• SAHRC Says Prisoners’ Rights Are Violated

    The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says the right to a healthy environment of the suspects detained at Maake police station outside Tzaneen in Limpopo has been violated.
    About 51 awaiting trial inmates are reportedly forced to relieve themselves in plastic bags and on their clothes because the police station did not have water.
    SAHRC spokesperson, Victor Mavhidula, points out that, “We have not yet visited the police station. We will visit the police station and see if there is any other contingency plan that the management are implementing to assist the inmates. I think the situation is very serious if people are being locked up and they are not being provided with water and they cannot go to the toilet.”
    To read the article titled, “Awaiting trial inmates violated: Human Rights Commission,” click here.

    SABC News
  • MISA Challenges National Assembly Ban

    The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia, has challenged the alleged decision of the National Assembly to bar its members from covering the opening of the Fourth Session of the 11th National Assembly.

    MISA described the decision as discriminatory and a violation of press freedom.

    MISA board chairperson, Hellen Mwale, asked the Lusaka High Court to declare that the move by the National Assembly and Zambia News and Information Services to bar its members from entering the Parliament precincts to cover the event, on 19 September 2014, is discriminatory and contrary to Article 23 of the Constitution.

    To read the article titled, “MISA challenges Parley ‘ban’,” click here.

    Times of Zambia
  • Nzimande Calls NW University an Apartheid Enclave

    Minister of higher education and training, Blade Nzimande, believes the North West University’s Potchefstroom campus is an apartheid enclave - a hostile and foreign environment for people who are not white Afrikaners.

    Following a video clip showing students performing the Nazi-styled ‘Heil Puk’ salute, Nzimande was scornful of the university’s previous vice-chancellor, Theuns Eloff, who retired just after the video emerged, stating that he had not been prepared to transform Pukke - the traditional name for the Potchefstroom campus of North West University.

    Nzimande is of the view that the merger of the three former universities in 2004 - Potchefstroom, Vaal and Mafikeng - had been designed to keep the Potchefstroom campus Afrikaans and white, where initiation rituals for new students were structured to achieve this, and violate human rights and dehumanise first-year students.

    To read the article titled, “Campus an ‘apartheid enclave’,” click here.

    IOL News
  • Mokonyane Urges Rand Water to Communicate Better

    Water and sanitation minister, Nomvula Mokonyane's office urges Rand Water to work closer and to communicate better with communities regarding water supply interruptions and other challenges.

    Speaking at a meeting with the board, Mokonyane reminds the board that “[as a member]… you have a responsibility towards the communities you serve."

    The board had to close the gap between their commitment to communities and what was eventually delivered, it also had to look at their current way of doing things, and how it could possibly be changed for positive results.

    To read the article titled, “Mokonyane: Rand Water must communicate better,” click here.

    News 24
  • Zambia Commended Over Child Marriage

    Nobel peace laureate and anti-apartheid icon, Desmond Tutu, is impressed with the remarkable coalition among stakeholders in fighting child marriages in Zambia.

    Speaking during the Girls Not Brides, Global Partnership to End Child Marriages press conference, Tutu commended the Zambian government for launching the national campaign to end child marriages.

    “It is encouraging to see that Government, civil society, traditional leaders and others in Zambia have recognised that child marriage has a devastating impact on girls and the nation as a whole,” he said.

    To read the article titled, “Tutu hails Zambia’s fight against child marriages,” click here.

    Times of Zambia
  • Inhumane Zim Holding Cells Slammed

    Zimbabwean lawyers condemn reported assaults, deaths of suspects in police custody, as well as conditions in holding cells they dub unfit for human habitation.

    During a parliamentary committee on human rights, president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, Lloyd Mhishi, expresses that, “There have been disturbing reports of deaths in police custody and some of our members have reported that some of their clients have been assaulted or coerced to make confessions.”

    Meanwhile, human rights organisations have denounced prison conditions in Zimbabwe, saying suspects are often held in overcrowded cells without functioning bathroom facilities, and issued threadbare and often lice-infested blankets.

    To read the article titled, “Lawyers blast inhumane Zim holding cells,” click here.

    IOL News
  • Law Used to Clamp Down on Protests

    Report shows that protestors have been unjustly targeted in troubled settlements such as Thembelihle in the Northern Cape.

    Bhayiza Miya, a politically and media savvy leader, has lost six of his teeth and a month of his life to community protests in Thembelihle, where he has been arrested, prosecuted and forcefully warned by police to stay away from big gatherings.

    Miya says that they are planning to go back to the streets, where there will be a peaceful march, however “…The police will come. When they arrive in that situation they will do what they normally do: they will start firing on us to get us to disperse.”

    To read the article titled, “Law used to 'clamp down on dissent',” click here.

    Mail and Guardian
  • One in 10 Girls Sexually Abused Worldwide - UN

    A United Nations (UN) report finds that around 120 million girls around the world, close to one in 10, have been raped or sexually assaulted by the time they turn 20.

    Drawing on data from 190 countries, the global report by child welfare agency United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), entitled ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ also reveals that one fifth of all murder victims are children and teens, with homicide the leading cause of death among male youths in Latin American countries.

    UNICEF executive director, Anthony Lake states that, "These are uncomfortable facts - no government or parent will want to see them."

    To read the article titled, “One in 10 girls sexually abused worldwide: UN report,” click here.

    Sowetan Live
  • Botswana Ordered to Provide ARVs to Prisoners

    Botswana's High Court orders the government to provide treatment to HIV-positive foreign prisoners at the state's expense.

    Justice Bengbame Sechele, ruled that the denial of anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment to foreign inmates violated their rights.

    The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS supports the challenge against government policy, saying it violated the prisoners' constitutional right to equality, dignity and non-discrimination.

    To read the article titled, “Botswana has to pay HIV treatment for foreigners,” click here.

    News 24
  • Swazi Govt Clamps Down on Free Speech

    The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) expresses its deepest concern at reports from Swaziland that Vincent Ncongwane, secretary general of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), was prevented from speaking at a gathering.
    Ncongwane, who returned from the United States (US) where he attended a civil society meeting held to coincide with the US-Africa Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama, was due to address the gathering on the outcomes of this visit.
    SALC's executive director, Nicole Fritz states that, "The Swazi government is clearly angered that representatives of civil society dared speak out about the withdrawal of Swaziland's eligibility under the American African Growth and Opportunities Act” adding that, "It is distressing, but not surprising, that this now leads the authorities to actively prevent individuals who disagree with the official position from expressing their views."
    To read the article titled, “Continuing clamp down on free speech in Swaziland,” click here.

    All Africa
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