United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1993 - South Africa, 30 January 1994, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa8414.html [accessed 12 December 2013]
This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
South Africa underwent sweeping political change during 1993. In December the Transitional Executive Council (TEC), a multiparty, multiracial body, was given broad administrative and monitoring powers in the period leading up to the April 1994 elections the first elections in South Africa open to all citizens regardless of race. The implementation of the TEC marked the first time in South African history that the black majority (75.5 percent) participated in the official political process. Nevertheless, through most of the year South Africa continued to be governed by a system that kept virtually all real power in the hands of the white minority (13 percent of the population). The National Party, in power since 1948 and currently led by State President de Klerk, continued to rule the country. The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the Conservative Party (CP), and several other conservative groups suspended their further participation in the negotiations process as a result of the decision to hold the national election next April 27. Subsequently, the remaining parties reached agreement on establishing, in addition to the TEC, independent bodies to run the election and regulate state-controlled media in the pre-election period. In December the Parliament ratified an interim constitution and bill of rights which for the first time guarantee all South Africans such rights as universal suffrage, equal protection under the law, and freedom of speech, assembly, association, and religion. The constitution is to be enacted by proclamation on April 27, 1994; provision has been made to enable earlier implementation of certain portions of the constitution and bill of rights, but these steps had not been taken by year's end. The interim constitution also provides for the dismantling of the homelands system, but at the end of the year the 10 homelands were still in place. The homelands are heavily subsidized by the Government, some are fragmented parcels of territory in impoverished rural areas, and all are agriculturally backward areas without the infrastructure needed for development. Of the four so-called independent homelands (collectively known as the TBVC states), which only the South African Government recognized as sovereign, Transkei, Ciskei, and Venda are ruled by military governments, while Bophuthatswana is governed as a one-party state. Authorities in Bophuthatswana and Ciskei, in particular, continued to suppress free political activity, especially that of the African National Congress (ANC). The six so-called self-governing homelands are Gazankulu, KaNgwane, KwaNdebele, KwaZulu, Lebowa, and Qwaqwa. According to 1990 census data, the homelands, which comprise 13 percent of the country's territory, are home to 33 percent of South Africa's black population. The Government is backed by a powerful security establishment. The South African Defense Force (SADF) has about 65,000 active duty personnel, consisting of 25,000 white conscripts and 40,000 permanent force personnel, approximately two-thirds of whom are black, Asian, or "coloured." Additionally, the armed forces of the so-called independent homelands, which are expected to be absorbed into the new national defense force, number approximately 9,800. The reserve forces, which form the bulk of available military manpower in South Africa, are all white and consist of a citizen force of 180,000 and 155,000 reservists. The multiracial South African Police (SAP) numbers 112,000 and is 40 percent white. The officer corps in both the SADF and the SAP is overwhelmingly white. The SADF assisted the police in patrolling the so-called unrest areas and continued to be active in responding to the heightened violence in Natal and the Transvaal. Members of the SADF and the SAP were responsible for human rights abuses during the year. The Internal Stability Unit, a part of the SAP, has been discredited by its heavy-handed tactics. The homelands security forces continued to be funded by the South African Government and were run largely by SAP and SADF members seconded by the Government. Some opposition groups and human rights organizations continued to allege that a "third force," made up of rogue security force members, engaged in or orchestrated various violent incidents to upset the political transition. While credible evidence existed of individuals within the security forces fomenting violence, there was no evidence of a widespread, high-level conspiracy within the security forces to undertake such activities. In December the Commission of Inquiry Regarding the Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation, also known as the Goldstone Commission, found "credible evidence" that a five-man hit squad was responsible for the deaths in Natal of ANC members as well as supporters of the IFP and other organizations. The three men arrested in the case were former members of the KwaZulu police and had received training from the SADF. Further arrests were expected at the end of 1993. Several paramilitary organizations and homelands security forces outside the central Government were accused credibly of human rights abuses, including targeting political opponents for elimination and carrying out extrajudicial killings. The KwaZulu Police were unequivocally charged by the Goldstone Commission of operating a hit squad specifically targeting IFP opponents. The Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA), the armed wing of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), claimed responsibility for attacks on police and civilian targets. The Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) expressed determination to defend Afrikaners against "black domination." Although Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC, suspended its armed struggle, some of its operatives, particularly in Natal, have been credibly accused of targeting political opponents. South Africa has a well-developed industrial economy based on mining and manufacturing and smaller, but important, sectors based on agriculture and services. It has a mixed economy, with substantial government intervention and a number of state-owned enterprises existing jointly with a strong private sector. A chief characteristic of the private sector is the high concentration of ownership by a small group of integrated conglomerate structures. Although South Africa's deepest and most protracted recession since the 1930's appeared to have bottomed out in early 1993, there has been no net increase in jobs in the productive sectors in more than a decade, and per capita income among all races has fallen. Unemployment in the formal sector is approximately 40 percent. According to government statistics, nearly half of all employable blacks are either unemployed or work in the informal sector; 350,000 new job seekers of all races were expected to enter the job market during the year. Average per capita income in the homelands was lower than in South Africa proper. Many of the employable residents living in the homelands typically migrate or commute to more prosperous areas of the country in search of work. While the Government has increased spending on blacks in recent years, major economic and social reform will be required to reduce income disparities and to redress the socioeconomic legacies of apartheid in such areas as education, housing, and health care. Human rights groups estimate that 7.5 million blacks have no permanent shelter. Certain areas in South Africa are awash in violence, much of it criminally motivated. Political violence, a component of the overall violence continued at a high level in 1993. According to the Human Rights Commission (HRC), 4,364 people died from politically related violence during the year. Most observers agreed that all parties, including the ANC, the IFP, and government security forces bear some measure of responsibility for the continuing pattern of violence, despite the 1991 National Peace Accord signed by State President de Klerk, ANC President Mandela, IFP Chief Minister Buthelezi, and 23 others. Positive developments in the area of worker rights continued in 1993, including the passage in September of legislation to expand the legal rights of agricultural and domestic workers. Bills to promote the equality of men and women and to protect women against violence from their spouses were also enacted.
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:
a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing
Certain areas in South Africa are awash in violence, much of it criminally motivated. Political violence, a component of the overall violence in South Africa, continued at a high level in 1993; the HRC documented 4,364 politically related deaths during the year. The HRC reported that over 250 police and security personnel lost their lives in political violence during the year; this was a record high. A major cause of political killings was violent confrontations between ANC and IFP followers. Another important cause of deaths was the series of apparently random attacks by unknown terrorists intent on disrupting South Africa's movement toward nonracial democracy by aggravating tensions between the ANC and IFP. Evidence of acts of political violence by individuals attached to the military, police, and homelands police continued to emerge in 1993. Human rights organizations alleged that in some cases these individuals were part of a conspiracy the so-called third force to disrupt the political transition. A preliminary report of the Goldstone Commission concluded that the PAC's military wing, APLA, may have used Transkei as a springboard for attacks against members of the police, the military, and white civilians in general. Other groups which contributed to the high level of violence and extrajudicial killings included rightwing organizations, local self-defense units (SDU's), criminal gangs which claimed affiliation with political parties, and ill-disciplined labor strike enforcers. The ANC-IFP conflict often took the form of fighting between hostel residents, usually but not always affiliated with the IFP, and residents of nearby townships and informal settlements, frequently identified with the ANC. Black South Africans of all ages, gender, political affiliation, and ethnic grouping were affected. Train and taxi commuters, passersby, and people in their own homes were victims of violent attack. Many township youths, some with affiliation to the MK or South African Communist Party (SACP), formed armed SDU's, purportedly to protect residents from outside attack. In fact, many SDU's have been accused of vigilante-style murders of suspected "informers" or IFP sympathizers, acts of intimidation, such as demands for "protection" money from local shopkeepers, and common crimes such as car theft. ANC leader Chris Hani said shortly before his death that the ANC was unable to control certain SDU's that had branched into criminal activities. KwaZulu in Natal Province also experienced continuous high levels of violence. Both IFP and ANC officials have made credible allegations that their supporters were deliberately targeted by the other party for assassination, as cycles of revenge killings continued. According to the Independent Board of Inquiry, 27 ANC officials were killed in 1993, while 12 IFP officials were killed during the year. Chris Hani was assassinated by a white rightwing zealot in April. In October the Rand Supreme Court sentenced to death the gunman and one accomplice, who was a leader in the CP. A trial was to take place against another defendant for his role in an alleged plot to assassinate SACP chairman Joe Slovo, though the charges were subsequently dropped. In July police officers and bodyguards for ANC Deputy President Walter Sisulu clashed, resulting in the death of an ANC bodyguard. Authorities investigating the incident reported the death to be accidental. On December 13, in a gruesome racist attack in Randfontein, several white men in camouflage uniform forced two cars off the road and shot their black occupants, several of whom were children, killing three and injuring four. Whites in South Africa were also the victims of violent attack. In July masked gunmen shot and threw grenades at a congregation attending services in St. James Church in Cape Town, killing 11 and injuring over 50. Other whites were slain in attacks on tour buses and private cars. Patrons of bars and clubs were attacked in several incidents, including a highly publicized December incident in which masked gunmen attacked a Cape Town pub, killing four people. Although in many instances responsibility for these attacks remained unclear, individuals purporting to speak for APLA, the PAC's military wing, claimed responsibility for some of them. Government investigations of violent deaths in black areas have been inadequate. ANC officials noted the disparity between the hundreds of personnel devoted to round up black activists suspected in the St. James Church massacre and the resources deployed a week earlier when 33 people were killed in a violent rampage in Tembisa Township in the Witwatersrand. In late 1992, President de Klerk directed Lieutenant General Pierre Steyn to investigate allegations of SADF involvement in a destabilization campaign against the ANC and MK. Steyn reportedly presented his findings to the Government during the year, but no report was made public. While credible evidence existed of individuals within the security forces fomenting violence, there was no evidence of a widespread, high-level conspiracy within the security forces to undertake such activities. In October various incidents occurred that implicated members of the SAP in extrajudicial killings. In one incident Wellington Mbili, a member of MK, the ANC's military wing, died in police custody. Police claimed they shot Mbili in self defense, but eyewitnesses said Mbili was handcuffed in SAP custody following his apprehension. According to the HRC, the number of deaths in detention decreased from 123 in 1992 to 36 in 1993. The HRC said that such figures are based on media reports, because the police have been unforthcoming to the HRC. The decline in numbers may be due in part to greater media scrutiny and to an agreement permitting officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to make unannounced visits to detainees in police stations throughout South Africa. Under the agreement, ICRC delegates can meet detainees alone, make unannounced followup visits and pass their findings to higher governmental officials. However, deaths continued to occur under highly suspicious circumstances (see also Section 1.c.). On April 14, Sam Tambane, secretary of the ANC's Soweto branch, and three others were killed when police opened fire on a crowd protesting the assassination of ANC leader Chris Hani. Independent witnesses denied police claims that they acted in self defense. The Government announced an investigation into the incident. In February Michael Thithi, who claimed he was assaulted by police during an interrogation, also reportedly witnessed the beating death of his coaccused, Johannes Malekek Matsubukane, during police interrogation. Inquests conducted in 1993 concerning the deaths of antiapartheid activists during the 1980's revealed that operatives carried out political killings on the orders of high-ranking government officials. In December the Goldstone Commission released credible evidence, based on an investigation conducted by the KwaZulu Police Commissioner, that a number of hit squads had been operating in Natal. The three men arrested in the case were former members of the KwaZulu police and had received training from the SADF. Further arrests were expected at the end of 1993. Goldstone reported the high "probability" that the hit squad had been responsible for the murder of nine ANC members, supporters of the IFP, and others. Violence in Esikhawini in northern Natal decreased dramatically following the arrest of the KZP officers implicated in the hit squad investigation. In a separate incident allegedly involving KwaZulu Police attacks on ANC supporters, the ANC claimed some of its supporters in Khojane village were killed in September by attackers from a nearby IFP/KwaZulu government military training camps. Information about such training camps is often shrouded in some mystery. For example, in September, after the press reported on an alleged KwaZulu training camp in Umfolozi Game reserve, IFP Chief Minister Buthelezi confirmed that the KwaZulu Parliament had established a camp to train SDU's for Zulu protection. In May the Ciskei Council of State granted unconditional indemnity from prosecution to all members of the Ciskei Defense Force (CDF) involved in the 1992 Bisho massacre, in which CDF troops killed 29 and injured hundreds of ANC marchers. In October Oupa Gqozo, the homeland's military leader, was cleared of charges that he murdered Charles Sebe, the former commander of the CDF in 1991.
There were no known cases of antigovernment activists disappearing during 1993.
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The Government has established guidelines and regulations prohibiting torture of detainees. Any cases of torture were violations of government regulations. Nevertheless, court testimony and sworn affidavits continued to allege that members of the SAP and homelands police mistreated detainees severely, though the incidence of such violations continued to decline. The HRC reported allegations of beatings, electric shock, and partial suffocation. Michael Thithi reported being assaulted by police during an interrogation. A district surgeon reportedly found no signs of the assault, but after Thithi disputed that report, another court-ordered examination indicated that he had indeed been beaten. In February, three ANC members charged with a 1992 murder alleged that they were severely beaten while in custody of the Ciskei security police. The men were allegedly denied medical attention after the assault. The ANC also alleged that Robert Manope was assaulted by the Boputhatswana police after being summoned to the Mogwase station and accused of recruiting for the ANC. These allegations were backed with a medical report indicating that Manope suffered extensive bruising over most of his body. Also according to HRC data, an MK member was assaulted and tortured in a Soweto police station on May 21. She alleged being hit with a rifle and pistol butts and subjected to electric shock. In May a PAC member alleged being beaten and threatened with indecent assault while undergoing interrogation at a Durban police station. In August Sibusiso Zulu, accused of murder in the March 1993 "Table Mountain Massacre" in which six schoolchildren were slain, told the court that he was assaulted by policemen during interrogation in an effort to extract a confession from him. On August 24, the Rand Supreme Court granted the ANC an interim order interdicting the Ministers of Defense and Law and Order, the heads of Modderbee and Boksburg prisons, and 8 East Rand police station commanders and the forces under their commands from assaulting, abusing, threatening, or ill-treating 123 detainees under their custody. The court action followed allegations that a number of East Rand detainees had been assaulted while in custody. The ICRC has access to all detainees in South African and homeland prisons and can report substandard prison conditions to authorities. In August the Motsuenyane Commission, an ANC-appointed body, released results of its investigation of human rights abuses in ANC camps during the organization's years of exile. The report cited numerous instances of murder, torture, beatings, solitary confinement, and imprisonment without trial and named individuals directly and indirectly involved in the abuses, some of whom are now high-ranking ANC officials. The ANC accepted the conclusions of the report and made a public apology, but did not respond to nor provide an accounting of all those alleged to have disappeared or been mistreated. Many observers criticized the ANC for not punishing the perpetrators or compensating the victims. The ANC called for the establishment of a truth commission to investigate human rights abuses across the political spectrum and to arrange for victim compensation. By the end of 1993, no such commission was established.
d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile
In November the multiparty negotiating council agreed to repeal the Public Safety Act (PSA) and the Internal Security Act (ISA) laws permitting authorities to detain individuals without charge. As of year's end, the necessary legislation was approved but had not yet gone into effect. The PSA authorized warrantless searches and detentions for up to 30 days in order to combat or prevent public disturbance, disorder, riot, or public violence, or in order to maintain or restore public order in unrest areas. Several human rights organizations criticized the Government for invoking the PSA excessively in order to declare unrest areas. At the end of the year, 15 magisterial districts remained unrest areas under the PSA. The ISA allowed the police to detain and interrogate persons suspected of terrorism or subversion or of withholding information about such crimes for a period up to 10 days without arrest; continued incarceration required judicial approval. A detainee did not have an automatic right to legal counsel during the first 10 days of detention and the right to legal advice was limited to the preparation of opposition to an application by the authorities extending the detention period. The ISA permitted 14 days of preventive detention. The HRC reported that during 1993 a total of 622 people were detained under the PSA or ISA. According to Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), the police generally do not block access to such detainees. According to the HRC, detentions in most of the so-called independent homelands were down sharply. The HRC reported no detentions in Transkei, Ciskei, or Venda during 1993. Bophuthatswana, however, detained 153 people under security legislation during 1993. In many cities, street children were arrested and held in adult jails or prisons while awaiting trial. While some were arrested on criminal charges, many were arrested for such petty offenses as loitering. These children were often held in overcrowded cells, and sometimes suffered physical or sexual abuse. Most jails and prisons have no educational or counseling facilities. There were no reported cases of exile.
e. Denial of Fair Public Trial
Judicial independence continued to strengthen in South Africa in 1993, as it had in recent years. Allegations of political interference with the courts are few and declining. Moreover, during 1993 the South African bench took up a number of cases, such as the Webster and Goniwe inquests, which further exposed abuses during the apartheid era. The degree of politicization in judicial selection appears to be diminishing. Members of the Constitutional Court, which will come into effect in 1994 as the supreme judicial body on all constitutional matters, including the bill of rights, will be appointed by a process that further attenuates the influence of political parties. Persons charged with common crimes are generally presumed innocent until proven guilty, but Parliament has modified the general presumption of innocence for some security offenses. Both security-related and common criminal cases are tried in civilian courts. Although defendants in criminal cases may retain legal counsel, a 1991 study found that 71 percent of those convicted in ordinary criminal cases had no representation. A pilot public defender's program, begun in Johannesburg in 1991, has been highly successful. Courts usually appoint counsel for capital cases when the defendant cannot afford a lawyer. Intimidation of participants in the legal process undermined the administration of justice. For example, several witnesses to the murder of American Amy Biehl, who were prepared to testify against her suspected murderers, were threatened and intimidated from testifying, forcing the prosecution to drop charges against several of the accused. The judiciary is headed by the Appellate Division (court of appeals) of the Supreme Court in Bloemfontein and six regional supreme courts. Only 1 of the 142 judges of the appellate division and the regional supreme courts is not white. Judges, appointed by the State President, serve until age 70 and may only be removed through impeachment by Parliament. By tradition, judges of the appellate division and the supreme courts are chosen from the senior ranks of the elite corps of South African Supreme Court Practitioners (advocates). According to the Ministry of Justice, only six nonwhite senior advocates are practicing at the bar. The power of the judiciary at all levels continues to be circumscribed by the principle of parliamentary sovereignty, under which judges possess no authority to alter, strike down, or refuse to enforce laws of Parliament. Serious offenses, including capital crimes, are tried in the supreme courts. Lesser offenses are heard by magistrates, career employees of the executive branch civil service. The presiding judge or magistrate determines guilt or innocence. Juries were abolished in 1969. Prospects for nonwhite law school graduates to receive "Articles of Clerkship," which qualify them for admittance to the bar, were enhanced considerably. New routes of entry into the profession are open, including credit for work at offices of public defenders, university law clinics, and similar community-based entities that offer legal assistance to indigent clients. So-called people's courts, which emerged in part due to the black community's distrust of the existing court system, continued to operate sporadically. These tribunals pass "judgment" on criminal charges and carry out "sentences." The people's courts are headed by mostly self-appointed "community leaders" who often mete out "justice" based on rumors arising from political or personal rivalries.
f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence
Although the security forces retained the capacity and the formal legal authority to engage in domestic surveillance activities including the use of informers, the opening of mail, and the monitoring of telephone calls, the dramatically changed political environment diminished their willingness to engage in these activities. This is not true of the local authorities in Bophuthatswana and Ciskei, who continued to monitor the political activities of the citizenry. With the repeal of the PSA, police will no longer have broad authority to conduct searches and seizures without warrants in designated unrest areas. Even outside of unrest areas, there has been an unequal application of the Law of Criminal Procedure. White citizens have generally enjoyed protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; black citizens have usually not. The legacy of apartheid has left vast numbers of South Africans landless; more than 8 million people live in squatter camps. Conflict continues between those who currently own land and those who contend that the land was forcibly taken from previous occupants. The Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act gives landowners and local governments the authority to remove black populations from "white" areas. Despite central government authorities' increased tolerance of squatter settlements, some local authorities continue to pressure squatters to move. The problem of forced relocation of residents of informal settlements is particularly pronounced in rural areas where land owners are able to exploit the provisions of the Act. In Bophuthatswana conflicts between authorities and squatters continued to deprive many residents of their homes. In February Bophuthatswana authorities demolished an informal settlement on disputed land in Marokolong without securing a court order or a legal judgment on the dispute. At least 100 people were rendered homeless as a result.
Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:
a. Freedom of Speech and Press
Freedoms of speech and press are respected in practice. Both the mainstream and the so-called alternate press kept the public well informed and criticized both the Government and the opposition. The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), once seen as the Government's mouthpiece, underwent profound changes. A new board of directors with a black woman as head was appointed. In September Parliament passed legislation to create the Independent Broadcasting Authority with power to license new and privately owned broadcast outlets. A second bill established the Independent Media Commission to monitor the media coverage of the political campaign and to seek to ensure a level playing field for all parties in the months leading up to the April 1994 election. Radio news reporting, in particular that of privately owned Radio 702, was reasonably balanced. Although rarely invoked, considerable legislation permitting the Government to restrict and penalize the press remained on the books. Under the Criminal Procedure Act the Government subpoenaed a journalist from an Afrikaans- language newspaper who refused to answer questions concerning an article he wrote reporting remarks made by a black youth leader at an open rally. The journalist received a 1-year prison sentence. The sentence was under appeal at year's end. Laws restricting the publication of information about the SAP, SADF, petroleum issues, and prisons and mental institutions remained on the books. The ISA allowed the Minister of Law and Order to ban organizations and their publications. Prohibitions against the publication of such materials as pornographic material are in effect. Opposition groups, and especially militant youths, continued to harass and attack members of the press despite calls from leaders for them to exercise restraint. In one incident, an SABC cameraman was murdered by a gang of youths while covering a story in Sharpeville, near Johannesburg. The result has been de facto hindrance of the press from covering developments in certain volatile areas. There are no official restrictions on academic freedom.
b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
Political parties and organizations enjoy broad freedoms of assembly and association. While the ISA gave the Minister of Law and Order authority to ban political gatherings in order to maintain public order, he has not used that authority in over 2 years. He did, however, frequently invoke his authority to declare certain areas "unrest areas." All demonstrations or public gatherings in an unrest area had to be approved by the area police commissioner. Although decisions to prohibit an event could be appealed to the courts, such appeals were never successful. In some cases, authorities could deny permission for a demonstration outside unrest areas if it was felt that the event would threaten life or property. In some of the homelands, local officials continued to obstruct the right of peaceful assembly. Opposition political groups in Bophuthatswana were routinely denied permission to meet or organize and their "illegal" gatherings were forcibly dispersed. Among the so-called self-governing homelands, KwaZulu, the only one with its own security force, has a particularly poor record. Local KwaZulu officials often used their authority to hamper severely political activity by groups other than the IFP and to harass non-IFP leaders. There were many credible accounts of death threats to intimidate political activity. For example, residents of Gerzinsila and Nyanini Townships in Natal were forced to attend an IFP rally and told that those absent from future rallies would be killed. In addition, the climate of violence existing in many parts of KwaZulu has resulted in so-called no-go areas where in some cases ANC and in other cases IFP leaders cannot organize meetings without risk to their lives. Such no-go areas also exist in some urban townships. ANC and IFP sympathizers shared culpability for this. Many white landowners, fearing their workers might be influenced by "radical" ideas of worker rights and political empowerment, violently opposed efforts by the ANC and other predominantly black political groups to hold public gatherings, effectively preventing these groups from organizing. Similarly, certain black groups have disrupted township gatherings organized by representatives of predominantly white political parties, such as the National Party and Democratic Party. For safety reasons, the SAP urged whites to stay away from some townships altogether.
c. Freedom of Religion
There are no restrictions on the expression and practice of religious belief, nor on proselytizing.
d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation
South Africans have no restrictions on movement throughout their country and are free to travel overseas, emigrate, or repatriate. Those choosing to emigrate, however, are limited in the amount of money they can take out of South Africa. The Government and private monitoring groups estimated that as many as 500,000 Mozambicans, displaced by civil unrest or economic hardship, were in South Africa. Approximately half the Mozambicans in South Africa have settled in border transit camps in the homelands of KaNgwane and Gazankulu, the only places in South Africa where Mozambican refugees have enjoyed some measure of protection. Under the Admission of Persons Act, they are allowed to stay there temporarily because of their ethnic ties with homeland residents. Although some of these refugees have lived in the homelands since 1986, refugee officials reported that some Mozambicans were slowly returning to their country as the peace process continued to hold there. In August the Government and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) signed a long-negotiated agreement allowing the UNHCR to assist refugees arriving in South Africa. Until then, the ICRC and other nongovernmental organizations housed and cared for the refugees. In October the UNHCR and the Governments of South Africa and Mozambique signed a tripartite agreement establishing a joint commission and procedures for handling the organized, voluntary repatriation of Mozambican refugees. Although the KaNgwane and Gazankulu authorities did not participate in the negotiations leading to the September and October agreements, they were kept informed and welcomed these developments. Despite these developments, involuntary repatriation of Mozambicans from South Africa continued. Those Mozambicans settling outside KaNgwane and Gazankulu are considered illegal aliens under the Aliens Control Act. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, during 1993 the Government deported 80,261 illegal Mozambicans and 15,680 aliens from other (mostly southern African) countries. Despite the South Africa-UNHCR memorandum of understanding, the tripartite agreement, and periodic representations on human rights abuses, an electrified fence on the border between South Africa and Mozambique remained in place as a deterrent measure. The Government extended through 1993 its 1991 mandate to the UNHCR to monitor the repatriation of South African exiles, most of whom were affiliated in some way with antiapartheid organizations while in exile. An estimated 7,000 exiles had returned to South Africa prior to the 1991 agreement. As of year's end, a further 10,836 persons had been cleared to return under UNHCR auspices. The number of exiles who have actually returned through the end of 1993 was 7,303.
Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government
South Africa underwent sweeping political change during 1993. In December the Transitional Executive Council (TEC), a multiparty, multiracial body, was given broad administrative and monitoring powers in the period leading up to the April 1994 elections the first elections in South Africa open to all citizens regardless of race. The implementation of the TEC marked the first time in South African history that the black majority (75.5 percent) participated in the official political process. Nevertheless, prior to establishment of the TEC, South Africa continued to be governed by a system that kept virtually all real power in the hands of the white minority (13 percent of the population), while the black majority was denied any meaningful share of power, or even representation, in the national Government. While there existed parliamentary chambers to represent South Africa's mixed race and Asian population groups, members of those groups consistently boycotted the elections for those bodies, most recently in 1989; in any case, the 1983 Constitution kept all real power in the hands of the chamber for whites. A transitional constitution, agreed to in November by the negotiating parties and ratified by Parliament in December, will govern the country beginning on April 27, 1994, and until an elected constitutional assembly drafts a final one. The future constitution includes an extensive, fully justiciable bill of rights. It also provides for an independent judiciary, including a constitutional court and nine provincial governments directly elected by proportional representation. The transitional constitution for the first time guarantees all South Africans such rights as universal suffrage, equal protection under the law, and freedom of speech, assembly, association, and religion. The constitution is to be enacted by proclamation on April 27, 1994. Provision was made to enable earlier implementation of certain portions of the constitution and bill of rights, but these steps had not been taken by year's end. Multiparty negotiations, suspended since June 1992, resumed in April 1993. On July 2, most participating parties formally agreed that the first nonracial election would be held on April 27, 1994, and that the body so elected would both write a final constitution and form the basis for a multiparty transitional government to rule the country for an interim period. The IFP, CP, and several other conservative groups suspended their further participation in the negotiations process as a result of these decisions and later formed a coalition called the Freedom Alliance. Subsequently, the remaining negotiating parties reached agreement on establishing, in addition to the TEC, an Independent Electoral Commission, Independent Media Commission, and Independent Broadcasting Authority, all of which are intended to level the playing field for all parties in the preelection period. Parliament passed the enabling legislation for these bodies in late September. While the provisions of the interim constitution will require dismantling the homelands system, at the end of the year the 10 homelands were still in place. Parliament, however, passed legislation reinstating South African citizenship to people residing in the homelands, enabling them to participate in the April elections. The homelands are heavily subsidized by the Government, some are fragmented parcels of territory in impoverished rural areas, and all are agriculturally backward areas without the infrastructure needed for development. Of the four so-called independent homelands, which only the South African Government recognized as sovereign, Transkei, Ciskei, and Venda are ruled by military governments, while Bophuthatswana is governed as a one-party state. Authorities in Bophuthatswana and Ciskei, in particular, continued to suppress free political activity, especially that of the ANC. The six so-called self-governing homelands are Gazankulu, KaNgwane, KwaNdebele, KwaZulu, Lebowa and Qwaqwa. According to 1990 census data, the homelands, which comprise 13 percent of the country's territory, are home to 33 percent of South Africa's black population. The participation rate of women in the higher echelons of government and politics has historically been extremely low. Out of 308 members of the current Parliament, only 8 are women. There is only 1 woman minister out of a total of 22, and only 1 woman deputy minister out of a total of 12. There are no women occupying director-general positions in government departments. In devising the interim constitution, the multiparty negotiating council prohibited gender discrimination in the bill of rights and provided for the primacy of the principle of equal treatment of women over the right of traditional leaders to exercise their tribal prerogatives. The ANC announced that at least a third of its candidates for South Africa's new democratically elected parliament will be women. In the Supreme Court system, there are currently 142 serving judges, only 1 of whom is a woman. A second woman has been appointed and will assume her responsibilities in 1994. Out of several hundred senior advocates practicing at the bar, only five are female.
Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights
The Government has permitted an increasingly broad range of domestic and international organizations to monitor, investigate, and report on human rights issues. The U.N., European Union, Commonwealth of Nations, and Organization of African Unity have stationed observer groups in South Africa to monitor the violence. These observers attend demonstrations, marches, and other mass events. They also monitor the compliance by all participating organizations to both the principles of the National Peace Accord and the Goldstone Commission guidelines for marches and political gatherings. In addition, the observers consult regularly with the Government, political parties, community organizations, and civic groups. The observer groups enjoyed near-total freedom of access to all geographic areas, institutions, and personalities, except in Bophuthatswana. The United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA), Amnesty International, Africa Watch, the ICRC, and other organizations are in general agreement that the Government has improved its responsiveness to their requests for access to information, officials, and facilities. In January Africa Watch was for the first time granted access to detainees in South African police stations and prisons. The Government permitted the ICRC to increase the number of its delegates from 12 to 30 in order to visit more prisons and jails. The ICRC characterized its relations with the South African Department of Correctional Services as "good." In contrast, human rights agencies made credible accusations that some local authorities refused access to files and intimidated investigators of alleged police brutalities and unlawful detentions. For example, an attorney investigating a case of unlawful police detention claimed that he was confronted by a group of officers who forcibly entered his home, physically threatened him, manhandled his wife, and advised him to "stop what he was doing." The treatment of human rights monitors by homeland governments at times contrasted sharply with that by the South African Government. While ICRC delegates have complete access to prisoners and police station detainees in Bophuthatswana, homeland authorities have not agreed to meet with ICRC to discuss ICRC's program of basic medical and humanitarian assistance to victims of violence. UNOMSA reports that despite persistent efforts to observe events there, Bophuthatswana authorities have invariably denied UNOMSA's requests for permission to enter their territory. In a widely publicized incident, a group of UNOMSA, Commonwealth, and OAU observers were granted permission to attend an Ascension Day service in Bophuthatswana in May, but, upon arrival, were barred from entering the church and detained by police for an hour.
Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, Language, or Social Status
The transitional constitution passed by Parliament in December includes a bill of rights which guarantees equal protection of the law to every South African citizen, regardless of race, gender, religion, disability, language, or social status. The transitional constitution is to be enacted on April 27, 1994.
Although gender discrimination, particularly against black women, remained a serious problem, Parliament advanced the rights of and protections for women when it passed the Promotion of Equality Between Men and Women Act and the Prevention of Family Violence Act in September. The Promotion of Equality Between Men and Women Act eliminates all remaining vestiges of a husband's traditional power over his wife in property and financial matters. It also revokes the power of courts to direct that women not be present at certain trials, removes all legal differentiation between men and women in matters of citizenship, makes the provisions of the Sexual Offenses Act equally applicable to men and women, abolishes certain provisions in the law which traditionally discriminated against married and pregnant women, repeals the prohibition against women entering premises where liquor is sold, and eliminates the legal barrier which excluded women from underground mining work and other high-risk occupations. The Prevention of Family Violence Act simplifies the injunction and arrest procedures related to domestic abuse against women and children. The Act empowers judges and magistrates to enjoin an offending spouse from engaging in certain behaviors and, simultaneously, to issue an order authorizing the automatic arrest of the spouse, if he or she breaks the injunction. The resulting penalty can range up to 12 months' imprisonment. The Act also places a legal obligation on persons who have reason to suspect a child is being abused to report that fact to the appropriate authorities, and makes it possible for husbands to be convicted of marital rape.
Black children in particular have suffered under South Africa's apartheid regime which segregated much of the black population in poverty-stricken homelands and fractured families by forcing their income earners to migrate in search of work. Without adequate parental guidance and protection, many children have drifted toward a life of crime and delinquency and have been caught up in the maelstrom of political violence. By all statistical measures of social progress, it is clear that the welfare, protection, and development of black children have been almost completely neglected. For example, while the infant mortality rate for whites is 6 per thousand, it is 66 per thousand for blacks. During the year, the police's Child Protection Unit investigated 17,124 crimes against children, involving such crimes as rape, indecent assault, assault both common and with intent to do grievous bodily harm and violations of the Child Care Act, among others. As South Africa makes the transition to a democratic, nonracial society, the Government has noted the need to correct the glaring shortfalls in support and services for the vast majority of the country's children. Accordingly, a 1992 children's summit adopted a Charter for Children's Rights in South Africa, which calls, inter alia, for the protection of children from all types of violence.
With a view to the April 1994 nonracial elections, the ruling white minority began to share its closely held political powers and prerogatives with nonwhites. The TEC, its subcouncils, the IEC, IMC, and IBA are administered by people who are both racially diverse and representative of a wide spectrum of political thought and opinion. The transitional constitution and bill of rights provides for a nonracial society as one of the entrenched rights of all South Africans. Despite the near-total repeal of the statutory foundations of apartheid, pervasive discrimination and segregation persisted in 1993. Nevertheless, some private firms and public corporations have voluntarily instituted affirmative action recruitment practices, even at the highest levels. Dr. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, a black woman, was appointed to head the SABC, long viewed as the principal propaganda vehicle of the Government, and Mr. Yacoob Abba Omar, an Asian, was appointed General Manager of Public Relations at ARMSCOR, the centerpiece of South Africa's defense industry. Persons born before 1991 are still classified in the race group to which they were assigned at birth. Until September 1993, the Government continued to discriminate in the payment of old age pensions, with whites receiving the highest annuity, "coloureds" and Asians somewhat less, and blacks the least. Pension rates were equalized in like employment categories, but disparity persisted between the pensions of management and clerical workers, who were usually white, and those of manual or unskilled laborers, who were usually black. The disparities between managerial and clerical pensions, on the one hand, and those of manual and unskilled laborers, on the other, are a reflection of past race-based discrimination in job opportunities. In education the disparity in spending on blacks and whites decreased but remained great. The average student-teacher ratio in white schools is 20:1, while it is 38:1 in black schools, excluding those in the homelands. Under current law, primary school education is compulsory only for white, Asian, and mixed-race children. Prior to May, the Government charged matriculation examination fees, which prevented many poor black students from taking the examination and from graduating. Of black matriculants, 38 percent passed their 1992 final examinations, whereas 95 percent of white matriculants did. According to the Department of Education and Training, 328,890 students were enrolled in South African universities in 1993 (not including students in the so-called independent homelands). Of these, 46.8 percent were white, 40.2 percent were black, 7.2 percent were Indian, and 5.4 percent were "coloured". During 1993 increasing numbers of white schools opted to permit black students to enroll. The decision to enroll black students depended upon the voted consent of white parents. The Government repealed its policy of mandatory military conscription of exclusively white males. The Government and the ANC began discussions on creating a new defense force which would include some of the military wings of liberation movements and some homeland armies. Although the Government instituted affirmative action programs in the security services over the last 4 years, over 90 percent of officers are white. Significant changes, however, are in progress as more minorities and women are graduating from the military academy.
People with Disabilities
South Africa has begun to move from a "medical-welfare" conception of disability to one of civil rights and self- empowerment. The participants in the multiparty negotiations included disability as a basis for nondiscrimination, along with race, gender, ethnic origin, color, sexual orientation, age, religion, conscience, creed, culture or language. In preparation for the 1994 election, Lawyers for Human Rights and Disabled People South Africa made representations to the Government on such issues as ensuring that polling stations will be architecturally accessible to wheelchair-using voters and that blind voters are able to cast a secret ballot. In 1991 Lawyers for Human Rights, a leading organization fighting prejudice and discrimination, established a disability rights unit. This unit has intervened in some 50 legal cases and represented numerous disabled people less formally in their dealings with the bureaucracy. The majority of these cases involved either arbitrary determinations of ineligibility for social assistance benefits or employer decisions denying equal work opportunities on the basis of disability. In 1986 architectural requirements were incorporated into the National Building Code to ensure equal access to public buildings for the physically disabled. However, these were rarely enforced and, until recently, public awareness of them was virtually nonexistent.
Section 6 Worker Rights
a. The Right of Association
South Africa's Labor Relations Act entitles all workers in the private sector to join labor unions of their choosing. Membership in the 200 registered trade unions was approximately 2.9 million in 1993. An additional 360,000 workers were members of the 46 unregistered unions, bringing union membership to 3.26 million workers or 52 percent of the employed, economically active population. Probably more than half of all union members are black. Groups historically excluded from labor law, especially farmworkers, domestic workers, and public sector employees, made some progress in 1993. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act was extended to farmworkers and domestic workers, and Parliament passed an Agricultural Labor Relations Act, after considerable consultation with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Agricultural Union (a farmers' organization), which extends some trade union and bargaining rights to farm workers. Nevertheless, domestic and farmworkers do not have the right to strike, as defined by South African labor law. The Parliament passed also a Public Sector Labor Relations Act designed to consolidate and clarify public sector labor law. Nevertheless, South African labor relations continued to be characterized by a patchwork of labor law and practice largely designed to inhibit or restrict trade union organization and activity. The result is an uneven and sometimes volatile labor relations climate, in which trade unions must rely as much on their own organization and strength as on their legal rights to achieve their objectives. Trade unions continued to accuse the Government and others of using intimidation and violence to undermine trade union activity. For instance, COSATU, the country's largest trade union federation, claimed the KwaZulu government, in collusion with the IFP and the South African Government, blocked COSATU from organizing in northern Natal by denying meeting venues, harassing union members, and killing union leadership. The Goldstone Commission, during an investigation of the KZP, declared on December 8 that credible evidence indicated the KZP used hit squads to attack and kill ANC and COSATU members in northern Natal. A SAP raid against organizations supposedly linked to APLA resulted in the offices of the National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU), South Africa's second largest trade union federation, being ransacked by police and several of its officers and affiliate members being detained. COSATU is formally aligned with the ANC and the SACP. At a September special national congress, COSATU declared its support for the ANC in the April 1994 elections, and offered 20 federation and affiliate members to stand for election on ANC slates. NACTU, while officially independent from political groups, has considerable contact with the PAC and the Azanian Peoples' Organization (AZAPO). Historically, both federations have used strikes and "stayaways" to facilitate liberation alliance objectives in South Africa's negotiated transition to democratic government. COSATU has played an especially important role in this regard. Its mass action expertise, including its mobilization and crowd control capabilities, were particularly evident during the nationwide protests following Chris Hani's assassination. Most private sector workers regardless of race enjoy the right to strike. Work stoppages triggered by collective bargaining disputes, and occasionally political issues, have been commonplace. Industrial action during the first 9 months of 1993 was down nearly 23 percent from the comparable 1992 period, with strikes accounting for 2.4 million lost workdays. Nationwide strikes by the South African Democratic Teachers Unions (SADTU) and the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) accounted for nearly all public sector strike activity, or about 70 percent of the lost workdays. Wage disputes provoked 67 percent of strike activity in 1993, while grievances, retrenchments, and discipline accounted for the remainder. The drop in strike activity during 1993 was attributable to greater union concern regarding job security and more sophisticated management labor relations techniques. Strikers and union leaders are protected by law from retribution by employers for union organizing and participation in lawful strikes. Some companies, however, use what they describe as retrenchments to remove shop stewards and other union officials from the work force. Also, the patchwork nature of South African labor law, the illegality of public sector strikes, and the political nature of some stayaways and other industrial action, leave ample room for employers to take disciplinary actions against trade unionists. Ultimately, a trade unionist's best protection in such circumstances comes more from the strength of the union than the effectiveness of the law. Historically, public sector employees have been legally prohibited from striking. A Public Sector Labor Relations Act, which takes effect in January 1994, clarifies the collective bargaining process for public sector employees but still sharply restricts strike activity. COSATU has argued that the Government's definition of essential services is too broad and is specifically designed to block public sector strike activity. As was evident by the increase in public sector strike activity in 1993, the illegality of striking did not deter major public sector unions. South Africa does not restrict union affiliation with regional or international labor organizations. COSATU and NACTU are affiliated internationally only with the Organization of African Trade Union Unity. Many of their affiliates, as well as independent unions, are members of international trade secretariats and have developed contacts with their counterparts in North America and Western Europe. A member of the International Labor Organization (ILO) from its inception in 1919, South Africa withdrew from the organization in 1964, but remained bound by the 12 ILO Conventions it had ratified. A 1992 ILO fact-finding mission to South Africa made numerous recommendations to bring the country's labor regime up to international standards. To date, only a few of these recommendations have been implemented. Following COSATU protests, the Government did consult with COSATU regarding the Public Sector Labor Relations Act. The legislation passed parliament and will go into effect beginning in 1994. COSATU, while acknowledging that the law clarifies the collective bargaining process for public servants, argues that the law's broad definition of essential services, and its limitation of lawful strikes to 30 days, undercuts trade unions' ability to bargain successfully. In November the ILO's governing body voted to suspend its Declaration of Action Against Apartheid. Should this decision be ratified by the June 1994 ILO Conference, the ILO will be able to establish an office in South Africa and resume direct, in-country contact with the trade union movement.
b. The Right To Organize and Bargain Collectively
The Government does not interfere directly with union organizing in the private sector and generally has not intervened in the collective bargaining process. The law prohibits discrimination by private sector employers against union members and organizers. Complaints regarding employer discrimination against union members can be brought to the labor courts. In the case of a judicial finding against an employer, the court can order reinstatement of a worker or other compensation. Disputes over recognition are relatively few. Black unions have made increasing use of South Africa's Industrial Council or centralized collective bargaining system. COSATU views the centralized collective bargaining system as crucial to trade union economic influence and has sought to expand the subject of such bargaining beyond wages and benefits to include industry restructuring, job grading and training, and other personnel issues. It has severely criticized business efforts in some sectors to do away with centralized collective bargaining. Much of COSATU's and other trade union federations' participation in the National Economic Forum and the National Manpower Commission two tripartite forums representing government, labor, and business is designed to strengthen trade union influence over labor and economic policy. South Africa's labor law does not apply to the so-called homelands, where union organizing is actively discouraged. Nevertheless, trade union activity is on the increase in almost all the homelands. The struggle between trade unions and homeland governments, especially in Bophuthatswana, has been intense and sometimes violent. Bophuthatswana enacted regressive labor legislation in 1993 which outlaws all foreign trade unions and criminalizes membership in or bargaining with such unions. The law has also led to harassment and detainment of union organizers representing various COSATU affiliates. Management and black trade unions have voluntarily resorted to private mediation services to resolve industrial disputes. The Labor Relations Act establishes an Industrial Court to rule in labor-management disputes. The most common complaints filed with the Court concern dismissals, followed by unfair labor practices. A Labor Court of Appeals oversees the Industrial Court and can overturn its decisions. South Africa has no export processing zones.
c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor
The Constitution does not prohibit forced labor; however, common law does not permit it, and it is not practiced.
d. Minimum Age for Employment of Children
The Basic Conditions of Employment Act prohibits the employment of minors under the age of 15 in most industries, shops, and offices. The Mines and Works Act prohibits minors under 16 from working underground. There is no restriction, however, on the age at which a person may work in agriculture. Use of child labor on farms, often in harsh and dangerous conditions, is common. Child labor in the informal economy is also commonplace. Enforcement of existing child labor laws by the Government is weak and reactive, depending largely on complaints being lodged against specific employers.
e. Acceptable Conditions of Work
There is no legal minimum wage in South Africa. The Labor Relations Act instead provides a mechanism for negotiations between labor and management to set minimum wage standards by industry. Over 100 industries come under the provisions of the Act. According to a labor research service survey, cleaners, who are among the lowest paid of organized workers, earned an average monthly salary of approximately $247 (842 rand). The same survey showed drivers earning $428 (1,456 rand) per month. A comparison of wage information gathered by the Government's Central Statistical Service and in a March 1993 study done by the University of Port Elizabeth's Institute for Planning Research regarding household subsistence levels, shows that in the manufacturing sector alone, only 17 of 30 subsectors paid an average wage to black workers higher than the subsistence level salary. In the construction sector, average salaries for all subsectors were below subsistence level. Wages paid to workers in unorganized sectors, such as agriculture and domestic household work, are also below subsistence level. Most industries have a standard workweek of 46 hours, as well as vacation and sick leave. Overtime is voluntary and limited to 10 hours a week. The law does not mandate a 24-hour rest break. The recent extension of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act to farmworkers and domestic workers has, for the first time, established workweek standards for both groups. Attention to health and safety issues increased in recent years but remained inadequate. The state-funded National Occupational and Safety Association (NOSA) claims the number of workers suffering disabling injuries annually has dropped significantly over the last decade. Nevertheless, injury and death at the workplace, especially in heavy manufacturing and mining, is still common. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) reports that two workers are killed every day in mine accidents. In 1993 the Government agreed to the NUM's request for a Mines Commission of Inquiry to investigate the occupational health and safety laws, but only after several mine accidents left nearly 70 miners dead. South African occupational safety and health laws, while requiring employers to avoid placing their workers at unreasonable risk, do not give workers the right to remove themselves from a hazardous job. An employee's decision to leave a hazardous work site could possibly lead to dismissal, but more probably would result in disciplinary action. The occupational safety and health laws do provide protection for workers who report or file complaints against unsafe working conditions. Such workers may not be dismissed or reduced in rank or salary because of their actions.