South Africa: Nine Lost Days - SA Government Was Uniquely Placed to Stop the July Insurrection - but It Didn't


From 29 June to midnight 7 July, South Africa's law enforcement agencies wasted nine days during which it is now clear the execution of a planned, violent insurrection was put in motion.

SA Police Service Crime Intelligence, Military Intelligence and the State Security Agency, from the date the Constitutional Court handed down Jacob Zuma's 15-month jail sentence and set a 4 July deadline for the former president to hand himself over (extended to 7 July), missed many opportunities to rouse a hand of steady leadership over a Code Red button.

The question now is, might the inaction in fact have been a form of action in itself?

At the time, the government was uniquely positioned in the form of the National Coronavirus Coordinating Council (NCCC) to deal with a threat of this magnitude.

The NCCC has been running South Africa since its establishment in March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been at the centre of swift decision-making and has extraordinary authority.

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) forms the technical spine of the NCCC and meets daily to process issues before it submits reports to the NCCC.

The NCCC, together with Natjoints as its...

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