The ANC on Saturday called for swift law-enforcement action in KwaZulu Natal, where protesters have blocked roads, set haulage trucks alight, and looted shops.
“The ANC urges law-enforcement agencies to act firmly and expeditiously, within the law, against any form of lawlessness, damage to property and disruption of economic activity and service delivery,” a stern statement from the ruling party said.
The violent protests are said to be part of a #Free Zuma campaign.
Also dubbed the #Shutdown KZN, the protests started on Friday in different parts of the province, including Empangeni and Mooi River.
The unrest has seen more than 30 trucks set alight and dozens of shops looted across KZN.
Major highways remained closed on Saturday as authorities cleaned up debris.
“The ANC is concerned by the ongoing violence that is gripping some parts of KZN,” said the statement.
“The destruction of property and infrastructure and looting that accompany these violent protests must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
“We are concerned that the destruction of property and impeding the functioning of the economy will undermine efforts to create jobs and improve the lives of citizens.”
The protests were sparked by the 15-month imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of court.
Even though Zuma is likely to be released in a few months on parole, protesters want him freed immediately.
Earlier police said they had arrested 17 people at Empangeni and 7 others at Mooi River.
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has called for calm and maximum restraint following sporadic protests in the province.