Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
20 Sep 2021
1:46 pm

SA unrest: SAHRC to probe causes and impact of violence, looting

Cheryl Kahla

The causes of alleged racially motivated attacks and killings during the July unrest will be investigated.

Looted shops during unrest in Actonville, Benoni, 12 July 2021. Picture: Citizen.co.za/Neil McCartney

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will look into the cause of the July unrest and the hearings will commence on 15 November 2021.

The SAHRC said the cause of unrest, “as well as the impact on human rights”, would be heard over a three-week period, scheduled to end on 3 December.

The commission said the “impact of the unrest and its associate activities have been devastating for the country’s economy, which has already been significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

In addition, the spate of violence “further attributed huge financial losses to businesses some of which will not be able to recover”, which in turn, resulted in large-scale job losses.

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“There are suggestions that the unrest was orchestrated, that there was a high degree of organisation and instigation that led to the unrest and that the authorities ought to have known and adequately prepared to secure the various towns and cities affected”, the SAHRC said in a statement.

The commission will now investigate whether human rights were violated in the process, and which steps are needed to “secure appropriate redress where human rights have been violated”.

The following points will be considered:

  • The causes of the July unrest, with particular focus on Gauteng province and KwaZulu-Natal.
  • The causes of the alleged racially motivated attacks and killings following the unrest.
  • The causes of the apparent lapses in law enforcement by state security agencies, particularly the South African Police Service (Saps), and the role of private security companies in the unrest.
  • The social, economic, spatial and political factors prevalent in the various affected areas and the extent to which these played a role in the unrest.

The SAHRC calls on interested parties to make submissions by email hearings@sahrc.org.za, or by writing to the Gauteng Provincial Office, Private Bag x2700, Houghton, 2041.

Submissions to the KwaZulu Natal Provincial Office may be sent to PO Box 1456, Durban, 4000, while the Gauteng Provincial Office may reached on WhatsApp: +2782-059-6520.

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