Nelson Mandela Foundation

From: the Nelson Mandela Foundation & the South African Human Rights Commission
Date of Publication: 6 July 2023                 

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has partnered with the South African Human Rights Commission on a new podcast reflecting on the 2021 July Unrest - “ the Wabhubha uMhlaba” Podcast. The podcast seeks to archive the stories and analysis of the events that took place in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng from 8 - 17 July 2021.

In July 2021, South Africa was confronted with the most emphatic indicator of social discontent in the post-democratic dispensation. Within a period of a little over a week starting on the 8th of July, about 350 persons lost their lives, tens went missing with some still yet to be found, and thousands were injured. R50 billion was estimated to have been lost to the economy as a result of the violence.

Since July 2021, the country has struggled to make sense of what happened and we have referred to the incidents as “the unrest, the food riots, the looting, and the Zuma Insurrection” amongst many other names. The Report of the Expert Panel into the July 2021 Civil Unrest also highlights the multiple factors that contributed to the unrest.

With the Wabhubha uMhlaba Podcast, we aim to produce a compelling narrative on the history and lived realities of people in KwaZulu-Natal, to produce a public resource for generative and fruitful discourse and social action, as well as to provide a space that is safe enough for victims and affected people share their story of what happened with the country and speak truth to power.

The collaboration forms part of the South African Human Rights Commission’s SHiNE initiative (Social Harmony National Effort) which is being rolled out in each of the Commission’s 9 Provincial Offices. The collaboration is part of the Commission’s KZN Provincial Office’s (KZN PO) SHiNE programme. The theme of the KZN PO is “Poverty in our midst robs us all of our collective dignity” and the aim of this initiative is to reckon with July 2021 as well as with victims of the April 2022 floods in the aftermath of the disaster to address some of the deep societal divides such as poverty and inequality.

The Wabhubha uMhlaba Podcast will release a prologue this Saturday, the 8th of July, during the 2-year anniversary of the unrest and will be available on all podcast streaming platforms. Wabhubha uMhlaba is produced by Showcast Media, original cover artwork by Thato Toeba and supported by the Old Mutual Foundation.


 Media Enquiries

 Nelson Mandela Foundation                           South African Human Rights Commission
Morongwa Phukubye                                      Wisani Baloyi
Communications Coordinator                         Acting Communications Coordinator         
+27 (0)72 778 8770                                        +27 (0)81 016 8308


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