AHRC Hearings Reveal Preceding Tensions and Warning Signs Before the 2021 July Unrest in South Africa, with Police Commissioner’s Testimony Unveiling Critical Incidents

AHRC Hearings Reveal Preceding Tensions and Warning Signs Before the 2021 July Unrest in South Africa, with Police Commissioner’s Testimony Unveiling Critical Incidents

SAHRC Hearings Uncover Prelude to 2021 July Unrest:

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) hearings investigating the 2021 July unrest have brought to light crucial testimony from KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Police Commissioner, General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

His statements reveal significant crowd management incidents preceding the outbreak of unrest in June 2021.

Timeline of Events Before the Unrest:

Large Crowds at Nkandla Until 7 July:

Commissioner Mkhwanazi highlights that large crowds gathered at Nkandla until 7 July, leading to arrests primarily for COVID-19 restriction violations.

Caution was exercised to avoid violence, with communication and coordination proving crucial during President Zuma’s arrival on 7 July.

Peaceful Day in KZN on 8 July:

The province experienced peace on 8 July, with expressions of gratitude from the Minister of Police and the KwaZulu-Natal Commissioner for the handling of the Nkandla episode.

Protests and Blockades on 9 July:

Unexpected blockades and disruptions to traffic began on 9 July, with attempts to block roads.

Pro-Zuma protesters in Empangeni burned tires, leading to arrests and escalating tensions.

Protests Spill Over to Johannesburg on 11 July:

Protests intensified, leading to looting, store destruction, and road blockades in Durban.

Johannesburg faced fire incidents, and President Ramaphosa warned of arrests for violence related to Zuma’s arrest.

Unrest Disrupts Vaccine Rollout on 12 July:

The outbreak of violence and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng further delayed the country’s vaccination rollout program.

Incidents of looting, including Jabulani Mall in Soweto, were reported.

Briefings and Responses on 13 and 14 July:

Gauteng Premier David Makhura briefed the media on the response to looting, while the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) distanced itself from members involved in looting.

The unrest resulted in fatalities, and various figures and organizations responded, including the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and King Misuzulu KaZwelithini.

Impact and Responses to Widespread Unrest:

The timeline underscores the complexities and challenges leading up to the traumatic events of the 2021 July unrest, providing insights into the unfolding tensions and responses from various sectors of society.

TDPel Media

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