Journos Urged to Report Harassment

The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) has advised journalists to institute legal action against police officers who continue to harass them.

SANEF has expressed concern over the latest incidents in which the police, taxi drivers and members of security companies, abused journalists.

SANEF spokesperson, Moshoeshoe Monare, says they are extremely concerned about the conduct of the police particularly during the recent attacks on foreign nationals.

Nurses to Give Condoms to Adolescents

During the Ministry of Health’s Sexual Reproductive Health training in collaboration with Super Buddies, health workers agreed to give condoms, contraceptives and other services to young people without any intimidation.

The aim of the training was to capacitate health workers on adolescent health and provision of youth friendly services, to increase access to these services.

Zim Media Under Siege: Mandaza

Speaking at a World Press Freedom Day commemoration, newspaper publisher, Ibbo Mandaza told journalists that Zimbabwe's media is under siege and has been dragged back to the colonial era under the Rhodesia government.

Mandaza who is the director of think-tank, Southern African Political and Economic Series Trust, says that, “…the state is now ruling without being accountable to people.”

He stresses that, "There is too much censorship of the media, especially state-owned media houses.”

Activist Warn Against ‘Dangerous’ New Bill

Activists in Uganda have warned that a ‘dangerous’ new bill seeking to regulate non-governmental organisations (NGOs) would silence critics and “negate the very essence of freedom of association and expression.”

Rights groups say the proposed NGO bill would grant sweeping powers to the government, including the ability to shut down activist groups and jail members.

Dlamini-Zuma Condemns Violent Attacks

African Union Commission chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, says that nothing warrants the senseless attacks on people, no matter what the challenges.

Dlamini-Zuma, who describes the attacks of foreign nationals in the province of KwaZulu-Natal as ‘unacceptable, is calling for an immediate halt, while expressing ‘deep concerns’.

Police Not Making Progress on Missing Activist

Rights lawyers say police in Zimbabwe claim they have no new information on the fate of missing activist Itai Dzamara, who was abducted more than six weeks ago.

In a press statement, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights states that police say “doors are open for any eventualities,” which is critical of what it sees as the force's failure to provide real details of their investigations so far.

Zimbabwe police insist in a report submitted to the high court in Harare that it they are pursuing all possible avenues in trying to find the 35-year activist.

MPs Freed to Fight Xenophobia

Parliament has suspended its plenary sittings for next week to allow MPs to go to their constituencies and combat xenophobia.

Important portfolio committee meetings tasked with passing the budget in time will continue‚ but full plenary meetings of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces have been suspended to free up MPs.
The decision was taken by the multi-party chief whips' forum this week and has the support of all major political parties.

Rights Lawyer Slam Xenophobia

Human rights advocate, George Bizos, says it is unbelievable that a country like South Africa, which had fought against inequality and hatred, could show such cruelty.

Bizos was quoted as saying that, "The xenophobic attacks... have shocked many South Africans, me included," during his keynote address on a discussion on ethics at the University of South Africa.

Bizos adds that many African countries had supported the struggle and good relationships had been maintained with those countries as South Africa entered democracy.

Groups Urge Govt to Tackle Xenophobia

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and the International Federation for Human Rights are calling on the government to reinforce their human rights-based legal framework in order to prevent and redress human rights violations against migrants.

LHR spokesperson, Patricia Erasmus, points out that there are too many misconceptions about foreigners, adding that, "It does not take into account the circumstances under which people document themselves in South Africa.”

CSOs Tell Govt to Stop Mining Diamond

The Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) and Chiadzwa Community Development Trust (CCDT) are deeply concerned that government is going ahead with merging Marange diamond companies without consulting key stakeholders.

Government has finally acknowledged that diamond mining companies in Marange have not been transparent.

This means consolidating the same companies into one unit will not improve transparency since the same players will import their corrupt practices into the new entity, says a statement by the two non-governmental organisations (NGOs).


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