In a large-scale operation covering six provinces, the Hawks arrested 20 alleged instigators of communal violence during the riots last July.

A Hawks statement said the suspects were arrested in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, North West, Free State, Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces.

The multidisciplinary team working on the investigation included the Digital Forensics Investigation Team.

Members of the National Intervention Squad, Tactical Response Team and Police Public Order Squad assisted in the arrests.

The suspects are believed to have used social media and other platforms to incite violence in the community.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.

The riots, believed to have been sparked by the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of court, saw widespread looting of shops and businesses.

It also resulted in the death of more than 300 people.

Hawks Arrests Related to July 2021 Riots: Godfrey Lebey

Earlier this month, the trial of an alleged instigator linked to last year’s incidents of looting and civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal was adjourned until next month in the Pietermaritzburg District Court.

Mdumiseni Kheta Zuma is charged with inciting public violence and inciting arson. This is related to the arson of the Brookside Mall.

The defense requested an adjournment to allow time to confer with their client.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in KwaZulu-Natal, Natasha Ramskisan-Kara, says: “While the State was prepared for witnesses to be advised of the need to attend court, the case was adjourned at the request of the defence. The defense applied for an adjournment, saying they needed more time to consult with Zuma and finalize their brief.”

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