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Botswana Progresses on Gender and Development

Botswana has made remarkable progress against the targets of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development set for 2015.

While the country has not yet signed the SADC Gender Protocol because ‘some its time frames unrealistic’, legislators remain committed to its ideals and targets.

Botswana did make a commitment to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015 and the SADC Gender Protocol goes a step further in setting out a detailed roadmap for the achievement of the MDGs.

NGOs Urged to Engage MPs

Zambia’s Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs (CLAGHRGMCA) has asked non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to ensure members of Parliament (MPs) are engaged in all planning activities when drafting child marriage laws in that country.

Kabwe Central MP, James Kapyanga, points out that, “MPs can also get involved in the fight on ending child marriages, especially in the drafting and discussions of the draft laws instead of waiting for these draft pieces of legislation to come to Parliament”.

SANEF Hails the Release of Editor and Lawyer

The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) has applauded the release of Swaziland’s Nation magazine editor, Bheki Makhubu, and human rights lawyer and columnist, Thulani Maseko, from prison.

The pair spent more than a year behind bars for articles they had written highlighting corruption by judicial officers.

They were convicted on trumped up charges of contempt of court after they exposed that a traffic inspector was disciplined for impounding the official vehicle of a judge after it was used for unauthorised trips.

SAPS Leadership Negative Influenced Public Safety

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) says simply replacing Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, because of Marikana will not be enough.

ISS’ Gareth Newham, will lay out “the steps that need to be taken to undo three years’ worth of damage due to profound mismanagement”.

An ISS briefing will reflect on the findings of Judge Ian Farlam’s report into the circumstances around the killing of 44 people at the Lonmin mine in August 2012 and “What they mean for the future of the policing in South Africa.”

Xenophobia Discussed at SADC

South Africa has continued to face questions about the recent xenophobic violence directed at African immigrants.

The issue was raised during a discussion on migration on the side-lines of the 37th Session of the South African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum meeting in Durban.

SANRAL Denies JPSA’s Licence Claim

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has scorned claims by Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) that a motorist was allegedly prevented from renewing his licence disk due to an outstanding e-toll debt.

In a press statement, SANRAL points out that, “Justice Project South Africa has become aware of the fact that members of the public are being refused licence disc renewals for their vehicles and that misinformation and often outrageous explanations as to why this is happening are prolific.”

Court Orders Release of Lawyer and Editors

The Supreme Court in Swaziland has ordered the release of human rights lawyer, Thulani Maseko, and editor, Bheki Makhubu.

Maseko and Makhubu were convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to two years in prison in March 2014.

According to the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), which has supported their case, their release follows an appeal against their conviction, which was not opposed by the directorate of public prosecutions.

Zim, NGOs Bicker Over Diamond Sales

The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme intercessional plenary meeting took place in Luanda, Angola, this month with Zimbabwe and some Western nations and human rights groups renewing their hostilities.

Resource Exploitation Watch chairperson, Tafadzwa Musarara, and some government insiders are accusing the West of trying to block trade in Zimbabwean gems alleging that they might be laundered through the sale of diamonds in the United Arab Emirates which is under intense scrutiny.

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