Academics, entrepreneurs, religious and civil society formations say social cohesion and nation-building should form part of the school curriculum.

They say without it there is a serious threat to the country’s economic stability.

The Social Cohesion Group was the last organisation to give oral evidence at the Human Rights Commission’s national investigative hearings into the July 2021 unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

More than 350 people were killed and infrastructure damage amounting to billions of rand occurred during the riots.

A member of the Social Cohesion Group and KwaZulu-Natal’s Economic Development MEC Ravi Pillay says like all other patriotic South Africans, they too have serious questions that they need answers to regarding the unrest.

“How is it possible that deliberate economic sabotage, destruction of property, killing of people and creation of chaos and mayhem could occur in a democratic South Africa which is guarded by one of the best Constitutions in the world,” says Pillay.

He says they are concerned that the Human Rights Commission and the public have not yet been given detailed information on several issues including the cause of deaths of the victims.

“How many people were shot, how many people lost their lives due to stampede or fire? And we believe that postmortem reports should be the sources of much of this information. When did these deaths occur, what was the date and time? We submit that the collation of such evidence is essential for a comprehensive report and findings by the HRC. We are of the view that the commission runs the risk of arriving at incomplete findings in the absence of such detailed evidence and factual information regarding the above issues,” adds Pillay.

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