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Human Rights Commission dealing with Unrest report

By Bahle Gama

Human Rights and Integrity Commission Deputy Commissioner Duduzile Dlamini-Nhlengethwa says they are currently engaging the government regarding their preliminary findings of the June 28-29, 2021, Unrest report.

She said while their findings were inconclusive, they were engaged with the view of how to take it forward to ensure that there was finally redress where people were affected. Dlamini Nhlengethwa said their preliminary report indicated areas and fields which they did not investigate as they require the input of experts.

“We are in discussion with the government in that regard to help with experts that can look into the fields we did not look into because as we mentioned in the report, there is crucial information that requires an expert’s opinion,” she said.

This has resulted in the inability to move at a quicker pace in resolving the matter. The Deputy Commissioner was responding to individuals who had given her a petition as part of the Political Parties Assembly (PPA) in partnership with the civil society and the Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF).

On Thursday, the PPA and MSF led by their Chairperson Ngomyayona Gamedze were petitioning the Commission to facilitate the engagement of all stakeholders in resolving the political conflict which resulted in the death of 46 people on June 29, 2021.

“The Commission on human rights has a responsibility to advise the government to stop the violations, for failure means a continued human rights crisis that will eventually bring about anarchy and destruction of the country,” reads the petition.

Petition delivery.

Dlamini-Nhlengethwa stated that such matters needed to be carefully attended to because they involve human lives. She stated that the Commission has a team which is conducting investigations and is expected to work hand in hand with the experts once in place.

“We would like to further call all parties to come to our offices to discuss in detail what the problems are and find solutions amicably. Those which need to be investigated will be done so because it is part of our mandate to do that in terms of all violations, it doesn’t matter whom they occur through,” she said.

She continued that the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in conjunction with the Commission intends to establish a legal aid that will allow for easy and flexible reporting of matters related to the same.

“Anyone who has no financial capacity to engage lawyers will be assisted through the legal aid structure and be in a position to take his/her matter forward, thereby getting justice,” she said.

Regarding the petition, she stated that they will return to the office and put together a preliminary report which they will return to the stakeholders involved before the end of 2023.

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