Governance and democracy

Zuma Urges South Africans to Fight Poverty

President Jacob Zuma has urged South Africans to stand up and fight poverty.

Speaking during celebrations to mark the Day of Goodwill at Mpendle in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands, Zuma urged communities to form themselves into the groups and be part of government's poverty alleviation programmes.

The president called on people to stand up and cultivate the land, adding that funds are available to help organised groups who want to start projects to uplift themselves.

EU Grants Côte d'Ivoire €5m Emergency Humanitarian Aid

The European Union (EU) is to release an emergency humanitarian aid of €5 million for those threatened by the post-election crisis Côte d'Ivoire.

In a press statement, European commissioner in charge of international aid, Chritina Georgieva, points out that, “Our duty is to work out emergency plans and as soon as possible give humanitarian aid to the victims.”

Georgieva says the post-electoral troubles Côte d'Ivoire had displaced mass populations of 11 000 people to Ghana, Liberia and Guinea-Conakry.

Pro-Gbagbo Forces Abducting Opponents – HRW

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) says security forces associated with Laurent Gbagbo are abducting and ‘disappearing’ his rival's supporters.

Citing statements from numerous witnesses, the organisation says the Ivorian leaders who order and encourage these kinds of grave human rights abuses could be held accountable by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

SANEF Shocked at Zuma’s Zapiro Lawsuit

The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) says it is shocked by President Jacob Zuma's decision to sue Avusa Media for R5 million for Zapiro's Lady Justice rape cartoon.

SANEF says it is surprising that the president waited more than two years before instituting his complaint on the grounds that in one instance he had been humiliated and degraded by the cartoon and in another instance that his reputation had been damaged.

Telkom Criticised Over ‘Whistle-Blower’ Policy

The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) has expressed concern about the effect that the suspension of two Communication Workers Union shop stewards linked to the release of the Telkom dossier, might have on employees thinking about exposing corruption.

FXI executive director, Ayesha Kajee, points out that, "The public needs to be able to access information that is pertinent to the procedural conduct of a company such as Telkom."

UN Chief Hails Climate Deal

United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has described the global talks on climate as ‘important success’ but warned that new efforts as still required.

Ban points out that, "The outcomes in Cancun have given us important tools. Now we must use them, and strengthen our efforts in line with the scientific imperative for action."

He further notes that while there is much work yet to do, the success of the conference has set the world on the path to a safer, more prosperous, and sustainable world for all.

Gender-Based Violence Worries NGO

Gender Links has called on government to declare a state of emergency in the fight to end gender-based violence GBV).

The organisation says countless research studies now show that the problem is overwhelming and the response is insufficient, especially when measured against the target of halving gender violence by 2015 in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development.

Department Supports Transgendered Pupil

The Eastern Cape department of education says school children must be supported in their right to a preferred sexual orientation.

The department’s superintendent general, Modidima Mannya, points out that, "There is an urgent need to advance a transformation agenda that addresses all matters of common social and cultural understanding.”

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