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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

SAHRC calls on political parties to speak with one voice in condemning violent protests

14 July 2021

The remains of a burnt car and a sign block the road after stick-wielding protesters marched through the streets, as violence following former president Jacob Zuma’s jailing spread to Johannesburg on July 11, 2021.

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.

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.

Source: SABC News

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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