Government must explain their racial discrimination

Henry

In 2023, AfriForum continued its international awareness campaign at the United Nations (UN). As with our 2022 visit to the UN, this campaign was also multi-faceted and multi-purpose.

CERD

AfriForum started off by participating in the UN’s Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)’s review process of the state of racial discrimination in South Africa. The South African government appeared before CERD for a quadrennial evaluation of their record in combating discrimination.

When AfriForum submitted a report to CERD in 2022, we were invited to submit an additional follow-up report in 2023. Our 2022 report has fully documented several of the worst examples of racial discrimination against minorities since 2020. This includes cases of racial discrimination by the government as well as cases by others due to government pressure as well as hate speech against minorities such as “Kill the Boer”.

In our 2023 report, we focused specifically on the more than 116 race-based laws enacted by the South African government since 1994. The submission of the 2023 report was also accompanied by an opportunity to make an oral presentation before the UN committee. Information from both AfriForum’s reports and my submission was used during the review process by CERD in questioning the South African government.

During the presentation event, the report’s content was supplemented with examples of discrimination, such as the Dis-Chem memo which announced a moratorium on the appointment and promotion of white people. Solidarity also handed in a report and made a presentation, which meant that fortunately I did not arrive at CERD’s headquarters in Geneva as an Afrikaner-only person.

Both AfriForum and Solidarity also participated in a question and answer session with the committee members during which more detail was provided regarding our submissions.

Next on the program were the South African government’s delegation, led by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, and CERD committee members’ questions to them.

AfriForum and Solidarity’s impact on the forum was first reflected in the questions asked about racial quotas in sport – as detailed in my presentation. In response, Minister Lamola falsely claimed that the government had “abolished” racial quotas in sport.

RĂ©gine Esseneme, a CERD committee member, has the South African government’s delegation asked out about farm killings, hate speech fueling farm attacks, farm killing denial by Julius Malema, and what is being done to address these issues. Esseneme specifically referred to the brutal murder of Brendin Horner as an example.

Lamola wrote off customary farm killings as ordinary violent crime and cited inequality as a driving force. He further denied that farmers in South Africa are being targeted and tried to change the subject to farm workers being mistreated by their employers. Mxolisi Nkosi, the ambassador and permanent representative of South Africa at the United Nations in Geneva, was at his post as Lamola’s echo as far as these narratives were concerned.

Esseneme labeled the South African delegation’s responses as “vague” and added that a report submitted to CERD (AfriForum’s 2022 report) documented at least two cases of farm murders directly related to the “Kill the Boer” chant. in connection with. She requested that the government should provide CERD with more details about these cases as well as about the prosecution of farm killers. Lamola undertook to do so.

Committee member YKJ Yeung Sik Yuen, with AfriForum’s 2022 CERD report in the hand, requested the South African delegation to provide details on the progress of the court cases against Malema and the EFF in relation to the “Kill the Boer” chant. Lamola said the Equality Court ruled that this chanting is not hate speech, but that an appeal case (by AfriForum) is pending.

AfriForum has made breakthroughs in many fields through our participation in these CERD sessions. One of the most noteworthy of these is that the thorny issues of farm murders and “Kill the Boer” were officially discussed for the first time by a UN committee and that our government was confronted with them at this level. In addition, it was noticeable from the government delegation’s answers that the ANC has no real solutions to the country’s core problems. Their strategy focuses mainly on formulating desperate and fabulous excuses.

The government’s representatives obviously found it impossible to disguise their despondency and self-doubt. As an AfriForum representative, who devises solutions with my colleagues every week and contributes to their practical implementation, I was relieved that my fate is not mainly in the hands of these cadres who sound so defeated, planless and overwhelmed.

The glaring contrast between AfriForum and Solidarity’s philosophy, which revolves around building and the search for solutions, and the ANC’s approach, which revolves around the search for excuses and blaming others for their failures, was unmissable. One side fights to own and expand its responsibilities, while the other fights to deny or outsource their responsibilities.

The UN Forum on Minority Issues

AfriForum’s successful participation in the CERD component of our UN campaign was followed by our participation in the annual UN forum for Minority Issues. This year our speaking turn was second on the list of a large number of participants from all over the world. In my presentation, I particularly focused on farm killings, the “Kill the Boer” chant, as well as the government’s long and growing list of race-based legislation.

Among the examples of racial discrimination discussed were the government’s plans to exclude farmers from tariff-free exports to the European Union and the United Kingdom if their farms were deemed too white and the Department of Water and Sanitation’s use of racial criteria as condition for water use licences.

The presentation provoked great interest among the representatives at the forum. A culture cannot afford to be an island. All cultures need friends, especially in a hostile environment. On this visit, AfriForum contacted several friends of the Afrikaners.

Lock

This visit to the United Nations highlighted once again how important it is to understand that our fate fortunately does not rest in the hands of the UN or the ANC. Our destiny will be determined primarily by our plans and actions. We must therefore think big and act big.

As discussed, however, there are numerous fruits to be reaped from AfriForum’s international campaigns. Any struggle for freedom is necessarily fought on many fronts. Every new community action, ally, recognition, speaking turn, neighborhood watch, building project, and institution is a stone that fits in the mountain pass we build for ourselves on the way to freedom and survival.

As JD Kestell rightly pointed out: “A people saves itself!”