The unrest left 354 people dead and more than R50bn lost to the economy by malls being set alight and delivery trucks torched along the N3.
Africa also wrote there was a worry that the violence left behind a sense of uncertainty and vulnerability because of the ineffective response of the security services and an appetite for lawlessness by those who might feel emboldened by the apparent lack of state capacity.
“Perhaps the most significant input made, which we heard several times, was that what appears to be factional battles in the ANC have become a serious source of instability in the country. This is a matter of great concern, and the reasons for this need to be identified sooner rather than later.
“For their part, the security services are uncertain about how to effectively address this convergence of violent criminal conduct with mainstream politics, given the correct posture taken by the country to ensure that political activity stays free of state security interference,” Africa wrote.
The panel found that police did not get any intelligence to plan operations.
“It is not clear why this was so, but one of the reasons may be that at least six members of the senior leadership of [crime intelligence] were suspended in the period leading up to the outbreak of the violence. It would be difficult for an organisation that had been hollowed out in that manner to rise to the occasion in times of crisis.”
In a statement, the president's acting spokesperson Tyrone Seale said Ramaphosa welcomed the report, adding that he would outline actions the government would take in response to the findings at the State of the Nation Address.
“The panel was mandated to examine all aspects of the security response and to make recommendations on how to strengthen security capabilities,” Seale said.