South Africa

Zuma 'Applying His Mind' on Mogoeng

President Jacob Zuma is ‘applying his mind’ on the possible appointment of Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng as South Africa's next chief justice, according to his spokesperson, Mac Maharaj.

However, Maharaj says that there is no timeframe for a public announcement on Zuma’s decision, as some NGOs kept up their campaign to not have Mogoeng appointed.

Secrecy Bill Closer to Becoming Law

The Protection of Information Bill came a step closer to becoming law as MPs adopted a final draft, despite opposition objections and threats of legal challenge.

The African National Congress (ANC) prevailed in the final vote on the contentious state Secrecy Bill with a comfortable majority, as it had in clause by clause deliberations.

NGO Criticises Secrecy Bill Changes

The Right2Know Campaign says that changes made to the Protection of Information Bill by lawmakers fail to deliver legislation befitting a democracy and called for drafting to resume from scratch.

The organisation points out that despite ‘emergency surgery’ by MPs over the past month, the bill still offered only scant protection for whistleblowers and none whatsoever for ordinary citizens or journalists who expose state secrets that reveal government wrongdoing.

SAHRC Concerned About Social Media

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has expressed concern about the unregulated nature of communication activity on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and others.

In a press statement, SAHRC chairperson, Lawrence Mushwana, points out that the current environment where there are no regulatory mechanisms to fully subject, among others, user-registration to the relevant legislative provisions, has resulted in users of these sites engaging in acts of hate speech or other human rights violations.

Call for Law to Deal With Hate Crimes

South Africa should urgently promulgate legislation to deal specifically with hate crimes, although the fight against hate crime should be a multifaceted one that should also strive to change the mind-set of perpetrators.

In his report after visiting South Africa earlier this year, Jorge Bustamante, United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, encouraged the government to introduce a hate crime bill urgently.

SA’s Digital TV Plan on Track

Parliament heard that most of South Africa’s population should have digital terrestrial television by March.

Presenting Sentech’s quarterly report, Parliament’s communications portfolio committee CEO Setumo Mohapi said projections showed that by March, "We will have reached 74 percent population coverage".

He said the estimated period to cover the remaining 14 percent had been affected by the need to ensure the supply chain functions worked at all levels of the government.

Land Reform Green Paper Tabled

The draft green paper on land reform released by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister, Gugile Nkwinti, proposes a single reconfigured four-tier system of land reform.

The minister says that the green paper will ensure that all South Africans, particularly rural black people, have reasonable access to land with secure rights to fulfil their basic needs for housing and productive livelihoods.

Madonsela Warns SA Over Corruption

Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, says the cancer of corruption, appropriately referred to as a crime against the poor, is eating public resources at the speed of lightning.

Addressing a conference of the Institute of Municipal Personnel Practitioners of Southern Africa last week, Madonsela stated that if the stories she had heard during the recent road show themed, ‘The Public Protector Dialogues with the Nation’, are proven to be true, "...then as a nation we are in trouble".

NPO Learns Its ABCDs

Asset based community development training is set to revolutionise the way local not-for-profit Organisations, Siyazisiza Trust and Khumbulani Craft, will engage with the rural communities they have assisted over the past 24 (Siyazisiza) and 12 years (Khumbulani).

The organisations address poverty in the rural communities of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga through the promotion of food security, small enterprise development and the design, production, marketing and sale of traditional and contemporary craft.


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