According to the leader of a shack dwellers movement, the July unrest was planned at a higher political level.
S’bu Zikode testified as a leader for a large number of disadvantaged communities. The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), which is investigating the unrest, wanted to hear his side of the story.
On Monday, Zikode sat comfortably in the hot seat at the inquiry, giving his perspective on the July unrest. He claimed that after former President Jacob Zuma was imprisoned, there were already warning signs.
According to Zikode, the unrest had political overtones. “We also agree with the view that these riots were planned at a very high political level,” Zikode said.
He also told the commissioners that he saw police officers who appeared overly calm at the time. “At least those that I met were not really concerned about what was happening. It looks like there was an instruction from someone to stay unbiased to keep your job,” he said.
Although Zikode could not prove that the unrest was planned, he was convinced that someone or some people were to blame.