02/04/2009 21:08 - (SA)
Pretoria - Civil rights initiative AfriForum is taking the government to the Human Rights Commission for failing to protect three Pretoria women who were tortured and shot recently.
"It is high time for government to start accepting responsibility for its failures," said AfriForum's head of community safety, Nantes Kelder in a statement.
The government was not fulfilling its constitutional duty to protect its citizens, he charged.
AfriForum laid the complaint on behalf of three women who were attacked in a house in Bronkhorstspruit, east of Pretoria in February.
Two men attacked Anna Myburgh, 55, her employee Paulina Moyana, 26, and her daughter in-law Edri Myburgh, 26.
"The victims were tortured during the attack, for example by burning them with a hot iron. Myburgh (Anna) was also stabbed several times with a knife. The three women were then bundled into the Myburgh's car..."
Myburgh and her daughter-in-law were dropped off along a farm road, where Anna was shot in the back of her head and Edri shot in the face. Both women survived.
The two men then drove off with Paulina still in the car. They were involved in an accident, in which she was paralysed.
"Article 12 [of the Bill of Rights] clearly states that every individual inter alia has the right neither to be tortured, nor to be treated in a cruel, inhumane manner."
He said AfriForum had asked the SAHRC to ensure the three women were compensated for the trauma they experienced, as well as for their medical expenses and loss of income.
"If the only way we can call government to account is the Constitution, this is the way it will have to be done," he said.