8 June 2020
MEDIA STATEMENT BY FREEDOM UNDER LAW
As an organisation dedicated to the rule of law, we at FUL are mindful that the police brutality meted out to George Floyd in the US and the millions of peaceful protestors it has rallied around the world in outrage at a system infected by racism and discrimination underline that law as double-standard is worse than no law at all. Rule of law emptied of justice, fairness, and equality can merit no respect: its enforcers deserve no trust.
We are reminded of our own past here in South Africa – that we need not look beyond our borders for examples of the pernicious effects of racism and discrimination. Even today in South Africa, victims of the worst abuses of the police and the security forces are almost always black.
In recognising this terrible moment in the US, and the universal outrage at Floyd’s death as a symbol of what is so wrong, we join the condemnation.
Closer to home, we point to the death of Collins Khoza as violative of the rule of law, exacerbated by the SANDF response. Reports of as many as thirteen other deaths following arrest or other police action during lockdown merit the swiftest, strongest investigation and, where appropriate, prosecution.
Such deaths are to be abhorred at any time but especially under a lockdown regime that can derive its legitimacy only from protecting the lives of all in our country.