Government’s vaccine failure is a shameful violation of human rights

Today is meant to be a celebration of our hard-won human rights, but the reality is that many of these human rights were eroded more in the past year than in any other time in the history of our democracy. If we’re honest with ourselves, South Africa has very little to celebrate on this Human Rights Day. It is now almost exactly one year since South Africa was first placed under lockdown following the arrival of the coronavirus in March last year. And during this time, under cover of the ever-extended Disaster Management Act, South Africans have been forced to forfeit right after right as government’s failure to respond to the pandemic in a meaningful, scientific way opened the door for petty authoritarianism and even brutality.