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VIDEO: SABC News hosts Youth Day panel discussion
16 June 2020, 7:00 PM

Today marks Youth Day in South Africa. The issues young people face in the country include unemployment and the impact COVID-19 has had on their lives.

SABC News is hosting a virtual panel discussion to thrash out some of the pressing issues.

Below is the link to the stream:

GBV
Parliament joins uproar against GBV
14 June 2020, 8:12 PM

The National Assembly through its presiding officers has joined the national  uproar against the mounting  femicide and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases.

In a statement issued on Sunday, parliament says bold and resolute action should be taken to deal with the spate of GBV cases.

“We know it has festered for too long, shielded by the veils of silence and fuelled by patriarchy and sexism. We know that ending it needs effort from sections of society, particularly men as perpetrators – in the areas where we live, the places where we work and from all private and state institutions, including our justice and criminal justice systems. The wheels of justice must turn and be seen to turn swiftly in bringing alleged perpetrators to book and meting out appropriate (harsher) punishment to discourage the occurrence of similar offences. But even more important, is ensuring an environment where these heinous crimes against a significant population of our society do not even take place in the first place,” read the statement.

Below is the full statement:

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‘Fitting sentences’

Meanwhile, the statement calls for fitting sentences on the killers of Tshegofatso Pule, a 28-year-old woman whose body was found hanging from a tree with multiple stab wounds, and Ms Naledi Phangindawo, a 26-year-old who was stabbed to death by the father of her children, and many other victims of GBV.

“Parliament will continue to intensify its oversight to ensure all interventions against the scourge are realised, and this includes the implementation of the decisions of the Presidential Summit on Gender-Based Violence, overhaul and modernisation of the national register of Gender-Based Violence offenders, resolving challenges rating to backlog of cases and delays in DNA testing, as well as ensuring availability of rape test kits in police stations,” the statement says.

The statement further appeals for cooperation in fighting GBV.

“As with our global co-operation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, so, too, let us work together, as humanity, to fight the femicide and Gender-Based Violence still stalking our nation. Together, we can build that better world to which so many aspire, for which so many have struggled and died.”

App
New app to help with self-screening for COVID-19
14 June 2020, 5:25 PM

A new app “Keep out COVID” created by online technology, Howler, will allow individuals to screen themselves for coronavirus ( COVID-19) through their phones using the app.

The app hopes to lessen the burden of the healthcare system by allowing individuals to screen themselves from the comfort of their homes.

Howle Director, Steve Cuzen, says, “Seeing the pandemic that has hit the world, we saw an opportunity to adapt our technology solutions to help people that were going back to work and schools. It also allows organisations to take control of the COVID-19 situation and prevent the COVID-19 from arriving at their organisations.”

Cuzen sought to ensure people about the safety of the app, which he says is 100% safe.

“No one has access to anything other than the organisation itself. All the information that we collect get to be stored to our servers that are encrypted. There is no way that people can hack them.”

In the video below, Cuzen explains further about the app: 

Infographic: Latest COVID-19 statistics in South Africa:

 

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Sanef
Sanef welcomes the President’s decision to review the Secrecy Bill
13 June 2020, 7:35 AM

The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to have the controversial Secrecy Bill reviewed and aligned with the Constitution.

Sanef says the forum’s key concern is the lack of a public interest defence in the draft law and the review will now allow for this provision to be introduced.

“Throughout the years Sanef has joined forces with a number of media freedom groups and activists to raise awareness about the unconstitutional nature of many parts of the Bill. Further, we have made a number of submissions to Parliament. One of the most draconian aspects of the present Bill, for instance, includes a 15 to 25-year jail term for any journalist found to have ‘’classified” documents in their possession,” Sanef said in a  statement issued on Friday.

“Sanef welcomes this opportunity to ensure that all aspects of the Bill that are unconstitutional, or too broadly defined, are redrafted – and we would be happy to give further input to finalise it,”  the statement read.

Full statement below:

In 2019, Deputy Minister of State Security Zizi Kodwa asked Parliament to reconsider and polish the draft law, which seeks to ensure a coherent approach to the protection of State information and the classification and declassification of state information. It also sets out procedures on how classified documents are to be handled during court proceedings and requires courts to prevent public disclosure of classified documents that form part of court records.

The Bill raised the ire of civil society organisations and opposition parties, who slammed it as undermining South Africans’ right to access information. They also believe it also threatens journalists’ and whistleblowers’ rights.

 

 

Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Speaker Modise sends invitations to panel members selected to probe Mkhwebane
12 June 2020, 10:01 PM

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise has sent out invitation letters to three persons she intends to appoint on the panel to conduct a preliminary assessment about whether there is prima facie evidence that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has committed misconduct and is incompetent.

In the letters, Modise is requesting their availability. She’s also asking them to indicate if they will be able to carry out their work under the COVID-19 restrictions.

Parliament says their names will be announced once the process of appointment is concluded.

Depending on their responses, Modise will make the appointments or take other steps and appoint other persons to the Panel.

DA’s bid to remove Mkhwebane

The move follows Parliament’s approval of the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) submitted motion, proposing the National Assembly initiate a process aimed at removing Mkhwebane.

The DA called for the removal of Mkhwebane after the High Court in Pretoria declared her Vrede Dairy farm report unconstitutional and invalid. She had also overstepped her authority when finding that the Reserve Bank mandate should be revised.

At the time, DA Interim Leader, John Steenhuisen argued that this shows that Mkhwebane was incompetent and did not understand the role of her office.

In her response to the Justice Committee of Parliament, Mkhwebane had stated that none of the DA’s complaints can justify her removal.

Steenhuisen says their latest complaint to the Speaker also included new information currently in the public domain; such as a press release by the Public Servants Association (PSA), alleging that  Mkhwebane’s office was making use of the State Security Agency to victimise and harass PSA shop stewards.

In the video below, Mkhwebane says rules to remove her are unconstitutional:

 

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