2007-02-12 : Mbeki to face court action

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2007-02-12 : Mbeki to face court action

Postby GOSA » Tue, 2007-02-20 17:16

Mbeki to face court action

February 12 2007 at 06:31AM

By Vusumuzi Ka Nzapheza

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has called a national conference to seek solutions to crime, while a civil rights lobby is to go to court in an attempt to get the government to take decisive action.

AfriForum, a platform founded by the Solidarity trade union, has instructed its legal team to apply to the High Court for an order instructing the state to comply with its "constitutional duty" to ensure the safety of citizens.

President Thabo Mbeki and Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula would be the respondents, AfriForum spokesperson Kallie Kriel said.

'We all need to talk openly about the causes of crime and work towards solutions'

The aim of the SAHRC conference on March 23-25 is, among other things, to determine the roots of crime and arrive at ways in which it may be eradicated, chairperson Jody Kollapen says.

"Crime leads to gross human rights violations, such as loss of life and limb, but deprivation of socio-economic needs may lead to crime."

Corruption and its impact would also come under the spotlight at the conference.

"While violent crimes capture the headlines, corruption and fraud also have a huge impact. For instance, when school feeding schemes collapse because of maladministration and fraud, the poor are robbed of their livelihood," Kollapen said.

The Federation of Unions of SA - which responded to President Thabo Mbeki's state of the nation speech by calling for an urgent summit on crime - said it would have been great had the SAHRC initiative been taken by the government.

Dianne Kohler Barnard, the DA's spokesperson on safety and security, said: "The commission is doing something the government should have done a long time ago . We all need to talk openly about the causes of crime and work towards solutions."

Institute for Security Studies researcher Antoinette Louw said: "Rising crime is probably related to political, social and economic trends that began before the formal political transition (and) were accentuated by it."

John Kane-Berman,of the SA Institute for Race Relations, said violent cirme rendered meaningless the bill of rights that guaranteed "freedom and security of the person".

This article was originally published on page 3 of Cape Times on February 12, 2007
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