DA points finger at Human Rights Commission

2008-07-23 00:00

Cape Town — The parliamentary leader of the DA, Sandra Botha, has called for a meeting with the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) chairman Jody Kollapen to discuss the commission’s handling of the case against Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi.

At a recent funeral for the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union’s vice-president Pretty Shuping, Vavi echoed the words of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema by saying “we are prepared to lay down our lives and shoot to kill” for ANC leader Jacob Zuma.

Botha said that the SAHRC let Vavi off the hook, following a closed meeting to discuss his comments. “The meeting produced nothing more than a trivial statement of regret that did not correspond substantially to the original charge,” she said.

Botha said she wants to discuss the SAHRC’s ability to fulfil its constitutional obligation “to promote respect for human rights and a culture of human rights” and to use its powers to call political leaders to account for inciting public violence.

“Vavi very clearly indicated no remorse for inciting public violence and also gave no commitment that he would not do so again in the future. Vavi merely expressed regret for offending the ‘sensitivities’ of people who do not like the word ‘kill’ — a completely nonsensical undertaking given the context of his original ‘shoot and kill for Zuma’ remarks.”

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