Wednesday, 9 February 2017
1. The South African Human Rights Commission (the Commission) notes the statement released by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).
2. In terms of section 184 of the Constitution, the Commission is mandated to monitor, promote and protect the observance of human rights, as set out in the Bill of Rights, in South Africa. The Commission performs this function independently, on behalf of all South Africans without fear or favour.
3. The Commission would like to further reiterate that as a Chapter 9 Institution, it operates in a fashion which is neutral and objective.
4. The issues raised in COSATU's statement are currently before the Equality Court. The Commission rejects as unfair COSATU’s characterisation of the issues arising in the matter, the characterisation of the witnesses called on behalf of the Commission and the characterisation of the nature of the Commission’s interest in this matter. Be that as it may, the matter is sub judice as it is under judicial consideration. It would therefore be inappropriate for the Commission to comment any further on the merits of the matter publicly.
5. As is the case with any member of the public, COSATU is entitled and welcome to lodge a complaint with the Commission in respect of any issues it may have that falls within the Commission’s sphere of responsibility. COSATU has not done so before releasing its media statement.
6. The Commission wishes to affirm its faith in the judiciary and would insist that COSATU desist from raising subjective debates in the media that should be reserved for the court process.
Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission