By Umamah Bakharia
The organisation Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia, joined by allies in civil society, will be picketing the Johannesburg offices of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) today.
The group says they are protesting to enquire what the commission is doing to prevent the violation of human rights in South Africa.
Speaking to Radio Islam International, Kaponang’s Sharon Ekambaram says they need to know what the commission is doing to curb xenophobia in the country.
“We are concerned that even though the South African Human Rights Commission has carried out investigations, its produced reports with clear recommendations, it appears as though the executive, the state [and] the government is ignoring those recommendations,” says Ekambaram.
The organisation says the violent acts that have been taking place in Diepsloot by Operation Dudula and other movements are being carried out with “pure impunity.”
They claim the SAHRC has been quiet as no arrests have been made yet on the vigilante activities they say violate a person’s basic human rights.
“The protest is to show that the commission hasn’t been doing enough and it does have teeth to act and should be using those powers to stop the xenophobic violence,” says Ekambaram.
She says political leaders are prompting xenophobic attacks on individuals such as the murder of Zimbabwean national, Elvis Nyathi.
“We feel they should have been action publicly done to chastise the political leader and there should be consequences,” says Ekambaram. And adds that political leaders should be removed from office or their position if they make xenophobic statements.
Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia says actions need to be done to prevent such statements and crimes.