NGOs Advise on Constitution Review

Forum Syd has finished compiling a report after close monitoring of the activities of Tanzania’s Constitutional Review Commission (CRC).

According to acting director, Athanas Evarist, the organisation, in collaboration with Actions for Democracy and Local Governance, has offered the CRC with constructive ideas.

Activists Vow to Challenge the Secrecy Bill

The Right2Know Campaign has warned it will launch a constitutional challenge to the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) if it is signed into law without further amendments.

In a press statement, the organisation argues that, "The secrecy bill remains a threat to our democracy and we will continue our campaign to stop the secrecy bill."

The organisation says despite last-minute amendments, the bill still clash with the constitutional rights to freedom of information and expression and is likely to lead to over-classification.

Court Ruling a Minor Setback - OUTA

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) says that this week’s Constitutional Court hearing is a minor set-back.

OUTA chairperson, Wayne Duvenage, points out that, "We were expecting that it might not go our way, it doesn't necessarily scupper our case at all in the review in November 2012.”

His comments come after the Constitutional Court overturned the High Court interdict which stalled the roll out of e-tolls in Gauteng.

Moseneke Delivers Ruth First Memorial Lecture

Deputy chief justice, Dikgang Moseneke, says the constitution is not cast in stone but it should never be changed ‘only to pander to narrow, sectarian interests’.

In his Ruth First Memorial Lecture delivered at the University of the Witwatersrand, Moseneke, said that the constitution is the most recent expression of the ‘collective convictions’ of the people of South Africa.

Who is Responsible for Providing Essential Services to Women?

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa enshrines the rights of women to live free from violence. If that right is violated they have the right to recourse and to be protected from the consequences of that violence. If realised, this enables women to take up their lives again, to re-enter the economy or the education system and to continue to function within their communities thus preserving ‘the fabric of society’.

SATAWU Ruling 'Disappointing', FXI

The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) has described as disappointing, the Constitutional Court ruling holding trade union, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) liable for a riot damage claim.

In a press statement, FXI says however, it is encouraged that the judgment recognises the importance of the right to assemble, by stating that the right to freedom of assembly is central to our democracy.

The court ruled that the trade union is responsible for damages caused during a march by security guards in Cape Town, in May 2006.

Land Reform Minister Defends Policies

Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti, says that all ‘firm-minded’ South Africans will eventually agree there is a need to amend sections of the Constitution to address the land question as a national grievance.

In what he termed ‘frank talk’, Nkwinti states that clause 25.3 of the constitution which facilitated the transfer of land actually frustrated the government's economic transformation bid.

Stop Xenophobia and Celebrate Africa Unity

Foreign nationals continue to be under threat in South Africa four years after wide spread xenophobic attacks.

The month of May is considered Africa month. This is the month that on 25 May 1963; the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was formed. The formation of the OAU represented the solidarity and unity of African nations and people which aimed to coordinate and intensify cooperation among African states, with the goal of achieving a better life for all the people of Africa.

NGO Urges People to Drive the NDP

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) has urged South Africans to play more active role in accomplishing the goals set out in the National Development Plan (NDP).

In a press statement, CASAC points out that, "People need to be integrally involved in engaging with all the priorities identified in the NDP, particularly [regarding] improving education and health."

Complaints Over Racial Remarks on Social Media

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it has received a flood of complaints relating to recent racial remarks on Facebook and Twitter.

The Commission says such remarks have the potential to violate provisions of the Constitution and the Equality Act.

HRC chief executive officer, Kayum Ahmed, says this trend is disturbing, especially in light of the many workshops and dialogues that they have hosted on hate speech countrywide. Kayum warns that giving voice to racist views in the name of freedom of expression is not acceptable.


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