'SA fails to protect its citizens'

HRW says South Africa is slipping in its protection of human rights.

FILE: HRW says South Africa is slipping in its protection of human rights.

CAPE TOWN - The Human Rights Watch (HRW) says South Africa is slipping in its protection of human rights.

HRW launched its 2014 World Report on Tuesday looking at human rights practices at over 90 countries.

South Africa has been singled out as one of those countries failing to protect the human rights of its citizens.

The report also highlighted the killings of lesbians in many townships.

Speaking to 567 CapeTalk, HRW's Tiseke Kasambala said many factors were taken into consideration.

"We are quite concerned by the kind of slide in human rights protection in recent years in South Africa. These include attacks on the free media through the possible introduction of laws such as Protection of State Information Bill."

They also raised concern over violent service delivery protests.

"We are concerned that financial mismanagement and corruption are increasing by the day. This is in turn leading to protests and foreign national become the scapegoats. Over the past year, we've seen a resurgence in xenophobia attacks in the Eastern Cape and the Gauteng province."

She says they have also noted the cases of police brutality.

"We are also concerned by the increasing incidents of police brutality across the country. What we are seeing is quite a bit of this is interlinked to increasing poverty levels, unemployment and I think growing frustration with poor delivery of social services."

In the past year, several people lost their lives during service delivery protests.

In the latest incident, four people died in a service delivery protest in Mothutlung in the North West.

Two of the victims were demanding water when they were allegedly shot by police.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) is investigating the matter.