democracy

Zimbabwe Referendum Test for SADC's Mediation Efforts

The South African Development Community (SADC) will know in the next few months if its mediation efforts in Zimbabwe have achieved the desired effect, when the country goes to a referendum on a new draft constitution, followed by general elections.

In 2008, SADC mandated South Africa to facilitate talks between President Robert Mugabe, his arch-rival the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, and a smaller break-away MDC faction.

CSOs Want Political Parties Off the CNE

Mozambican civil society is by and large in favour of removing all political party appointees from the country’s National Elections Commission (CNE).

That is one of the conclusions of research undertaken by the Mozambican NGO, Centre for Democracy and Development Studies (CEDE) in cooperation with the German Konrad Adenhauer Foundation.

Presenting the results of the project at a meeting in Maputo, CEDE suggested slimming down the CNE from 13 to seven members, none of whom would come from political parties.

Redefining Development: A New Role for Foundations

I have participated in endless conferences about the business of development. I have walked away more confused than ever by the sophisticated development speak and PowerPoint presentations. How has the global development industry succeeded in reducing the impassioned fight for freedom and human dignity to a search for single-issue solutions, typically technology or market based, that can be packaged neatly into fundable projects? How can we reverse this, and what role can foundations play?

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.

A ‘Radical Mind Shift’ is Needed in the Count Down to 2015

Woman-power swept onto the Southern African scene in a visible way in 2012. First, Joyce Banda unexpectedly assumed the post as the first woman President of Malawi in April. She also has the distinction of being the first woman Southern African Development Community (SADC) head of state. Next, South Africa's Minister of Home Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, worked her way through several barriers to become the first woman chair of the African Union Commission after a tough fight in July.

Robinson Delivers Nelson Mandela Lecture

Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, says South Africa has work to overcome several problems, including the Protection of State Information Bill, poverty and inequality, and gender-based violence.

Delivering the 10th annual Nelson Mandela lecture in Cape Town, the former Irish president, Robinson stated that, "You have both the positive resource and the acute problem of a young population with high unemployment and a deficit of skills.

Education Problems Unacceptable, Says Tutu

Nobel Peace laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, says children without schoolbooks in the third term and classes under trees are unacceptable South African problems.

Tutu points out that people going to bed hungry is unacceptable and further criticised the 30 percent benchmark to pass for South African school pupils, after 18 years of democracy.

Referring to these issues in remembrance of Nelson Mandela's birthday, Tutu says he is sure the former president is not entirely aware of the education situation in South Africa.

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