Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
16 Nov 2021
9:50 am

LIVE UPDATES: Day 2 of SAHRC’s July unrest hearing [WATCH]

Citizen Reporter

From 15 November until 3 December, the SAHRC will be conducting a national investigative hearing to address concerns and information gathered on the July unrest.

Springfield Retail centre ion fire as vehicles are broken and stripped in the parking lot on 13 July 2021 in Durban, South Africa. Picture: Gallo Images

We’re covering day two of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) investigative hearings into the July unrest.

South Africa may finally get some answers regarding the devastating July riots which swept through KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng. 

Watch: July unrest hearing updates

Six witnesses will testify today. As the case progresses, the panel will hear from the KZN premier, academics, researchers, and journalists. 

The national investigative hearing, which began on Monday 15 November, will address the concerns and information gathered, and will provide recommendations and directives. 

The SAHRC conducted site inspections in both provinces earlier this year, as well as a national imbizo. Today’s hearing is part of a series that will last until 3 December. 

The investigation hearing will look into the following points: 

  • The cause of the unrest
  • The causes of allegedly racially motivated attacks and killings
  • Apparent lapses in law enforcement by state security agencies, especially the South African Police Service, as well as the role of private security companies
  • The social, economic, spatial and political factors present in the affected areas, and to what extent these aspects played a role in the unrest.

WATCH: JHB burning amid ‘Gauteng Shutdown’ protests

Damaging riots during a pandemic 

The 8-to-19 July riots results in more than 330 people losing their lives, and cost R25 billion in damages.

“The unrest has indeed deepened unemployment, poverty and rampant socio-economic inequality within South Africa,” the SAHRC said. 

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

Watch the proceedings below:

And during a crippling pandemic further deepening dismal unemployment figures and a struggling economy, the July riots threatened to cause irreparable damage. 

July unrests: Racism and orchestration

The SAHRC said there was also significant concern that many communities who took to the streets to protect their neighbourhoods and businesses used excessive force, racial profiling, assaults, arson, and killings in some instances.  

The SAHRC will also be critically investigating suggestions that the riots were orchestrated, that they were highly organised and instigated, and why authorities were not able to adequately prepare, as has been suggested.

WATCH: Chaos a ‘ticking time bomb’ we should have seen coming

Compiled by Nica Richards.