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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Woman's plight remembered

By unknown | Mar 23, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

As thousands of South Africans celebrated Human Rights Day on Saturday, the day had a renewed meaning to Zandile Mpanza of Umlazi, outside Durban.

On July 22, 2007, Mpanza was assaulted and forced to parade naked in front of men at Seventeen Section Men's Hostel for wearing pants in a male-dominated hostel where women are allegedly forbidden to wear pants.

Her experience cajoled the provincial government, human rights organisations and police to highlight human rights, which includes a right to wear whatever they feel comfortable in.

"Human Rights Day means so much to me because I was once a victim. To be forced to parade naked in front of men in broad daylight was so humiliating," said Mpanza.

As the day was celebrated at Kings Park Stadium in Durban on Saturday, premier Sbu Ndebele described human rights as "those basic and fundamental rights to which every person - for the simple reason of being human - is entitled to".

Ndebele also launched the District Human Rights Forums, which will "assist in ensuring that citizens receive effective and efficient services from government".


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