After listening to five weeks of testimonies over the July unrest that rocked South Africa, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has now got South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to testify.
Various other oral testimonies have comprised government officials, including ministers and premiers. According to a formal statement made by Chairperson Andre Gaum Mr. Ramaphosa is expected to give evidence in throughout April when the commission reconvenes for the third leg of hearings.
Mr. Ramaphosa was the serving President at the time when this mayhem rocked South Africa, where as many as 350 people lost their lives. The unrest carried on for a span of almost two weeks, accompanied by mass hysteria on the roads, widespread looting and damage to property and infrastructure mostly around KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces.
Looking at the serious human rights violations that have been said to have occurred between 08 and 19 July 2021, ‘the commission took it upon itself to exercised its constitutional and statutory mandate and has therefore entered into full blown investigation behind the causes of the unrests, as well as the impact on human rights,’ Gaum has furthered added. “The commission has a large volume of evidence to work with and will not state when its provisional report will be available and the final report. But we can commit every resource available to finalising the report as soon as possible.” South Africa’s economy lost an estimated 3.4 billion dollars from the deadly riots led destruction of infrastructure and looting, according to the Presidency. The riots essentially erupted after the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma over allegations on contempt of court. The 2021 South African unrest, has been also known as the Zuma unrest or Zuma riots, and has been considered a wave of civil unrest.