Updated: Nov 18, 2019
Human Rights - Everyone has them or Do they?
In 2014 I received my diploma as an "Advocate for Human Rights" this means that I am qualified and equipped to educate people and governments where every man, women and child seek equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity, without discrimination about human rights. That was then... In 2017 I removed my diploma from its frame and put it away in a file, I became despondent about International Human Rights and the reason being is because of the lack of human rights for a small minority of white South Africans. Consequently, I called upon the United Nations.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, (OHCHR) Geneva Switzerland whose mandate it is to ensure enjoyment of all Human Rights to remove obstacles to their effective implementation and to enhance coordination and cooperation of human rights activities through out the United Nations system. To this day they have not provided myself with sufficient reason to display the diploma in a frame on my office wall. I have lost faith in the concept of human rights.
The OHCHR in my opinion has failed white South Africans and this can clearly be seen when we examine the judicial system in South Africa how it works against but rather in favor of a “patronage system” a practice in which a political party, after winning an election, gives government civil service jobs to its supporters, friends, and relatives as a reward for working toward victory, and as an incentive to keep working for the party—as a reward.
This can also be seen with the denial and lack of the prevention of perpetuating farm attacks and farm murders that continue for almost 26 years. The OHCHR could have intervened in their efforts to stop these atrocities from happening years back and still have not done anything about them in November, 2019.
After watching the videos of the 6 week fact finding mission from 26th September to 12th November, 2019 in South Africa produced by visitors from Israel the ruling South African government have violated almost every Human Rights Law. The United Nations have a mandate to uphold human rights but they too ignore the plight of white South Africans. WHY is this happening?
What Are Human Rights?
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination. Everyone except white South Africans?
International Human Rights Law
International human rights law lays down the obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.
A pause for concern as I consider if the OHCHR from their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland lay down the law for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) government in South Africa?
One of the great achievements of the United Nations is the creation of a comprehensive body of human rights law—a universal and internationally protected code to which all nations can subscribe and all people aspire. The United Nations has defined a broad range of internationally accepted rights, including civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. It has also established mechanisms to promote and protect these rights and to assist states in carrying out their responsibilities.
The foundations of this body of law are the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly in 1945 and 1948, respectively. Since then, the United Nations has gradually expanded human rights law to encompass specific standards for women, children, persons with disabilities, minorities and other vulnerable groups, who now possess rights that protect them from discrimination that had long been common in many societies.
Do the United Nations discuss with their counterpart (office) in South Africa and if they do how do they know they are been told the truth? Does the OHCHR send representatives from their own office in Geneva Switzerland to fact find for themselves instead of been reliant on their South African counterpart? And if not then Why?
Today, it appears that President Cyril Ramaphosa is firmly intent on the revival to withdraw South Africa from the International Criminal Court (ICC). It could be that he may want to proceed on doing as he takes up his new role in 2020 as Chairman of the African Union.
In December 2017, just before the African National Congress’s (ANC) critical elective conference, the previous administration of Jacob Zuma tabled the International Crimes Bill. Its purpose was to withdraw South Africa from the ICC, repealing the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act which had incorporated the ICC’s Rome Statute into South African Law. The preamble to the bill says the government wishes to pull out of the ICC because South Africa’s international relations are being hindered by the requirement – under the Rome Statute and South Africa’s own implementation of it – to arrest foreign heads of state wanted by the ICC, and to surrender them to that court in The Hague. The preamble suggests that the obligation to arrest such heads of state complicates South Africa’s efforts to resolve conflicts. Instead, ‘South Africa wishes to give effect to the rule of customary international law which recognises the diplomatic immunity of heads of state in order to effectively promote dialogue and the peaceful resolution of conflicts wherever they may occur, but particularly [in Africa].’
At the time, the preamble did not name former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir – who was toppled in April this year – but clearly had in mind the mid-2015 fiasco when al-Bashir, an ICC fugitive, visited South Africa for an African Union summit. The ICC asked Pretoria to arrest him under its ICC obligations but instead he was allowed to leave. The action incurred a severe reprimand from the ICC and from South Africa’s own highest courts and planted the seed of Pretoria’s desire to leave the international court.
The bill would replace the ICC implementation act with new measures for South Africa itself to litigate the grave international crimes the ICC adjudicates: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The bill has largely been regarded as a parting shot by the Zuma administration. Ramaphosa, then still a candidate for the presidency of the ANC, was rumored to be against withdrawal. But at the ANC conference, where he was elected party president, he was also saddled with a party decision to proceed with the withdrawal from the ICC.
Yet nearly two years later, the International Crimes Bill was still languishing in Parliament, giving the distinct impression that Ramaphosa was allowing it to die a natural death. Not wanting to kill it outright, as that would be deliberately thwarting ANC policy, but also not wanting to pass it for whatever reason.
Kindly take note that by withdrawing from the ICC would not absolve South Africa from its obligations to prosecute heads of state for genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity.
Perhaps because withdrawing from the ICC runs contrary to Ramaphosa’s goal of re-shaping South Africa’s foreign policy around the core values of multilateralism, accountability and good governance. Withdrawal would send a bad message to the international community – including, perhaps, desperately needed investors – that South Africa was not fully committed to the Rule of Law.
It seems the International Crimes Bill was ‘revived’ proceduraly rather than with deliberate intent. All business before Parliament lapsed with the previous administration before the May elections. And so on 29 October all of that business was revived with a blanket resolution. It seems Ramaphosa and Lamola are determined to postpone the decision and even procrastinate and the bill is unlikely to make it onto the justice portfolio committee’s heavy workload this year.
Is the South African government reinventing the wheel by proposing a new international network to prosecute ICC-level crimes?
Back To Human Rights.
With many people unaware of their rights the question arises who can we trust to make sure human rights are respected? Today all 193 Member States of the United Nations have adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a body of law exists to protect. Although human rights exist, are recognized at least in principle by most nations and form the heart of many national constitutions, the actual situation in the world is far distant from the ideals envisioned in the Declaration. For many, the full realization of human rights is a remote and unattainable goal. Even International Human Rights is a remote and unattainable goal. International human rights laws are difficult to enforce and pursuing a complaint can take years and an enormous amount of money. These international laws serve a restraining function but are insufficient to provide adequate human rights protection, as evidenced by the reality of abuses perpetrated at the white ethnic minority in South Africa who are been humiliated individually and in groups, they are been persecuted and systematically cleansed from the their land and homes.
The United Nations and their Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have FAILED to act.
We are on own.
LINK To The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Copy and Paste the link in your browser.
Published by Shar Grainger.
Dated 17th November, 2019.