Parliamentary Question: Dfa: SA representation on the African Commission on Human and People’ Right

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Mr PC Duncan of the Democratic Alliance (DA) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

1)Whether South Africa is represented on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR); if not, why not; if so, (a) who is our representative and (b) how did our representative vote with regard to the application made by the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) for recognition?
2)What are the reasons for rejecting the application of the Coalition of African Lesbians?
3)Whether the South African position on the matter supports the specified reasons?

REPLY:
1(a) Yes, South Africa is represented in the ACHPR a) by Advocate Pansy Tlakula who serves as a Commissioner in the ACHPR in the following portfolios: Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa as well as Chairperson of the Working Group on Specific Issues relative to the Work of the Commission;
(b) Since the ACPHR held its session, specifically on this matter, behind closed doors, it is not possible to know how Commissioners voted.
2 The ACHPR did not, according to CAL and a large number of Human Rights Institutions that were represented at the Session give any reason for their refusal to grant CAL observer status. ACHPR did not respond (during the 48th Public Session) to the assailments by CAL and other Human Rights Organisations. However, their concerns were noted by the ACHPR.
3 As indicated above, there were no reasons given. However, the South African delegate from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) referred to the Constitution of South Africa on the issue of unfair discrimination including discrimination on sexual orientation, particularly the equality clause on Section 9.



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