Human Rights Day is a reminder for all the people of South Africa that everyone's human rights must be respected regardless of race, gender, religion, age, language or culture. It is imperative for everyone to realise this and live their lives accordingly.
There can be no realisation of human rights when one group keeps trying to oppress another.
The coronavirus, however, does not discriminate – it affects everyone. Anyone can get infected; it does not matter who or what you are.
Suddenly everyone in the country stands together in the face of the pandemic. People must realise that if everyone would just respect each other's rights and put their differences aside, South Africa could be a winning nation.
With corona one cannot sit back and wait until it has become a full-blown crisis and the same is true with regard to human rights and human relations in the country. Everyone in the country must endeavour to fully respect the rights of others every day.
And here the Human Rights Commission (HRC) must take the lead. As a national institution, the HRC has the mandate and duty to ensure dignity, compliance with and the protection of human rights for all South Africans without fear or bias.
The HRC, however, failed in this regard and its credibility is tainted, particularly after the Eben Etzebeth case.
When it comes to discrimination against minority groups, it is the white and coloured youths who are affected the most by policy, like Affirmative Action (AA), as is evident in the awarding of bursaries for study.
Legislation such as this comes down to infringement on these youths' human rights and it must be brought to an end by abolishing AA and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE).
Thus, the FF Plus once again appeals to government to reconsider these race-based laws while calling on every person in the country to demonstrate mutual respect and to reach out to one another.
When the human rights of people, and particularly minorities, are disregarded, the consequences could be devastating.