SA urged to use seat to defend democracy

daJOHANNESBURG South Africas main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) part has called on President Jacob Zumas administration to use its seat on the UN Security Council to promote human rights and defend democracy in neighbouring Zimbabwe and Africa.

South Africa, appointed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to mediate in the Zimbabwe crisis, was last Tuesday elected to the Security Council as one of the non-permanent members, alongside India and Brazil.

The DA, which has always been critical of Zumas stance on Zimbabwe, which it says follows the quiet diplomacy of his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, suggested that this could be the time for Zumas ANC to right its wrongs on the Zimbabwean crisis, where President Robert Mugabe has been accused of human rights violations and failure to uphold a power-sharing pact with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The DA called on Zumas administration to follow human rights based approach in its voting patterns, adding that the countrys our last tenure on the council, during the 2007-2008 term had left a lot to be desired. This period saw the delegation appointed by the national government effectively reduce South Africas credibility, with our commitment to universal human rights being brought into question, said Kenneth Mubu, the DAs shadow minister for international relations.

South Africas past voting pattern did not paint a picture of a government that has one of the most liberal and progressive constitutional democracies in the world as, among other things, the South African delegation voted in the UN General Assembly with rogue rather than democratic governments.

He added: The South African delegation supported Iran’s attempts to evade sanctions over its widely criticised nuclear programme, which is shrouded in secrecy, by calling a 90 day time-out on the issue of Irans Nuclear activity. The South African delegation, holding to its discredited position of quiet diplomacy, also refused to place democratic reform in Zimbabwe on the councils agenda.

Post published in: Politics

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