ANC not serious about its obligations in terms of the Convention on Civil and Political Rights

Adv Anton Alberts

In another example of the ANC government’s clumsiness and its contempt of minorities, it has come to light that the government has after fifteen years not fulfilled its obligations in terms of the United Nations’ Convention of Civil and Political Rights, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Justice and Correctional Services says.

Adv. Alberts says South Africa signed the Convention on 3 October 1994 and it was ratified on 10 December 1998, as prescribed by the country’s Constitution.

The Convention requires signatory states to submit a report on steps taken by governments to meet the Convention’s provisions on political and civil rights.

Thereafter, a report has to be submitted every five years to report on the progress to implement and adhere to the provisions.

In a reply to a question of Adv. Anton Alberts regarding the issue, Minister Mike Masutha, the minister of Justice and Correctional Services, acknowledged that no report has been submitted. According to him, there is a report with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation which has to submit it to the UN.

It will only be released to the South African public for input after the UN’s committee on human rights has dealt with it, according to the reply. Masutha acknowledged that the government had appointed an inter-departmental committee to ‘facilitate the backlog of the reports’.

Adv. Alberts said it is shocking that the ANC government ignores a body such as the UN and at the same time it shows minorities and their rights in South Africa is not important to the ANC government.

“Government is making a mockery of the Convention. The excuses for the delay is unacceptable and shows that the state merely signed the Convention as part of a process to keep up a good image and not because it really wants to adhere to the Convention.

“The ANC wants to stay on the moral high ground without taking any real steps as prescribed by the Convention. Part of this is the poor consultative process with interested parties in South Africa and especially with minorities.

“According to the reply, consultations with civil organisations did take place through the Human Rights Institute of South Africa. The question is who this organisation is and what status does it enjoy. No Afrikaners, Khoisan or brown people were invited to participate.

“It is frightening that a report which directly affects South Africa’s minorities will be submitted to the UN without the minorities having an input in the report. The FF Plus will follow up on this matter by studying the report as soon as it is available and submitting a complaint to the UN, if needed,” Adv. Alberts says.


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