The KwaZulu-Natal Judge President of the High Court, Chimanlal Narotam Patel has called for women to occupy all aspects of society during his address to law students at University of Zululand’s (UNIZULU) KwaDlangezwa Campus on Human Rights Day.
Speaking at the fully packed Arts Auditorium, Patel told students that human rights and fundamental freedoms allow everyone to fully develop and use their human qualities, their intelligence, talents and conscience and to satisfy their spiritual needs.
“Human rights are those rights one intrinsically possesses by virtue of being human. One need not possess any other qualification to enjoy human rights other than the fact that one is a human being,” he said.
He added that South Africa’s Bill of Rights has been widely hailed both in nationally and abroad as innovative and visionary.
The Judge President noted that women are well represented in Cabinet, Parliament and political parties, yet the majority of women’s daily lives remain unchanged.
“Despite the fact that our Constitution guarantees the right to life, dignity and bodily and psychological integrity, thousands of South African women and girls continue to be the victims of rape and sexual abuse,” said Patel adding that high levels of violence prevent South African women from enjoying their rights.
UNIZULU’s Head of Law Department, Dr Walter Ndaba said they want to make such addresses a tradition to stimulate students. “We are thankful as the University to host a person of his caliber. The Judge President has enlightened us that the majority of our women are marginalized especially in the law sector. This calls for all of us to be activists to change the situation,” said Ndaba.
Patel encouraged all citizens to promote human rights culture with our society. After his address, students were afforded an opportunity to engage in a question and answer session with the Judge President.