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Government Urged to Recognise Xenophobia

Three NGOs, the Social Justice Coalition, Equal Education and the Treatment Action Campaign, say officials seem to be avoiding use of the word xenophobia in the hope that the violence in the Western Cape would subside.

In a press statement, the three organisations point out that, “We call on local, provincial and national government to immediately recognise that individuals around Cape Town and the Western Cape are being targeted based on their nationality.”

Xenophobic Environment 'Still Here' - SAIRR

The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) says there has been little change in the environment that gave rise to the xenophobia attacks of 2008.

SAIRR spokesperson, Catherine Schulze, says the institute is not predicting an outbreak of violence, as there is not enough information to do so.

Schulze argues that poverty, unemployment, and incomes indicators have not shifted significantly since 2008, while high levels of crime and violence are an everyday reality in many poor communities.

Take Xenophobia Threats Seriously, Says SACC

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) says it is concerned that government officials are not taking the xenophobic threats seriously, claiming that these are just rumours.

SACC general-secretary, Eddie Makue, points out that, “This is not just a rumour. The threats for us are real and we want to see action from the police."

Makue says the SACC as a civil society organisation is not happy that the Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, adding that the threats were just rumours to discredit the World Cup.

Amnesty Demands the Release of Activists

London-based human rights organisation, Amnesty International (AI), has demanded Zimbabwean authorities release an activist who exposed brutal abuses by security forces at a controversial diamond field in the east of the country.

AI Africa director, Erwin van der Borgt, describes, Farai Maguwu, as a ‘prisoner of conscience’ who is being persecuted for carrying out his lawful work of monitoring and documenting alleged human rights violations at Chiadzwa.

Keep the Flag Flying Long After Final Whistle Sounds

South Africa is festooned with the national flag, and extraordinary energy is being dedicated to developing popular public imagery of a nation united. But where does all this apparent patriotism leave us once the last goal has been scored and the flags and banners have been taken down?

In the past few weeks South Africa has opened its arms to the world and billions of television viewers have been watching every day as the World Cup proceeds. The finals are just less than a week away.

Service Delivery: How About Real Equitable Distribution of State Revenue to Less Endowed Municipalities?

Promises, promises! The South African voting public has been promised a great many things. Adequate housing, access to water, electricity, sanitation, education, health care, decent transportation, economic opportunities - in short, a ‘better life for all’. Large parts of the population suffer from unemployment, hunger, deprivation and fear (Bhorat and Kanbur, 2006). They lack access to the very basic necessities that will improve their lives and make it possible for them to create a better living environment for the next generation of citizens.

Xenophobia Fears Escalate – PASSOP

People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP) says foreigners living in the Western Cape have been gripped by unease and many have left their homes in townships to rent accommodation elsewhere.

PASSOP chairperson, Braam Hanekom, points out that, "The reality is that there are people who are borrowing money to move out of local communities. Some have resigned from their jobs and have returned to the countries of their origin. They say it is better to die in their own countries than to die here."

FXI Comments on the Rasool Saga

The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) has warned that former Western Cape premier, Ibrahim Rasool, saga could compromise media independence.

FXI executive director, Ayesha Kajee, is of the view that the allegations raise serious questions about journalistic integrity.

According to reports a former newspaper journalist has admitted that he and a senior colleague were paid to assist the former Western Cape Premier against political rivals.

FXI Appoints New Executive Director

The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) has appointed political analyst, Ayesha Kajee, as its new executive director.

In a press statement, Kajee points out that her appointment comes at a time when rapid advances in information and communication technology posed opportunities and threats.

Kajee says she is looking forward to ‘strategically expanding’ the FXI's project base and building its profile as a regional leader in championing and protecting freedom of expression and associated rights.

Swiss NGO Closes Shop in Rwanda

Paix Et Decentralisation (PED), a Swiss NGO which has been operating in the districts of Karongi, Nyamasheke, Rusizi and Rutsiro, has closed shop.

Since 2003, the programme has funded 714 projects worth Rwf1.6 billion in four areas of infrastructure and equipment maintenance, social projects like construction of schools, hospitals and capacity building.

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