The Importance Of Human Rights In South Africa

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Nelson Mandela once said: ‘to deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.’ The essence of who we are and what we will become lies in the realisation of our inherent human rights by both ourselves and the people around us. Without this realisation, societies at large will consist of anarchy.
Before the initiation of South Africa’s democratic dispensation in 1994, the National Party, with its all-white government enforced racial segregation as a means to cement their power in 1948. They created a system of legislation that was based on an ideology of white supremacy, casting aside basic human rights attributed to certain races namely; blacks, coloureds and indians. This system was called Apartheid, and as a result of it, racial discrimination became institutionalized. During this period, gross violations of human rights were abundant. An example of this is the events that occurred on the 21st march 1960. On this day communities from Sharpeville and Langa embarked on a peaceful protest against the pass laws. Unfortunately, 180 people were wounded and the police shot and killed 69 of the protestors, many of which were killed while fleeing. Numerous others were additionally killed in other parts of the country. The significance of this day lies in the fact it exposed the Apartheids government’s violation of human rights to the rest of the world. So essentially, the fight was about human rights. But has it changed?
Human rights are the basic rights and

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