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SAHRC vows to take legal action against Red Ants 'if needs be'

The commission says it has warned the company to observe the law when its staff carry out their duties.

File: The Red Ants line up during an eviction in Alexandra in 2014. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says the Red Ants often violate people's rights when they carry out evictions.

The commission is investigating after two people died during violent clashes between shack dwellers and the Red Ants in Rustervaal, Vereeniging, earlier this week during an eviction operation.

The commission says it has warned the company to observe the law when its staff carry out their duties.

The SAHRC's Buang Jones said the commission had expressed its concern with the South African Board for Sheriffs.

"The manner in which the Red Ants conduct themselves does not respect the rights that are enshrined in the Constitution and they have to be taken to task. It is something we will raise with the Red Ants.

"If needs be, we will take legal steps."

The commission will summon the mayor of Emfuleni to explain whether the law was followed when the court in the Rustervaal eviction order was carried out, said Jones, adding that a report would be compiled after the SAHRC met with the mayor and the affected communities next week.

On Thursday residents blocked the R82, saying they wouldn't allow those living in the informal settlement to remain in the area.

They have accused the group of committing crimes including rape, murder and theft.

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