Human Rights Watch (HRW)’s Southern Africa Director, Dewa Mavhinga, says the Life Esidimeni deaths have been the standout issue of human rights violations in the past year.
This came out during their 2017 report at a media briefing in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
According to Mavhinga, other concerns in South Africa include the rate of crime, growing poverty and the failure by the National Prosecuting Authority to press charges against president Jacob Zuma after the Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling in October.
Mavhinga says the election of the new African National Congress President Cyril Ramaphopsa brings a glimmer of hope for human rights going forward.
Listen to Mavhinga on South Africa below:
He says the main issue in Zimbabwe is the upcoming election and how the new leadership will conduct itself leading up to the election.
“The primary challenge now is to deliver a free and fair election to restore legitimacy and to be the basis upon which Zimbabwe then qualifies to be a democratic state.”
Listen to Mavhinga on Zimbabwe below:
HRW has also raised concerns about what they call the “increased repression of peaceful dissent” in Southern Africa.
The rest of the report focused on human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo , Mozambique, Swaziland and Angola.
Babatunde Olugboji of HRW mentioned Gambia as the only African country they have noted as a champion of human rights in the last year.
Below is a graphic showing some of the successes of Gambia in 2017: