Situation of human rights in South Africa.

1990/26. Situation of human rights in South Africa

The Commission on Human Rights, Recalling its resolutions 1986/4 of 28 February 1986, 1987/14 of 3 March 1987, 1988/9 of 29 February 1988 and 1989/5 of 23 February 1989, Recalling General Assembly resolutions 39/15 of 23 November 1984 and 40/64 A to I of 10 December 1985 as well as Economic and Social Council resolution 1984/42 of 24 May 1984, Recalling also General Assembly resolution 33/165 of 20 December 1978, in which the Assembly recognized the right of all persons to refuse service in military or police forces used to enforce apartheid, Having examined the interim report of the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts on southern Africa (E/CN.4/1990/7), Recognizing the value of the reports of the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts in the efforts of the United Nations to expose and combat apartheid and gross violations of human rights in South Africa, Recalling the concerns repeatedly expressed about abductions and assassinations carried out by the South African régime against political refugees and members of the liberation movements, Having examined the statement made by Mr. F.W. De Klerk of 2 February 1990 in which, inter alia, he rescinded the ban on the African National Congress of South Africa, the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania and other political organizations, Noting that gross and cruel violations of human rights under apartheid continue to take place in South Africa, Outraged by South Africa's acts of violence in the townships and its continued intransigence in revoking the abominable apartheid laws and in refusing to reinstate the human rights of political prisoners by freeing them unconditionally, Deeply concerned about racist South Africa's undeclared war of destabilization and aggression, whether through direct aggression, sponsorship of surrogates, economic subversion or other means, against the neighbouring independent States, which is unacceptable in all its forms and must stop, Reiterating its conviction that the apartheid system in South Africa is the root cause of conflict in the sub-continent and that this atrocious policy constitutes a threat to international peace and security, Noting that the South African people's legitimate struggle, by all means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and relevant United Nations resolutions, for a united, non-racial and democratic society should enjoy the full support of the international community, Convinced that the maintenance of existing pressures, including sanctions against South Africa, constitutes a peaceful means that can help to avert the outbreak of racial conflagration in the region, Satisfied with the success scored by the oppressed people of South Africa in their united mass action to make the apartheid system unworkable, Appreciating the world-wide momentum against apartheid and the consensus in favour of international pressures, including sanctions against racist South Africa, Appreciating the perseverance and steadfastness of the front-line States and their continuing supporting role to the liberation movements, Taking note with satisfaction of the Declaration on apartheid and its Destructive Consequences in southern Africa adopted on 14 December 1989 by the General Assembly at its sixteenth special session (resolution S-16/1),

1. Congratulates the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts on southern Africa on the commendable and impartial manner in which it has prepared its interim report;

2. Expresses its profound indignation at the fact that apartheid remains institutionalized;

3. Denounces again the policy of "bantustanization", the forced removals of the black population, the policy of so-called "voluntary" removals and the policy of denationalization;

4. Reiterates the conviction that apartheid cannot be reformed but should be abolished in all its forms, and hence reaffirms its rejection of the so-called constitutional initiative, including the statutory advisory council, which falls short of accepting the "one man, one vote" principle in a united, non-racial and democratic South Africa;

5. Demands that South Africa immediately and completely abolish the unjust and inhuman system of apartheid in all its forms;

6. Demands the complete removal of the state of emergency and an end to human rights violations which have been rampant since the state of emergency was imposed in 1986;

7. Welcomes the release of Nelson Mandela, demands the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners as well as detainees, and calls on the South African régime to refrain from imposing any restrictions on them;

8. Calls upon South Africa to permit a free and fair political climate and to desist from harassment and intimidation of organizations and individuals engaged in the legitimate struggle against apartheid policies;

9. Demands a complete elimination of the apartheid judicial and penal system, the removal of troops from the townships and the dismantling of bantustans;

10. Further demands the unconditional return of political refugees and members of the liberation movements based outside South Africa and their unimpeded participation in political activities;

11. Strongly condemns South Africa for its indiscriminate use of force against unarmed demonstrators and its widespread use of torture and other forms of inhuman and degrading treatment against political opponents;

12. Calls upon South Africa to respect international standards on trade union rights in respect of black trade unions and particularly to desist from harassing, intimidating, arresting and maltreating black trade union leaders;

13. Commends all movements and mass organizations of South Africa for their resistance and united action to make the apartheid system unworkable;

14. Demands that South Africa take immediate steps to rescind restrictions on all educational organizations and to ensure that all South Africans are afforded the opportunity of access to a unified educational system designed to be consistent with the development of a profound appreciation of the brotherhood of mankind, liberty and peace;

15. Condemns South Africa for its military pressures and other acts of aggression towards the front line States and for its support, encouragement and provision of material resources to armed bands and mercenaries who seek to destabilize front line and neighbouring States;

16. Commends the front line and other neighbouring States for their unending sacrifice to the cause of freedom and human dignity in South Africa and calls upon the international community to increase its financial, material, political and moral support to the national liberation movements of South Africa and also to the front line States to enhance their capability of exerting more pressure on the South African regime to ensure the immediate end of apartheid;

17. Calls upon the international community to render all possible assistance to the front line States to enable them to rebuild their economies which have been adversely affected by South Africa's acts of aggression and destabilization, to withstand any further acts of aggression and destabilization and to encourage and support peace initiatives in the region;

18. Urges all States to continue to do everything in their power to increase support for the legitimate struggle of the South African people for freedom and equality;

19. Calls upon the Security Council to impose mandatory sanctions against the South African régime, in discharge of its responsibility under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, in order to sustain the momentum for peaceful change to end apartheid in South Africa;

20. Takes note of the statement made by Mr. F.W. De Klerk on 2 February 1990 and considers the release of Nelson Mandela and the partial lifting of the ban on the national liberation movements and on some mass democratic organizations as constituting a significant step towards the elimination of apartheid and the establishment of a non-racial and democratic society in South Africa;

21. Urges the international community not to relax existing measures aimed at compelling the South African régime to eradicate apartheid until there is clear evidence of profound and irreversible change and commends the following measures, which have been adopted by certain countries and are commended to the wider international community, for urgent adoption and implementation:

(a) Mandatory arms embargo,

(b) Prohibition of the transfer of technology to South Africa,

(c) Cessation of the export, sale or transport of oil and oil products to South Africa and of any co-operation with South Africa's oil industry,

(d) Cessation of further investments in, and financial loans to, South Africa and of any governmental insurance guarantee of credits to the racist régime,

(e) Cessation of all promotion of or support for trade with South Africa, including governmental assistance to trade missions,

(f) Prohibition of the sale of krugerrands and any other coins minted in South Africa,

(g) Prohibition of imports from South Africa of agricultural products, coal, uranium, iron and steel,

(h) Termination of any visa free entry privileges and of the promotion of tourism to South Africa,

(i) Termination of air and shipping links with South Africa,

(j) Cessation of all academic, cultural, scientific and sports relations with South Africa and of relations with individuals, institutions and other bodies endorsing or based on apartheid,

(k) Suspension or abrogation of agreements with South Africa, such as agreements on cultural and scientific co-operation,

(l) Termination of double taxation agreements with South Africa,

(m) Ban on government contracts with majority owned South African companies,

22. Strongly recommends to the General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council, in order to sensitize fully international public opinion, particularly that of youth, to the realities of apartheid, that a year be declared "Academic Year against apartheid'' and that the subject "The evils of apartheid'' be taught in educational institutions throughout the world;

23. Recalls the adoption by the General Assembly in its resolution 40/64 G of 10 December 1985 of the International Convention against apartheid in Sports;

24. Endorses the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts on southern Africa in its interim report (E/CN.4/1990/7, para. 281);

25. Decides that the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts should continue to investigate and study the policies and practices which violate human rights in South Africa as well as infringements of trade union rights in South Africa, in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1987/63 of 29 May 1987;

26. Requests the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts, in co-operation with the Special Committee against apartheid and other investigatory and monitoring bodies, to continue to investigate cases of torture and ill treatment of detainees and deaths of detainees in South Africa;

27. Renews its request to the régime of South Africa to allow the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts to make on the spot investigations of the living conditions in prisons in South Africa and the treatment of prisoners in such a manner that:

(a) The Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts would be guaranteed free, confidential access to any prisoner, detainee, ex-prisoner, ex-detainee or any other persons,

(b) The South African régime would provide a firm undertaking that any person providing evidence for such an investigation would be granted immunity from any State action arising from participation in the investigation,

28. Requests the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts to continue to bring to the attention of the Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, for whatever action he may deem appropriate, particularly serious violations of human rights in South Africa, which may come to its attention during its studies;

29. Authorizes the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts, within existing resources, to participate in conferences, symposia, seminars or other events connected with action against apartheid organized under the auspices of the Special Committee against apartheid;

30. Requests the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts to submit its final report to the Commission on Human Rights at its forty-seventh session and to the General Assembly at its forty-sixth session;

31. Invites the Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights to do his utmost to play a more active role in supporting initiatives for promoting a negotiated solution to the South African problem;

32. Reiterates its earlier invitation to the Special Committee against apartheid to strengthen co-operation with the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts, in particular to transmit regularly all information that may assist the Group in carrying out its mandate;

33. Requests the Secretary-General to provide every assistance within available resources to enable the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts to discharge its responsibilities in accordance with the relevant provisions of the present resolution;

34. Requests the Economic and Social Council to transmit the present resolution to the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Special Committee against apartheid.

42nd meeting
27 February 1990
[Adopted by a roll-call vote of 35 to 2, with
6 abstentions. See chap. V.]

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.