SAHRC expected to conclude public hearings into 2021 July unrest

The unrest culminated in deadly looting and violence that claimed over 350 lives.

FILE: SAHRC commissioners Chris Nissen (left), Andre Gaum (centre) and Philile Ntuli (right) listen to evidence during hearings into the 2021 July unrest. Picture: @SAHRCommission/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is expected to conclude public hearings on Tuesday into the civil unrest that occurred in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal in July last year.

The unrest culminated in deadly looting and violence that claimed over 350 lives.

It also caused public and private infrastructure damage amounting to billions of rands.

The hearings into the July civil unrest began in Durban in November last year.

The city was the epicentre of the violence and recorded the highest number of deaths and incidents of vandalism.

So far, the SAHRC's Andre Guam, Philile Ntuli and Chris Nissen have heard evidence from various quarters, including civilians, businesspeople, the police and politicians.

The hearings moved to Gauteng in February this year.

Witnesses have so far detailed that a lack of preparedness on the part of the police, poverty and racism contributed to the violence and looting.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who testified earlier this year, referred to the unrest as a well-coordinated attack on the country's democracy.

A non-profit organisation called the Social Cohesion Group is expected to give final oral testimony on the unrest on Tuesday afternoon.