Alexandra residents pick up the pieces after their houses were demolished. File picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency(ANA).

JOHANNESBURG - The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSiRA) says it will investigate the role of Red Ants Security Relocation and Evictions Services in the alleged callous demolition of houses in Johannesburg's Alexandra township which has been slammed as a violation of human rights.

Last week, more than 100 residents were left homeless after the Red Ants, police and Johannesburg metro police moved in to demolish at least 80 houses built on illegally occupied land in Stjwetla in Alexandra's ward 109.

On Monday Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba apologised to the affected residents, promising that the city council would immediately rebuild their houses.

In a statement late on Tuesday, PRiSA said while it was not yet privy to all the underlying facts on the demolitions, the right to human dignity was a constitutional right.

Chief executive Manabela Chauke said she was appalled after reading media reports of how the demolitions were carried out "particularly because Red Ants ought to know how these evictions should be done within the parameters of the law".

Officials at Red Ants -- a private security and relocation company with clients across the country in the public and private sectors -- were not immediately available for comment.

Mashaba said the demolition, which sparked protests by residents, appeared to have been conducted without the correct procedures being followed and that the city must "make a plan" to work with the community to urgently understand how many families had been affected.

African News Agency (ANA)