rights

SAHRC Probed Over 500 Racism Cases

Over 500 racism-related cases have been reported to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in the past year.

SAHRC chairperson of the hearings into transformation at universities in South Africa, Lawrence Mushwana, notes that the complaints were not only in universities, adding that, “In the 2013/2014 financial year, 45 percent of the SAHRC's complaints were race-related and dealt with the right to equality.”

Sex Workers Seek HIV Prevention

The new series of the Lancet medical journal, argues that achieving an AIDS-free generation will not be possible unless the rights of sex workers are recognised. 

Researchers state that sex workers face violence and discrimination and are not able to access the care, treatment and prevention measures they need. 

NGO Recalls Lwandle's Brutal, Violent Eviction

A non-governmental organisation (NGO) states that a young man committed suicide and a woman miscarried following the eviction of illegal shack dwellers in Lwandle, Cape Town.

Sheena St Clair Jonker, founder of the Access to Justice Association of Southern Africa argues that these are only a few cases she could consult with, adding that “I am trying to assist you in connecting with the real and the authentic."

SAHRC: School Staff Guilty of Racist Hate Speech

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) finds a Bloemfontein school's staff guilty of hate speech towards black and coloured pupils.

In May 2013, The SAHRC investigated allegations that pupils at the school were exposed to dehumanising and racist treatment by staff, including the principal.

SAHRC spokesperson, Isaac Mangena says the commission found the names and remarks (kaffirs, baboons, monkeys, and little black bitches) allegedly used by the staff as being hate speech as defined by the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.

Two Swazi Govt Critics Convicted

A lawyer in Swaziland says two government critics there have been found guilty of contempt of court in a case that focused attention on human rights in the landlocked African kingdom.

Sipho Gumedze, a human rights lawyer, says that the two critics - a lawyer and a magazine editor - are considering an appeal.

Lawyer, Thulani Maseko, and Bheki Makhubu, editor of Swaziland's The Nation magazine, have been charged after publishing articles in which they lamented alleged threats to judicial independence.

Call for Early Marriages to be Criminalised

Zambia’s first lady, Christine Kaseba, calls for the introduction of a new law to criminalise perpetrators of early marriages to help curb the vice.

Kaseba states that criminalising the act is the only sure way of fighting early marriages to ensure the protection of the girl-child as well as seeing a reduction in such practices.

She stresses that stiffer penalties need to be established to reduce the current percentage of girls being married off before the age of 17.

Possibly 400 000 Valid Land Claims

Communications Minister, Faith Muthambi, says there could be as many as 400 000 valid land claims that can still be lodged by victims of apartheid-era forced removals.

Muthambi says the executive welcome President Jacob Zuma's signing into law of the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act.

"While approximately 80 000 land restitution claims were lodged by the 1998 deadline, it is estimated that there are up to five times as many valid cases that can be brought by victims of apartheid-era forced removals," she explains.

IIP to Honour UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

The International Institute of Philanthropy (IIP), an organisation whose vision is increase the understanding of philanthropy and improve its practice for the benefit of human kind, will confer an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Human Letters to Zimbabwe's most internationally renowned musical ambassador, Oliver Mtukudzi.

Mtukudzi, who is also a United Nations Children’s Fund Goodwill Ambassador, was previously awarded a Honorary Arts degree by the University of Zimbabwe and also Masters of Science in Fine Arts by Women University in Africa.

Call to Abolish Death Penalty

The United Nations (UN) has called on member states to abolish the death penalty, saying it has no place in the 21st Century.

Speaking at a special event hosted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Italian Mission to the UN, secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, described death penalty as a cruel and inhumane practice.

Museveni Slams ‘Sinful’ Western Aid

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, has reportedly urged Africans to avoid what he calls ‘sinful Western aid’ after donors cut funding over anti-gay laws enacted in his country.

Museveni signed the controversial anti-gay law, which calls for ‘repeat homosexuals’ to be jailed for life, outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and obliges Ugandans to denounce gays to the authorities in February.

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