rights

Missing Activist: Hundreds Demand Answers

On 9 March 2016, hundreds rallied in Zimbabwe's capital over the shadowy disappearance of an opposition activist a year ago, as the United State-led calls for a probe into ‘politically-motivated violence’.

Protesters including opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, demanded that President Robert Mugabe release information on how Itai Dzamara, a former journalist and harsh regime critic, was seized by unidentified men.

Rights group, Amnesty International, says Dzamara's disappearance highlights a culture of impunity for human-rights violations in Zimbabwe.

Group Commends Church on Same-Sex Marriages

Bishops welcome same-sex couples

Same-sex advocacy groups have applauded a decision by Anglican bishops from across Southern Africa to welcome gay and lesbian couples into congregations as full church members.

The Triangle Project, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people rights (LGBTI) organisation, welcomed the decision, saying that, “While this is a first step, any step which moves towards inclusion and tackling the stigma against LGBTI people should be welcomed...”

Malawi’s Anti-Gay Law Back in Force Again

Malawi’s country’s government, which is heavily reliant on support from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and Western aid money, had previously confirmed that it would no longer arrest people for same-sex sexual acts - an agreement first laid out in 2012 after a prolonged campaign.

When two men were arrested on gay sex grounds in December, Malawi’s Justice Minister has stepped in to quash the case and impose a ‘moratorium’ on gay sex convictions.

Communities Challenge the Restitution of Land Rights Act

Civil Society will head to the Constitutional Court in Braamfontein to challenge the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act.

Former Director of Land Access Movement of South Africa (LAMOSA), Constance Mogale, explains that the organisation’s disapproval of the Act comes as 8 000 claims that are still not finalised.

50 communities will hold a night vigil at the Constitutional Court to voice their disapproval of the timing of the new process.

The Act re-opened the land restitution process for another five years.

Malema Urged to Respect Freedom of Press

The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) has expressed concern over the Economic Freedom Fighters leader, Julius Malema’s alleged intimidation of journalists who work for Gupta-owned media outlets.

This follows Malema’s warning that journalists who work for broadcaster ANN7 and The New Age newspaper that they would not be welcome at the party's events.
"It is unacceptable for any political party to intimidate journalists and to publicly state that they cannot guarantee their safety," argues SANEF.

​Section of Immigration Law ‘Unconstitutional’

The High Court in Pretoria has ruled that a section of the Immigration Act is unconstitutional as it allows for immigrants to be detained without any court oversight.
Human Rights Lawyers, spokesperson, Patricia Erasmus, points out that, "The High Court basically found that immigration detention may now not take place without mandatory and automatic judicial oversight."

Under South Africa's criminal law, all detainees must appear in court within 48 hours of arrest.

​NGO Not Concerned About de Klerk Charges

The FW de Klerk Foundation says it is not at all concerned with the 22 charges of apartheid crimes pressure group Anti-Racism Action Forum (ARAF) has formulated against him.

The foundation’s communications officer Megan Dick says they have taken note of the anti-racism group’s intent to lay 22 charges against apartheid-era president FW de Klerk for ‘crimes against black people’.

ARAF intend to lay the same charges against Adrian Vlok, who served as minister of law and order from 1986 to 1991.

Govts Urged to Intensify Fight Against Child Marriage

Development partners have urged the Zimbabwean government to be more aggressive in tackling child marriage, which is a serious violation of human rights.

According to Phyllis Mbanje, the country has conflicting legal provisions on the minimum age for marriage and its constitution does not expressly prohibit child marriage, and a number of laws effectively condone it.

Mbanje states that the gaps in the law, extreme poverty, poor access to education, and harmful religious beliefs and social norms fuel child marriage in Zimbabwe.

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