By admin | April 4, 2016
Ahmed Kathrada, one of the three surviving people sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Nelson Mandela and an ANC member since the 1940s, has publicly urged President Zuma to step down following the Constitutional Court ruling over the Nkandla scandal.
In his open letter, Ahmed Kathrada who served 26 years in jail with Nelson Mandela and refused the advice of his lawyers to appeal against his conviction, despite in their a view a good chance of success because it could have opened the way for the apartheid state to demand the death penalty for Nelson Mandela and others says: “ Comrade President, are you aware that your outstanding contribution to the liberation struggle stands to be severely tarnished if the remainder of your term as President continues to be dogged by crises and a growing public loss of confidence in the ANC and government as a whole.
I know that if I were in the President’s shoes, I would step down with immediate effect. I believe that is what would help the country to find its way out of a path that it never imagined it would be on, but one that it must move out of soon.”
See the full letter here.
By admin | April 1, 2016
ACTSA has called on the UN to urge the Government of Zimbabwe to improve its human rights record in a submission to UN Human Rights Council for Zimbabwe’s forthcoming Universal Periodic Review (due to take place on 2 November 2016).
The submission covers a range of issues, including: human rights defenders; freedoms Read the rest of this entry »
South Africa: Constitutional Court says President Zuma failed to “uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic.”
By admin | April 1, 2016
Nkandla (pictured below) is a private residence of President Zuma in KwazuluNatal. Significant upgrades were made to the property at public expense ostensibly to provide improved security there. A number of complaints were made to the Office of the Public Protector about the costs and scale of the work. The Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela investigated Read the rest of this entry »
By admin | March 21, 2016
21 March 2016 is the 56th anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa. 69 unarmed black South Africans were killed and 180 seriously injured by police while they demonstrated peacefully Read the rest of this entry »
By admin | March 8, 2016
Thabo Mbeki has sought to justify his position on HIV/AIDS in an open letter published on 7 March. The former President denies that he said HIV did not cause AIDS and claims he was criticised and condemned for Read the rest of this entry »
By admin | March 4, 2016
Given the settlement of some legal cases on behalf of those with silicosis, Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) calls on the mining companies to provide a comprehensive settlement for all those with silicosis.
The announcement that Anglo Gold Ashanti and Anglo American South Africa will pay compensation to those of the 4,365 ex-miners taking legal action against them who it is shown have silicosis is, on the face of it, welcome. But it also raises the que Read the rest of this entry »
By admin | February 12, 2016
President Zuma delivered the annual state of the Nation Address on 11 February 2016, the 26th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.
He referred to a number of anniversaries in 2016, including 16 June which will mark the 40th anniversary of Read the rest of this entry »
By admin | February 11, 2016
On 11 February 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison after serving 27 years.
Mandela and his then wife, Winnie (pictured below) were greeted outside Victor Verster prison by huge crowds of euphoric South Africans celebrating Read the rest of this entry »
By admin | January 25, 2016
The “Rivonia” trial of 1963/64 in South Africa was the trial in which Nelson Mandela and his comrades were put on trial for conspiring to overthrow the apartheid state through sabotage. Nelson Mandela made his famous speech from the dock during the trial where they were charged with acts of sabotage, in essence high treason and found guilty and sentenced to Read the rest of this entry »
By admin | December 10, 2015
In November a committee of the UN approved a motion recognising the role of human rights defenders and the need for their protection. This will go to the UN General Assembly in December. It was agreed by 117 votes for, 14 against and 40 abstentions.
Those against, led by China and Russia argued the terminology is loose, who is, who defines a human rights defender? They argued no individual or group can be above the law and why should human rights defenders be singled out for protection.
Some members of the UN see human rights as largely a western Read the rest of this entry »