Affirmative action, protection of minority groups and our plan of hope

After a recent trip to Europe, during which several leaders of the Solidarity Movement investigated recent developments on the international front as far as minority language groups and minority cultural groups are concerned, Flip Buys writes that South Africa has fallen behind the times. As part of the tour, the group paid a visit to the autonomous German province, South Tyrol, in the north of Italy. This constituent state is regarded as one of Europe’s most successful constitutional projects.

Buys contends that the protection of minority groups, particularly in Africa, often comes off worst as, all too often, the majority rules against the minority. Although the United Nations as long ago as 1992 drafted charters to ensure the protection of minorities, it would appear as if those charters don’t receive the attention they deserve.

Buys refers to Henry Kissinger’s warning that pointed out that in multi-ethnic countries democracy often leads to permanent discrimination and the nullification of minority interests. It is for this reason that the United Nations intervened and is endeavouring to develop political standards in such a manner that majority rule is complemented by the protection of minorities.

Affirmative action is a prime example of how majority government wants to marginalise the minority, a practice that is not consistent with the resolution to protect minority groups the world over.

It was also pointed out at Solidarity’s Crisis Summit that race laws, which are being intensified under the guise of affirmative action, are not consistent with the International Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It is for this reason that the Solidarity Movement will not only submit a shadow report to the UN later this year, but will also this week hand a petition to the Speaker of the National Assembly, dealing with this form of racial discrimination in particular.

Buys furthermore emphasises that the spaces granted by the Constitution must be used to protect minority groups. Moreover, the Solidarity Movement is endeavouring to establish organisations for the very reason of protecting those interests and in so doing we want to ensure our future ourselves.


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