SAHRC Condemns the Burning of Schools

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has condemned the burning of schools in the Vuwani District in Limpopo‚ which it says has affected tens of thousands of learners.
The SAHRC says official reports confirmed that 13 schools had been burnt through acts of arson while unofficial reports put the figure at 17 schools.

Students Becoming New Democratic Citizen

According to Joleen Steyn Kotze, if one tracks South African student activities in 2015, it becomes apparent that a new politics is bubbling below the surface of academic life.

Kotze states that this first emerged with the #RhodesMustFall and #OpenStellenbosch protests, followed more recently by #FeesMustFall, adding that, “The underlying issues driving this movement are about citizenship, belonging, inclusion and exclusion.”

Thembelihle and the Criminalisation of Dissent

“We did not just wake up and throw stones, the protest was planned, then police came and started shooting to disperse us,” says Bhayiza Miya, a community activist in Thembelihle, Gauteng. Miya is referring to the community’s 2011 protest, which led to him being arrested five times. During one of these arrests, the 46-year old father was arrested with his five-year old daughter who was kept overnight in a police holding cell with him.

Food Parcels for Striking Miners

Thousands of striking miners have gathered at an Amplats platinum mine outside Rustenburg to receive food parcels from a non-governmental organisation, Gift of the Givers.

The organisation intervened after reports surfaced that members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) are going hungry as the four-month strike drags on.

SERI Criticises Marikana Commission

The Marikana Commission of Inquiry has denied that the deletion of a key paragraph from its terms of reference means that cabinet ministers will not be called to testify.

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), a non-governmental organisation, is arguing that the deleted clause empowered the commission to investigate the role played by the Department of Mineral Resources and the South African Police Service in the Marikana shootings.

SERI believes that Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, has questions to answer.

Greenpeace Requests Meeting With Putin

Environmental organisation, Greenpeace, has asked for a meeting with Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, following the arrest of the entire crew of the group’s ship that protested against Arctic oil drilling in Russia.
Greenpeace executive director, Kumi Naidoo, states that he was willing to travel to Moscow at any moment to secure the release of the 30 crew members of the Arctic Sunrise icebreaker.

Increasing Use of Collective Violence: ‘Right’ to Assert the Dignity of the Poor

Philosopher and poet, Petrović Njegoš, claimed the immortal maxim that the most sacred of man’s duties is ‘to place a foot upon tyranny’s neck’. Taking this much further, the Brazilian educator-philosopher, Paulo Freire, said that the oppressor’s violence is grounded in the desire to pursue the right to be human and so is not a negation of one’s humanity which is characteristic of how the ruling class governs. But that was the 20th Century and the lessons learned then, was to explore the possibility of peaceful change.

NGOs Petition SADC Over Zim Elections

Scores of NGOs from Southern Africa are stepping up pressure on the regional body, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to discuss the disputed Zimbabwe elections at a summit scheduled for Malawi this week.

One of the civil society organisations, Action Support Centre, has been quoted as saying that the NGOs are also planning demonstrations across the region, starting with one in Cape Town.

Activist Supports ‘Faeces Dumping’ Protestors

The man who pioneered faeces-dumping protests at government offices has expressed his support for the shack dwellers in Cape Town who have adopted the strategy.

However, Ayanda Kota, founder of the Grahamstown-based civic organisation the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM), says he is concerned that the fight for better sanitation in informal settlements has been mired in ‘party politics and electioneering’ between the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) ahead of next year’s general election.

SAHRC to Push for Appeal in Tatane Case

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will receive the judgement in the case of Ficksburg protester Andries Tatane and will consider urging the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to appeal the court ruling.

SAHRC’s Kayum Ahmed, points out that the Commission will be in the position to determine whether or not to appeal to the NPA to make the process forward, after receiving the judgement.

Ahmed’s comment after the Ficksburg Regional Court acquitted all seven policemen accused of murdering Tatane.


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