• NGO Warns on Fracking in Botswana

    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.

    The Post
  • WTO Urged to Address Food Security Needs

    A United Nations independent rights expert has called for policy changes that will allow developing countries the freedom to use their reserves to help secure the right to food without the threat of sanctions under current World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

    Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, points out that, "Trade rules must be shaped around the food security policies that developing countries need, rather than policies having to tiptoe around WTO rules."

    His call comes on the eve of a high-level WTO summit in Bali, Indonesia, which opened on 3 December 2013 and runs through 6 December 2013, which will try to reach agreement on proposals on developing countries' food stockholding for food security, as part of the Doha Round trade negotiations.

    To read the article titled, “WTO rules must address food security needs of developing countries - UN expert,” click here.

    All Africa
  • ZANU-PF Criticised Over Diamond Fight

    According to Alex Bell, efforts by Zimbabwean civil society groups to push a human rights agenda at the international diamond trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP), are being undermined by some of the key beneficiaries of the sector, including ZANU PF.

    Bell states that the KP’s civil society wing have been fighting a drawn out battle to pressure the monitoring group to reform, in order to better fight diamond trade-linked human rights abuses.

    He further says that the most recent plenary session of the KP again failed to take these reforms on board, with the views expressed by the civil society members of the body instead being criticised as ‘malicious’.

    To read the article titled, “ZANU PF involved in undermining civil society diamond fight,” click here.

    SW Radio Africa
  • WC Elderly Honoured for Community Work

    An 83-year-old woman from Mbekweni township in Paarl, Western Cape has been honoured by her peers for her outstanding service in her community.
    The honour is part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

    Nelly 'Makhulu' Johnson has been caring for abused children in her community for the past 40 years.
    To read the article titled, “Western Cape granny honoured for community work,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Swaziland’s Terrorism Law Criticised

    Rights groups in Swaziland have called for the amendment of a terrorism law they view is aimed at silencing opposition.
    According to Voice of America, an external broadcasting institution of the United States, activists expressed concern over the 15 arrests made under the Suppression of Terrorism Act in the last two months, with detainees being beaten up and given death threats.
    The groups believe there is a need to amend the act in order to open up freedom of expression.

    To read the article titled, “Swazi activists decry terrorism law - report,” click here.

    News 24
  • SANEF Condemns Assault on Journalist

    The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) condemns an apparent assault of a multimedia journalist, allegedly by a member of President Jacob Zuma's VIP protection unit.
    SANEF states that it expects civil servants particularly those escorting the President to respect the rights and duties of the media.
    Eyewitness News journalist, Reinart Toerien has since opened a case of common assault against Zuma's VIP unit.
    To read the article titled, “SANEF condemns attack on journalist,” click here

    News 24
  • Yacoob Calls for Freedom From Poverty in SA

    According to Zak Yacoob, a retired Constitutional Court judge, freedom from poverty in the South African context is one of the most important freedoms.

    Delivering the fifth annual Helen Suzman memorial lecture in Johannesburg, Yacoob, said that as South Africa's democracy moved towards its 20th anniversary, far too many of its citizens still suffer from poverty.

    "Unless we reach a situation where all of us agree on a particular minimum level of humanity and a particular threshold at [which] people would be able to live, and unless we commit ourselves to that, we will be doomed to disaster," he warned.

    To read the article titled, “Freedom from poverty important - judge,” click here.

    News 24
  • Botswana Silent Over Fracking in the Kalahari

    According to Wagdy Sawahel, while a fierce debate rages about fracking in South Africa and elsewhere, the Botswana government has been silently pushing ahead with plans to produce natural gas, keeping the country in the dark as it grants concessions over vast tracts of land, including half of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve - the ancestral home of the San.
    Sawahel says that a new documentary film - the High Cost of Cheap Gas - has uncovered incontrovertible evidence that drilling and fracking are underway in Botswana and that international companies are planning massive gas operations in the future.
    However, he says that there has been little attempt to inform the public, despite growing international concerns about the harmful effects of natural gas production.
    To read the article titled, “Fracking the Kalahari,” click here.

    All Africa
  • SAITF to Take City of Joburg to Court

    The South African Informal Trader's Forum (SAITF) has announced plans to take the City of Johannesburg to court over the removal of informal traders in the Johannesburg central business district (CBD).

    In a press statement, SAITF states that the court action followed weeks of speaking to the city in order to find solutions to the evictions of traders.

    "The City of Johannesburg, in its clean sweep operation, removed illegal and legal traders regardless of whether one was in possession of a permit, lease or not," it states.

    To read the article titled, “Informal traders to take City of Joburg to court,” click here.

    Mail and Guardian
  • NGO Urges Zuma Not to Sign Info Bill

    The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) has urged President Jacob Zuma not to sign the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) into law in its current form.
    In a press statement, SANEF states that it is concerned with the “…provisions that allow for broad classification of information, including that which has nothing to do with security of the state,” as well as delegating authority to ambiguous state officials to classify information.
    The organisation believes that the Bill criminalises the ownership and dissemination of classified state information, even if such information is in the public interest.

    To read the article titled, “SANEF urges Zuma not to sign info bill,” click here.

    IOL News
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