South Africa

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Incidents of gender-based violence increased dramatically and women’s access to sexual and reproductive healthcare was restricted. Children faced significant inequalities in the public education system, exacerbated by Covid-19: up to 500,000 children dropped out of school during the pandemic. There were numerous cases of alleged corruption in provincial health departments. Millions of people did not have access to adequate sanitation and water. Foreign-owned businesses were targeted in xenophobic attacks, and undocumented migrants were excluded from the vaccine roll-out. Security forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters and hundreds of people died as a result of police action. Violent unrest across two provinces, which was triggered by former president Jacob Zuma’s arrest, resulted in at least 360 deaths as well as job losses, further entrenching inequalities. The authorities failed to ensure that the mining industry complied with standards to prevent human rights violations against communities. Evidence emerged of South Africa’s complicity in war crimes committed in Yemen. Environmentalists feared that a proposed oil exploration project would threaten marine wildlife.

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Death Penalty status

Abolitionist for all crimes

Does not use the death penalty

View the Amnesty International Report 2021/22


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