First review of South Africa by the HR Committee highlights concerns on police violence
The review of South Africa began with a reminder from Committee members that South Africa was originally scheduled to be reviewed in absence of an initial report following a 14-year delay in the submission of this report.
Serious issues such as racism, treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, police violence, treatment of asylum seekers, and corporal punishment of children were raised by the Committee. There were additional questions around harmful traditional practices, such as ukuthwala (abduction and forced marriage), witchcraft, violence against women and polygamy. The Committee further questioned South Africa on the low number of complaints made under the first Optional Protocol, and measures taken following the Committee decision on the McCallum case of 2010. With regards to asylum, the Government acknowledged the episodes of racist violence against migrant workers. The Committee expressed particular concern regarding independent oversight in places where migrants were being held.
The Human Rights Committee expressed several concerns on the failure to arrest the Sudanese President al-Bashir in spite of the ICC arrest warrant. There were also questions on the Marikana incident and excessive use of force by the police, which had resulted in the deaths of 44 minors.
"The State party should redouble its efforts to prevent and eradicate all manifestations of racism and xenophobia."