Post-Zuma government in South Africa must ensure access to justice for victims of human rights violations

By Amnesty International

Responding to the news that Jacob Zuma has resigned as the president of South Africa, Executive Director of Amnesty International South Africa Shenilla Mohamed said:

“During Jacob Zuma’s presidency South Africa was blighted by serious human rights violations. His successor must do everything within his or her power to ensure that the state redresses this as a priority.

“Under Jacob Zuma’s leadership, we’ve seen a failure to ensure access to justice for victims of a range of human rights violations. For example, almost six years after 34 striking mineworkers in Marikana were killed by police, there has been no justice for victims or their families.

“Intimidation of independent journalists exposing corruption and ‘state capture’ has also risen under Jacob Zuma’s presidency. Journalists who stood up for editorial integrity at the public broadcaster, South African Broadcasting Corporation, were also harassed and intimidated.

“With a new president, the ANC-led government now has a golden opportunity to ensure that human rights violations, including those from the Zuma era, are tackled decisively and transparently.”

Background

President Jacob Zuma was elected president of South Africa in 2009 under the ruling African National Congress. His second five-year term, which began in May 2014, was meant to run until 2019 when the country elects its next president.

In 2012, 34 striking mining workers were killed in Marikana – while at least 70 others were injured – by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) during a mining strike.

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