Gangsterism infringes freedom

2018-04-04 06:03
Community members of Postmasburg with the police and representatives of the Kolomela Mine celebrate Human Rights Day by taking a stand against gangsterism. Photo: Supplied

Community members of Postmasburg with the police and representatives of the Kolomela Mine celebrate Human Rights Day by taking a stand against gangsterism. Photo: Supplied

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One of the prime rights in the Constitution is the right to “life, liberty and security of person”.

It means all should feel safe in their environment.

This was the main message during Human Rights Day (21 March) celebrations in Postmasburg.

On the day, Kolomela mine in partnership with the local police, the mayor’s office and LoveLife, very strongly condemned gangsterism in the community and expressed how certain elements of social ills were destroying everyone’s rights.

George Benjamin, Kolomela mine’s public affairs manager, said for Kolomela as part of Anglo American, Human Rights Day is embedded in their business practices.

“As a mine, we commemorate Human Rights Day in the same way we would celebrate religious holidays.”

Maria Daniels, mayor of Tsantsabane, gave the keynote address in which she asked everyone to reflect on the progress society is making.

“Remember where we have been and how far we have come.”

She also reminded those present of how far there still is to go in the fight for human dignity.

Daniels implored everyone to remember Madiba in the year he would have turned 100 years old.

“We are celebrating Human Rights Day through sport, because this is how Nelson Mandela united a divided country – on the sportsfield.”

Daniels recalled the goosebumps felt when Madiba walked onto the rugby field when the Springboks had just won the 1995 Rugby World Cup, wearing the green-and-gold Springbok jersey and cap.

She said everyone can do more to ensure human dignity is entrenched in society and that the rights of others are not infringed upon through freedom of expression.

“Freedom of expression does not mean you have the right to say anything at any time and any place. Hate speech is not a form of freedom of expression.”

Col. Jan Witbooi, police station commander, reiterated the importance of Human Rights Day and gave thanks that fundamental rights can be exercised.

“But gangsterism has hampered our fundamental right of freedom,” he warned. “This new phenomenon in our society prevents law-abiding citizens from exercising the right to be safe and to be considered as humans.”

The year of Madiba’s 100th birthday issued a strong call on everyone to take hands and make Tsantabane a free society.

“Postmasburg can become the safest haven for all residents where all enjoy the fundamental right of living,” he said.

“We, as the police, will go the extra mile to ensure gangsterism is stopped and to remind people that being a rightful citizen in South Africa is both a right and a responsibility.”

Human Rights Day saw communities and colleagues unite on the sports field as soccer, netball, volleyball and basketball teams vied for the winner’s position.

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