UN rapporteur asked to visit SA – Solidarity

Movement requested a team of independent experts to investigate xenophobia, racial slurs and hate speech coming from people in high office

UN rapporteur asked to visit SA about xenophobia, racial slur and hate speech coming from people in high office 

11 May 2017

Solidarity requested through a special procedure, a team of independent experts from the United Nations Human Rights Commission, to investigate Solidarity's complaint about the danger of maintaining double standards regarding racism.

In the complaint Solidarity is also asking that the special rapporteur on contemporary racism and xenophobia, Matuma Ruteere from Kenya, should visit South Africa to investigate Solidarity's allegations.

Solidarity specifically refers to statements by politicians like Jacob Zuma, Julius Malema and the North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, that white people are strangers in the country and that all the problems began when Jan van Riebeeck arrived in South Africa.

“These kinds of statements by South Africans is the language that makes white people strangers and that can lead to hatred between South Africa's own citizens. If Julius Malema’s hate speech is added to this, it creates an explosive situation,” said Dr Dirk Hermann, the Executive General Secretary of Solidarity.

Solidarity’s request and complaint follows a meeting with representatives of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights who focus on special procedures.

The request forms part of a complete complaint lodged by Solidarity with the United Nations human rights watchdog. The complaint focuses on the double standards currently applicable to race in South Africa.

“South Africa is very tolerant of racial pronouncements made by South Africans in authoritative positions, but is totally intolerant to the racial pronouncements made by ordinary white South Africans, who have no authority, " said Hermann.

In his analysis of the phenomenon, Solidarity pointed out, among other things, that the estate agent Penny Sparrow's pronouncements about black South Africans had 4 501 media hits, while Julius Malema's statements that white South Africans should be slaughtered now and that their peace should be disturbed only received 163 media hits.

Solidarity also indicates in its complaint how the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is guilty of selective racism when dealing with incidents of racism. For example, the SAHRC never investigated any high profile black South African, such as Julius Malema, Jacob Zuma, Lulu Xingwane or any other person, but ordinary white South Africans such as Penny Sparrow, Chris Hart and Justin van Vuuren were all investigated by the SAHRC at their own initiative.

Issued by Dirk Hermann, Chief Executive: Solidarity, 11 May 2017