Hon Chairperson, members, today we are debating a fundamental and most challenging theme of our society, namely human rights in a country with many diverse minority groups. The theme for the day is working together to protect human dignity for all.
The Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa; it enshrines the rights of all people in the country and defines the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. Let us look at a few fundamental clauses in the Bill of Rights as reflected in the Constitution and judge the government's performance in as far as complying with the Bill of Rights is concerned.
Regarding equality, everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law. Can we surely state that this is true as we look at the disastrous handling of Mr Shaik, the President's former adviser in breaching his parole conditions?
Regarding human dignity, everyone has an inherent dignity and has a right to have their dignity respected and protected. As for freedom and religion, belief and opinion, this right does not extend to advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.
Is the hatred speech of Julius Malema against the Afrikaner on which the government keeps silent in line with the Bill of Rights? The other example is how Comrade Robert Mugabe is being protected by the government whilst he is destroying democracy and the dignity of his people.
Regarding the environment, everyone has a right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing by preventing pollution and ecological degradation. Are we satisfied with the assets crisis in the water supply of Gauteng - sewers running into rivers contaminating water, and the failure of basic services in the ANC-controlled municipalities throughout South Africa? The government is failing the people as far as their human rights are concerned.
Regarding housing, everyone has a right to have access to adequate housing. No one may be evicted from their homes without a court order. Because of tender fraud and jobs for cronies, the Minister of Human Settlements had to rebuild thousands of houses of shocking quality which were built because of chasing numbers and enriching cadres and not to provide quality housing for the poor.
It is shocking that a special investigation unit is investigating tender fraud in the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality in the amount of R5 billion. Is it money stolen from the poor? Regarding education, everyone has a right to basic education including adult basic education and further education, which the state, through reasonable measures, must make progressively available and accessible.
As reported, our education standards are deteriorating to such an extent that the Education department had to influence and adjust results to try and improve matric results. Who is fooling who? Our failure rate at our universities is alarming. Instead of progressively building education, government closed down teacher training colleges and nursing training colleges, which resulted in skills shortages.
Every day we learn about skills shortages, we acknowledge the wrongdoings of the past, but why must our professional children, young doctors and engineers, go abroad to make a living whilst they want to participate in building our country as loyal citizens? They are deprived of opportunities whilst there are vacancies that are not filled in the scarce skills environment just because of the colour of their skin.
What is fundamentally wrong is the emphasis on race and not creating space for all, which is the fundamental issue in our government. The last week's events demonstrate exactly what I mean around the money debacle - money is a civil servant, and a well-paid one.
Paul Ngobeni, who called hon Manuel a gangster and a king of the coloureds in an open letter on Sunday, is also paid with our tax money. He has now been suspended by Minister Sisulu, but the final outcome will determine how strongly government is acting against racism.
On the question by the Sunday Independent about Mr Manyi's role in the struggle he said, "We looted. It was nice to loot! We would stop a truck carrying milk and say, 'If we loot this truck, who loses, you or the white man' We enjoyed this spree - until the Hippos came."
His role in the struggle was not of a freedom fighter, but a looter. He is mainly busy looting the Bill of Rights, but who is going to stop him? As reported in the Cape Times, if government's leadership does not come up with a clear and unambiguous position rather than meaningless mumblings about nonracialism, the minority groups will accept that the former liberation movement has become a tribalist cabal.
What is the solution? The DA calls it the open opportunity society. [Interjections.] By "open", we mean a society in which people have the right to be themselves and follow their own path in life. An open society is founded on the Bill of Rights, the rule of law and democratic decision- making. [Interjections.] By "opportunity", we mean a society in which people are given the means to take advantage of their rights, to improve their circumstances and live lives they value.
By "for all", we mean a society which truly belongs to all who live in it, in which all South Africans, regardless of the colour of their skin or circumstances of their upbringing, have the same rights and access to opportunities they need to improve their lives. In a society for all, redress of past discrimination is essential and is aimed at those who still suffer the effects of that discrimination.
Why are so many people immigrating from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape? The reason is, they come to a province of hope and service delivery. [Interjections.] We did not steal the Western Cape; the voters voted for the DA ... [Time expired.]
UMntwana M M M ZULU: Sihlalo, amalungu ahloniphekile ale Ndlu, lolu usuku lwamalungelo abantu baleli lizwe, yize noma sazi kahle emlandweni ukuthi uhulumeni owayephethe eminyakeni edlule wahlasela abantu bakithi ngezibhamu bengaphethe lutho, ebahlasela ngezibhamu kwachitheka igazi labantu abangayi- 169.
Kuyaziwa futhi ukuthi kwaba khona abalimala ababalelwa kwi-180, nangaphezulu kwalokho kuwo wonke amalokishi abantu abaMnyama eGoli. Lokho yisibonelo esibi okufuneka ukuthi njengohulumeni wentando yeningi sikubhekisise ngoba kuyinto engafanele yenzeke ukuthi amaphoyisa ethu noma umButho wezeMpi ushaye abantu bakithi bengaphethe lutho.
Ngiyakuhalalisela ukuthi uhulumeni ukwazile ukwakha iKhomishani yamaLungelo aBantu okufuneka ukuthi thina sonke njengezakhamizi zaleli zwe siyihloniphe ukuze ikwazi ukwenza umsebenzi wayo. Uma ngephule ilungelo lomuntu othile kumele ibhekane nami ukuze ngiqonde, ngibe nesimilo.
INingizimu Afrika iyizwe elikwazile ukuthi eminyakeni eyi-16 eyedlule ibe nokuhlonishwa kwamalungelo abantu. Ngiyacela kithi esiphethe ezinhlakeni zikahulumeni ukuthi singangeneleli siphazamise izikhungo zika-Chapter 9, ezinikezwa nguMthethosisekelo igunya lokuthi izindaba zawo zingangenelelwa yinoma yimuphi omunye umuntu.
Lokho kuzosenzela igama elihle njengezwe, ukuthi siyawahlonipha amalungelo abantu futhi siyazihlonipha izakhiwo zikahulumeni ezweni lakithi iNingizimu Afrika. Njengezakhamizi zaleli lizwe kufuneka sikwazi ukufundisa izingane zethu ukuthi zihloniphe amasiko wezinye izizwe nathi uqobo lwethu sihloniphe amasiko ezinye izizwe ngoba sinemikhutshana eminingi ehlukene njengezizwe.
INingizimu Afrika iyizwe elinabantu abavela emazweni amaningi, okufuneka ukuthi sikwazi ukuhloniphana. Njengokuthi uma amaNdiya eyothandaza, kulungile mawahambe ayothandaza, nathi uma siyobulala inkomo esibayeni, kungashiwo ukuthi sihlukumeza izilwane ngoba sisuke siqhuba lokhu okuthiwa ngamasiko ethu njengesizwe.
Ngiyabonga Sihlalo, ngithi phambili ngeNingizimu Afrika ukuba ikwazi ukumela amalungelo abantu, ikwazi ukuhlonipha Ubuntu. (Translation of isiZulu speech follows.)
[Prince M M M ZULU: Chairperson, hon members of this House, Human Rights Day is for the people of this country, although we know very well from our history that the government that was in power previously attacked unarmed people with guns - they attacked them with guns - and 169 people lost their lives.
It is also known that 180 people were injured, and the numbers exceed that as the same thing happened in all the black townships around Johannesburg. That is a very bad example that calls us, as a democratic government, to look closely at it as it is something that our police or the Defence Force shouldn't be doing - attacking our unarmed civilians.
I commend the government for forming the SA Human Rights Commission, which we all have to respect as the citizens of this country so that it can perform its duties well. It needs to deal with me if I have violated someone's rights in order for me to be a good person and be well behaved.
South Africa is a country that has been able to entrench a culture of human rights in just 16 years of democracy. I am pleading with all of us who are in power within the government structures not to interfere with the Chapter 9 institutions, which are protected by the Constitution so that no one should interfere with their affairs.
This will give us a good name as a nation; that in our country South Africa, we respect human rights as well as all the spheres of government. As the citizens of this country we need to teach our children to respect the cultures of other nations and we ourselves need to respect other cultures because we have different customs as different nations.
South Africa is a land with many people coming from many different countries, which means that we have to respect one another. For instance, when the people of Indian origin have to go pray, they must be allowed to do so, and when we need to slaughter a cow in a kraal, that must not be regarded as cruelty towards animals because we would be performing what forms part of our culture.
Thank you, Chairperson. I am saying: Forward with a South Africa that respects human rights, and ubuntu.]