Government accused of human rights violations

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Opposition parties in Parliament have accused government of perpetuating human rights abuses, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MPs debated Human Rights Day under the theme “Promoting Human Rights in the age of COVID-19”.

“Stories of people fighting each other for oxygen, in KZN an open garage in winter converted into COVID ward, in Eastern Cape people transported on scooters. Health is human right!,” says DA MP, Haseena Ismael.

“We must properly characterise ANC main violator of human rights, the persecution of students who demand education, police killing Black protestors and poverty must be stopped,” EFF MP, Veronica Mente, added.

Cope MP, Willie Madisha, and NFP MP, Mzwakwe Sibisi, say poor service delivery is being hidden behind the pandemic.

“ANC uses COVID to quell anger by people. When young and old rise to march, they are shot and killed,” they say.

But Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform, Thoko Didiza, says all decisions made during the country’s lockdown, were made to protect lives.

“The way our government intervened in saving lives and livelihoods, ensured that as a nation we were cushioned from the worst. Working together with social partners, imagined the reconstruction and recovery plan, is evidence that yes, this work is not for ourselves but for those we have the honour to serve.”

A look at how much has changed, almost 30 years into democracy in SA: