LISTEN | State, academics, researchers and journalists to give testimony about July unrest and looting — SAHRC

15 November 2021 - 13:07
The Brookside Mall in Pietermaritzburg was one of the retail centres targeted and set ablaze by protesters during unrest and looting in KwaZulu-Natal earlier this year. File photo.
The Brookside Mall in Pietermaritzburg was one of the retail centres targeted and set ablaze by protesters during unrest and looting in KwaZulu-Natal earlier this year. File photo.
Image: Twitter

Day one of the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) hearings regarding the unrest and looting in July kicked off on Monday.

The first day of the hearings focused on community representatives from affected communities.

After the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma in July, demonstrators took to the streets in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in protests which turned into looting of businesses and unrest that claimed the lives of more than 300 people. The chaos is estimated to have cost businesses billions of rand.

According to the commission, South African Special Risk Insurance Association (Sasria) claims amounted to R25bn.

“The unrest accordingly exacerbated, among other things, inequality between certain communities, unemployment levels, poverty, hunger and food insecurity,” the commission said.

The SAHRC investigation will focus on “the causes of the unrest, of racially motivated attacks and killings following the unrest, causes of the apparent lapses in law enforcement and particularly the police and the role of private security companies in the unrest, social, economic spatial and political factors prevalent in the affected areas and the extent to which these played a role in the unrest,” said commissioner André Gaum, chairperson of the hearing panel.

“The commission has invited members of communities affected, members of the public and members of the business fraternity to make submissions. 

“We have also extended invitations to state role players, including ministers and former ministers in the security cluster,” he said. 

The hearings will continue until December 3 2021.

Listen to the chairperson of the hearing, André Gaum:

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