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NEWS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE SA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION REGARDING ISSUES AROUND THE RELEASE OF ITS INVESTIGATION REPORT INTO THE CONSTRUCTION OF UNENCLOSED TOILETS BY THE MOQHAKA MUNICIPALITY

Date: Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Human Rights Commission calls on political parties to respect the Constitutional mandate and independence of the Commission. Political posturing that parties engage in as part of their election campaigns, cannot be allowed to undermine or interfere with the independence of a Constitutionally mandated body.

Nor can critical human rights of the poorest people of our country be reduced to  political footballs. It is time for political parties to respond positively to the criticism made by Judge Nathan Erasmus in his recent Cape High Court Makhaza judgment that both parties: ' simply failed to rise above their political contest as opposed to their duty towards those that need to benefit the poor and vulnerable'. His judgment affirmed the Constitutional mandate and finding of the Commission on the right to dignity in relation to sanitation and related rights such as housing.

Recent public pronouncements by various parties regarding some of the Commission's ongoing investigations have cast aspersions on the impartiality and independence of the Commission. They have also attempted to pre-empt the outcome of the Commission’s investigations. Unfortunately some media reporting has fed into this. The Commission calls on political parties and the media to give it the necessary space it requires to conduct its work without fear or favour.

The Commission has thoroughly investigated the complaint on unenclosed toilets laid by the DA against the Moqhaka Municipality in the Free State and based on a careful consideration of all the relevant facts and circumstances relating to the matter, will release its report shortly.

ENDS

For further details: Vincent Moaga on 073 562 9866/011 877 3636For comments email info@sahrc.org.za [Back]



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