• Despite South Africa’s strong constitutional protections for human rights and its relative success at providing basic services, the government is struggling to meet demands for economic and social rights. Financial mismanagement and corruption—especially at the local government level—have contributed to this issue. The killing of 34 miners at the Lonmin Platinum Mine in Marikana, North West Province in August of 2012 shocked South Africans and highlighted increasing concerns over police brutality and underlying grievances over the government’s failure to fulfill basic economic and social rights. Bills have been proposed that, if enacted, would negatively affect media freedom and access to justice.

  • (From Left to Right) Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Chinese President Hu Jintao and South African President Jacob Zuma wave during a group photo for the BRICS Summit in New Delhi on March 29, 2012.
    Brics should call for the Syrian government to permit the delivery of humanitarian aid across its borders, including from Turkey


South Africa

  • Jan 21, 2014
    South Africa took some steps to protect human rights on the African continent during 2013, but failed consistently to protect human rights at home.
  • Dec 12, 2013
    When news broke of Mandela’s death on December 5, China’s state media joined in the global torrent of tributes for the former political prisoner turned beloved president of South Africa. Glaring omissions in those early tributes were references to “freedom,” “democracy” and any mention of Mandela as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
  • Dec 11, 2013
  • Dec 6, 2013
  • Dec 5, 2013
  • Dec 5, 2013

    The death of Nelson Mandelaon on December 5, 2013, is a tremendous loss, not only for South Africa, but for the world.

  • Nov 24, 2013
    Human Rights Watch today released a short film that explores the work of the award-winning South African photographer and activist Zanele Muholi to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The campaign begins on November 25, 2013.
  • Oct 4, 2013
    If you've never gone without proper identification, it's easy to forget how often you're required to show an identity document in your everyday life.
  • Jun 30, 2013
    President Barack Obama’s second presidential visit to Africa kicks off in Senegal, with stops in South Africa and Tanzania. This is a good regional mix highlighting the development and governance successes that are likely to be main themes of his trip. Senegal’s peaceful political transition is additional incentive.
  • Jun 21, 2013
    Resentment of the west is making emerging powers hold back when they could be using their strengths and experiences to challenge the world’s abusive regimes.