South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Friday testify at the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) National Investigative Hearing into the July 2021 unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
South Africa was shaken by violent protests in its most populous provinces, after former president Jacob Zuma started serving a 15-month jail term for ignoring a corruption inquiry.
More than 350 people lost their lives in the ensuing clashes between the protesters and police officers, with reports that at least 40,000 South African businesses were looted, burnt or vandalised.
The SAHRC investigative hearings are aimed at finding the root cause of the protests. Cabinet ministers, including South African Minister of Police Bheki Cele and Minister of Public Service and Administration Ayanda Dlodlo have already gave evidence at the sessions.
As the protests raged on in July, President Ramaphosa alleged that deadly violence and looting were planned.
“It is quite clear that all these incidents of unrest and looting were instigated, there were people who planned it and coordinated it,” he said at the time.
“We are going after them, we have identified a good number of them and, we will not allow anarchy and mayhem to just unfold in our country.”
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