Team to investigate xenophobic attacks in KZN

2015-04-29 17:11

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Durban - The Special Reference Group on Migration and Community in KwaZulu-Natal has promised to get to the root cause of the xenophobic attacks in the province, Judge Navi Pillay said on Wednesday.

The committee, consisting of a panel of experts including Paddy Kearney, Vasu Gounden, Karen Lotter, Muzi Ntombela and Stephanie Miller, is chaired by Pillay, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

She will be assisted by attorney Comfort Ngidi.

The group was formed by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu to investigate the immediate and underlying causes of the attacks.

The Reference Group addressed the media at the Chatsworth Youth Centre in Durban and visited the Chatsworth shelter for displaced people on Wednesday.

In a statement issued by the group, Pillay said the Secretariat's support to the Reference Group will be provided by the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, based in Durban. 

“The strategic objective of the Reference Group will be to conduct representative consultations, collate submissions and recommendations and to advise the premier on the potential for joint implementation of programmatic responses to the prevailing situation.”

She said the Reference Group had three functions: "To undertake a comprehensive assessment of the reported causes associated with the attacks. To undertake an assessment and consideration of successes and short comings of past and suggest initiatives and recommendations [related to such events]."

Pillay said they would advise the premier on intervention strategies to promote community peace and support.

A preliminary report would be presented to the premier in three months’ time, followed by a final report on or by October 31 2015. The Reference Group would also be making a call for submissions from the general public, said Pillay.

“This week the group has already met with representatives of South African traders from Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu. Today [Wednesday] we will visit the Chatsworth shelter for displaced persons.”   

On Thursday, the group is expected to meet and receive submissions from affected Somali and Ethiopian traders.

“We hope to conclude the overall field research by mid-July, following which we will engage in data analysis and validation, follow up consultations and the writing of the report.”

To make submissions to the Reference Group, e-mail

Read more on:    navi pillay  |  durban  |  xenophobia

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