The Jesuit Institute South Africa has issued an urgent press statement reflecting on the high incidence of gender-based violence crimes, femicide and xenophobia in recent days.

[…] The Jesuit Institute South Africa strongly condemns the deplorable violence, thuggery and looting which has taken place in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Pretoria. Violence, robbery and lawlessness can never be condoned and are never acceptable ways of acting. The Prophet Isaiah tells us clearly: “For I, the Lord of justice, hate robbery and wrong” (Isaiah 61:8).

The ongoing chaos has violated basic human rights and makes a mockery of the law enshrined in our Constitution.

The Jesuit Institute urgently appeals to our law enforcement agencies, often working in difficult and dangerous situations, to work tirelessly to maintain law and order. Furthermore, those who are responsible for these criminal acts must be held responsible. Now is the time for action!

The Jesuit Institute is also concerned that some leaders have contributed to this sad state of affairs by their irresponsible, populist remarks for political expediency. Words have power and the ability to influence. Xenophobic rhetoric leads to xenophobic behaviour. This must stop! […]

The press statement can be read in full on the Jesuit Institute South Africa website.