Human Rights

SACSIS embraces a rights based approach to development, which views poverty as a denial of human rights.

Marikana, Gaza, Ferguson: 'You should think of them always as armed'

Picture credit: A protester in in Ferguson, Missouri courtesy Bilde. Richard Pithouse - In colonial wars the occupying power invariably reaches a point where it has to acknowledge that its true enemy is not a minority - devil worshipers, communists, fanatics or terrorists - subject to external and evil manipulation, but the people as a whole. Once this point is reached every colonised person is taken as a potential combatant and the neighbourhood and the home are cast as legitimate sites of combat. This is the moment when liberal paternalism breaks down. From its first...

Marikana Widows Shed Tears in Women's Month

Picture credit: A woman collecting firewood in Marikana courtesy Gillian Schutte Gillian Schutte - This women’s month marks two years since the Marikana massacre. The widows of the workers killed by the South African Police Service in 2012 have since received their deceased husband’s provident fund dues, but still wait for justice whilst the media and public attention has long since transferred from their plight to the Farlam Commission. The focus recently has been on the prolonged strike action on the Platinum belt as well as Mr X’s sensational testimony alleging that...

An 'Integration Challenge': How Does It Feel to Be a Global Problem?

Picture credit: Haeferl/Wikimedia Commons Mandisi Majavu - Many South Africans see black immigrants as a threat to their privileges. African immigrants from a refugee background, in particular, are viewed as a social burden by societal institutions. These xenophobic attitudes are not unique in South Africa. Historically, black African refugees received little help from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). For instance, during a politically volatile period in Africa, the 1960s and 1970s, many refugees in Africa were left to...

The Mere Mention of the Words 'Affirmative Action'...

Picture credit: Affirmative action protest in the U.S. courtesy Americana: The Journal of American Pop Culture Mandisi Majavu - Last month the BBC published an article titled, “Do white people have a future in South Africa?” Western institutions like the BBC see no problem in commissioning articles like this due to mainstream whites’ misconception of racism as a zero-sum game. Research shows that mainstream whites associate a decrease in anti-black racism with an increase in anti-white racism. The notion of “reverse racism” is rooted in this misconception. Proponents of “reverse...

Ten Outrageous Comments Indian Officials Have Made About Rape

Picture credit: news.com.au Janet Allon - India has a horrific rape and violence against women problem, which came to international attention after a medical student was raped, tortured and murdered on a bus in 2012. Just recently two girls were found hanging from a tree after being raped in Uttar Pradesh. Last week brought news of police officers themselves being accused of gang raping a woman who came to a police station in Uttar Pradesh to inquire about her husband's release. Alas, in India as in (other countries), even some...

Memo to the Chief Justice: Democratic Freedoms are Indivisible

Picture credit: Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng courtesy GovernmentZa/flickr Dale T. McKinley - In a democracy worthy of the name, no specific belief, conscience, thought, opinion or religion has special legal or societal status. As captured in the equality clause of South Africa’s Bill of Rights, “everyone is equal before the law”, wherein “equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms”. Those rights and freedoms encompass the political, civil, legal, environmental, social, economic and cultural. Simply put, all of our...