6 August 2021
From the desk of the General Secretary, Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana
The South African Council of Churches (SACC) is pleased to learn that the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is planning hearings into the recent incidents of civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng.
Reports have indicated that the hearings have been initiated in terms of the
SAHRC’s constitutional mandate, following the various concerns and complaints raised by different entities and individuals in both provinces in the wake of the civil unrest and the deaths of more than 300 people, in recent weeks. “Our hope is that these hearings will leave no stone unturned in identifying the motivating lint that set fire to the ready context of poverty and wants; the planning of which seemed well orchestrated; the vigilantism that acted with what seemed a calculated execution campaign of Africans at sight, in places like Phoenix in KwaZulu Natal; and what appeared to be a well-choreographed triggering of violence and wanton looting across both provinces”, said Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, General Secretary of the SACC. “The Commission’s enquiry is no substitute for the duty of the law enforcement system that must work to unearth those behind all this, the killers and the looters, and bring them to book. But the Human Rights Commission will help us bring the additional focus on where the country has failed to build a cohesive society where racial profiling is not used to deny other people their right to life”, said Bishop Mpumlwana, adding that the manner in which these acts of unruliness were replicated across the two provinces should be of grave concern to all South Africans.
“The SACC, its provincial chapter – the KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council (KZNCC), and the active interfaith collaboration of the Hindu priests and the SACC’s Local Ecumenical Action Network (LEAN) stand ready to support the inquiry of the SAHRC, whose investigations are absolutely necessary for this context”, he added.
The SACC, therefore, welcomes these steps, set to commence in the coming weeks, and offers its support and encouragement in the process of unlocking the root causes of the behaviours witnessed across the KZN and Gauteng of late.
SACC Communications Consultant
South African Council of Churches
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