The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has raised concern with the escalation of violent protests that have led to major damage and loss of property.
Protests reportedly linked to the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma continue in parts of South Africa, with numerous reports of looting, damage to property and violence emerging through social and media throughout the weekend and continuing well into Tuesday.
The SAHRC calls on all political parties, particularly those represented in Parliament, to set aside their political differences and issue strong statements condemning the violence and call for calm amongst all South Africans, including their members.
“Leadership of all major political parties should communicate and reaffirm their collective support for the rule of law and urge their members and supporters to cease all violent protest action,” urges the SAHRC chairperson, advocate Bongani Majola.
The commission urged protesters to desist from destroying property and says the blockages of national roads, rampant looting of economic zones and burning of buildings will have severe implications for South Africa’s already ailing economy and result in further job losses and exacerbate hunger.
MEDIA STATEMENT: SAHRC Calls for Unity of Purpose Among all South Africans. Calls for Calm in the Wake of Rioting and Looting in Various Areas of KZN and Gauteng. Further Calls on All Political Parties to Act in Concert to Dissuade Their Members and https://t.co/ra8PrD0KTi
— SAHRCommission (@SAHRCommission) July 13, 2021
Cost of looting to businesses and economy:
Earlier on Tuesday, Police Minister Bheki Cele called for a halt in looting and destruction of property.
He also assured South Africans that the looting and violence will subside now that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been deployed to assist the police.
So far, 1 234 people have been arrested, while the number of fatalities is now at 72.
Estimated damage caused by the looting and destruction of property in KwaZulu-Natal alone is estimated to be around R1 billion.
SA National Defence Force in Support of the SA Police Service | Soldiers deployed in Alexandra, Gauteng Province.
Photographs provided by Government Communication Information Systems.#SANDF#SANDFProtectSA#ProtectSouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/KKlojpfSnM
— SA National Defence Force (@SANDF_ZA) July 13, 2021
Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi on SANDF deployment in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal: