South Africa 30.3.2016 09:00 am

United Nations review on SA to be released

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 16: People during the commemoration rally of the second anniversary of the Marikana massacre on August 16, 2014 in Rustenburg, South Africa. Thirty-four miners were killed by police on 16 August 2012 during a violent wage increase protest. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Waldo Swiegers)

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 16: People during the commemoration rally of the second anniversary of the Marikana massacre on August 16, 2014 in Rustenburg, South Africa. Thirty-four miners were killed by police on 16 August 2012 during a violent wage increase protest. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Waldo Swiegers)

The United Nations (UN) will today release its anticipated finding on South Africa’s human rights record, reviewed for the first time this month.

The finding will be published in respect to a list of issues handed to South Africa by the UN’s human rights committee responsible for the review. This list asks for answers on incidents that had shocked the country in recent years, including the Marikana massacre that made international headlines after the killing of striking Lonmin Platinum miners was shown on live TV.

This was despite South Africa being seen to have one of the world’s most progressive constitutions in the world in protecting human rights. The committee has since been handed a state report on the various issues, including manifestations of racism and gender-based violence. Civil society organisations and the SA Human Rights Commission have also weighed in on human rights violations in their submission to the UN.

Contained in a number of their submissions was the excessive use of force by police. In its response, South Africa pointed to legislation protecting women’s rights and equity, policy framework, focus on public order policing as recommended by the Marikana Commission of Inquiry on the massacre, task teams put in place to deal with xenophobia and a policy by the SA Police Service on the prevention of torture and treatment of persons in custody.

Political analyst Shadrack Gutto said South Africa was good at developing policies, but lacked in implementing them. Also divulged to the committee was a hate crimes bill, intended to address discrimination, set for parliament in the second half of 2016.

Findings will also be published tomorrow on Namibia, Sweden, New Zealand, Slovenia, Costa Rica and Rwanda.

Look out for regular updates on the submissions made to the UN Human Rights Committee in upcoming editions of The Citizen newspaper and online.

– yadhanaj@citizen.co.za

 

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