Durban - uMhlathuze Local Municipality Mayor Xolani Ngwezi wished members of the public well on Human Right Day on Tuesday.
Ngwezi said his council would like to convey their gratitude to all who stood guard for more than 24 hours during the EFF national shutdown on Monday.
Ngwezi thanked every law enforcer, SAPS, City Security, CPF and all other security stakeholders that took their time on March 20, to stand guard for more than 24 hours.
“I would like to thank everyone who made sure that nobody infringed on anybody’s rights, and that those who were intending on protesting peacefully, their rights were also protected and not infringed upon,” he said.
Ngwezi added that three protesters who were caught violating conditions that were imposed by the City of uMhlathuze based on the High Court judgment regarding yesterday’s protest were arrested in Dumisani Makhaye village, following complaints by residents.
The theme for Human Rights Day 2023 is Consolidating and Sustaining Human Rights Culture into the Future, he said.
“It is important especially for men to protect and uphold the rights of children and women. Children are the future of our City and nation and women are the backbone and women are our pillars of strength. I therefore challenge all men to vow and make a promise of protecting women and children’s rights and not be part of violating them. Our children have a right to be at school, let us therefore not rob them of that opportunity and force them to child labour,” he said.
Ngwezi said women should have equal rights as men in workplaces.
“I am happy that in the structure of our City of uMhlathuze we have a number of female leaders in a number of senior administration positions. Some are Deputy City Managers, Chief Operations Officer and senior managers. Their rights are protected and not infringed upon,” he said.
The mayor said that on Human Rights Day 2021 IFP President Emeritus Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi was quoted as saying that “Human rights are universal. They don't apply to one group of individuals more than to another”.
Ngwezi added that the human rights of political leaders are no more important than those of citizens.
“Human rights are not changed by stature, race, language, religion, income or even origin. Therefore, as we celebrate Human Rights Day, I encourage us to look beyond our own rights and consider what we are doing to protect and respect the rights of others,” he said.