PRETORIA, 28 July 2021 – South African officials have slammed security forces for violating the rights of persons suspected of looting shops during recent riots.
While condoning looting, the South African Commission for Gender Equality said “degrading people and dehumanizing them does not also make it less a crime”.
The commission has called for an investigation, notably after a video gone viral on social media shows some women being forced to swim in what looks like a spillage water or contaminated fluids.
Media reports on Wednesday cited the chairperson of the commission, Tamara Mathebula, as saying: “No matter how angry those who made those women to do such an act were, allegedly in Mamelodi Mall, women should not be objectified or demeaned in such a manner”.
The “inhumane” incident decried by the commission reportedly occurred in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces.
“Those women in the videos are mothers, sisters, and aunts to many,” she said.
“Imagine the humiliation they will suffer for having been subjected to such acts,” she said.
Thousands of shops were broken into, ransacked, and/or looted with hundreds burnt to the ground in criminal fires started by criminals keen to cover up their trails.
More than 300 people were believed to have been killed in the riots.
South African armed and security forces have been storming neighborhoods and searching homes to recover looted property as well as to arrest persons suspected of playing a major role in the riots and the looting that ensued.