South Africa: ‘No Evidence That Jailing of Zuma Caused July 2021 Unrest’ – South African News Briefs – February 1, 2024


No Evidence That Jailing of Zuma Caused July 2021 Unrest, Says SAHRC

The South African Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) conclusion that there was no evidence linking former President Jacob Zuma’s incarceration to the July 2021 unrest contradicted an earlier report, reports News24. Following Zuma’s imprisonment for contempt of court, widespread looting and violence occurred in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, resulting in over 350 deaths and a R50 billion economic loss. The SAHRC’s investigation, released on Monday, acknowledged the timing but found no direct evidence of a connection, suggesting the unrest may have aimed to destabilize the economy. However, an earlier government-appointed panel, headed by Professor Sandy Africa, emphasized Zuma’s incarceration as a major factor in the violence, fueled by political motives and social media mobilization. Alleged instigators facing charges in court cited the SAHRC’s findings to assert their vindication.

Ex-Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka Joins Mercedes SA Board as Ethics Chief

Luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz South Africa has welcomed former deputy president and ex-United Nations official, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, to its board as a non-executive director, reports EWN. This three-year appointment, effective from Thursday, fills the vacancy left by Nozipho January-Bardill’s resignation last year. Mlambo-Ngcuka, who previously held key political roles, including deputy president from 2005 to 2008 and served as the executive director of UN Women, will now lead the social ethics committee on the Mercedes-Benz SA board. Board chair Wilfried Porth expressed enthusiasm about Mlambo-Ngcuka’s appointment, emphasizing her extensive experience in both public and private sectors and highlighting her potential contributions to the company’s corporate governance amid ongoing automotive transformations.

Navy Blasts Spark Outrage in Simon’s Town

The navy initiated underwater blasting near Simon’s Town naval base, prompting reactions from locals and environmental groups, reports TimesLIVE. Video footage captured by an eyewitness depicted plumes of water adjacent to navy boats within the detonation zone. Residents reported feeling the blasts, with some expressing outrage on social media platforms like WhatsApp. The exercise, which drew criticism from environmental organizations, occurred despite appeals for intervention to mitigate potential harm to the marine environment, notably the nearby Boulders Beach African penguin breeding colony. Despite the navy’s assurance of minimal impact, concerns persist about the ecological consequences of such activities.

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