The F.W. de Klerk Foundation has denied that former president, F.W. de Klerk, was under pressure to release all political prisoners, including the late former President, Nelson Mandela, from prison.
F.W. de Klerk Foundation, executive director, Dave Steward, who was the director-general in De Klerk's office at the time and government’s spokesperson, says De Klerk’s says the reason why government released political prisoners is because the apartheid policy had failed.
He says there would have been a catastrophe if the prisoners were not released.
To read the article titled, “De Klerk was not under pressure to release political prisoners: Foundation,” click here.Source:SABC News
The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill has been criticised in Parliament for not making provision for the advancement of gays and lesbians in the workplace.
This emerged on 30 January 2014 during the second day of public hearings on the bill, which is being sponsored by the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities.
In its submission, the Legal Resources Centre argues that the bill should not limit issues of gender equality and inequality as being issues between men and women, and girls and boys.
Meanwhile, the Triangle Project, an organisation that campaigns against discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and other sexual minorities, objects to the bill's definition of ‘gender’ as unconstitutional.
To read the article titled, “Bill raises gay alarm,” click here.Source:Times Live
The Ministry of Police says the Human Rights Watch's (HRW) 2014 World Report is ‘generalising and subjective’ in its assessment of the police.
In the report, HRW says: "Serious concerns remain about the ongoing conduct and capacity of the South African Police Service, both in terms of the use of force in general, as well as the ability to deal with riots in a rights-respecting manner."
Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa's spokesperson, Zweli Mnisi, says the report created the impression that the police used the same approach and operational plan for all for public protests, and created the impression that all police were brutal.
To read the article titled, “We are a caring govt - despite human rights report,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has issued a ‘warning’ to the South African government, that human rights are ‘taking a turn for the worst’ in the country, citing attacks on the free press and escalating police violence as the main reasons for the regression.
HRW’s Southern Africa director, Tiseke Kasambala, says that while South Africa remain a ‘beacon of hope’ on the continent, its human rights legacy is gradually being eroded.
"There is an increasingly violent reaction to peaceful protests in South Africa. It seems that every time there are protests in South Africa, the police are heavy-handed, and use excessive force. We want to see President [Jacob] Zuma and his government make clear that the police must abide by international standards, and use proportionate force," explains Kasambala.
To read the article titled, “Lethal force: SA warned on human rights,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
The Right2Know (R2K) campaign says the deaths of four people in Mothutlung is ‘a symptom’ of increasing police brutality and growing attacks on the right to protest.
In a press statement, the organisation points out that, "Too often media, civil society and government pay attention to the plight of the poor only once streets are barricaded and property destroyed."
The organisation further states that it supports calls made by various organisations to demilitarise the police, as it believes that this is driving greater police violence, including against protesters.
To read the article titled, “R2K: Mothutlung a symptom of police brutality,” click hereSource:News 24
A rights group is seeking a review of the three gay men's jail sentences and plans to challenge laws that criminalise homosexuality in Malawi.
A Malawi high court began hearing a petition by a leading rights group seeking to obtain the review of jail sentences of three gays and to overturn laws that criminalise homosexuality.
"We want the court to declare the laws that criminalise homosexuality in Malawi unconstitutional," explains Gift Trapence, director of a rights group, the Centre for Development of People.
To read the article titled, “Rights group fights Malawi's anti-gay laws,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
The Sisonke Sex Workers Movement says that the African National Congress (ANC) members should lobby for the decriminalisation of prostitution because some of the party's officials used prostitutes' services.
The organisation’s national lobbyist, Nosipho Vidima, points out that, “It's unfortunate that we are good enough for the ANC politicians to make use of our services, but they are afraid to come out in support of decriminalisation of sex work, and the protection of our human rights."
Vidima was responding to media reports that prostitutes made good money during the ANC's election manifesto launch in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.
To read the article titled, “ANC officials use prostitutes, so they should legalise prostitution: Sisonke,” click here.Source:Times Live
The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) says the killing of two protesters by police in Mothutlung in Brits, North West, is an outrage.
In a press statement, CASAC states that citizens expected lessons would have been learned and remedial action taken after the killing of Andries Tatane in April 2011, the Marikana shootings in August 2012, and the killing of Mido Macio in Daveyton in February 2013.
“So far no one has been held to account for the killings of Tatane, Macio, and the dead of Marikana. The failure to act against the perpetrators of these killings will only serve to undermine respect for the rule of law,” it warns.
To read the article titled, “CASAC outraged at Brits protester killings,” click here.Source:IOL News
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 13 percent of Zimbabwean children are engaged in child labour, due to the demise of the country's manufacturing sector.
Labour experts and economists state that parents and caregivers are forced to send their children to work in order to boost household incomes, following company closures, downsizings and retrenchments which led to the depletion of the manufacturing sector in that country.
"Children, together with women, are bearing the brunt of company closures that, according to findings by our retrenchment committee for the period from July 2013, have resulted in an average of 300 workers being laid off per week," states Japhet Moyo, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union's secretary general.
To read the article titled, “Zimbabwe's ailing economy fuels child labour,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
Survival International, a British-based NGO, says the world should pay attention to the potential threat that hydraulic fracturing for gas has for the indigenous Khoisan people of Botswana.
The organisation, which aims to protect the rights of indigenous tribes, reported yesterday that large parts of Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve – home to Africa’s last hunting Khoisan – had been opened up to international companies for the controversial practice of fracking.
It warns that if the Botswana government’s plans go ahead, it could be the first country in Southern Africa to carry out the extraction of gas from deep underground.
To read the article titled, “Fracking puts Khoisan at risk, claims NGO,” click here.Source:The Post