At the dawn of democracy, South Africa emerged as a human rights champion across the globe. The Nelson Mandela presidency is often referred to as a human rights crusade era. South Africa signing and ratifying international human rights instruments. Even during this human rights crusade era, South Africa experienced hiccups in terms of its human rights position. However, criticism reached a peak during South Africa’s first term of 2007-2008 in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) under Mbeki presidency. The country’s decisions to block adoption of two draft Resolutions to sanction Zimbabwe and Myanmar became central cases used to question the country’s commitment to human rights initially articulated by Nelson Mandela. It is argued that South Africa failed to uphold its constitutional principles and the obligation to protect human rights globally. This study seeks to engage the literature critically to argue that South Africa’s human rights status cannot be sufficiently measured through the conduct of the country in the UNSC, an organ characterised by misuse of the human rights concept and abuse of power by three permanent members including United State, United Kingdom and France. The study defends an argument that South Africa has not neglected human rights, However, was a victim of the institutional imbalance of the UNSC, which created the incentive for South Africa to pursue conditional cooperation. Although Article 62 of the UN Charter explicitly allocates competency in human rights questions to United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). This study is built on a conceptual framework and uses UNSC as the unit of analysis because the organ shares an implicit responsibility for the protection of human rights as human rights issues related to international peace and security.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2018.