- Western Cape Association for Persons with Disabilities (APD)Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.Opportunity closing date:Monday, August 19, 2013Opportunity type:Employment
The Management committee of Western Cape APD seeks to appoint a Fundraising Assistant, based at its Milnerton Office, Cape Town.
- Matric qualification;
- Proficient in Microsoft Office;
- Valid driver’s license;
- Lateral thinker;
- Ability to work and develop good working relationships;
- Team player;
- Practical experience in fundraising;
- Knowledge of the social development sector will be advantageous;
- Ease in dealing with senior members of the community and in social and business settings.
To apply, submit a CV and motivation letter to email@example.com.
Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.
Should you not receive a feedback within 14 days after the closing date, consider your application unsuccessful.
For more about the Western Cape Association for Persons with Disabilities, refer to www.wcapd.org.za.
For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies..
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The United Nations’ human rights office is launching its first global outreach campaign to promote more tolerance and greater equality for lesbians, gays, transgender people and bisexuals.
Called ‘Free and Equal’, the campaign is an unprecedented effort by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to change public attitudes around the world on issues that have bitterly divided the UN's own member states.
The campaign, which has launched in South Africa, the home country of human rights commissioner, Navi Pillay, will include videos and public-service announcements distributed through social media, a new website, a series of fact sheets, and engagement by celebrities well-known in different regions of the world.
To read the article titled, “UN human rights office unveils gay rights campaign,” click here.Source:Times Live
Civil society organisation, the Hola Bon Renaissance (HBR) Foundation, has written to the Lonmin Platinum to ask the mine to pay the legal cost of their employees at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.
HBR chairperson, Bontshitswe Mothopeng, says Lonmin has a social responsibility towards its employees.
“If Lonmin is very serious, it must be able to fund the legal team that will be representing the workers and the injured workers. The same way as government is funding its employees, Lonmin must also do so since it has not apologised to South Africans about the internal matters that ended up costing lives,” explains Mothopeng.
To read the article titled, “Lonmin must pay Marikana legal fees: HBR chairperson,” click hereSource:SABC News
The Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa says the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) deserve praise because it has forced President Jacob Zuma to commit to a date for the appointment of the new national director of public prosecutions.
This follows CASAC’s decision to approach the court to seek an order that Zuma make the appointment within 30 days.
The organisation argued that South Africans' safety, freedom and equality were at stake unless Zuma appoints a national director of public prosecutions to ensure the National Prosecuting Authority's independence, stability and efficiency.
To read the article titled, “NPA head should be appointed by August,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) lawyers expressed concern about the Farlam Commission of Inquiry's repeated postponements.
In a press statement, LRC’s George Bizos, point out that, "We, the LRC, are concerned about maintaining public confidence in the effectiveness and credibility of the [inquiry], which could be seriously eroded by repeated postponements."
Bizos states that the LRC supports the call by Dali Mpofu, for the miners arrested and wounded during last year's unrest at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West, to get State funding.
To read the article titled, “LRC concerned about Marikana commission postponements,” click here.
The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) is calling on government to provide funding for the legal representation of Marikana miners, to protect the integrity of the Farlam commission.
In a press statement, CASAC warns that government's failure to provide funding for legal representation for the mineworkers who were injured and arrested during the Marikana massacre, "Flies in the face of government's latest initiative to restore stability to the mining sector."
The comments follow a decision by the retired judge, Ian Farlam, to postpone the commission until 25 July 2013 to allow lawyers for the injured and arrested miners to file papers at the Constitutional Court.
To read the article titled, “CASAC appeals to state to fund Marikana miners,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) has criticised the arrest of Movement for Change (MDC) parliamentary candidate, Arnold Tsunga, and 50 supporters.
SALC, which also condemns the banning of a political rally in Harare,” calls on that country’s electoral commission and electoral observers deployed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union to investigate and address the recent incarceration of Tsunga to ensure that the rights of all stakeholders are respected and protected during this important time.
The organisation further argue that in the build-up to Zimbabwe’s presidential elections, the country must commit itself to the creation and maintenance of an environment conducive to political freedom, among others.
To read the article titled, “SALC condemns arrest of top lawyer,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
- Since 2008, a series of cases in which young girls have been abducted and forcibly married to much older men in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, has captured national attention. Journalists and community members have grouped these abductions together under the heading of ‘ukuthwala’ cases. Men who have committed these abductions defend them as customary, and some traditional leaders agree. However, representatives from the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (CONTRALESA) and from women’s human rights groups have asserted that such forced marriages go against custom.
In contemporary South Africa, the English phrase ‘it is our culture’ (in isiXhosa or isiZulu, ‘yisiko lethu’) provides a shorthand by which black South Africans explain a variety of practices unfamiliar to their fellow citizens. Calling a practice ‘customary’, however, is more than a simple description. The South African Constitution protects the right to culture and recognises customary law. Of course, the Constitution also protects individual rights, including the right of children to be protected against abuse, which takes precedence over the recognition of customary law. Abduction and rape are criminal acts under South African law, whether we call them ‘ukuthwala’ or not. Nonetheless, men prosecuted in these cases regularly defend themselves by claiming that their acts are customary. These men raise the ‘custom’ of ‘ukuthwala’ as a defence because the act of describing a practice as a custom invites respect and deference. Calling ‘ukuthwala’ - or any other practice - a custom, is a means of inoculating it against criticism, particularly from people outside of the cultural community in which the ‘custom’ is practised.
But how do we know whether such claims are correct - in other words, what counts as a custom? When people describe a practice as ‘our culture’, or as a custom, they may be using any one of three very different definitions. First, there is the body of officially recognised custom that was encoded during the colonial and apartheid period, and that continues to be enforced as law in large swathes of the former Bantustans. As members of rural communities have long known and historians have more recently discovered, these codified forms of custom were often distorted -sometimes on purpose, sometimes through ignorance - by the anthropologists and apartheid bureaucrats who wrote them down.
Second, there is the ‘living custom’ that has been recognised as the appropriate source of legal authority by the Constitutional Court. Living custom is defined by the current practice of local communities. It is both more varied and more flexible than officially recognised custom.
Living custom is invoked by community members seeking to reject the blanket authority claims of traditional leaders, as well as by activists and academics working to reconcile the idea of custom with the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Finally, people also use the term ‘custom’ to refer to historical - and particularly pre-colonial - practices. In isiXhosa or isiZulu, the word ‘isiko’ calls forth historical continuity. The term carries an ethical claim, denying the right of a government formed through colonial conquest to demand changes in the culture of the colonised. For instance, Mandla Mandela, who is chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council and grandson of former South African president Nelson Mandela, defended ‘ukuthwala’ by warning that, “When you are going to discuss culture, do not even try to bring in white notions as such an approach will turn things upside down.” This last sense of ‘custom’ serves as a defence against demands that custom be ‘developed’ to comply with the Constitution. On the other hand, it can also be used to point out the distortions caused by codifying custom. While historical custom does not have the same legal authority as either codified or living custom, it nevertheless carries significant moral authority in public discussions of customary practices.
These three definitions of custom are deeply intertwined. For better or for worse, living custom has been shaped by the official versions enforced over the past century and a half. For many people, the moral authority of living custom rests on its claim to a strong continuity with historical practice. And, of course, pre-colonial practice - itself unstable, flexible, and varied - contributed strongly to both the forms of custom that were enforced by colonial and apartheid governments, and to the living custom now practised.
The co-existence of these three different ideas of custom creates ambiguity in debates over ‘ukuthwala’ and other supposedly customary practices, but it is important to disentangle them. The recognition of a ‘custom’ by the apartheid state is no reason to continue to enforce that custom in the present. Likewise, the fact that a custom was practised a century or more ago does not mean that it should be recognised now. Community members may justify living custom by referencing the past, but a rigid adherence to historical norms should not be imposed from the outside. Custom is not timeless, but - like all other forms of law - has evolved in response to social change, and communities should consequently not be forced to return to outdated practices that no longer suit their circumstances.
The status of ‘ukuthwala’ as a valid custom, then, depends on what definition of custom is being used. ‘Ukuthwala’ seems to qualify as living custom, at least in the sense of being an acceptable practice within some local communities. The forms of ‘ukuthwala’ that were recognised in codified customary law, on the other hand, generally required young women’s consent to the marriage. Historically, the record shows that the practice of ‘ukuthwala’ (including cases of violent abductions) extends at least a century into the past - but so do objections to the practice. The question for the present is what weight to give each of these definitions in our understanding of what counts as custom, and what should be acceptable in a democratic South Africa.
- Dr Elizabeth Thornberry is Assistant Professor of History at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Law and Society, University of Cape Town. This is the first in a three-part series on www.customcontested.co.za on debates over ‘ukuthwala’ as a customary practice.
Zimbabwean police have arrested a prominent rights lawyer running for parliament against the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF).
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights says Arnold Tsunga, who is vying for a seat in the eastern city of Mutare, was detained together with his campaign team allegedly for holding an unauthorised rally.
The organisation says that the detained are still at Dangamvura police station and the police have indicated their intention to transfer them to Mutare Central Police Station.
To read the article titled, “Zimbabwe arrests top rights lawyer,” click here.Source:News 24
- In 2003, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly selected 23 June as the international day of commemorating the value of public service to the community. The UN aptly named it Public Service Day - a day of recognising a competent civil service as one of the foundations of a sound democracy and a successful government. Consequently, pronouncing civil service is nothing less than a human rights issue.
As part of celebrating global public service, the United Nations Economic and Social Council established the UN Public Service Awards to laud innovative achievements and contributions of public service institutions worldwide. The awards promote professionalism, positive impact and prominence among civil servants - crucial measures needed to motivate and encourage service delivery excellence in the public sector.
More than likely, there are few citizens cognisant of the fact that the world celebrated Public Service Day in May 2013. However, there are millions of disgruntled South African citizens deeply concerned with the level of public service this country delivers.
And not without reason. We have seen parts of our country go up in flames as a result of no service delivery. Poverty and unemployment are rife; the gaping inequality gap callously glares at government officials; citizens remain without running water and sanitation. Municipal funds are spent in dubious ways.
In June 2013, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) made a national plea to government departments amidst ‘a serious service delivery breakdown in several parts of South Africa and a perceived lack of government accountability’.
Several government departments stepped up to the plate in a ‘defining meeting’ to address some of the findings from the SAHRC’s National Hearing on Water and Sanitation. Report findings underlined the lack of access to water for some of the poorest communities in the country, poor water quality, the lack of sanitation services in informal settlements and poor maintenance of existing facilities, among others.
I applaud this inter-governmental collaborative initiative, as well as the governmental departments who accepted the need for action, as outlined by the SAHRC.
As a South African civil servant, and on behalf of the Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa (IMESA) serving as the organisation’s current president, we recognise these immense service delivery challenges. They are vast, and they keep us awake at night.
IMESA aims to combat these challenges through capacity building and knowledge transfer. It successfully liaised with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) for the establishment of the Blue/Green Drop master classes to contribute to enhanced water quality and sanitation services in South Africa.
Recently, the organisation also started lobbying for higher integration and collaboration between local governments across Southern Africa. Over the past few years, IMESA has increasingly tabled the importance of not only serving South African municipal engineers, but also to develop a network of support, knowledge sharing and service integration for the municipal engineering fraternity across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states.
As we are on the brink of opening branches in Harare, Zimbabwe and Mbabane, Swaziland, I recognise the similarities in infrastructure and service delivery challenges we share with our Southern African neighbours.
Through IMESA’s collaboration with the International Federation of Municipal Engineers (IFME), we have also come to realise that the challenges we face and agonise over continuously within Southern Africa’s local authorities are not isolated to the SADC countries, but are being experienced globally.
The pipeline of young engineers and other technical staff presents a global challenge to local authorities. Worldwide, municipal engineers lament infrastructure maintenance and asset management problems, adequate budget spending and timeous delivery of services.
I need to articulate, however, that the severity of the inequality of service provision in South Africa cannot compete with anywhere in the world. It is a challenge that government departments and associations of all levels cannot neglect or devalue. In a global context, this is a South African challenge – one we need to find proactive, combined solutions for.
Last month, public service organisations and departments around the world celebrated the valuable role that public servants play in making improvements to society and democracy. Let us take consolation in the fact that the South African public sector shares united service delivery challenges with the rest of the world, never forgetting that we have a unique human rights issue to fight locally.
For more information contact:
Tel: 031 266 3263
Mobile: 082 451 9767
- Frank Stevens is president of the Institute for Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa.