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486 people arrested for offences related to July civil unrest; 33 owners of ammunition recovered in the Phoenix community

Police Minister Bheki Cele addressing the media after engaging with the Phoenix Community leaders at the local police station. File Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Police Minister Bheki Cele addressing the media after engaging with the Phoenix Community leaders at the local police station. File Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Published Dec 27, 2021

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A TOTAL of 486 people were arrested for offences related to the unrest that took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July while a total of 33 owners of ammunition recovered in the Phoenix community at the time were identified and charged.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said: “A total of 18 persons have been arrested and charged for incitement to commit public violence related to the unrest that took place in KZN and Gauteng in July 2021. The accused are still before court, with the exception of one, against whom the charge was withdrawn, due to insufficient evidence. The investigations are continuing and the possibility of additional arrests are not ruled out,” Cele said.

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According to Cele, 486 people were arrested for offences related to the unrest, many of them, 411, were arrested for business burglary. The rest were arrested for attempted murder (31), assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (17), common assault (eight), arson (seven), carjacking (six), attempted business robbery (three), attempted business burglary (two) and defeating the ends of justice (one).

Cele was responding to a parliamentary written question by Annette Steyn of the DA who asked Cele what the total number of persons arrested for offences related to the unrest in KZN and Gauteng was and what they were charged with.

Steyn also asked whether the specified persons were found guilty and how many were found guilty.

In another parliamentary written question, Cele said a total of 33 owners of ammunition were identified and charged, while investigations were continuing.

Cele was responding to a parliamentary written question submitted by the EFF’s Sinawo Tambo who had asked what progress had been made in identifying the owners of the ammunition which was recovered in the Phoenix community during the killings in KZN and where the specified ammunition sourced from.

“The 963 live rounds of ammunition were confiscated from the 33 arrested persons and the ammunition has been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for ballistic examination, in order to determine the manufacturer of the ammunition (the source),” Cele said.

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