They say that the country’s commitment to human rights was a concern. According to the commission, many groups, including women‚ children‚ prisoners‚ indigenous persons‚ non-nationals and protesters are suffering.
“South Africa’s commitment to upholding its obligations under international law is dubious‚” the commission said.
“Just last year‚ the South African government overrode a decision of a High Court‚ as well as a request of Justice Cuno Tarfussor‚ a judge of the International Criminal Court‚ to arrest Sudanese President‚ Omar Al-Bashir.
“These occurrences are worrying for a human rights institution seeking to promote the domestic harmonization of international laws and standards in South Africa.”
Of particular concern for the commision was high levels of violence against women and LGBTI persons, urging the government to “adopt an integrated plan to address gender based violence in all its manifestations”.
In a statement sent to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and the media, the commission noted that racism was widespread across the country and said that it was very concerned about a high level of xenophobic attitudes towards non-nationals‚ migrants and asylum seekers. The commission said that black women living in poverty are particularly affected by these factors.
The rights of indigenous persons, such as the Khoisan, are also an issue. The statement said: “Indigenous persons‚ such as the Khoisan‚ have been historically under-represented in South Africa’s Parliament.”
Also on the list is the treatment of South Africa’s prisoners. CNN recently had an inside look at one of South Africa’s most notorious prisons, Pollsmoor, and revealed shocking conditions of overcrowding which resulted in poor hygiene. But the commission was equally concerned about “instances of torture and cruel‚ inhumane or degrading treatment”‚ as well as “issues regarding the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty”. It added: “The SAHRC also notes with concern the high numbers of investigated or unknown deaths which occur at the hands of law enforcement authorities.”
The treatment of non-nationals held at Lindela Repatriation Centre who were held for over 120 days without a warrant and juvenile justice was also a concern.
Finally on the list, it added that the treatment of protestors, especially those protesting service delivery, was a concern, saying: “Despite media reports indicating otherwise‚ the vast majority of these protests are peaceful in nature. Despite this‚ however‚ the SAHRC continues to be concerned by the disproportionate use of force exercised by law enforcement officials during protests.”
source: The South African.com