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SAHRC to investigate the civil unrest

Article by: Dumisane Dube

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has announced that it will hold hearings into the recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The Riots have claimed 337 lives according to the South African government.

The unrest started in KwaZulu-Natal as protests over former president Jacob Zuma’s imprisonment, but quickly escalated into arson and looting, and spread to Gauteng province.

SAHRC released a statement confirming that the commission will investigate the unrest as well as give recommendations.

“The commission deems it necessary in terms of its mandate to investigate and to take steps to secure appropriate redress with a view to preventing such a recurrence in the future and in the interests of victims. The impact of the unrest severely undermined the rule of law upon which the promotion and protection of human rights rests and threatened the stability of our constitutional democracy, which the commission has a constitutional mandate to strengthen,” stated SAHRC.

According to SAHRC the issues and concerns the commission will probe through the investigation include the role and effectiveness of enforcement by the State – particularly the South African Police Service and the security cluster as whole – in preventing and maintaining public order, including through the provision of adequate protection for the safety and security of the public and their property.       

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