South African Human Rights Commission

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The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) was inaugurated in October 1995 as an independent chapter nine institution. It draws its mandate from the South African Constitution by way of the Human Rights Commission Act of 1994.[1]


The SAHRC is tasked with monitoring, both pro-actively and by way of complaints brought before it, violations of human rights and seeking redress for such violations. It also has an educational role.[1]


Seven commissioners were appointed for a seven-year term in 2009/2010, namely Adv Lawrence Mushwana, Dr Pregaluxmi Govender, Ms Lindiwe Mokate, Adv Bokankatla Malatji, Adv Loyiso Mpumlwana, Ms Janet Love (part-time) and Dr Danfred Titus (part-time). Mushwana, who was previously the Public Protector, was elected Chairperson and Govender was elected Deputy Chairperson in October 2009.[2][3][4] In July 2010, the National Assembly's justice committee decided unanimously that Mpumlwana's failure to disclose a civil judgement against him during the nomination process meant that he was not fit and proper to serve on the SAHRC.[5]

In February 2014, Advocate Mohamed Shafie Ameermia was appointed commissioner focusing on housing and access to justice.[3]


Trade union Solidarity has criticised the commission for what it claims is racial bias and prejudice. A comparative study revealed that the SAHRC is much more likely to self-initiate investigation where the perpetrator is white, and that it is more lenient in its punishment of black perpetrators.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b "About the SAHRC - Overview". South African Human Rights Commission. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  2. ^ "SAHRC Elects New Chairperson and Deputy". Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Office of the Commissioners". Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  4. ^ Mataboge, Mmanaledi (9 October 2009). "To err is human, says Mushwana". Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Advocate not fit and proper to serve on HRC". 29 July 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  6. ^ Brink, Eugene; Mulder, Connie (2017-04-05). "How the response to black and white racism differs - Solidarity". Politicsweb. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
  7. ^ Mulder, Connie (2017-04-10). "Letter to the Editor: Solidarity does have an axe to grind". Retrieved 2017-04-12.

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