“The Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It enshrines the rights of ALL people in the country and affirms the democratic values of human DIGNITY, EQUALITY and FREEDOM.”
Section 10 states “Everyone has inherent DIGNITY and the RIGHT to have their dignity RESPECTED and PROTECTED.”
Section 9 starts with “Everyone is EQUAL before the law and has the right to EQUAL PROTECTION and BENEFIT of the law. Equality includes the full and equal ENJOYMENT of ALL rights and freedoms.
Section 12 protects: “Freedom and Security of the Person.”
Everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right not to be deprived of freedom arbitrarily or without just cause; not to be detained without trial; to be FREE from all forms of violence from either public or private sources; not to be TORTURED in any way; and not to be treated or punished in a CRUEL, INHUMAN or DEGRADING way.”
I wanted to focus on Section 12 specifically because of what has been happening during the lockdown especially at Level 5.
The lockdown is a JUST CAUSE. There is no argument in that. But what does the pandemic or COVID19 have to do with the violation of people’s dignity and the inhumane way people like Collins Khosa died?
Section 12 mentions “not to be TREATED or PUNISHED in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way.
The video snippets we have all been privy to on social media with army personnel or police letting black men hop home-like ” bunnies” or “frogs” or forcing them to roll on the sand until they, (the army personnel or police), have satisfied their sadist thirst for humiliating the citizens in this country.
The 16-year-old black girl who was shot in her eye with a rubber bullet on her way from the shops has what to do with the pandemic?
I am not even going to focus on the deaths of black people during the lockdown by those tasked to “assist” with this pandemic but want to focus on the number of people who were unnecessarily treated in a humiliating and degrading manner because the internal belief of many is that black people are a bunch of “hooligans” and or “thugs” that can’t obey simple instructions.
The trampling over black people’s rights is reminiscent of an era in our history. The absolute disregard for people’s freedom from humiliation and degradation does not in any way, shape, or form assist Government in combatting COVID19. Instead, it seeks to provide people in uniform the authority to do what they wish and further traumatize an already traumatized nation.
So, I have to ask “Bill” where are their rights?
Where are the rights and dignity of the pensioners when they “camp” outside of outlets that pay their pensions not only due to hunger but for fear of returning home empty-handed?
Whilst I understand, as most people do that we are restricted, what possible reasons can they, (the authorities), furnish for some of their dastardly conduct towards people who are hungry, defenceless, and mostly fear death by either poverty or the virus?
Have we become a nation too tired to demand our rights and call to order those that wilfully run rampant over them? Trampling over it as an elephant does to a mouse he can’t see!
When do we shout out to “Bill” i.e. Government and Government employees and demand the rights we have been given post-1994?
Our Bill of Rights means nothing when it is not implemented and adhered to.
Rules that are written on a piece of paper like our Bill of Rights remains nothing but ink blobs until we take said paper and apply it to benefit ALL our citizens.