accountability

Jordan Criticises ANC Over Secrecy Bill

African National Congress (ANC) veteran, Pallo Jordan, has sharply criticised the party’s plans for a media tribunal and the Protection of Information Bill, saying attempts to muzzle the modern media are a ‘fool’s errand’.

Jordan warns that the party is backing itself into a ‘lose-lose situation’, and it risks losing its credibility as a campaigner for media freedom, and the Bill possibly failing a mooted constitutional challenge.

South Africa Today: From Freedom to Transformation, Deepening the Voice of the People

Where do we stand?

Fifteen years ago, in 1995, when South Africa was just starting out on the long road of transition, Harold Wolpe wrote about the expectations of that extraordinary journey from apartheid to democracy, from freedom to transformation.

Naidoo Calls for Return to Struggle Basics

Former communications minister, Jay Naidoo, says major weaknesses exist in South Africa's civil society movements and its citizenry as a result of decisions taken by government in 1994 when it demobilised NGOs and civil society, making people ‘passive bystanders in their own lives’.

Naidoo, who currently chairs the Development Bank of South Africa, states that now a new challenge exists: to deepen organisation to give communities the power to negotiate improvements in their lives.

When the Leadership Lost Vision, the Poor Suffer

I share the fatherly pain in the horrible and horrible, brutal raping and guerilla-type execution of a young girl, a Grade 11 student at David Bezuidenhout School, Magdalena Stoffels. I have the same sorrowful emotion with the members of the family whose child/sister was robbed from their company. I put myself in their shoes; imagine a mother/brother/sister bid farewell to a loved one to go to school and only to be informed that, “Sorry, she is no more”. And not to find out that she got raped and had her throat cut.

Open Letter to President Jacob Zuma: Protection of Information Bill

His Excellency Jacob Zuma

President of the Republic of South Africa
Union Buildings
Private Bag X1000,
Pretoria,
0001
South Africa

BY FAX: +27 12 323 8246

19 August 2010

Your Excellency,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our serious concern at two recent moves by the ruling ANC that seriously threaten press freedom in South Africa.

An Unceasing Restlessness

  “In the presence of a member of the Party, the people are silent […] But when the evening comes, away from the village, in the cafes or by the river, the bitter unceasing anger makes itself heard” - Franz Fanon

The time has come for us to give power back to the people. The working poor are exhausted by the cycle of poverty that traps them in informal settlements and townships where seething anger against the state often breaks out into violence and mounting xenophobic attacks as people compete for scarce resources.

Call for Special Courts in Xenophobia Cases

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has recommended to the portfolio committee on justice and constitutional development that government set up special courts to deal with xenophobia-related cases.

The SAHRC, which presented its findings on research into the aftermath of the 2008 xenophobic attacks, found that victims of xenophobia had not received proper justice because there were so few convictions related to the attacks.

Porous Borders Allow Human Trafficking to Flourish

Jose Antonio* admits he has never been employed in the formal sector. For the past ten years, Antonio has plied his trade at Ressano Garcia, the busiest border post between South Africa and Mozambique, assisting undocumented migrants to travel across the border. "It's easy when you have enough money," says Antonio.

Zuma, Youth, Mark Youth Day

President Jacob Zuma has praised the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) for its work in improving the lives of young people, but remained baffled by people who torched public buildings to complain about services.

Speaking during this year’s Youth Day commemoration in Thulamahashe, Mpumalanga, Zuma pointed out that, “It is still baffling as to why someone would torch down a clinic because they do not have a school or destroy a library because the water taps have run dry."

Politicians Stole Billions Since Independence

Nigeria has lost more than US$300 billion to corrupt leaders since independence in 1960. This is according to that country’s chairperson of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Commission (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola.

Ayoola, who spoke at a sensitisation lecture on corruption at the Federal College of Forestry, Jos, said the amount could have made lives ‘much better’ for ordinary Nigerians.

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