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July unrest in the spotlight at SAHRC hearings

12 November 2021

Public hearings into the unrest that swept the country in July, particularly in Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal, will commence on Monday.
The South African Human Rights Commission says its national investigative hearings will span three weeks.

“The unrest was characterised by the loss of life, the targeting of retail centres, malls, shops and other businesses, schools as well as transport systems,” said spokesperson Gushwell Brooks.

He said reports state that damages emerging from the claims being dealt with by the State insurance company, in the wake of the unrest, amounted to R25 billion.

“Also, of concern to the Commission, are reports that as many communities took to the streets to protect their neighbourhoods and businesses, allegations surfaced of the excessive use of force, racial profiling, assaults, arson, and killings in some places,” he said.

Brooks said it has also been suggested 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.”

He said the Panel, led by Commissioner Andre’ Gaum will inquire into, make findings, report on, and make recommendations and concerning the causes of the unrest, the causes of the alleged racially motivated attacks and killings, and the “apparent lapses in law enforcement” and the role of private security companies in the unrest.”

Source: GCIS

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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