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Thuthuzela Care Centres are one-stop facilities that have been introduced as a critical part of South Africa’s anti-rape strategy, aiming to reduce secondary trauma for the victim, to improve conviction rates and to reduce the cycle time for finalising cases. Patients don't have to move from one place to another to get help; they are offered the necessary services at one place with all the required resources.

Thuthuzela Care Centres operate in public hospitals in communities where the incidence of rape is particularly high and they are also linked to the Sexual Offences Courts which is a new and unique South African anti-rape intervention. As part of the strategy, the specialised Sexual Offences Courts are staffed with a committed cadre of prosecutors, social workers, investigating officers, magistrates, health professionals and police officers. The courts are located in close proximity to the Care Centres.

The Thuthuzela’s integrated approach to rape care is one of respect, comfort, restoring dignity and ensuring justice for children and women who are victims of sexual violence. To receive dignified treatment; after reporting the crime, the victims are removed from the crowds at the police station to a more victim-friendly environment, then transported by ambulance to a Thuthuzela one stop care centre at a nearby hospital. 
Once at the centre, the survivors receive comfort and crisis counselling from a trained counsellor. After counselling, they are taken to a quiet, private space where they are welcomed by the site coordinator and a doctor to conduct a medical examination. The doctor then provides the patient with information on the procedures to be performed and a consent form to be signed for medical examination and blood specimens. 

After completing the medical examination, the patient is provided with follow-up dates for counselling with the psychologist and briefing about the procedure of the judicial system is explained by the site coordinator. Survivors are assisted until their cases are closed.

As a medical doctor, my role is to make sure that patients who experience sexual assault, domestic violence and those under the influence of alcohol are seen and examined. It is very important to engage with my patients and make sure you gain their trust as you go through the examination.

Survivors most of the time, are very reserved and do not want to disclose information and open up. It is therefore very crucial to approach them in a calm manner and remember that we do not want them to undergo secondary trauma. As a medical doctor I am also expected to represent the patient in court as a witness and to make sure I give valuable evidence in court.

There are a lot of success stories that we see with our survivors getting justice being served and seeing their perpetrators being convicted. They are able to easily become heroes because they have been able to overcome their fears. It is with great pleasure that I am part of the team that assists these ladies to change.

The Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT) and CAF Southern Africa request civil society organisations (CSOs) to submit details about relief of any kind they are currently providing to alleviate the effects of the ongoing xenophobic violence in South Africa. 

Once we have clear details we will urge South Africans to contribute to the work of these organisations either by making a financial contribution, volunteering in the relief centres or donating food, clothing, etc.  
SANGONeT will publish and update details on the NGO Pulse portal, which CAF Southern Africa will circulate to corporates and their employees. 

Organisations which provide the emergency relief and require additional resources from the public should send the following details to info@sangonet.org.za:

  • Name of organisation;
  • What relief is being provided and where (for example address of relief centre); and
  • What donations and other resources would be helpful from other organisations and the general public.

For more about SANGONeT, refer to www.sangonet.org.za.

For more about CAF Southern Africa, refer to www.cafsouthernafrica.org.

In this financial risk alert, CMDS shares some insights that may help you to reduce the risk of such fraud happening in your organisation.

Who releases your internet banking payments (EFT’s)?

We still find that many nonprofit organisations (NPOs) have only one person releasing Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) payments through their Internet banking system and yet they still require two signatories on their cheques. Making payment by EFT is no different to making payment by cheque and so requires the same level of control. Even though the releaser (authoriser) of an EFT may be highly trusted, a single releaser has the opportunity to clear out the contents of the organisation’s bank account with the click of a mouse, either in error or intentionally.

Also, a single releaser could be vulnerable to accusations of theft in an environment in which the accounting system lacks a full trail of supporting documentary evidence and/or in which even an error could be interpreted as an attempt to defraud the organisation. On the other hand, the control environment (particularly the separation of duties) should reduce or eliminate the opportunity for the accounting records to be manipulated to hide misappropriation of funds.

Organisations that have only one releaser often state confidently “but our paperwork (payment requisitions and/or invoices) is approved by two people.” Unless the paperwork is a cheque, the amount that is actually paid could be a totally different amount, to a totally different party, than is stated on the ‘supporting documentation’.

Payments are one of the greatest risk areas in every NPO. However, a significant reduction in risk is achieved by having two EFT internet releasers (the same level of control as two signatories for a cheque payment). Both should independently check and release each payment against properly authorised supporting documents. Most importantly, the person primarily responsible for the financial recordkeeping should not also manage/authorise payments.

There is a cost to this important control. 

Electronic banking that leaves control in the hands of one individual is relatively inexpensive; however, in order to implement the control of having two separate releasers for all EFT’s,  NPOs will need  electronic banking for businesses, which is more expensive, pushing up the cost of operations, so please don’t forget to budget for this cost. 

 

21 March 2015

Celebrating The Freedom Charter, Enjoying Equal Human Rights For All

Human Rights Day is a national day that is commemorated annually on 21 March to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa.

The commemoration provides the country with an opportunity to reflect on progress made in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Human Rights Day celebrations for 2015 will take place as follows:

Time: 9h00

Venue: Rosedale Field, Kwalanga, Uitenhage

Why Human Rights Day?

The 1960s were characterised by systematic defiance and protest against apartheid and racism across the country. On 21 March 1960, the community of Sharpeville and Langa townships, like their fellow compatriots across the country, embarked on a protest march to march protest against pass laws. The apartheid police shot and killed 69 of the protesters at Sharpeville, many of them shot while fleeing. Many other people were killed in other parts of the country. The tragedy came to be known as the Sharpeville Massacre and it exposed the apartheid government’s deliberate violation of human rights to the world.

The democratic government declared March 21 Human Rights Day to commemorate and honour those who fought for our liberation and the rights we enjoy today. Our Constitution is hailed as one of the most progressive in the world. The Constitution is the ultimate protector of our Human Rights, which were previously denied to the majority of our people under Apartheid. We commemorate Human Rights Day to reinforce our commitment to the Bill of Rights as enshrined in our Constitution.

These rights include:

  • Equality – everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law;
  • Human dignity – everyone has inherent dignity and have their dignity respected and protected;
  • Freedom of movement and residence – everyone has a right to freedom of movement and to reside anywhere in the country;
  • Language and culture – everyone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of their choice; and
  • Life - everyone has the right to life.

Government will host various activities throughout the Human Rights Month to remind all South African to continue working together to uphold the culture of human rights. Human Rights come with responsibilities and we all have the responsibility to build a society that respects the rule of law.

Whether we are at the work place, within communities, at schools, or with our partners and children, we all need to demonstrate the kind of responsibility that we would like to see in our country’s future.

We all have a responsibility to ensure that our human rights record and history are preserved and strengthened for future generations.

For more about the South African Government, refer to www.gov.za.

 

Foundation for Professional Development (FPD) hosted its first donor and sponsor acknowledgement function on 18 February 2015 at its Head Office at Lynnwood, Pretoria.

The donors and sponsors that were acknowledged are those who have walked a long road with FPD, from humble beginnings to more recent years contributing to the FPD vision of building a better society through education and development. The aim of the function was to express gratitude and show appreciation for the value the donors and sponsors have added; and to strengthen the social relationships and build emotional engagement.

Among the organisations that partner with FPD; USAID, AstraZeneca and JHPIEGO graced us with their presence and they were recognised with certificates of acknowledgement.

In the words of USAID Southern Africa Director, Cheryl L. Anderson; “FPD has been an excellent partner in working with HIV/AIDS. It has the ability to enrich and develop people. USAID values FPD as a partner and how they are currently reaching out to other countries. The organisation is a great development and they manage phenomenon projects and programmes such as the currently operating Thuthuzela project.”

Prior to the acknowledgement function, FPD held its second annual donor dialogue focusing on issues around South Africa’s Quadruple Burden of Epidemics: Maternal and Child Health (MCH), Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD’s), Gender Based Violence (GBV) and HIV/AIDS.

FPD Managing Director, Gustaaf Wolvaardt was the first speaker and he discussed the HIV/AIDS topic. His talk was based on how to place another 2.4 million people on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART); and he presented the preliminary recommendations of the FPD research task team on scaling up testing and treatment. The study looked at models, suggestions and strategies that can be used to achieve the goal at doubling the number of people on ART.

Soul City programme director, Dr Susan Goldstein shared the preventive approaches to GBV. She highlighted that South Africa is known as the rape capital of the world with as many as 500 000 rapes taking place in a year and the shocking facts that rape perpetrators are people who are most often life partners, they have a higher education and they follow a particular religious belief. Dr Goldstein then presented cost effective interventions which includes; participatory group based interventions, gender norms training and community level mobilisation.

Prof. Bob Pattinson, director of the Medical Research council (MRC) discussed the problem and probable solutions in maternal and infant deaths. He shared that South Africa has a high maternal and prenatal mortality ratio. He also emphasized that the maternal deaths are greatly caused by non- pregnant related infections, haemorrhage and hypertension and the prenatal deaths caused by primary obstetric such as Intrapartum asphyxia and big trauma, spontaneous preterm birth and hypertension. Moreover, Major neonatal causes of prenatal deaths are hypoxia and immaturity. According to Prof. Pattinson’s statistics; 1700 mothers and 32000 children lose their lives per year due to these causes, therefore he proposed the following suggestions be put to place; prioritisation, knowledge and skilled health professionals, healthcare facilities with appropriate equipment, medications and staff, and emergency transport.
 
Prof Kelebogile Mokwena, HOD of Public Health at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University analysed factors that contribute to NCD’s which are mainly socially derived.  In South Africa, the patterns of emerging NCD’s are mostly seen in poor people living in urban settings and this has a negative impact on the quality of healthcare as it increases the pressure on acute and chronic healthcare as services. She also provided recommendations for preventing, controlling and managing NCD’s amongst which include the recommendations, strategic plan to prevent and control NCD’s and strategic plans to prevent and manage NCD’s amongst which include; strengthening the district-based primary healthcare system, develop a national surveillance system and to apply interventions of proven cost-effectiveness across the health facilities.

This Donor Dialogue came at a time when the political commitment is strong and ambitious, when the funding environment is precariously uncertain and at a time when sustainable solutions need to be developed for a lasting impact. It covered critical issues that provide insights into trends and opportunities surrounding South Africa’s quadruple epidemics.

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