, two are from the Free State, three from Gauteng and two others are from KwaZulu-Natal.

An eighth suspect is expected to appear in the Roodepoort Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Lebeya said no one had been implicated in high treason: “We haven’t picked up the element that these individuals under investigations are going to face high treason. As the investigations continue, we shall see if these elements arise.”

He said they were monitoring eight other dockets that were being handled by the police’s detectives and forensics services, which included cases against Patriotic Alliance's Bruce Nimmerhoudt.