rights

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.

Women Sterilised Without Consent

The Lesotho Chapter of Women and Law - Southern Africa is conducting a study to determine the truth behind reports that HIV-positive women are being sterilised without their consent in public hospitals.

Various HIV positive women claim that they have had their wombs removed, or fallopian tubes tied, without the consultation after their babies were delivered by caesarean section.

The Ministry of Health says it is not aware of the situation, and has called on the women to come forward with information.

Police Accused of Shooting Students

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) claims that the North West police fired rubber bullets and live ammunition on protesting students in Mmabatho.

DENOSA states that while protesting against the closure of the Mmabatho Nursing College, a student leader was assaulted and arrested.

The organisation is appalled by what it calls the reckless actions of police, following the closure of the college nearly two months ago.

Machel Ends Period of Mourning

The Graça Machel Trust says former President, Nelson Mandela's widow, Graça Machel, has returned to public life after six months of mourning.

In a press statement, the organisation points out that, "After six months of retreat, mourning the death of Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela, Mrs Graça Machel will now return to her active role as a global advocate for women's and children's rights."

Western Cape APD: Social Worker

 The Western Cape Association for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is a nonprofit organisation, affiliated to the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa. The Western Cape APD serves as a pro-active forum for the advancement of persons with physical disabilities so as to enable them to attain their maximum level of independence and integration into the community, and is active in the prevention of physical disablement.

Western Cape APD seeks to appoint one Social Worker, based in Knysna, Western Cape.

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