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Why SAHRC called for the respect of law on Mandela Day

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The SAHRC has urged South Africans to emulate Madiba on the eve of Mandela Day, by recommitting themselves to the rule of law in light of the violent unrest.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has urged the people of South Africa to respect the rule of law on Mandela Day 2021. In a statement issued by the commission on Friday, 16 July 2021, SAHRC pleaded with the people of the country to recommit themselves to the rule of law on the eve of the upcoming Mandela Day on Sunday, 18 July 2021. On this day, the country celebrates and honours the late former president, Nelson Mandela. The SAHRC made this request in light of the widespread violence and looting in parts of the country.

The commission encouraged South Africa to assess its own responsibility for what has gone wrong. It stated that it believes that it is up to the people to display leadership and emulate Madiba, in striving to end the culture of violence and anarchy, and to begin to heal the country’s collective pain. The SAHRC stated that the events of the past week have exposed the country’s fault lines of poverty and deprivation on the one hand, and also the blatant greed and depravity on the other.

The SAHRC further stated that it condemns the lawlessness and violence that has resulted in the loss of lives and livelihoods, and has urged older persons to set an example for the younger generation so that today’s failures are not inflicted on the country tomorrow. The commission reiterated its commitment to addressing poverty and inequality, while striving to strengthen social cohesion. The commission stated that its daily responsibility is the execution of its constitutional mandate to protect, promote, monitor and assess the observance of human rights. The SAHRC confirmed that the theme for this year is “The essence of Mandela Day – take action, inspire change and make everyday a Mandela Day.”

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