NGOs

Amnesty International Visits Zimbabwe

The head of human rights group Amnesty International has arrived in Zimbabwe on a visit signalling a thaw in relations between the troubled African nation and critics of its president, Robert Mugabe.

Irene Khan began the six-day visit over the weekend, during which she is scheduled to meet with Mugabe, government officials and victims of human rights violations.

Khan and her delegation were granted entry visas by the coalition government formed in February. In the past, other critics of the government have been barred entry to Zimbabwe.

New Bills are a Serious Threat to the Constitution and Should be Withdrawn

Press Release

7 June 2009

New Bills are a serious threat to the constitution and should be withdrawn
On 1 June 2009 the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJCD) published the draft Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill (CAB) and the draft State Liability Bill for public comment.  We regret that both threaten the foundations of Constitutional supremacy and the Bill of Rights. If passed in their current form the Bills will not only amend the Constitution but also shield legislation from judicial review.

SWEAT Welcomes Debate on Sex Work

Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) has announced that it will be launching a series of activities this month, in the run up to their submission to the South African Law Reform Commission discussion paper on adult prostitution.

In collaboration with the Sisonke sex worker movement, SWEAT is planning a host of information sharing and gathering workshops around the country, as well as to increase its outreach activities.

NGO Urges Zuma to Act on Recession

The Black Sash says President Jacob Zuma must tell South Africans how he is going to help the millions of unemployed and working poor who are facing a desperate daily struggle to survive the current recession.

Black Sash spokesperson, Nkosikhulule Nyembezi, called for Zuma to announce social grants for the unemployed and special attention for the country's 2,7 million unemployed young people.

Nyembezi says Zuma should also send out a loud and clear message that he will prevent any further xenophobic attacks in the country.

MSF Asks SA to Help Zimbabwe

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) South Africa has warned that there is a major humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.

MSF medical coordinator, Eric Goemaere,says his organisation is speaking out now for fear that Zimbabwe’s troubles and their effect on the region are being forgotten.

Goemaere argues there is a mistaken impression that the formation of a unity government in Zimbabwe in February meant the crisis is over.

Ashoka Founder and CEO Honoured

Ashoka Founder and CEO, Bill Drayton, has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Yale University's 308th Commencement.

The honorary degrees awarded annually during the Yale University Commencement are the highest honor conferred by the university. Past recipients include Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King, Jr, John F Kennedy, and Sandra Day O'Connor.

Conditions in Kenyan Refugee Camps Unbearable – MSF

Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) has warned that hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees in Kenya are finding camp conditions so unbearable that some are considering returning to their violence-torn nation.

Joke Van Peteghem, MSF head of mission in Kenya, points out that, “These refugees have risked everything to escape the fighting in Somalia. Now some are telling us they will rather take their chances in Mogadishu than die slowly here."

Paraffin Safety Association welcomes the new Energy Minister

Press Release

12 May 2009

On behalf of the Paraffin Safety Association of Southern Africa (PASASA) I would like to welcome the new Minister of Safety, Ms Dipuo Peters to her new portfolio. Ms. Peters takes the reins from the former minister of Minerals and Energy, Ms. Buyelwa Sonjica who has since been given a new portfolio, Ministry of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs.

Zuma A Policy President – Analysts

The appointment of the new minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, was a “big surprise” says Tom Wheeler, a foreign policy expert with the Institute for International Affairs.

Wheeler says that while Nkoana-Mashabane has been an ambassador to Malaysia and to India, she has never worked in the department itself. He adds that she has no knowledge of how things operate.

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