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Thursday, 25 June, 2015
Quote of the week
"…our failure to inspire our children to study could contribute to under-development within our communities in the long-term.”"
- Butjwana Seokoma, Information Manager, Civil Society Information, SANGONeT.
Comment of the week
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Governance, Culture, Torture…
South Africa continues to face criticism from certain opposition parties, civil society and other role players for allowing Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, who was in the country to attend the 25th Africa Union (AU) Summit, to return to his country despite a court order preventing him to do so. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) argues that that arresting al-Bashir would have damaged South Africa’s relations with other African countries. The Democratic Alliance is considering asking the Public Protector to investigate who authorised what it calls the use of state funds to enable al-Bashir to leave the country. However, there is also the issue of a resolution by the AU that sitting heads of state and government should not be prosecuted while in office. This week, Dunstan Mlambo, the Pretoria High Court Judge President, confirmed the fact that government violated the law by ignoring a court order.
Limpopo initiation schools have commenced on 19 June 2015 and will end on 20 July 2015. While government, through the House of Traditional Leaders, ensures that systems are in place for the initiation schools to operate legally, something can be done to encourage the initiates and those who are taking care of them to return to school when schools re-open.
In another article, Butjwana Seokoma, information manager responsible for SANGONeT’s Civil Society Information Programme, writes about the need for South Africans to strike a balance between practicing their cultures and also prioritising the need to acquire formal education. Seokoma believes that there is nothing wrong with initiation schools because “communities are defined by their cultures,” however believes that something is wrong when the community is not playing its part to encourage the culture of schooling after initiation schools. He stresses that initiation schools alone cannot prepare boys and girls to become future responsible adults without formal education. Furthermore, he expresses his worry at the fact that during initiation schools, most baditi (people whose take care of the initiates) happen to be school drop-outs meaning the country risks having a generation of people who will not make any contribution to its development and as a result local economies will suffer. “When parents motivate their children to attend initiation schools, they must encourage them to view education as the necessary foundation to a better life.”
Click here to read the full article.
26 June is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The day was proclaimed by the United Nations on 12 December 1997 in support of victims of torture, with a view to eradicate torture and to ensure the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment.
In line with the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Institute for the Healing of Memories, in partnership with the Claremont Main Road Mosque, St. George Cathedral and The Trauma Centre, is hosting a series of activities to highlight the plight of victims of torture in South Africa from 27-28 June 2015 in Cape Town.
Click here for more information.
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