Aljazeera | Michael Marchant & Zen Mathe | 19 April 2021
The South African state has abandoned its commitment to human rights to profit from weapons deals. In so doing, it has become complicit in war crimes in Yemen.
Democratic South Africa’s commitment to human rights has never been solely inward-looking. Its constitutional order was crafted with a deep awareness of the South African apartheid state’s complicity in human rights violations in other countries, as well as a recognition that the crime of apartheid itself was enabled and supported by the regime’s corporate and state allies around the world. In this context, Democratic South Africa committed itself to fulfilling the human rights of people in the country, while also “championing the values of human rights [and] democracy” around the world. Yet, faced with the world’s worst contemporary humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the South African state has abandoned this commitment to human rights in exchange for the chance to profit from weapons deals. In so doing, it has become complicit in war crimes in Yemen.