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Human Rights & Apartheid South Africa

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Brandon James

on 22 August 2013

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Transcript of Human Rights & Apartheid South Africa

Human Rights
Apartheid South Africa

By Brandon James
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was a document issued by the United Nations in 1948. It contains 30 articles, each highlighting an inalienable right that all humans should be rewarded regardless of what country they reside in.

Despite being a part of the UN, South Africa violated several of those rights when they established apartheid in the same year (1948).

Cry, The Beloved Country
mentions several of South Africa's civil rights violations throughout the course of the novel.
Part 1
Article 2 of the UDHR states:

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Apartheid in itself is a violation of this law.
By creating a country that divides it's people
according to race, there is no way that it's
people can all be treated equally. Apartheid
was created in order to keep the Natives down
and create a Tyranny by the Minority.
Seeing as
Cry, The Beloved Country
is in fact a novel about apartheid, the whole book basically showcases how South Africa violates the upcoming Human Rights Violations that will be mentioned in this presentation. The division of Johannesburg, the repression of the Natives' free speech, and disenfranchisement of blacks are all examples of race based discrimination brought up in
Cry, The Beloved Country.

It is noted that the city of Johannesburg is segregated when Arthur Jarvis makes the following statement: "We set aside one-tenth of the land for four-fifths of the people." Noting that blacks are denied housing in most areas that are not impoverished.

This also highlights how 80% of South Africans have been denied the right to vote, leading to a government that serves the minority. Kumalo also mentions this when he says even tribal leaders have no power now.
Part 2
Article 20 states:

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

South Africa violated this right by squashing a peaceful strike that John Kumalo organized in
Cry, The Beloved Country
. When John Kumalo proposed a strike of the mining industry, the police used brutality to kill those that refused to work (as it would disrupt life for the whites, seeing as they relied on the Natives to fuel their economy). The protest was stopped swiftly, and the Natives returned to work.
Police Bruatlity
The United Nations Flag
Flag/Map of South Africa
Equal Rights Grafitti
Part 3
Article 21:

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Though not directly stated in Paton's book, it is implied that the South African Natives have little to no say in the political process (that's 80% of the nation again). Most of this is represented in John Kumalo's strong but passive speeches about "taking back the country". This is also noted when Stephen Kumalo states that the only blacks with any say are the tribe leaders, and they don't even have much power.
Part 4
Article 26:

You have the right to go to school and everyone should go to school. Primary schooling should be free. You should be able to learn a profession or continue your studies as far as wish. At school, you should be able to develop all your talents and you should be taught to get on with others, whatever their race, religion or the country they come from. Your parents have the right to choose how and what you will be taught at school.
In Conclusion,

In conclusion,

The South African government violated several human rights during apartheid, many of which were highlighted in Alan Paton's Cry, The Beloved Country. Though the nation has abandoned apartheid, they are still feeling the effects as the nation suffers from severe income inequality and racial tension. Though Paton's dream, and the U.N's dream of an egalitarian South Africa has not been reached yet, they are much better off now, than they were in the past.

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