South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) chairman Andre Gaum has announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be invited to appear before the commission’s hearing on the July 2021 unrest that erupted in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal to account for of the government’s response.
Gaum said Ramaphosa is expected to appear before the committee in April during the third round of testimony following the completion of the second leg that focused on events in Gauteng.
Gaum also announced that the committee is expected to begin finalizing its report.
“Given the extent of human rights violations during the events that took place between 8 and 19 July 2021 in the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, the Commission exercised its constitutional and legal mandate to investigate the causes of unrest and the impact on the human rights,” said Gaum.
The hearing committee heard testimonies from survivors, various community members, industry players in the trade, private security and state officials, as well as leading politicians, including ministers Bheki Cele and Ronald Lamola.
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According to the SAHRC, the hearing is a matter of national concern and includes various rights, such as that to “security, the right to be free from all forms of violence, the right not to have his property seized and the right to life.” “.
The commission received R3 million from Treasury to investigate the cause of the unrest and prepare a report.
Earlier in February, the report of a panel of experts appointed to investigate, among other things, the root cause of the riots that swept through the two provinces, concluded that the catastrophic failure of the police, intelligence services and the executive branch to quell the violence resulted in destruction and looting, wiping R50 billion from the economy, killing more than 354 people and injuring others.
In addition, it found that internal ANC fighting has now become a matter of national security and a serious source of instability in the country.
Together with inequality, poor service, high unemployment, the culture of violence and the looting of state resources, they have created the perfect breeding ground for future violent outbreaks of this magnitude.
“Our constitution is based on the principle of accountability. The Commission’s mandate includes monitoring and assessment of human rights compliance in the Republic. Ultimately, under the Constitution of the Republic, it is the Commission’s job to investigate and report cases of human rights violations and to take steps to obtain appropriate remedies,” said Gushwell Brooks of the commission.
The second leg of the hearings began on February 21 and ended on Friday, March 4, with the third leg expected to resume in April.