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SAHRC condemns Diepsloot vigilantism that led to Elvis Nyathi's killing

8 April 2022

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Friday condemned the vigilantism that led to the murder of Zimbabwean national Elvis Nyathi in Diepsloot on Wednesday.

In a statement, the SAHRC said: “The commission calls for a thorough investigation into the death of Mr Nyathi, and for those responsible to be charged and prosecuted.”

The commission said it was also deeply concerned about vulnerable groups, especially foreign nationals, being targeted and scapegoated for the prevalence of social ills within communities.

“Various individuals, community leaders and groups have emerged recently, stoking flames of xenophobia which places the blame for social ills such as crime, poverty and unemployment solely on migrants within SA.”

The commission described Nyathi's murder as a tragic and outrageous act that needed police action.

“The SAHRC is deeply concerned by unequal policing and community safety across various communities across SA.

“It is an observation that communities, burdened by higher levels of unemployment and poverty have access to proportionately fewer policing resources. This in turn results in higher levels of crime. However, these circumstances do not under any circumstances justify individual or group acts of vigilantism.”

The commission reiterated its call to community leaders, politicians and state officials to refrain from encouraging ordinary members of communities to take the law into their own hands.

“It is unlawful and highly dangerous to have disparate groups of ordinary community members entering people’s homes and without due process accusing them of criminality and taking violent, often deadly action.”

The commission also called on the police and other state institutions tasked with law enforcement to provide the necessary resources to affected communities to ensure that they feel safe.

Source: TimesLIVE

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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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