The Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel will on Friday morning appear before the South African Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) hearings into the Gauteng leg of the July 2021 unrest.
About 350 people died in the week-long spree of violence and looting that caused billions of rand in damages to businesses and infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
On Thursday the commission heard that socio-economic challenges could have prompted residents of Soweto to loot many businesses. The commission is hearing evidence from community representatives from Soweto and Alexandra in Johannesburg. The week-long looting and violence severely impacted the businesses in the townships.
ANC should carry blame
Meanwhile, the Concerned Residents of Alexandra said the African National Congress (ANC) should carry the blame for the July 2021 unrest.
Appearing before the commission on Thursday Benjamin Chisari, who represents the group, accused supporters of the “Release Jacob Zuma Campaign” of being the driving force behind the unrest.
“The drive for propaganda was the drive Zuma Campaign. That was propaganda enough to confuse the country. That was the propaganda that they were pushing. And that propaganda was funded from the ANC itself. We know that. In fact, including the way that it was mobilized hence I’m saying it was not an unrest. There are certain comrades within the ANC who wish if I were to tell you it should in closed session who were given resources to drive these things.”
Chisari also told the commission that what happened in Alex was a warning to government.
“The reason I’m saying it’s a warning is because if not thoroughly explained. We may say it was a looting or unrest. They closed down the relief grant within a matter of days if not 60 days and people revolted. And it shows you that the revolt was sparked by something that was propaganda.”
In the video below, Professor for Public Law at the University of Pretoria, Koos Malan is being interviewed:
‘Police could’ve done’
On Monday, Police Minister, Bheki Cele told the Human Rights Commission hearings into the July 2021 unrest that police could’ve done more to prevent the situation from escalating but they were threatened.
He says police in KwaZulu-Natal were threatened by the instigators of the unrest that their families would be killed if they participate in efforts to quell the violence and looting of businesses.
HRC Hearings – Police Minister Bheki Cele testifies: