President Cyril Ramaphosa has on Human Rights Day called on all South Africans to unite behind national efforts to curb and combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We observe Human Rights Day at an extraordinary time for our country and the world, as we battle to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19,” Ramaphosa said in a statement on Saturday.
“Regrettably this year we are not observing this day as we usually do by gathering in our numbers as we do with our national days. The prohibition of gatherings over 100 people is for the health and safety of all.
“This disruption is one of many necessary interventions we need to embrace as our nation sets out to meet a challenge that calls for unity, social solidarity and personal discipline among all South Africans.
“The threat posed by this formidable adversary has compelled us to take unprecedented steps to protect the most fundamental human right of all, and that is the right to life,” the president added.
Human Rights Day commemorates the Sharpeville massacre on 21 March 1960, when police opened fire on a group of people protesting against apartheid pass laws, killing 69 people and injuring more than 180 others.