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Comments Off on Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) Statement to Mark the Centenary and Nelson Mandela’s Day

        18 July 2018

Outraged and grieved by the Apartheid discriminatory regime, informed and inspired by the need to prevent their reoccurrence, recurrence, and committed to granting recognition to a fundamental and undeniable truth that all human beings possess inalienable human rights of dignity, Tata Nelson Mandela tirelessly worked to heal the divisions of the past, to promote national reconciliation and to lay the foundations of the South African Nation, which many refer today as the ‘Rainbow Nation of God’.

Now, we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth, after five years of his death and 24 years of the foundation of the non-racial constitutional democracy to which he dedicated his life, we should mostly reflect on his legacy, which is under threat.  This year also is of an important nature at the global level where the United Nations celebrates 70th Anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human rights, on 10 December 1948.  At the continental level, the year 2018 is dedicated to the fight against corruption, which has ruined our country, and the continent and has rendered our people poor of the poorest.

The 100th Anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth provides all South Africans with an opportunity to renew their commitment to Madiba’s vision of universal principles of inherent human dignity, freedom and justice he underscored during 1963 and 1964 Rivonia Trial, in which ten leaders of the African National Congress were tried for 221 acts of sabotage designed to overthrow the apartheid system. We should remain convicted by his Rivonia trial statement that “never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another”.

This year 2018 also coincide with the beginning of a new era in South Africa, where renewed leadership in government can regain the people’s confidence, especially with civil society organisations that are treated with hostility. Commitment is needed not only by word but by reinvigorated actions to implement and rule based on democratic principles such as equality, justice and freedom as entrenched by Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu who inspired the global community to stand against injustice by sacrificing their lives to build the foundation of this country and reassured the people as beacons of hope.

South Africans will find meaning and purpose in celebration of Madiba’s Day if serious measures are placed to end mysterious killings, murders motivated by political intolerance, corrupted politicians that continue to be in key offices, despite being exposed to be involved in serious corruption cases, such as state capture, persecution of journalists for availing truth to the public and human rights defenders for promoting human rights. Today, the country finds itself in a cross road with different true stories on who we are and who we want to be or should be.  This is because of acts of self-interest, corruption, political murders, poor service delivery, gender based violence, poverty, unemployment, mismanagement that detracted the country from a human rights path charted by Madiba.

South Africans will also find meaning and purpose in celebration of Madiba’ s Day if strong democratic institutions function independently, without fear, favour, prejudice and suspects of gross human rights violation are held accountable. This will ensure sustainability of respect of the rule of law and good governance, and respect for fundamental freedoms such as freedom of association and assembly as well as that of speech and opinion.

As President Obama said in his public lecture yesterday “Should we South African view the hope we had after Apartheid as naïve?”  Madiba was rightly acknowledged by the whole world as one of the greatest leaders of the latter part of the 20th century, with enormous charm, charisma, humility and self-assurance of a born democrat. Mama Graca Machel also reminded us all to be positive as of Obama’s “Yes We Can” vision.

For further information landline: 011 492 1109

Email lupwana@hurisa.org.za: tshepo@hurisa.org.za 

Category: Latest News

Comments Off on INVITATION!!! :Launch of three months findings enabling environment for civil society in south Africa

The Research Study examined the state of implementation of Freedom of Association, Assembly, Expression, Access to Information & Effective Civil Society Partnerships in South Africa as provided by United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 16:10 & 17:17.

Speakers include Prof Fikeni Samadoda, Mrs Thoko Mpumlwana, Ms Jayshree Pather, Dr Zonke Majodina, Moray Hathorn & Ms Corlett Letlojane

  • Date: Tuesday, 03 July 2018
  • Venue :Webber Wentzel, 90 Rivonia Road, Sandton, Johannesburg
  • Time: 08:30 to 13:30
  • RSVP: By 25 June to Mamphule Ntladi; mamphule@hurisa.org.za, or
  • Tshepo Legodi; tshepo@hurisa.org.za

25 May 2018

HURISA STATEMENT FOR COMMEMORATION OF AFRICA DAY  

25 May is historical and a very important day for the people of Africa to reflect on the commitment and dedication of our leaders, forefathers and mothers who formed Organisation of African Unity/OAU, now today the African Union/AU, a continental body that aimed to fight and end colonisation, imperialism, slavery that was so rampant and subjected all Africans to hardship and marginalisation. Their human dignity was stripped off with no rights to property and land.  The African Union has continued to emphasise these values, since its inception, in particular, the AU strives  to  achieve greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and the peoples of Africa; (b) defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States; (c) accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent; (d) promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples; (e) encourage international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; (f) promote peace, security, and stability on the continent; (g) and promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance.

As we remember this day, we should assess how far and progress African and African leaders made to achieve the dreams of our fore leaders. Today, we have nothing to account for before our fore leaders who sacrificed their lives for conquering independence, freedom and unity.  After several centuries, Africa remains the field of war, conflicts, intolerance, slavery, disunity and a continent which cannot take care of its own children, where most of them are perishing in the Mediterranean seeking greener pastures in Europe or more often being trafficked for enslavement because neighbouring African Countries have closed doors and refused to accept fellow Africans. Their fate is horrific as they get enslaved and murdered in their own land, Africa.

Africa has not accounted for giving its own children, women and young peoples as many women and girls are raped in Africa, under the watch of African Leaders.

The importance of this day is also to reflect on our democracy model after several decades. Africans are unable to establish democratic and independent institutions as envisaged by our forefathers. Existing AU organs and institutions are facing several challenges. Case in point is the Pan African Parliament/PAP, which is established under Article 17 of the AU Constitutive Act to be a continental platform for discussion of important issues in Africa.  The Institution has a new Protocol (Malawi Protocol), which give PAP legislative power to enact model laws on issues affecting African peoples.  Because of lack of political will and commitment from our leaders to ratify the revised protocol, this institution cannot deliver much of what is expected. However, we salute some processes made so far on the reunification of African countries but bringing on board the 55 Member States, including Morocco.   It is also time to reflect on the situation of the illegal occupation by Morocco of the Western Sahara Republic territory, the ever ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroun and Burundi as well.   This has the effect of prolonging implementation of the AU Agenda 2063, which commit involvement of young people and call for the need to profit from the demographic dividend by investing more in the young people.  Peace and security is another important area to double our efforts as we cannot talk about development or a prosperous Africa, when most of the countries, DRC which is gifted in natural resource is plunged into war.

It is also a day that civil society, human rights defenders, national human rights institutions and governments need to popularise in educating the African citizens about its significance to promote democracy, peace and justice. The AU has declared this year as a Year for Winning the Fight Against Corruption. There are several mechanisms in Africa that AU has adopted for accountability, respect of the rule of law and human rights. In respect of Corruption, AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption is relevant for addressing the high scale of corruption, including the Thabo Mbeki findings on illicit financial transfers from Africa. That contribute to exacerbation of poverty and marginalisation of African people.

In South Africa, this year is dedicated to celebration of the centenary of our human rights icon, Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu. They played important roles in contributing towards consolidation of democracy in South Africa and beyond, building of democratic institutions, respect of the rule of law and human rights. South Africa should use this momentum to free the people of this country from the shackles of corruption. The perpetrators of this crime should not only be held accountable, but it should be intensified to recover stolen funds and looted out of the country. The new era is making inroads in tackling this cancer of corruption and should do more so with Civil Society. In this way the path to achieving SDG 16 & 17 which commit states to create safe environments for communities will be realised, including making institutions of democracy conduct their constitutional and legislative obligations independently without fear, favour of prejudice.    South Africa is a state party to AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and should lead in fighting this evil culture internally and across Africa and develop effective laws complaint with AU mechanisms. As Chair of the SADC region and upcoming Chair of the BRICS much need to be done to change the culture of unaccountability, reprisals targeting abiding officials, citizens, in association, assembly, expression of human rights violations and appreciation of human rights defenders for cooperating with national, African and International human rights systems.

While wishing a happy Africa Day, HURISA call for a deep reflection on the Africa model as predefined by our fore leaders and to the idea of Pan Africanism.

 

 

 

 

Category: Latest News


We, the civil society organizations attending the strategic planning workshop on African Commission on Human and People’s Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly organised by Human Rights Institute of South Africa from 12-13 April in Johannesburg, South Africa.[1]

DESIROUS of contextualising the predominant “westernised or accepted” human rights norms and frameworks with lived African experiences and challenges;

AFFIRMING the associational character of African within the international instruments and frameworks, and confirm that rights to Freedom of Association and Assembly (FoAA) are African values and need to be understood in an African context;

[1] Civil societies from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, working on human rights, democratic governance & development, women and youth empowerment, legal aid, and litigation to advance the rights of freedom of association and assembly in Southern Africa.

WELCOMING  the adoption of the Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa  by African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights’ Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa during   its 60th Session held in Niamey, Niger from 8-22 May 2017;

DRAWING inspiration from these progressive African norms and guidelines;

NOTING WITH CONCERN the trends of violations of freedom of Association and Assembly in the SADC region, as evidenced by amongst other challenges:

  • Non-implementation of human rights obligations on Freedom of Association and Assembly;
  • Criminalisation of association and assembly through selective application of restrictive laws and failure to implement progressive provisions advancing the rights as provided in national Constitutions and regional and international treaties and standards;
  • Misuse of security and anti-terrorism laws to restrict civic space;
  • Continued violation of Associational and Assembly rights, including through disregard of court orders;
  • Failure to ensure that law enforcement agencies promote, protect and uphold these rights;
  • Cumbersome registration requirements and administrative practices that undermine operations of civil society organizations;
  • Stringent requirements of notification/`permits by police for gatherings and protests and selective application of these requirements;
  • Inadequate awareness by relevant stakeholders on norms and standards that promote freedom of Association and Assembly;
  • Language barriers hindering access to information on norms and standards on association and assembly;
  • Inadequate capacity by citizens to effectively access use these instruments for enjoyment of freedom of Association and Assembly;
  • Restrictive space for civil society interventions to promote freedom of association and assembly;
  • Failure to reconcile progressive cultural practices that advance association with accepted international human rights framework.

 

COGNISANT of the role played by various stakeholders in promoting and protecting freedom of Association and Assembly, including;

  • The Executive (including oversight Ministries, regulators and law enforcement agencies);
  • The Legislature (parliamentarians at national, regional and continental level);
  • The Judiciary and justice sector stakeholders, including legal practitioners in the public, private and non-governmental sectors, and Law Reform/Development Commissions;
  • National human rights institutions;
  • Local authorities;
  • Community leaders, including traditional and religious leaders;
  • Media;
  • African Union and United Nations human rights mechanisms; and
  • International role players and development partners.

 

HAVING convened for a one and half day strategic planning workshop on awareness raising and popularization of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa;

CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS FROM SADC HERE PRESENT RESOLVE TO:

MAKE every efforts to engage the identified stakeholders for a broad-based effort to strengthen the right to freedom of Association and peaceful Assembly in the SADC region.

ADOPT the following strategies to address the challenges:

  • Evidence-based monitoring for pro-active advocacy;
  • Capacity building for stakeholders;
  • Public interest litigation;
  • Application of regional and international mechanisms and good practices;
  • Strengthening and reform of institutions and administrative practices; and
  • Policy and law reform.

REMAIN vigilant against threats to freedom of Association and Assembly;

COMMIT to collaborate and to provide support to each other through individual and joint efforts at the national and regional levels to protect and promote these rights.

——————————————————–

 

                                                  Participating Civil Society Organizations:

Associação Justiça, Paz e Democracia (Angola)

DITSHWANELO – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights (Botswana)

Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa OSISA (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Transformation Resources Centre (Lesotho)

Centre for Human Rights & Rehabilitation (Malawi)

Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) (South Africa)

Freedom of Expression Institute (South Africa)

Human Rights Institute of South Africa (South Africa)

IDEAL (Swaziland)

Lawyers for Human Rights (Swaziland)

Human Rights Forum/ HRF (Zambia)

Women of Zimbabwe Arise! (Zimbabwe)

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (Zimbabwe)

CIVICUS (South Africa)

International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

International commission of Jurists (regional office/ South Africa

 

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) and the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) hosted a one-and-a-half day strategic planning workshop on 12-13 April, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. HURISA and ICNL participated in and supported the development and ultimate adoption of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa. This workshop was the first at regional level to popularize the Guidelines and develop strategies for their implementation as a means of strengthening enjoyment of SADC citizens’ Association and Assembly rights.

 

info@hurisa.org.za – www.hurisa.org.za

 

For more information please contact:

Corlett Letlojane: Executive Director of Human Rights Institute of South Africa.      

Study Group Member on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Focal Point SADC Region for NGO Participation in Sessions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Email:corlett@hurisa.org.za. Tel: +27 11 492 1103.[1]

 

#CivicSpaceSouthernAfrica

 

 

Category: Latest News


                                     Statement to Mark South Africa’s Freedom Day

                                                              Friday 27 April 2018

                                    Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA)

 

This year freedom day marks a new era in South Africa where renewed leadership in government can regain the people’s confidence by committing not only by word but by reinvigorated actions to hold those accountable for gross human rights violation with impunity, fraud, corruption, and for encouraging the systematic breakdown of the rule of law.

The Freedom and security of the person, which includes the right not to be deprived of freedom arbitrarily or without just cause; not to be detained without trial; to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources; not to be tortured in any way; and not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way, are fundamental human rights which are enshrined under the section 12 of Bill of Rights, which is the cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It promote the rights of all people and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom, which the state must respect, protect, promote and fulfill in accordance with international and regional obligations.

However, South Africa’s human rights record has deteriorated and regressed to the levels similar to the dark era of injustice that targeted individuals as well as associations from exercising their human rights. . The hardship of apartheid specialised in demeaning people’s human dignity and subjected them to inferior living conditions, with poor education and exclusion in politics and from benefiting equitably in the country’s social and economic plans, have not been yet redressed under the new democracy in 1994, which gives promises to restore the people’s confidence in protection by the law and politics. However, there’s little changes made in improving the lives of the marginalised majority of people in the country. Several challenges ranging from the deprivation and deterioration of socioeconomic and human rights to the lack of effective mechanisms to redress communities. In particular people’s lives are degraded due to the downgrading of the country’s economy as well the loss of a world class reputation held by our financial institutions and auditing firms. Inflation has rapidly went up with disturbing unemployment and poverty levels that affect mostly women and youth. Out of population of about 55million, 17 million people is needy and dependent on social and only 15.5million people are employed.This is not sustainable as people who receive social grants are more than those in employment.  This has been exacerbated by the breakdown of the rule of law, where state’s constitutional obligations were deliberately neglected and institutions of democracy undermined for holding officials accountable, especially the executive in impoverishing the country for his personal self-interest.

Today, freedom day importance is its coincidence with the celebration of the centenary (100 years) of Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu and other human rights icons.  The country will also remember the legacy of Mama Winnie’s sacrificial choices in confronting an evil apartheid regime with all its apparatuses. It is through icon like them that made South Africa defeated apartheid. At the continental level, the African Union has declared the year of ‘Winning the Fight Against Impunity”.

This year also is of an important nature at the global level where the United Nations celebrates 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human rights.  In views of the importance of this year,  South Africa should review its trend of retracting from a human rights path entrenched by Tata Nelson Mandela who reassured the people as a beacon of hope and even inspired most from the SADC region as well as the continent and global community to stand against injustice.  South Africans will find meaning and purpose in celebration of Freedom Day if serious measures are placed to end mysterious killings, murders motivated by political intolerance, removal of corrupted politicians that continue to be in key office, despite being exposed to be involved in serious corruption cases, such as state capture, persecution of journalists for availing truth to the public and human rights defenders for promoting human rights. What was more concerning was the emergence of state sponsored actors recruited for defending wrong doings of officials. South Africa does not need to copy apartheid divisive tactics to manipulate citizens from exposing impunity.

During the past era, constitutional powers and mandate of institutions of democracy, such as the Chapter 9 Institutions like South African Human Rights Commission, Commission for Gender and Public Protector and Constitutional Court were under severe criticism and undermined for fulfilling their duties without fear, favour and prejudice. It also worrying that these institutions face amalgamation process. As this continue, fear for rendering these institutions ineffective and CGE subsumed has been raised and little is done to enable them with adequate support to address gender disparity and gender based violence in the country.

While a trend of referring to civil society and human rights defenders as foreign agent for regime change was reminiscence of tyrannical leaders in the region who were sensitive to performance of human rights duties and exposing corruption and noncompliance in the country. Public servants who refused to cover maladministration and fraud also faced arbitrary dismissals, transfers and malicious prosecutions for defending the constitution and rule of law. The new leadership should do everything in its power to end police brutality in demonstrations, protests and assembly. The shooting of a young leaner in the North West Province is condemned and Minister of Police is called to ensure prosecution of all suspects and restore the rule of law, peace and democracy. Communities are desperate to live in safe environment, where service delivery will be honoured by access of water, refuse removal, maintenance of basic necessities such as street lights, functioning of clinics, hospitals, schools and safe transportation.

The continuous high crimes committed to law abiding citizens, who face house break ins, car hijacking, robbery, abductions, brutal sexual violence experienced by women and children call for stronger measures and commitment from police, citizens and victims. The government should attend to the deplorable conditions and squalor for people living in informal settlements such as Diepsloot, Zanspruit, Ivory Park, Kalfontein, Alexandra are exposed to. In these places, people have no infrastructure for sewage and number of 30 community members share a pit-toilet or are subjected to a bucket system. Other areas that need improving is the taxi ranks and taxis, these place are often not well maintained and not cleaned. They are no refuse bins, toilet are often blocked and people forced to relieve themselves on sideways.   Drug trafficking and abuse of young people has perpetuated their vulnerability in crime advancement for survival.

South Africa remain an important country and should use its leadership role in peace mediation in the region and world to fight political intolerance, high crime, murders, persecution of human rights defender and journalists and develop a culture of tolerance, hospitality and acceptance vis a vis our fellow black  African.

While wishing all South Africans a happy freedom day and to all those who have chosen to live in South Africa

The Human Rights Institute of South Africa-HURISA, is calling the new leadership to fast track its commitment to hold the perpetrators of corruption and defend human rights by doing the following;

  • Crack out key criminal activities and remove the culprits of these acts from holding key positions in government. Especially, ensure the arrest and prosecution of fraud, high profile crimes and suspend, remove those mentioned in the state capture allegations from holding government positions
  • Continue to uphold constitutionalism in the country without compromise to the rule of law, human rights and ensuring adherence to the principle of all equal before the law and no one is above the law
  • Address the chronic problem of service delivery, by ensuring implementation of service delivery at local level, prosecute municipalities involved in fraud and abuse of tender opportunities
  • Promote and Protect Freedom of Association, Assembly and Expression by ending violence in protests and ensure police end use of excessive powers and use of life ammunition in protests
  • Ensure Minister of Police effectively, monitors the arrest and prosecution of murders committed in assemblies, protests and demonstrations
  • Ensure restoration of the people’s human dignity, by addressing the phenomenon of squalor in taxi ranks, informal settlements which South Africa had committed to end by 2014 with little progress made
  • End implementation of pit toilets, bucket system in South Africa, especially in marginalised communities
  • Address the high crime rate in all communities of South Africa, where car hijacking, house breaking, abductions, brutal rape of women and young girls has been cultured
  • Discourage recruitment of state sponsored, actors, civil society for defending wrong doings of those responsible to serve the nation
  • Outlaw Ukuthwala and Ukuhlola practices, as recommended by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, also repeal laws that advance discrimination and inequality of women
  • End process for amalgamation of Chapter 9 Institutions, especially the CGE and ensure adequate resources are provided to enable effective impact of their constitutional and legislative obligations
  • Ensure all law abiding officials protection in their office and continue to serve people of this country with scrupulousness characters and honour
  • Uphold and comply with regional and international human rights obligations and ensure citizens have direct access to the SADC Tribunal as well as the African Court on Human and People’s Rights and ICC
  • Ratify Convention Against Disappearances, Opt Protocol on Torture for enactment a law to prosecute all officials who commit this crime
  • Ensure development of a law for promotion and protection of Human Rights Defender’s in the country to perform their duties in line with constitutional and legislative framework, including regional and international mechanisms binding South Africa.

 

For further information landline: 011 492 1103, mobile 079 358 3961

Email lupwana@hurisa.org.za: tshepo@hurisa.org.za

Category: Latest News


COMMUNIQUE 

FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND ASSEMBLY (FoAA) IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

We, the civil society organizations attending the strategic planning workshop on African Commission on Human and People’s Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly organised by Human Rights Institute of South Africa from 12-13 April in Johannesburg, South Africa.[1

DESIROUS of contextualising the predominant “westernised or accepted” human rights norms and frameworks with lived African experiences and challenges;

AFFIRMING the associational character of African within the international instruments and frameworks, and confirm that rights to Freedom of Association and Assembly (FoAA) are African values and need to be understood in an African context;

WELCOMING the adoption of the Guidelines_on_Freedom_of_Association_and_Assembly_in_Africa_by African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights’ Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa during   its 60th Session held in Niamey, Niger from 8-22 May 2017;

DRAWING inspiration from these progressive African norms and guidelines;

NOTING WITH CONCERN the trends of violations of freedom of Association and Assembly in the SADC region, as evidenced by amongst other challenges:

  • Non-implementation of human rights obligations on Freedom of Association and Assembly;
  • Criminalisation of association and assembly through selective application of restrictive laws and failure to implement progressive provisions advancing the rights as provided in national Constitutions and regional and international treaties and standards;
  • Misuse of security and anti-terrorism laws to restrict civic space;
  • Continued violation of Associational and Assembly rights, including through disregard of court orders;
  • Failure to ensure that law enforcement agencies promote, protect and uphold these rights;
  • Cumbersome registration requirements and administrative practices that undermine operations of civil society organizations;
  • Stringent requirements of notification/`permits by police for gatherings and protests and selective application of these requirements;
  • Inadequate awareness by relevant stakeholders on norms and standards that promote freedom of Association and Assembly;
  • Language barriers hindering access to information on norms and standards on association and assembly;
  • Inadequate capacity by citizens to effectively access use these instruments for enjoyment of freedom of Association and Assembly;
  • Restrictive space for civil society interventions to promote freedom of association and assembly;
  • Failure to reconcile progressive cultural practices that advance association with accepted international human rights framework.

COGNISANT of the role played by various stakeholders in promoting and protecting freedom of Association and Assembly, including;

  • The Executive (including oversight Ministries, regulators and law enforcement agencies);
  • The Legislature (parliamentarians at national, regional and continental level);
  • The Judiciary and justice sector stakeholders, including legal practitioners in the public, private and non-governmental sectors, and Law Reform/Development Commissions;
  • National human rights institutions;
  • Local authorities;
  • Community leaders, including traditional and religious leaders;
  • Media;
  • African Union and United Nations human rights mechanisms; and
  • International role players and development partners.

HAVING convened for a one and half day strategic planning workshop on awareness raising and popularization of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa;

CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS FROM SADC HERE PRESENT RESOLVE TO:

MAKE every efforts to engage the identified stakeholders for a broad-based effort to strengthen the right to freedom of Association and peaceful Assembly in the SADC region.

ADOPT the following strategies to address the challenges:

  • Evidence-based monitoring for pro-active advocacy;
  • Capacity building for stakeholders;
  • Public interest litigation;
  • Application of regional and international mechanisms and good practices;
  • Strengthening and reform of institutions and administrative practices; and
  • Policy and law reform.

REMAIN vigilant against threats to freedom of Association and Assembly. We commit to collaborate and provide support to each other through individual and joint efforts at the national and regional levels to protect and promote these rights.

——————————————————–

Participating Civil Society Organizations:

  • Associação Justiça, Paz e Democracia (Angola)
  • DITSHWANELO – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights (Botswana)
  • Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa OSISA (Democratic Republic of Congo)
  •  Transformation Resources Centre (Lesotho)
  • Centre for Human Rights & Rehabilitation (Malawi)
  • Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) (Mozambique)
  • Freedom of Expression Institute (South Africa)
  • Human Rights Institute of South Africa (South Africa)
  • IDEAL (Swaziland)
  • Lawyers for Human Rights (Swaziland)
  • Human Rights Forum/ HRF (Zambia)
  • Women of Zimbabwe Arise! (Zimbabwe)
  • Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (Zimbabwe)
  • CIVICUS (South Africa)
  • International Center for Not-for-Profit Law
  • International commission of Jurists (regional office/ South Africa

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) and the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) hosted a one-and-a-half day strategic planning workshop on 12-13 April, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. HURISA and ICNL participated in and supported the development and ultimate adoption of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa. This workshop was the first at regional level to popularize the Guidelines and develop strategies for their implementation as a means of strengthening enjoyment of SADC citizens’ Association and Assembly rights.

For more information please contact:

Corlett Letlojane: Executive Director of Human Rights Institute of South Africa.      

Study Group Member on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Focal Point SADC Region for NGO Participation in Sessions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Email:corlett@hurisa.org.za. Tel: +27 11 492 1103.[2]

#CivicSpaceSouthernAfrica

[1] Civil societies from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, working on human rights, democratic governance & development, women and youth empowerment, legal aid, and litigation to advance the rights of freedom of association and assembly in Southern Africa.

Category: Latest News


President Cyril Ramaphosa

The Presidency to South Africa

 

BY EMAIL: president@presidency.gov.za

AND TO: Acting Spokeperson Tyrone Seale

BY EMAIL: Tyrone.Seale@presidency.gov.za

2 March 2018

 

Dear Sir

RE: RESPONSE TO THE APPOINTMENT OF MINISTRE BATHABILE DLAMINI AS MINISTER FOR WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY

Firstly, we congratulate you on your appointment as the President of the ANC and President of the Republic of South Africa. We have noted with much interest the presentation of your State of the Nation Address and welcome the commitment you made to address corruption, in particular, for taking seriously the former Public Protector’s State Capture report, including considering engaging civil society through coordinated seminars and meetings.
The Shukumisa Coalition, the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA), the Rape Survivors’ Justice Campaign (RSJC) and the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (TLAC) are institutions that work hard to ensure that social justice and human rights are a reality for all people in South Africa. In particular, we work to ensure that women’s right to live free from violence, particularly sexual violence, is enjoyed by all people living in South Africa.
We hereby express our disappointment and concern at your appointment of Mrs Bathabile Dlamini as the Minster for Women in the Presidency.
Minister Dlamini is currently fighting a constitutional court order that seeks to hold her personally liable for costs related to the failure of the South African Social Service Agency (SASSA) to deliver social grants using a corruption free payment process. Since women are the main recipients of social grants in order to care for their children, as a result of this failure the poorest and most vulnerable are at risk. Her refusal to accept advice or obey court orders against the Department of Social Development show a lack of accountability that we believe she would take with into her new appointment. For this reason we believe that her appointment shows that you do not place value on holding your cabinet ministers accountable for their poor performance and that you do not value the role of women in society.

The Department of Women has a very important role to play in the Integrated Programme of Action to Address Violence Against Women and it is evident from her track record at the Department of Social Development that Minister Dlamini’s performance was not sufficient to ensure that this Action Plan was in fact implemented within the proposed time frame. She also did not consult with civil society. We believe that Mrs Dlamini’s appointment as Minister for Women in the Presidency will undo all the efforts made to address gender stereotypes and gender based violence, and that our government will not take sexual offences seriously going forward. This is despite you, Mr President, stating that violence against women is an epidemic.

We believe that the person mandated with leading the Department of Women needs to be an exemplary and visionary leader, and a gender rights activist who is open to working collaboratively and hearing the voices of many different stakeholders. She must stand firm in being accountable to those she claims to represent. The Minister for Women must have a solid grounding in issues pertaining to violence against women and must conduct herself in a manner that does not rationalise or exacerbate violence against women. There is no room for error in this regard.

In light of the above serious concern that the Presidency is very aware of we request that you reappoint a capable and qualified Minister to take the responsibilities of this office seriously in the best interest of the women, children and vulnerable groups as you commit to rebuilding the country and restoring the human dignity of people, which we believe you are capable of doing.

We look forward to your favourable response. In addition, we will also avail ourselves should you require more clarity or further details concerning issues we raised in this letter.
Yours sincerely,

The Shukumisa Coalition
The Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA)
The Rape Survivors’ Justice Campaign (RSJC)
The Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (TLAC)
To get in touch with us, please contact the Shukumisa Coordinator, Aniela Batschari:
Tel. 021-447 1467
Cell. 082-546 4261
Email. shukumisacampaign@gmail.com

 

info@hurisa.org.za – www.hurisa.org.za

Category: Latest News


10:22:10 – 10:35:10 Women’s health:

 

Topic: International Day against Female Genital Mutilation

 

Guest: Mme Corlett Letlojane –  Executive Director  gotswa Human Rights Institute of South Africa

 

Contact : 082 574 7773 / corlett@hurisa.org.za

                                        

Background :

 

Today which is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vĕra Jourová, joined together to reaffirm the EU’s strong commitment to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation and made the following statement:

 

“On International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation we confirm our firm resolves to put an end to this practice which is painful, traumatic and causes long-term health consequences. A practice that is nearly always carried out on children. A practice that is a fundamental human rights violation and an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls.

 

Despite the efforts of the European Union and its partners, 200 million girls are still suffering from this violation, which occurs in all parts of the world. It is estimated that the same number of girls are at risk of undergoing this practice by 2030.

 

Source :  www.europa.eu

 

 

Questions

·         What is Female Genital Mutilation?

·         What is happening on the International Day against Female Genital Mutilation?

·         How are the Genital Mutilation done to the female, are they surgical or traditional operations?

·         Which African countries are still practicing the Female Genital Mutilation and at what age are females considered to go for mutilation?

·         How can we stop the Female Genital Mutilation in our communities?

 

Re leletse mo 089 860 5665

 

SMS Line: 45997

 

Cost: (R1.50)

 

Romela tshwaelo ya gago mo legotekm@sabc.co.za

Category: Latest News

SEASONS GREETINGS


SEASON’S GREETINGS

&

BEST WISHES FOR 2018!!!

HURISA BOARD of directors & STAFF WISH to EXPRESS DEEP GRATITUDE TO ALL OUR PARTNERS AND DONORS FOR SUPPORT  & FRUITFUL COLLABORATIONS IN 2017!!!

WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING TOGETHER AGAIN & TAKE HUMAN RIGHTS ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO

HIGHER LEVELS IN 2018!!!

 OUR OFFICE IS CLOSED FROM 22 DECEMBER 2017

& RE-OPENS ON 8 JANUARY 2018!!!

 

Comments Off on Statement of Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) on National Women’s Day – 09/08/2017

The commemoration of this National Women’s Day coincide with a political turmoil prevailing in the country that was brought about by self-indulgence, self-interest, self-infliction and breach of constitutional and executive power by President Jacob Zuma. This has led to a vote of no confidence motioned against President Jacob Zuma on 08/08/2017. Should this vote of no confidence result in his impeachment, then the women of South Africa will remember his presidential tenure as insensitive, cruel and merciless towards women. As for the women in leadership, especially cabinet ministers and National Executive Committee of the ANC would be remembered for defending president Zuma’s malicious abuse of his executive powers, the breakdown of the rule of law, characterised by reprisals, intimidation, harassment of women human rights defender’s, death threats, mysterious killings, malicious dismissals of officials who repudiate impunity and refuse to validate corruption, breakdown of the rule of law, political intolerance and conflict, especially in the KZN Province, as well as the mysterious killings and disappearances that continued in the country with little investigation conducted to hold culprits accountable.  This horrific image of South Africa’s human rights record has attributed to the downgrading of our economic status, including increasing poverty, unemployment, health hazard, car hijacking, drug trafficking, murder of women and children. Little has been done to ensure the safety and security of women and children in our society. In March 2017 the Minister of Women in the Presidency, Susan Nkomo was devastated by the brutal killings across the country that had left more than 60 women murdered in 30 days. This makes South Africa a violent society despite its trong constitutional and legislative frameworks with protective mechanisms advancing women and children.

The country lacks a Woman Human Rights Defender to openly raise women issues and hold the perpetrators of women and children’s rights accountable. The religion and cultural practices still persist as barriers that subjugate women as subordinates in the society. There are laws adopted for the purpose of advancing, inequality and stereotyping of women. The Leadership Authority Act of 2003, Traditional Bill are policies that contradict the constitutional values, including regional and international mechanisms acceded to for protecting women from being subjected to subservience at traditional level. There are women leaders who support cultural practices that violate women and human dignity of young girls’. The practice of virginity testing, promoted for awarding scholarship to young girls is not only a violation of the constitution, but it is a regression of a societal fabric. This situation attributes to teenage pregnancy, school dropouts, forced marriages, child marriages and abductions in our communities.  Health is also an issue that affect women and young girls, especially HIV/AIDs affects young women of between 15years-25 years old. South Africa has the highest HIV statistics in SADC region mostly affecting women.  While the concept of blessers is endemic countrywide and need interaction from state collaboration with civil society and private sector.

Sexual violence, including rape is as high like a country in war and like DRC, a country described as the capital of rape. The aged are targeted as prey, they are not safe in their homes or public places. They are robbed of their pension fund and live in fear of victimisation as some are murdered because communities allege them for witchcraft.  Children with disability experience incestuous relationships from their fathers. The police are doing little to hold responsible culprits accountable. While women are losing confidence in the law enforcement and the justice system, reporting of sexual offences has deteriorated. A number of CSOs have reported that three in five south women have experienced rape in their life time. It is still reported that only one rape cases are reported out of 9 rape cases. It is still reported that in every 26 seconds a woman is raped in South Africa. All these reports have gone into deaf ears, with little done by police to apprehend perpetrators. The Minister of Police has condemned violence against women and children, but this will not make perpetrators of this crime repent from their evil acts, but a well-trained police, equipped with professional skills to conduct investigations that result in holding perpetrators accountable.

African Commission on Human and People’s Rights has called South Africa to protect the LGBTI communities, including protecting the girl child from contacting HIV, development of policies that gives consistent age of a child.

While the Human Rights Council has passed over 250 recommendations on South Africa disturbing high levels of sexual violence.  HURISA is calling on South Africa to end the rhetoric on the scourge face by women and children, but to be more serious in developing timeframes for ending the scourge, including coming up with concrete strategies to curb the violence on a short term, medium term and long term basis.

HURISA is calling all women in leadership, including cabinet ministers, political parties not to allow policies, administrative practices that undermine the spirit, purport of the constitutional and legislative policies that promotes protection of women and children in the country. They should ensure full support of functioning of the South African Commission on Gender Equality and Department of Women to run sustainable programmes for women and children in the country, including reaching women and children in living in rural communities.

Category: Latest News