South Africa marks International Human Rights Day

Cape Town: South Africans on Monday marked the International Human Rights Day, with President Jacob Zuma calling for the fight against rising racism, which has led to tension in the country.

"There is still a long way to go before we can say we have successfully reversed the impact of institutionalised racism in our country or to remove prejudice amongst those who subscribe to the notion of white supremacy," Xinhua quoted Zuma as saying.

He urged all South Africans, black and white, to "become part of this journey to a new society".

"Earlier this year, our country experienced explosions of anger due to racist utterances and writings which reminded South Africans that the vestiges of white supremacy and racism still exist in some sections of society," Zuma said.

He was referring to anti-black remarks that emerged on social networks with Penny Sparrow, an estate agent, labelling blacks as "monkeys".

"It became clear that there are people who still yearn for the past, where black people were treated like second class citizens because of their skin colour," said Zuma.

South Africans marked this year's Human Rights Day with the theme of "South Africans United Against Racism".

"We know that the majority of South Africans abhor racism and racial discrimination. That is why our theme correctly says that we are united against racism," Zuma said.

He reiterated the government's determination to end racial discrimination in all its forms and wherever it occurs. IANS