Human Rights Commission Statement to condemn the booing of Ms De Lille
Date: Monday, 21 March 2011
The SA Human Rights Commission strongly condemns the booing of the Western Cape Acting Premier Ms Patricia De Lille by a large proportion of the crowd attending this year's Human Rights Day celebrations at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town this morning.
During the delivery of her opening address a large proportion of the crowd was heard
making booing sounds while some made hand signals which suggested that she must be replaced on the programme. To protect her dignity the organizers of the event should have ensured that the booing was completely stopped so that Ms de Lille can finish her speech.
The Commission views this as a disturbing act of intolerance which contradicts the constitutional provisions that guarantee freedom of speech and human dignity. In addition, the Commission finds it ironic that members of the crowd must be seen behaving in such an indignifying manner at a Human Rights Day event whose purpose is to seek to recommit the country to the constitutional principle of human dignity.
The Commission warns that it is unacceptable for anybody to seek to silence those with views which they don't agree and it hopes all leaders will speak out against such actions especially as they come at a time when the country is in the middle of the local government election campaigning period. It is expected that during this period, various parties and individuals, will express differing and contradicting views with a view of advancing their interest and this they must be able to do freely.
The Commission calls on members of the public not to copy the act of intolerance which was witnessed today but rather to use acceptable ways of engaging those with views that they do not agree with, this is the spirit of Human Rights Day.
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