Slide background
Slide background

Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

MEDIA STATEMENT: SAHRC Deeply Concerned by Escalating Violence and Civil Unrest

2 September 2019

ATTENTION: Editors and Reporters

The South African Human Rights Commission (the SAHRC or Commission) is 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 recognises the social, economic and political factors which give rise to the unrest South Africa is burdened with. 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 Commission urges communities to uphold and respect the rule of law despite their frustrations. Living within a constitutional democracy, with legal and constitutional mechanisms through which we can resolve our concerns, the SAHRC finds it inexcusable for anyone to be subject to the violence so many communities are experiencing at the moment.

The Commission calls on the state and law enforcement agencies to restore the rule of law and end the violence plaguing these communities,

The SAHRC calls on members of the community to seek lawful and constitutional channels to give expression to their concerns and thereby respect and uphold the human rights of all and respect for the rule of law.

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.


Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission

Gushwell Brooks – Communications Co-ordinator Tel: 082 645 8573 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Alucia Sekgathume Tel: 082 689 2364 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





The South African Human Rights Commission.

Follow the SAHRC

About us

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.

Braampark Forum 3, 33 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein

011 877 3600 (Switchboard)

Sign- up for our monthly Pfanelo newsletter