Cape Town – Political parties took up the issue of land on Human Rights Day, while hundreds of Capetonians marched through the streets under the banner “Land for the Living”.
The marchers were calling for more urban land to be prioritised for affordable housing, and for outstanding land claims to be fast-tracked. Equal Education, the Social Justice Coalition and Reclaim the City were among the civil society groups that were part of the demonstration, which handed over a memorandum of demands to city officials.
In Mpumalanga, speaking at the EFF’s Human Rights commemoration day, leader of the party Julius Malema said there are no human rights without land. He also confirmed his party’s stance on the land issue and said the conversation was an African one, not just that of South Africa.
“South Africa will take back its land, Zambia must take back its land and Zimbabwe must continue withholding its land,” said Malema, who added that there are no Human Rights in a shack.
At Sharpeville, Deputy President David Mabuza called for the renewal of public service to better address the growing demands of communities during his Human Rights Day address at the 58th anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre at the George Thabe Cricket Pitch in Vereeniging.
“On this day, as we remember Sharpeville, as we celebrate our human rights, we have many questions to answer to in our quest for renewal and unity. It requires that we conduct ourselves ethically. That we give the highest quality of service to our people. That we become public servants again. That we use our freedoms and democracy to serve our people selflessly at local, provincial, and national government,” Mabuza said, who used his address to highlight the danger that children still face in society.
“What do we say to our innocent children about a police officer who molests children placed in his care, children who have entrusted justice and salvation to him after they were raped? What has gone wrong? Why have we become so numb to the tragedies that rob our children of their innocence?” Mabuza asked. The Deputy President also laid wreaths at the Sharpeville Memorial Site and paid respects to the families of those who lost their lives on March 21, 1960.