Cyril Ramaphosa awaits panel report into security lapses during July unrest

The expert panel investigating security lapses during the July unrest has concluded its work but is yet to hand over the report to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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 expert panel investigating security lapses during the July unrest has concluded its work but is yet to hand over the report to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele told Eyewitness News that the president was likely to receive the report in the coming days.

Ramaphosa established the panel in August following days of widespread looting and destruction of property.

At the time, he said a team of experts would review government's preparedness and the shortcomings of its response. The three-member panel included human rights lawyer Advocate Mojanku Gumbi, former deputy head of the South African Secret Service Silumko Sokupa and University of Pretoria's Professor Sandy Africa, who also chaired the team.

The panel is hoped to provide answers to questions the country continues to grapple with, including government’s delayed response, the quality of intelligence gathered and the co-ordination between the different departments in the security cluster.

South Africans also want clarity on the back and forth spat between then Intelligence Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and Police Minister Bheki Cele on an intelligence report he claimed to have never received.

The work of this panel, unlike the Human Rights Commission hearings that were held publicly, has been behind closed doors with no telling who was called to testify about the July events.

Gungubele said Ramaphosa was already waiting to receive the report.

More than 300 people died during the unrest.