President Jacob Zuma has called on South Africans to join hands together to put an end to the superstition and stereotyping of people living with disabilities.
Speaking at a disability rights summit hosted by the Social Development Department in Centurion, President Jacob Zuma said that some of the clichés used on people with disabilities encroaches and stands in the way of upholding their rights.
The summit which is going to last for three days will focus its work on seeing the practical implementation of the white paper on the rights of persons living with disabilities.
President Zuma made the declaration at the summit that the needs of people living with disabilities should no longer be side-lined or placed in a less influential position than it should be. Not by the government or by any other person.
“We must do away with segregated facilities and development opportunities for persons with disabilities,” he said.
President Jacob Zuma also implored the public to endeavor to change their ill-mannered attitude towards people with disabilities and support the government as it implements its own efforts to stop the superstitions.
He described these stereotypes and superstitions as damaging and hurtful to people with disabilities.
“We should remove stereotypes and superstition that have proven to be detrimental.”
A typical example of these superstitions and stereotypes is the adoption of 9-year-old albino by a gang of criminals also known as ‘albino hunters’ in Malawi. They raid the streets of Malawi armed with machetes, knives and axes abducting and often killing albinos both in broad daylight and in the dead of night.
Malawians blame witch doctors who convince these get-rich-quick people creating the impression that the body parts of albinos constitute potent charms and may even cure HIV and AIDS!