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Numsa marches to Zim Embassy calling for respect of human rights


23 September 2020
Staff Reporter PRETORIA – The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has handed in a memorandum of demands to the embassy of Zimbabwe. 

Caption: Numsa president Andrew Chirwa raising a clenched fist outside the Zimbabwe embassy in Pretoria. Picture: PretoriaLIVE

The labour union was participating in what has been termed the international day of action, set aside by activists to highlight the plight of human rights in Zimbabwe. 

“Zimbabwe is a country which was once a safe haven for South Africans fleeing oppression under apartheid. Instead of addressing the crisis the Zimbabwean government has responded with brutality and repression,” said Numsa president Andrew Chirwa. Chirwa said Numsa will not be silent whilst Zimbabwe degenerates into a dictatorial state. The union called on the African Union to address the issue of Zimbabwe, by setting up a special task team to investigate human rights abuses being committed in South Africa’s neighbor. 

Chirwa said some off the demands include an independent judiciary in Zimbabwe, where judges, lawyers and advocates are able to operate independently. 

Last month, the South African Police Service used rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of civil rights movement #NotInMyName members, picketing at the Zimbabwe embassy. “It is evident that the Zimbabwean regime is hell-bent on subverting our civil liberties and the country’s constitution through thwarting and prosecuting dissenting voices. As #NotInMyName International, we will thus be picketing at the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria on Friday,” said secretary-general Themba Masango.

“We are in solidarity with all progressive forces of the world and today particularly those in Zimbabwe, in Africa and the diaspora. Our destinies are intrinsically linked and therefore it will be amiss for us as South Africa’s leading civil society voice to be quiet and still at a time such as this.”