A South African state commission has expressed concern over the “inhumane” treatment of suspected looters in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces following the recent riots.
Many shops and properties were ransacked in the wake of the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma for contempt of court. More than 300 people died.
The Commission for Gender Equality has said that while it does not condone stealing, “degrading people and dehumanising them does not also make it less of a crime”.
It has called for investigations over a video being shared online showing some women being forced to swim in what looks like a spillage of water or alcohol.
"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 commission’s chairperson, Tamara Mathebula, is quoted by local media as saying.
“Those women in the videos are mothers, sisters, and aunts to many. Imagine the humiliation they will suffer for having been subjected to such acts,” she said.
The security forces have been raiding homes and hostels in search of looted property and many suspects have been arrested.