Tributes in for Former Education Minister

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says that former Education Minister, Kader Asmal’s contribution to society should be celebrated.

SAHRC chairperson, Lawrence Mushwana, points out that the Commission will remember Asmal for his for tireless service and life-long dedication to the creation of a free South Africa, particularly his involvement in the drafting and subsequent defence of the Constitution.

NGO Silent Amid Human Rights Violations

Ditshwanelo, the Botswana Centre for Human Rights, once outspoken human rights watchdog, has remained ‘extremely’ reticent in the face of obvious government abuses.

According to an editorial on Mmegi Online, while there is nothing wrong with Ditshwanelo hosting other nations' civil rights organisations, as it recently did with the Botswana Civil Society Solidarity Coalition for Zimbabwe, “it is our belief that the NGO should be more worried about events at home.”

Call for Tolerance Towards Refugees

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has called for tolerance towards refugees on World Refugee Day.

In a statement to mark the day, SAHRC points out that, "The commission continues to unequivocally call for tolerance, understanding and respect for human rights."

The commission says that it sees the day as a chance for the South African government and governments across the world to reaffirm international agreements of refugee protection, and for all sectors of society to reflect on their role and find solutions for the problems refugees faced.

Children’s Act Services: Calls to Grow Funding Pool to Ensure Child Care and Protection Services Reach All Vulnerable Children

New research on government and donor funding of services required under the Children’s Act has pointed to a serious shortfall in funding for essential child care and protection services. There is a need to grow both government and donor funding to reach all children who require the services.

Police Raid House Used for NGO Meetings

Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) says that police in Bulawayo are still camped at a house it uses for meetings, following a raid on the premises on 10 June 2011.
WOZA says a number of policemen showed up at the house in Bulawayo without a search warrant and were aggressive.
The organisation further says that also present were two notorious members of the Central Intelligence Organisation, who have been involved in torturing WOZA members.

Call for More Peacekeepers Ahead of Elections

A coalition of rights groups says the United Nations Security Council should send more peacekeepers to areas of Congo where rebels operate ahead of this year's presidential election.
In a press statement, the group of 47 international and Congolese organisations, led by Human Rights Watch (HRW), says it fears the brutal Ugandan-led Lord's Resistance Army will try to disrupt November 28 elections.

Johannesburg’s Only Refugee Centre Closes

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CORMSA) says that Johannesburg's only centre for asylum seekers and refugees will be closed after local businesses won a court application against the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

CORMSA director, Sicel'mpilo Shange-Buthane, points out that, "The outcome of the court case is ... disappointing because we feel DHA could have more strongly made out a case which argued for the rights of asylum seekers to receive services in proximity to the areas in which they reside."

Court Postpones Qwelane’s SAHRC Case

The Equality Court in Johannesburg has postponed judgment in a case between the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and former Sunday Sun columnist, Jon Qwelane.

SAHRC spokesperson, Vincent Moaga, points out that, "This is due to the unavailability of the presiding officer on 27 May, [the date court was supposed to have handed down judgment].

Moaga states that the SAHRC instituted the court proceedings in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.

Meanwhile, judgment will now be handed down on 31 May.

Missing ZimRights Staff Found

Two employees from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), who have been missing since their arrest, were finally located by their lawyers at a Lupane police station.

Florence Ndlovu, the ZimRights regional coordinator for Matabeleland province, and Walter Dube a paralegal officer, were arrested in Tsholotsho, after they were banned from holding an anti-torture workshop at Tshino Business centre.

Call for Apartheid Victims to be Compensated

Apartheid victims have demanded that the state honour its reparations obligations to everyone and not just those identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

In a briefing in Johannesburg, the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice (SACTJ) states that, "We reject regulations which fail to provide the full gambit of reparations needed... as a result of apartheid atrocities."


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