Picture: Gauteng SAPS

Port Elizabeth - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said in a statement on Monday that it was deeply concerned by violence, looting, arson and vandalism plaguing much of Johannesburg; in areas such as Jeppestown, Malvern, Tembisa and surrounding areas.

"Reports emerged over the weekend of these criminal activities and the Commission calls for calm and, a respect for and the observance of, the rule of law. 

"The Commission also notes with concern similar displays of looting, violence and vandalism which erupted in Pretoria last week."

The SAHRC said that while it acknowledged the social, economic and political factors that gave rise to the unrest in the country, communities should uphold the rule of law and use constitutional and legal mechanisms to resolve their grievances and concerns. 

"The Commission has on numerous occasions called on the state, business, civil society, Chapter Nine institutions and the rest of society to act urgently to deal with the poverty, unemployment and inequality which gives rise to tensions which escalate to the social unrest we are witness to, at the moment," the SAHRC said.

It also called on the state and law enforcement agencies to restore law and order in communities plagued by violence. 

"The Commission will soon engage relevant officials and other relevant stakeholders in the cities to look into this situation and see how the root causes can best be addressed in order to avoid a repeat of these unfortunate events," the SAHRC said.

African News Agency (ANA)