Committee considers terms of reference for July unrest

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police will carefully consider and formulate the terms of reference for the enquiry into the unrest that took place mainly in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

This is according to committee chairperson Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

More than 300 people died and thousands were arrested when incidents of violence, looting and unrest spread in the two provinces in July.

Joemat-Pettersson emphasised that the two-week deference is to ensure that the terms of reference for the enquiry are clear, that the process falls within the ambit of the law, and that it can withstand scrutiny.

“We are steadfast that this process should not be a tick-box exercise, but a thorough process of accountability. It is on this basis that we want to ensure that our work is legally sound, guided by the rules of Parliament and is meaningful in ensuring prevention of similar acts in future,” she said.

During the two weeks, committee members will be allowed to submit recommendations to strengthen the terms of reference.

“We remain committed in our resolve to understand what led to lapses within the security establishment and what accountability mechanisms have been implemented. We also do not want to see a recurrence of the violence and looting that resulted in the loss of life and economic activity, and we are hopeful that this process will be a deterrent for such acts from reoccurring,” Joemat-Pettersson said.

The Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence is also embarking on a similar process into the role of intelligence services during the July riots.

Source: South African Government News Agency