AfriForum attacked vehemently by government representative re UN presentation
Shortly before the closing of the annual session of the UN's Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva, a representative of the South African government abused the platform created by this Forum to stage a vehement attack against AfriForum and other organizations that had addressed the Forum on the decay of democracy in South Africa and issues such as farm murders and rampant crime.
According to Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum responsible for international liaison, the representative of DIRCO started her address by criticizing the UN for not accrediting the participants in the Forum's activities with more care. She referred to AfriForum and TAU SA as fringe organizations and the FF+ as a remnant of the apartheid years, trying to discredit her government's programmes to build a democratic society based on a single national identity and the principle of Ubuntu, in favour of white domination.
The representative also attacked the organizations for allegedly accusing government of running a genocide programme against white farmers. Bailey emphasised that no such accusation had been made by any South African at the Forum, although the state's reluctance to declare farm attacks a priority crime, had been mentioned.
According to Bailey, this vehement reaction underlines the ruling party's discomfort with the exposure of their failures in the international arena. It also proves why it is essential that organizations from civil society such as AfriForum should participate in activities like this Forum's annual sessions.
The international community is not unaware of the failures of the Ruling party and a diplomat's personal attack against civil societies that had made well-researched presentations, will not deflect attention of informed members of the international community from reality.
The irony of the representative's claims to democratic values and rights, as opposed to her calls for civil society to be denied participation in the activities of the Forum, will not escape them either. It is even ironic that the attack was launched during a session with the theme of "building peace and managing diversity", while she was trying to defend government's vision of a single identity.
Statement issued by Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO, AfriForum, November 26 2014
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