Justice Minister, Jeff Radebe, has called on progressive lawyers to step up to the plate to protect the constitution, saying this role had been ‘usurped by unexplained forces whose silence during apartheid was deafening’.
The Zimbabwe Exiles Forum has warned that the 31 December deadline of documenting Zimbabweans in South Africa is ‘unrealistic’.
The organisation’s lawyer and director, Gabriel Shumba, points out that the major problem with that deadline is that there are thousands of Zimbabweans who do not have passports.
Women and child rights activist and member of the Elders, Graça Machel, has praised progress in Zimbabwe since the formation of a compromise government to ease a political and economic crisis.
Speaking at a conference after a two-day mission as part of a United Nations children's fund (UNICEF) project, Machel pointed out that, "I have been impressed by the progress made in Zimbabwe."
Church and human rights groups in Zimbabwe have warned against new elections saying the situation in the country is ‘highly volatile, uncertain and tense’ after a bloody presidential run-off election two years ago.
In a press statement, the group, which include the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, the Christian Alliance and the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe, state that, "The polarised environment does not favour the holding of elections as violence would most likely erupt."
The Tanzania Forest Conservation Group has warned CSOs implementing the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) pilot projects have asked the government to engage the villagers before allocating land to investors.
The group’s executive director, Charles Meshack, points out that this will help the villagers to have ownership over the carbon benefits derived from reduced deforestation on their land.
Where do we stand?
Fifteen years ago, in 1995, when South Africa was just starting out on the long road of transition, Harold Wolpe wrote about the expectations of that extraordinary journey from apartheid to democracy, from freedom to transformation.
I share the fatherly pain in the horrible and horrible, brutal raping and guerilla-type execution of a young girl, a Grade 11 student at David Bezuidenhout School, Magdalena Stoffels. I have the same sorrowful emotion with the members of the family whose child/sister was robbed from their company. I put myself in their shoes; imagine a mother/brother/sister bid farewell to a loved one to go to school and only to be informed that, “Sorry, she is no more”. And not to find out that she got raped and had her throat cut.
Former South African President, Nelson Mandela, reminded us in 1994 that: “A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy.” 16 years into democracy, opposition parties, civil society, activists and other stakeholders are facing new realities associated with our democracy - the proposed Protection of Information Bill and Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT).
Amnesty International (AI) has called on Rwanda to take steps to reverse a climate of fear that is looming over next week's presidential election.
In a press statement, AI’s deputy director for Africa programme, Tawanda Hondora, points out that in recent months killings, arrests and the closure of newspapers and broadcasters have reinforced a climate of fear.
A Ugandan lawyer working with the nonprofit group Legal Action for Persons with Disabilities (LAPD), Med Ssengooba has called on Uganda and other African countries to improve opportunities for their disabled citizens.
Ssengooba says any vision for the future of Africa must include people with disabilities, whom he says constitute a significant percentage of the community anywhere in Africa - almost 10 percent of the population.