The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Right’s (the Commission) Country Rapporteur for the Republic of South Africa, Honourable Commissioner Med S.K. Kaggwa (the Country Rapporteur), and the Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa, Honourable Commissioner Maya Sahli Fadel (the Special Rapporteur) are deeply concerned by the situation of migrants in South Africa.
According to various reports reaching the Commission, the horrific and violent attacks on foreign nationals from African decent that occurred during these past weeks included beatings, assault, murder, looting of goods and malicious damage to their properties.
The said violent attacks including looting of goods of migrants have remained shockingly rampant in the country and until recently extended to the greater Tshwane parts of the North West Province and Johannesburg.
The Commission have repeatedly condemned the violation of the human rights of migrants in South Africa, particularly xenophobic acts through its Resolution ACHPR/Res.131 (XXXXIII) 08, concerning the xenophobic attacks that took place in South Africa in 2008 where 67 foreign nationals were reportedly killed and Resolution ACHPR/Res.304 (LVI) 2015, concerning the xenophobic attacks that took place in 2015 in South Africa where 62 foreign nationals were killed.
These recent attacks and violence against migrants in a number of places in South Africa, negate the principles of African Solidarity, enshrined in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) and The African Renaissance.
Moreover the attacks violate Articles 3, 4, 5, 12, 14 and 28 of the African Charter, in particular Article 4 which provides that: “Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right”.
The Country Rapporteur and the Special Rapporteur therefore:
1. Regret the loss of lives of victims to the violent xenophobic attacks;
2. Calls on the government of the Republic of South Africa to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these attacks, and to institute measures to ensure the protection of migrants in South Africa and their properties.
3. Take appropriate measures to ensure that the rights of all migrants in South Africa are protected in accordance with the applicable regional and international human rights instruments;
4. Comply with its obligations under the African Charter and all other regional and international human rights treaties;
5. Take immediate steps to sign, ratify and domesticate the Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa; and
6. Ensure that Resolutions 131 and 304 of the Commission are implemented.
Banjul, The Gambia 17 March 2017