2016 Human Rights Day Commemoration

The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Senzo Mchunu,
The Ministers of Arts and Culture, Justice and Correctional Services, Basic Education and all Ministers and Deputy Ministers present,
Former KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize,
MECs, MPs and MPLs,
The Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, James Nxumalo and all Councillors,
The leadership of the governing party and all other political parties present,
Religious, traditional and business leaders present,
Fellow South Africans,

An Invitation to the Legacy of Friendship Dialogue

The legacy of Nelson Mandela, once universally esteemed, has been brought into question by those who feel transformation is lacking, some 22 years after our transition to democracy – that he made economic compromises that allowed white wealth and privilege to be protected to the detriment of development and real transformation.

SA Urged to Tackle Xenophobia and Racism

Navi Pillay, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says that South Africa urgently needs a national action plan to fight racism and xenophobia.

Pillay, who was addressing the Women's Network in Durban, believes that government should consult the whole community on what form of action needs to be taken to address racism and xenophobia.

Pillay, who is also a former International Criminal Court judge, maintains that: "I am always a human right protector and defender and I will continue to serve but in an informal capacity in whatever way I can."

Call to Counter Racism in South Africa

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation says more is needed to be done to counter racism in South Africa.

In a press statement, following the publication of photographs of two white students from the University of Pretoria (UP) in domestic worker outfits and their faces smeared with brown paint, the organisation said it noted with concern the insensitive and racially stereotypical attitude displayed by the two students."

SAHRC Probed Over 500 Racism Cases

Over 500 racism-related cases have been reported to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in the past year.

SAHRC chairperson of the hearings into transformation at universities in South Africa, Lawrence Mushwana, notes that the complaints were not only in universities, adding that, “In the 2013/2014 financial year, 45 percent of the SAHRC's complaints were race-related and dealt with the right to equality.”

Race Relations in South Africa – Reasons for Hope 2017

Despite the damaging vitriol so often found on social media, race relations in South Africa remain sound, says the IRR in a report released in Johannesburg on 7 February 2017. The IRR’s comprehensive field survey of public opinion on racial issues shows that only 3% of South Africans see racism as a serious unresolved problem. Most are far more concerned about unemployment (cited by 40%), poor service delivery (listed by 34%), inadequate housing (18%), crime (15%) and bad education (likewise cited by 15%). This report was published in Johannesburg on 8 February 2017.

SAHRC Holds a Dialogue on Racism

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is to host ‘a racism dialogue’ at the University of the Free State‚ which has been the subject to two apparent race incidents.

The dialogue intends to “contribute to developing a more comprehensive understanding of the manner in which racism manifests in the Free State province and provide guidelines on how to respond to it in the advancement of substantive equality.”

​Racism: Sparrow Ordered to Pay R150k

The Umzinto Equality Court has ruled that controversial KwaZulu-Natal realtor, Penny Sparrow, must pay R150 000 to the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation for her racist comments.

Magistrate, Irfaan Khalil, says the amount has to payable within 60 days and he interdicted Sparrow from further hate speech.

Sparrow raised ire with a controversial Facebook post in which she likened black beach-goers to monkeys.

Complaint Over 'Sophisticated Racism' in Sea Point

Supporters of affordable housing in Cape Town have lodged a ‘racism’ complaint with Mayor, Patricia de Lille, over comments a ratepayers group official made about a contentious site in Sea Point.

In a letter handed over at the civic centre, supporters Emma Daitz, Thandeka Sisusa and Zackie Achmat say that Polovin’s comments are ‘sophisticated, indirect racism’.

They further say that it is their belief that he excluded the views of black and working class Sea Point residents, adding that Polovin’s comments exemplified ‘a racist and anti-poor logic’.

Human Rights Day Commemorated

President Jacob Zuma is expected to address the Human Rights Day celebrations on 21 March 2016 in Durban.

The Presidency says that Human Rights Day reminds all South Africans about the sacrifices that were made in the struggle for liberation and to celebrate the achievement of freedom and democracy in 1994.

This year, the day has been declared as the National Day Against Racism and as a foundation to lay a long-term programme towards building a non-racial society.


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