Human Rights

SACSIS embraces a rights based approach to development, which views poverty as a denial of human rights.

The Bugging of South Africa

Picture credit: politicalblindspot.org Jane Duncan - Recent revelations by former National Security Agency (NSA) computer analyst Edwin Snowden that the NSA was undertaking unwarranted mass surveillance of Americans has thrown the communications surveillance activities of governments into sharp relief. Can the abuses that are taking place in the United States (US) happen in South Africa too? The communications of South Africans are probably already being caught in the NSA dragnet, given that cloud services like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo...

From Trayvon Martin to Andries Tatane: Cognitive Dissonance and the Black Male Body

Picture credit: werthmedia/Flickr Gillian Schutte - George Zimmerman, the Florida neighbourhood watchman who shot dead an unarmed black 17-year-old male last year, has been acquitted of murder. Lawyers for Mr Zimmerman, 29, argued he acted in self-defence and with justifiable use of deadly force in the death of Trayvon Martin. A jury of five white women and one Hispanic woman voted unanimously in favour of the acquittal. While Zimmerman’s family and their largely right-wing white supporters celebrated, Martin’s family was...

Toward a Living Legacy for Nelson Mandela Now

Picture credit: Nelson Mandela courtesy South Africa The Good News/Wikimedia Commons Ralph Nader - Nelson Mandela's exceptional and exemplary life has and will produce worldwide celebrations of his extremely unique blend of character, personality and resolve for broad-gauged justice. To truly memorialize his contributions, however, requires grand actions. Taking immediate recognition of the deep wellsprings of respect, affection and sorrow over the loss of his leadership to the people of South Africa and the world, leaders from various nations can come together to establish the Nelson...

Unity in Diversity? Time to Revitalize Inclusionary Activism

Picture credit: A woman holds up a sign that reads "One Brazil for all," in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where crowds gathered to celebrate the reversal of a fare hike on public transportation, courtesy Semilla Luz/Flickr. Glenn Ashton - Media coverage of the Obama-crew’s flash-mob blitz of South Africa showed the extent to which we have allowed ourselves to be policed by a force that continues to display apartheid era tactics. While Obama was touring Soweto legal demonstrators were treated to percussion grenades and teargas for protesting too vigorously. South Africans have a proud history of peaceful protest, from the women’s march on Pretoria in the 1950s, the pass protests into the cities across the nation...

The Eternal Rebel: Ronnie Kasrils

Picture credit: Ronnie Kasrils courtesy links.org.au. Chris Hedges - NEW YORK—What is it that makes a rebel? Why does one willingly step outside society to destroy a system of power, break the law and risk persecution and even death for an ideal? As the state calcifies into corporate totalitarianism, as prominent rebels such as Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are defamed by a bankrupt media and political class and hunted down as criminals, as change through the established mechanisms of reform becomes impossible, as systems of power...

Is Black Consciousness Still Relevant?

Picture credit: Steve Biko, a leader of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa in the 60 Mandisi Majavu - Although recent newspaper reports that the Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) and the Socialist Party of Azania (Sopa) are to merge ought to be welcomed by those of Black Consciousness (BC) tradition, the fact of the matter is that the BC tradition in South Africa is intellectually stuck in the 20th century. According to the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM), proponents of the BC tradition have not been able to rethink BC politics for a new situation. The new situation being...