South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa testified on Friday at the Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)’s investigative hearings into the July unrest.
Ramaphosa took an oath before the commission on Friday morning and began to testify on his responsibility as head of state during the deadly riots.
The President told the South African Human Rights Commission that nearly two million people were left unemployed and more than R50-billion had been “wiped off the economy” due to the violent July 2021 unrest that brought KwaZulu-Natal and sections of Gauteng to a standstill in 2021.
Addressing the commission’s national investigative hearings into the riots, Ramaphosa also admitted that the state failed in its duties to detect and then quash the unrest, which he reiterated was an “attempted insurrection”.
He also admitted that his initial comments at the height of the violence, that it was linked to “ethnic and tribal chauvinism”, were later found to be incorrect. He denied his statement led to the further escalation of violence and looting.