SA condemns human rights violations

Friday, November 8, 2019

Deputy President David Mabuza says government condemns all forms of human rights violations perpetrated by any State. 

Mabuza said this when he fielded oral questions in the National Council of Provinces on Thursday.   

The Deputy President had been asked by KwaZulu-Natal Democratic Alliance MP Tim Brauteseth whether, in terms of his mandate to assist the President in efforts toward building a better Africa, he will condemn the proposed action by Ugandan legislators. 

Ugandan legislators are considering resurrecting an anti-homosexuality bill that seeks to outlaw and impose harsh prison sentences for gay sex. 

“In line with our constitutional provisions, we condemn any form of human rights violations and abuses, especially when perpetrated by any State, including those directed to lesbian, gay and transgender people,” he said. 

Mabuza said government has adopted a comprehensive human rights approach to same-sex and LGBTQIA-related rights. 

In this regard, in March 2011, the then Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development mandated the establishment of a National Task Team to develop a National Intervention Strategy that will address “corrective rape”. 

“The department initiated a process of engaging key government departments and other institutions to develop the National Task Team to monitor pending cases relating to gender and sexual orientation-based crimes in the criminal justice system,” Mabuza said. 

The Deputy President had also been asked how the South African constitutional imperatives to protect marginalised persons and communities are aligned with the silence on the part of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation on the developments in Uganda. 

Mabuza said notwithstanding SA’s constitutional provisions, South Africa’s laws should not be in violation of International Law that the country is a signatory to. 

“Under International Law, the sovereignty of States and their right to exercise their independence including making their own laws without the interference of other States, is guaranteed. 

“In this regard, our government upholds the international principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other States. South Africa only intervenes in situations where parties in conflict officially request her assistance and/or intervention.  

“Similarly, South Africa therefore respects the sovereignty of the Republic of Uganda and any other nation.” 

The Deputy President said in cases where South Africa’s positions, values and approaches are in conflict with those of other countries, South Africa is of the view that such matters are best resolved at multilateral fora, as provided for by international conventions. –