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WATCH | Malema calls Ramaphosa a 'coward', Steenhuisen declares war on poverty on Human Rights Day

Opposition parties commemorated Human Rights Day across SA.

21 March 2022 - 17:00

Political parties were critical of government on Human Rights Day. They highlighted issues of unemployment and poverty and used the event as a platform to rally party political agendas. ActionSA and the EFF have criticised the government, comparing it to the apartheid state.

"Tell me now, how can the people look at the democratic government of today, and see it as being different to the apartheid government," said ActionSA party leader Herman Mashaba.

Julius Malema said: "The post 1994 government had maintained the apartheid and white supremissists state that the majority in fact have become a voting but powerless majority." 

Human Rights Day commemorates the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in which 69 people were killed by police during a peaceful protest over pass laws. 

"Today is not a day of celebration. Today is not a day of chest-thumping. Today is not a day of browbeating. Today is a day loaded with difficult and painful memories," Mashaba added.

DA leader John Steenhuisen in his address to people in Mpumalanga said: "Our job now is to make sure that we get a government thats going to work for the people and make the people better off, not the politicians are better off." 

"You can't have human rights when you're hungry, unemployed or you can't afford to send your children to school. There is no human rights in that," Steenhuisen added. He further stated that the DA is declaring war on poverty. 

Mashaba went into depth about the history of corrupt officials in the ANC. Both ActionSA and the EFF spoke of the Marikana massacre.

Julius Malema called President Cyril Ramaphosa a coward and said: "The only solution you know is killing people. The same way you have done in Marikana."

"Fast forward one year later to August 2012, where a total of 34 mineworkers were killed by the police in the North-western town of Marikana. These workers were killed whilst striking for better pay and working conditions at their employer. Where was the respect of their human rights?" said Mashaba. 

Malema urged Ramaphosa to stop sending soldiers into communities to deal with civilian matters and to be a man who isn't scared of facing his people. 

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