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Edwin Cameron
Cameron delivers his last ruling at ConCourt
20 August 2019, 11:55 AM

Justice Edwin Cameron has delivered his last ruling at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg. On Tuesday, he steps down from the apex court, 25 years after his appointment. Cameron began serving the Constitutional Court in January 2009.

For decades, he has been championing the rights of gay and lesbian people as well as fighting denialism and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.

Tuesday morning’s ruling involves a land claim in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal.

“If this requires temporary supervised oversight of administration where the bureaucracy has shown itself unable to perform then there is little choice it has to be done. In this case the fact that the department’s tardiness and inefficiency in making land reform real has triggered what can rightly be called a constitutional near emergency,” Cameron said.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has celebrated Cameron for the important role he played in making AIDS drugs freely available. Cameron took the extraordinary step of quitting anti-retroviral treatment, putting his own life in jeopardy, until it was freely available for all who needed them.

It worked and the medication is helping millions of people living with HIV/AIDS. Chief Justice Mogoeng thanked Cameron for his immense contribution.

“Now people can boldly say I have this condition, have yourself checked you can be as athletic as Justice Cameron for many years to come. You can live a complete life. But I think Edwin deserves to be recognised by this country for the critical role, the catalystic role, which he played in making anti-retrovirals available,” Mogoeng said.

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Court gavel
Vlakfontein murder accused back in court for bail
20 August 2019, 11:00 AM

The man accused of murdering his girlfriend and burying her body in a shallow grave inside his shack in Vlakfontein, south of Johannesburg, will be back in court on Tuesday for a formal bail application.

Twenty-eight year-old Thokozani Sibeko made his first appearance in the Protea Magistrate’s Court in Soweto earlier this month, on charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Police found the body of his 41-year-old girlfriend two months after she had disappeared.

While drinking alcohol with his friends at a local shebeen in Vlakfontein, Sibeko allegedly confessed that he had killed his 41-year-old girlfriend and buried her body under his bed.

When he appeared in court earlier this month, Sibeko initially declined to be represented by a state lawyer, saying he knew the story of what happened better, and therefore would like to represent himself.

He changed his mind after the magistrate said it would be impossible for him to apply for bail without a lawyer.

Sibeko has a previous six months conviction for assault with an intention to do grievous bodily harm.

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WATCH: ConCourt holds special sitting for Justice Cameron
20 August 2019, 10:10 AM

Justice Edwin Cameron steps down from the apex court on Tuesday, 25 years after his appointment as a judge.

Former members of SABC Interim Board to respond to SIU report
20 August 2019, 9:15 AM

Former SABC Interim Board members Khanyisile Kweyama, Febe Potgieter-Qubule, Mathatha Tsedu, Krish Naidoo and John Matisonn will on Tuesday respond to the Special Investigative Unit’s (SIU) report which found evidence of irregularities in the awarding of a R185-million security tender by the interim board in 2017.

The tender was given to Mafoko Security Patrols despite another company, MJAYELI, reportedly scoring high.

“The interim board members are expected to brief the media in Johannesburg later today. They maintain however,  that there was nothing untoward in them awarding the multi-million rand security tender to Mafoko.  They’ve dismissed the SIU report as flawed and wants it set aside. Mafoko has also indicated its intention to challenge any plans to review the contract.  However the losing bidder – Mjayeli says it wont comment until all legal processes have been exhausted.  The current SABC board has reserved its comment until the matter comes before court.”

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Spill Tech team
Environmental organisations concerned with govt’s response to oil spillage
20 August 2019, 9:06 AM

Environmental organisations monitoring the oil spillage along the Umsunduzi River in Pietermaritzburg are concerned about the manner in which government has responded to the crisis which has left thousands of fish and other species dead.

Oil from the Willowton Group’s Oil factory allegedly ended up in nearby streams as well as the Umsunduzi and Umgeni rivers last week.

Ground Work spokesperson, Bobby Peek, says the incident has shown that government has no proper plan in place to deal such incidents.

“This is an ecological disaster because of a regulatory failure government has failed the people. Government doesn’t have systems to deal with an environmental disaster such as this. That’s the first thing. You need to recognise by opening up the water upstream and allowing mire water to flow is a type of dilution. But it’s not a solution. It just pushes the pollution further downstream and faster.”

Meanwhile, the Duzi Umgeni Conservation Trust’s Sanele Vilakazi, whose organisations is involved in monitoring the quality of water, says the toxins have killed all animals living downstream.

“It’s not painting a very pretty picture from the biological monitoring assessment test that we have conducted. Stretching from where the source of the contamination came from those tests looking further downstream it absolutely showed no life especially within the waters themselves. We have not expanded beyond that to look at the side and the banks of the river in terms of what is going on with the soil and the registration but it’s not looking good at the moment.”

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