As we consider the committee recommendations for the appointment of 5 full-time and 2 part-time commissioners of this very important Chapter 9 Institution, we must pause and reflect on how the culture of Human Rights respect and protection is slowly eroding in South Africa.
Social division along racial, cultural and religious lines is on the increase. Racial intolerance and hate speech fill our social and traditional media platforms on an almost daily basis.
As I recently sat in the 2016 International Conference of Parliamentarians on Religious Freedom, I asked myself this unthinkable question, “Have we as South Africans taken our hard won freedom for granted? Are these enshrined rights that we all purport to hold so dear, under attack?”
Discrimination on the basis of skin colour, ethnic origin, religion or culture cannot be tolerated!
Political leaders and members of parliament, have a solemn obligation to ensure that they do not make such utterances, as such only fuel and entrench racism and xenophobia on deeper levels in our already divided society.
This Chapter 9 Institution and the Commissioners we are appointing today are our constitutionally enshrined protectors of Human Rights in South Africa. They must not only protect but also promote and develop Human Rights in our Republic.
They are the guardians of Human Rights in this country and we expect nothing less from each and every one of them.
The IFP supports the report and recommendations and wishes each and every newly appointed commissioner well during their term of office.
I thank you.
Hon. Narend Singh, MP
083 788 5954
IFP Media, Parliament