SAHRC postpones July unrest hearing until Thursday

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The Human Rights Commission’s hearings in Gauteng into the July 2021 unrest have been adjourned until Thursday.

It was postponed after  South African National Defence Force (SANDF) Chief General Rudzani Maphwanya, who was scheduled to appear, didn’t arrive.

The commission says the SANDF cited communication challenges on their part. It says a new notice has been issued for Maphwanya to appear on the first of March.

The hearing is probing the July 2021 unrest that left 350 people dead during a week-long looting spree and damage to infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal and some parts of Gauteng.

HRC Commissioner Andre Gaum says: “The Chief of the SANDF was scheduled to appear at 9h00 this morning. We were informed by his office that they were communication and scheduling issues on their side.

Following engagements with the evidence team and the hearing panel the Chief of the SANDF will now appear on March 1 2022 at 12h00. A notice to this effect has been issued.”

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.

HRC Hearings – Police Minister Bheki Cele testifies:

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.

Cele was the first witness to testify in the Gauteng leg of the hearings in Sandton, north of Johannesburg.