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March 10
Celebrating Human Rights and our Constitution

​THE month of March is dedicated to the fight for human rights and this year’s celebration coincides with the 20th anniversary of the adoption of South Africa’s world acclaimed Constitution. As we celebrate 20 Years of the Constitution which also coincides with the year of President O.R. Tambo, a visionary leader, who made significant contribution which led to the process of the adoption of the Constitution.

The adoption of our Constitution in 1996 formed part of our healing process from the brutality displayed during the Sharpville Massacre. It is one of the reasons that the African National Congress, during the drafting of this constitution placed emphasis on the need for Chapter 2, which will be dedicated to the Bill of Rights which is the cornerstone of our democracy. It is in the Constitution where the rights of all people in our country are enshrined and it also affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.

These were the rights that were ignored by the previous apartheid and colonial governments. As we celebrate Human Rights month, we must emphasise on the need for respect of human life. The recent attacks and killings in uMlazi and that of a policeman in eFolweni must be strongly condemned by all who respect humanity. We must never allow criminals to steal our hard won freedom.

Communities must reclaim their streets from criminals, as we cannot continue to live in fear. However, this does not mean that we must take law into our hands. We must work with the police and community structures to root out crime in our communities. We welcome the announcement made by our Premier Willies Mchunu on the commission on Political Killings in KwaZulu-Natal during the State of the Province Address. We have lost a large number of councillors in this province and region and we hope that this will assist us in finding lasting solutions.

We also welcome the statements made by Premier Mchunu which placed emphasis on radical economic transformation and land redistribution. The issue of land is an emotional one and continues to be one of the areas that deserve a more radical approach to meet the desired outcomes. We also welcome the clear programme of “Operation Vula” which is in line with our radical economic plan.

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