• SA Legally Bound to Educational Reforms

    Activists have urged the government to be legally bound to extensive education reforms.

    The application due to be heard in the Western Cape High Court will determine whether the government will have to submit regular reports to the public protector, the South African Human Rights Commission or the Auditor-General detailing how it is remedying its alleged failures to comply with the Constitution’s requirements on the right to basic education.

    Applicants Jean Pease, educationist and civil society activist, and the Progressive Principals Association, a 200-member Western Cape-based organisation, specify age-appropriate early childhood development programmes, mother tongue-medium education, timeous supply and delivery of adequate quantities of textbooks and relevant teaching materials and  professionalising teachers as the four areas in which they contend that the government’s systemically dysfunctional implementation violates constitutional rights.

    To read the article titled, “Education’s legal fires ‘need dousing’,” click here.

    Mail and Guardian
  • NGO: Malawi Women Have No Land Rights

    Malawi’s Nsanje Kuchene Women Forum has said despite women being the major agricultural producers in the country, they remain largely absent at all levels of policy-making, project formulation and management of land.
    The forum's president, Mary Namalomba, notes that under Malawi's formal law, women and men have the right to own land, individually or jointly with others, and the Constitution prohibits gender discrimination.
    “However, cultural biases often prevent women from enjoying equal access, control, and ownership of land despite being the major agricultural producers. In practice women do not have land rights because of socio-economic obstacles such as lack of education, and lack of resources to buy or lease land,” explains Namalomba.
    To read the article titled, “Women have no land rights,” click here.

    All Africa
  • NGO Condemns Death Threats Against its Staff

    The World Wildlife Fund has condemned ‘death threats’ against two of its staff fighting oil exploration in a Democratic Republic of Congo nature park just weeks after the park's director was shot.
    In a press statement, the organisation points out that, “Unidentified callers have threatened the personal safety of two employees working in the city of Goma."
    It says the staff have been involved in efforts to block oil exploration by a United Kingdom company, Soco International PLC, in nearby Virunga National Park, an 800 000-hectare nature reserve that is among the oldest in Africa and home to rare and endangered mountain gorillas.
    To read the article titled, “Death threats' for WWF staff opposing UK oil firm in DR Congo park,” click here.

    Times Live
  • OUTA Warns People Against SANRAL

    The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) has warned Gauteng e-toll road users to think before being ‘seduced’ by roads agency SANRAL’s latest offer to register for e-tags.
    In a press statement, OUTA spokesperson, John Clarke, points out that, “SANRAL is desperate to get the over 1.3 million non-compliant freeways users to play on their turf by signing their terms and conditions.”
    OUTA’s comments follow SANRAL’s announcement that the grace period for e-toll road users to settle their accounts and benefit from the discount had been extended.
    To read the article titled, “Don't let SANRAL seduce you: OUTA,” click here.

    IOL News
  • SAPS Appeals Ruling in the Zim Torture Case

    Several international law experts describe the decision by the South African Police Service (SAPS) not to investigate the torture of opposition activists in the run-up to the 2008 elections in Zimbabwe as ‘irrational and unreasonable’.
    Professor John Dugard, former United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, University of London criminal law professor Kevin Heller, Stellenbosch University law professor Gerhard Kemp and University of Cape Town international law lecturer, Dr Hannah Woolaver, have joined the case as amici curiae (friends of the court).
    Meanwhile, police commissioner General Riah Phiyega is appealing against the Supreme Court of Appeal’s 2013 judgment declaring that the SAPS is empowered to investigate the alleged offences irrespective of whether or not the alleged perpetrators are present in South Africa.
    To read the article titled, “SAPS appeals ruling on Zim torture claims,” click here.

    IOL News
  • SANEF: Info Bill Must Go to ConCourt

    The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) calls for the Protection of State Information Bill to be sent to the Constitutional Court for ratification before it is signed into law.

    In a statement to mark International Press Freedom Day, SANEF’s chairperson, Mpumelelo Mkhabela, says a public interest defence clause in the Bill would truly enhance the ability of media to assist in the fight against corruption.

    Mkhabela notes that, “The Bill is arguably the biggest threat to press freedom and freedom of expression since the dawn of democracy. We stand ready to challenge it in court should the president sign it into law.”

    To read the article titled, “Info bill must go to constitutional court - SANEF,” click here.

    Mail and Guardian
  • De Klerk Foundation: Media Freedom is Threatened

    The FW De Klerk Foundation expresses concern about possible threats to media freedom in South Africa on World Press Freedom Day, 3 May 2014, under the theme which reflects the media’s importance in development, the safety of journalists and the rule of law as well as the sustainability and integrity of journalism.

    The Foundation’s spokesperson, Jacques du Preez announces that while media freedom was protected by the Constitution when weighed against the theme for this year’s Press Freedom Day, South Africa did not appear to entirely measure up.

    “Although press freedom in South Africa… is enjoyed and protected, there are indicators of threats to press freedom,” states Du Preez.

    To read the article titled, “Media freedom is threatened - De Klerk Foundation,” click here.

    The Citizen
  • Angola Defends Human Rights

    Angola’s justice minister, Rui Mangueira, states that the Angolan nation has, since the proclamation of independence, promoted and defended the rights and freedoms of human beings, both individually and organised in social groups.

    According to Mangueira, such rights are guaranteed by the legislative, executive and judicial powers, through their organs and institutions, as stipulated in various international legal instruments.

    The officials noted that the vision of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights has been progressively implemented in Angola with good results, especially in boosting public institution tasked with ensuring these grounds.

    To read the article titled, “Angola defends human rights - Justice Minister,” click here.

    All Africa
  • MISA Criticises SADC Over Inequality

    The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has noted that women are still not being considered as news makers in most countries in the Southern Africa Community Development (SADC) region.

    MISA Lesotho national director, Tsebo Mats’asa, says statistics show that women were not still not news makers in the region as such there is need to continue putting interventions that will ensure that women’s voices are heard.

    Mats’asa says it is for this reason that MISA is carrying out activities such as capacity-building and sensitisation of media practitioners and women to ensure women’s views were heard.

    To read the article titled, “MISA bemoans gender inequality,” click here.

    Times of Zambia
  • NGO Urges Zambia to Act on KCM

    Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) says the government must keep an eye on Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and act decisively to protect Zambians' interests in the mine.

    Commenting on the protests by scores of people in London against Vedanta Resources, the majority shareholder in Konkola Copper Mines, SARW country coordinator, Edward Lange, says the mineral resources in Zambia are being literally looted because the mining communities and the country at large are not seeing tangible benefits.

    Lange says that KCM is expected to show remorse and take a re-look at its past record in relation to the revelations and make amends with the people not only in Zambia, but across the globe.

    To read the article titled, “ARW urges govt to keep an eye on KCM,” click here .

    The Post
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