Media Statement - 07 December 2012

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale and Human Rights Commissioner Advocate Lawrence Mushwana this evening agreed to resolve temporary glitches around the Lenasia issue.

This comes after the Human Rights Commission statement earlier today which gave an unfortunate impression that government is not committed and willing to consult with other parties.

The meeting that was convened on Tuesday erroneously and unintentionally left out other stakeholders, something that will be corrected going forward.

An official who was instructed to invite all parties neglected to do so and the Minister instructed the Director General to sharply call the official to order.

Minister Sexwale, Advocate Mushwana and the Gauteng provincial government are satisfied that the process remains on track and nothing will derail it. As Minister Sexwale says, this is an ''All In'' process.

All parties have to report back to the court on progress as this is still a court process.

Both parties stated without equivocation that protection of human rights is not to be equated with criminal wrongs.

Both agreed that no agreement will be allowed that is unlawful and criminal syndicates are warned not to expect to ride on the back of lawful agreements.

The Minister again undertook to the Commissioner that going forward, the innocent must not suffer in the process.

The Chairperson emphasized that the SAHRC supports the solution grounded in dialogue and premised on the respect for human rights and the rule of law.

This joint statement aims to correct the impression created by the department's failure to invite other stakeholders and which resulted in the SAHRC issuing the statement as they did.

The SAHRC is now satisfied that the action of the official was not a position of the department to exclude the commission and other stakeholders.

This statement of commitment strengthens the level of thrust that has always been there between the Minister and the Commissioner in the interest of resolving the problem.

Issued by the Department of Human Settlements and the SA Human Right Commission

For more information please contact Xolani Xundu at 083 788 5747 or Isaac Mangena at 071 884 8273

Press Release Date: 
Friday, December 7, 2012