The Constitutional Court has struck down two sections of the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act that made it illegal for adolescents to engage in consensual sexual acts, including kissing and hugging.
In a unanimous judgment, sections 15 and 16 of the Act have been declared unconstitutional by Judge Sisi Khampepe, as they invade on the rights of adolescents to dignity and privacy.
However, non-consensual sexual acts with or between children remains illegal and is prosecutable under the law.
To read the article title “Concourt Slaps Down 'Unconstitutional' Sections of Sexual Offences Act’,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
In a bid to combat crime, Zimbabwe’s government spy programme will now monitor phone calls, texts and e-mails of citizens.
The new government regulation which aims to safeguard national security, permits authorities to order broadband providers, landline and mobile phone companies to save the information for up to five years.
Privacy campaigners are enraged about the plan which may be used for political purposes.
To read the article titled, “Government Legalises Spying on Zim Citizens,” click here.Source:All Africa
The cancellation of the formal event at which Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, was expected to speak, paints a worrying picture of political intolerance and a lack of regard for freedom of expression in South Africa.
Freedom of Expression Institute executive director, Phenyo Butale, says that cancelling an event that presented an opportunity for debate was tantamount to silencing participants in the discussion.
Butale warns that, "This should not be a trend where universities meant to cultivate a culture of robust debate are at the forefront of silencing just that.”
In the same vein, political analyst and director at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Steven Friedman, says the risk of violence is no reason for a university to cancel an event intended for debate.
To read the article titled, “UNISA staff denounce ‘gagging’ of Malema,” click hereSource:Business Day
- The brother of Anton Fransch, killed by security police, will always remember the young Umkhonto we Sizwe member as a “determined fighter for human rights”, but says the government has failed to support the families of apartheid victims.
Speaking to the Cape Times at his Bonteheuwel home, Mark Fransch said he felt ‘deeply hurt’ by the outcome of the South Africa Apartheid Lawsuit which was dismissed by a United States appeal court after a 10 year battle.
Fransch said: “It’s been a very long struggle and I don’t feel satisfied. There has been nothing to help the families of the fallen heroes. I blame our president and ministers for not supporting the class action. They are sitting on their high horses and the reality is that the people who fought the struggle for this country got no support from this government.”
Human rights support group Khulumani lodged the class action more than 10 years ago on behalf of 85 000 families of apartheid victims.
The lawsuit charged companies with aiding and abetting the perpetration of extrajudicial killings, torture, prolonged and arbitrary detention, indiscriminate shooting and rape.
The companies did business with the apartheid government by providing bullets, vehicles and technology.
The court ruled that United States companies could no longer be held liable for human rights violations that took place outside that country’s borders.
For the past 10 years he was confident that the victims’ families would get some reparation from the companies, but 24 years after his brother was killed in an explosion in Athlone, his family had no closure, Fransch says.
“I thought we were on the verge of winning, and this case could’ve been so different if the government supported us,” he said.
“(Anton) was a very gentle person and he always used to tell our mother that he was fighting the struggle for her and for a better life for all of us. I used to beat him up because he made my mother worry but he was determined to fight apartheid.”
Anton Fransch was 20 when he was killed in a seven-hour battle with security police at a Church Street home in November 1989.
As a teenager Anton was away from home for long periods and was often sought by security police. Mark Fransch said he had last seen his brother four years before he was killed.
He describes the scene at the Church Street home as ‘horrific’, with his brother’s blood and some body parts splattered over the walls.
Meanwhile, the Khulumani group describes the dismissal of their case as a ‘major blow’ to victims of oppression all over the world and says it highlights the weaknesses in international law that did not hold transnational corporations accountable for their role in human rights violations.
- This article first appeared in the Cape Times.
The Supreme Court of Appeal has sharply criticised the Land Claims Court (LCC) for ruling that restoring tribal land in the North West to the Baphiring community is not feasible, without any evidence.
The Appeal judges referred the matter back to the LCC to reconsider the feasibility of restoring the agricultural land known as ‘old Mabaalstad’ in the Koster district to the community.
The LCC was also ordered to take into consideration the nature of the land and surrounding environment and changes that have taken place since the dispossession in 1971.
To read the article titled, “Appeal court slams Land Court decision,” click here.Source:The Citizen
Human Rights Watch has expressed its concerns about the human rights situation in Zimbabwe and to request that President Robert Mugabe give priority to improving human rights during his presidency.The organisation urges Mugabe and the incoming administration to take clear, decisive measures to honour the country's human rights obligations and ensure the protection and promotion of fundamental freedoms for the benefit of all Zimbabweans.
The organisation says it believes that this is an important opportunity for the government to help nurture and develop a culture of respect for human rights in Zimbabwe that should not be missed.
To read the article titled, “Setting the human rights agenda for Mugabe government,” click here.Source:AllAfrica
The Department of Police says that transgender people will now be locked up in their own cells when arrested, this will ensure that transgender people are not victimised by other inmates while in police custody.
Deputy Police Minister, Maggie Sotyu, points out that, “…there are identified police stations where they will be kept away from other people. This is a challenge across all provinces."
Furthermore, the Women's Legal Centre has established a protocol on how police officers should deal with sex workers and transgender people.
To read the article titled, “Transgender people will get own cells,” click here.Source:Times Live
The South African Older Persons Forum (SAOPF) has laid a formal complaint against Africa News Network 7 (ANN7), saying a billboard along the N1 near Sandton discriminated against the elderly.
The forum lodged separate complaints with the South African Human Rights Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), saying the television channel’s advertisement humiliated people and violated the law.
On the giant billboard is a picture of an elderly man with the words: “We are not old farts... Nah, not even our presenters.”
To read the article titled, “ANN7 billboard is discriminatory – group,” click here.Source:IOL News
According to the Statistics South Africa’s latest General Household Survey, corporal punishment of school pupils is on the rise in the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga.
The 2012 report, finds that nationally, 15.8 percent of pupils experienced corporal punishment at school during that year.
The survey also points out that the practice was most common in the Eastern Cape (30.3 percent), KwaZulu-Natal (21.4 percent), and Free State (18.4 percent).
To read the article titled, “Caning on the rise - expert,” click here.Source:The Citizen
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) would like to support the union federation Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in urging the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to amend subsection 69(12) (c) of the Labour Relations Amendment Bill, which was passed by the National Assembly on Tuesday, 20 August 2013, as it grants the powers to the Labour Court to suspend a protected strike or picket entirely instead of interdicting the specific unlawful actions within a strike or picket.
DENOSA believes this clause serves as a punitive measure and equates to clipping the wings of the labour unions from exercising their rights, given that the resort to strike is often as a result of the failure to implement the collective bargaining agreements.
Also, what is of huge concern to DENOSA about this Bill is the amendment of Section 69(1) of the current Act, which provides that a trade union may authorise a picket by its members and supporters. The Bill has scrapped ‘supporters’, which basically disintegrates the essence of solidarity among unions during a strike or picket.
This amendment is a stab at the heart of unions, and further minimises the powers and importance of labour representation, and which makes us to believe that government is heeding the call by big business fraternity to relax labour laws. This does not auger well for the workers.
There are a number of collective bargaining agreements that have not been implemented within the agreed timeframes at the chambers, which have become a main source of frustration to both unions and workers (in our case, these includes Uniform Allowance, Pay Progression and translation as per the OSD for nurses).
By granting the Labour Court the carte blanche to suspend a protected strike or picket, as opposed to the interdiction of a specific act within a strike or picket as enshrined in the current Act, the Bill eliminates the option for labour unions to express their unhappiness over non-implementation of collective bargaining agreements.
The Bill will now go through to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), where if it is approved as it is, it will then be signed by the President to become an Act. DENOSA hopes the NCOP will find it in its consciousness to amend this disturbing subsection, which reverses the rights that the millions of workers have worked so hard for over the years.
For more information contact:
Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa
Mobile: 079 875 2663
For more about the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa, refer to www.denosa.org.za
To view other NGO press releases, refer to www.ngopulse.org/group/home-page/pressreleases.Date published:26/08/2013Organisation:Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa