The deaths of 144 mentally ill patients and South Africa’s constitutional democracy
By Professor Penelope Andrews | Dean of Law | University of Cape Town
Since colonial times black South Africans have been accustomed to cruelty, neglect and indifference on the part of successive governments. The apartheid government reduced these brutalities to a fine art form, resulting in the system being declared a crime against humanity.
Regrettably, despite its ideological break from the apartheid past, the post-1994 democratic government has also demonstrated a level of cruelty, neglect and indifference that have been alarming.
There are a litany of examples. The HIV/AIDS denialist position of former President Thabo Mbeki was one. Another was the social welfare debacle in the Eastern Cape two decades ago when sustained service delivery failure due to incompetence and corruption led to great hardship for the poor and the elderly. Then there were the Marikana deaths when 34 miners were gunned down by police during a wage protest.
Prof Andrews writes about this critical issue in The Conversation - go to the link for the full article.