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Human Rights Institute of South Africa
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Giving life to human right
Giving life to human right

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HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE OF SOUTH AFRICA (HURISA) COMMEMORATES THE 37TH ANNIVERSARY OF SOWETO UPRISING DAY (NATIONAL YOUTH DAY) IN SOUTH AFRICA, JUNE 16 1976

Immediate Media Statement

Date: 14 June 2013

Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) will be joining the rest of the South African youthful population on Sunday 16 June 2013. In remembrance of Soweto uprising day of June 16 1976 and saluting the human rights activists, freedom fighters and youth leaders of that era. We have noted that this year’s theme will be “Working Together for Youth Development and a Drug Free South Africa”
HURISA is deeply concerned that substance use, abuse, alcohol and illicit drug peddling has affected African children and youth since apartheid heighten days and continues to cause social misbehaviour amongst the youth of the African continent.
The fearless spirit and consciousness of the youth of 1976 need to be revived by introducing the human rights values within the life-orientation curriculum and advise the youths of South Africa about the dangers of the legally accepted social substances such as alcohol and illegal man made substances such Tik, Nyaope, Whoonga and Cocaine.
Despite thematic approach of the youth month in South Africa, HURISA has further noted the African Union, Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) theme for 2013 as ”Eliminating Harmful Social and Cultural Practices Affecting Children: Our Collective Responsibility” commemorated every year on June 16 by Member states of the African Union in terms of Resolution CM/1290 (XL) as the day of the African Child (DAC).
HURISA condemn the innocent loss of 36 lives of young men that recently took place in Mpumalanga Province in South Africa, and calls upon the Government of South Africa to submit its cultural legislative and prosecutorial measures to eradicate these harmful, abusive and negligent killing of young children under the name of African rites of passage that is conducted by community members under guise of culture and spirituality.
This commemorative theme of the African Union Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the African child is relevant to our recent violation of cultural rights and abuse of young children as it promotes positive cultural values. We encourage all critical stakeholders to take urgent steps to eradicate the harmful cultural conduct, restore the human dignity, right to life and freedom of security of young persons in their lifetime.
We further call upon the National Youth Development Agency to popularise the African Youth Charter of 2006 among the youths and learners in South Africa and align its National Youth Policy of 2009- 2014  with the African Union strategic review document of 2005- 2015 as it was declared the Youth Decade by NEPAD Youth directorate and the African Union. Youth unemployment and inequality are the threats to our hard worn freedom and democracy in the African continent.
We conclude to urge the National Youth Development Agency, Ministry of Women, Children People With Disabilities, Office of the State President to reconsider commemorating the Day of the African Child with the African Union committee of experts on the Welfare and Rights of the African Child in the context of June 16 as it serves as the turning mark of the Youth in South Africa and in particular the African continent.

Issued by HURISA Advocacy and Media Liaison Officer

Adv. Sipho Mantula
Tel: 011 333 1730
Cell: 0847815587
Email:rasgideon@hurisa.org.za
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HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE OF SOUTH AFRICA (HURISA) COMMEMORATE THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF ORGANISATION OF AFRICAN UNITY NOW AFRICAN UNION “PAN-AFRICANISM AND AFRICAN RENAISSANCE”

Date: 23 May 2013

The Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) will be joining the rest of the African Continent on Saturday 25th May 2013 to observe Africa day under the theme “" Pan Africanism and African Renaissance” which reflects the long history of African civilization as the cradle of humankind, and is at the heart of the formation and existence of the OAU/AU on May 25 1963.
The year 2013 will constitute a unique opportunity not only to praise the achievements gained from our unity and solidarity, the values that underpin Pan Africanism but will also provide Africa with a chance for Renaissance and outline its vision and mission for 2063.
Prominently, Africa Day occasions a moment for reflection. Although numerous mechanisms have been developed to advance Human Rights architecture in the region, a lot still needs to be done
The lack of domestic remedies remains a problem in most African countries as Nigeria remains the only State Party that has enacted the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights of 1981.
The fact that we have monist states that gives automatic implementation of treaties, the African Charter is not practically visible on the ground or let alone spoken about in African communities. We further commemorate the decade of the adoption of the Protocol of the Rights of Women in Africa. Lack of Enforcement of these mechanisms is demonstrated by the delay of reporting by State Parties on measures taken to change situation of women at local level.
While mechanism of (OAU/AU) abhors discrimination of any kind based on race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or any status. But the unfair practices and violence committed against individuals on the ground of sexual orientation and lack of recognition of indigenous communities remains a challenge to all member states of the African Union; however The African Union Constitutive Act is explicit in achieving unity and solidarity between African Countries and peoples of Africa.
Africa remains a continent that is characterised by gruelling images of hunger, use of children as child soldiers, scenes of famines, torture and rape of African woman and young girl children, ruined tales of corruption, catastrophic narratives of civil conflicts.
Recent stories of unlawful takeover of legitimate government in Central African Republic, cross-border conflict between the North Sudan and South Sudan, the never ending civil war in Eastern DR Congo between the M23 Rebels and the United Nations peacekeepers, political violence in Nigeria by Boko Haram and the on-going persecution of Human rights defenders in Zimbabwe  are major worrying human made catastrophes fuelling on issues of ethnicity, tribalism, religion, political intolerance , freedom of expression and association and natural resources as the pull and push factors.
HURISA is concern on the funding model of the African Union since its reconstitution 10 years ago in Ethekwini, South Africa in 2002.Contributions from five handful member states with support of  foreign donors is hampering growth and developmental agenda of empowering women and children of Africa and peace and security in the continent.
The access to information legislation in most African countries is lacking, to date only 11 African countries have enacted the freedom of access to information into their legal systems and recently the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights have released the model law on access to information for Africa.  This model law will contribute positively to development of access to information and harmonise the backlogs and resistance to free access to information and expression.
The Africa Union must ensure greater education of its mechanisms through African history, language and culture to the populations where African people would feel proud of Pan Africanism and enjoy redress offered by African values and respect by member states of decisions passed by its organs and uphold accountability and good governance in their territories.

Issued by HURISA Advocacy and Media liaison officer
Adv. Sipho Mantula
Tel: 011 333 1730
Cell: 0847815587
Email:rasgideon@hurisa.org.za


PRESS STATEMENT OF THE JCPS MINISTERS
ON THE REPORT OF THE INVESTIGATING TEAM
EXAMINING THE LANDING OF A
CHARTERED COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT
AT AIR FORCE BASE WATERKLOOF ON 30 APRIL 2013
 
 On 2 May 2013, in the wake of the landing of a chartered commercial aircraft at Air Force Base Waterkloof on 30 April 2013, the Ministers of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster instructed a team of Directors-General to investigate the matter. On 3 May 2013, during a JCPS press briefing, we indicated the deadline of 14 May 2013, seven working days.
 The Investigating Team was provided with the following Terms of Reference:
(i)          Determine the sequence of events prior to, during and after the commercial aircraft’s landing at Air Force Base Waterkloof.
 
(ii)        Assess the actual events in the light of the established government and departmental legislation, regulations and protocols.
 
(iii)       Interview and interact with relevant persons to establish facts, and factor in investigations currently under way; and
 
(iv)      Make findings and recommendations to avert similar occurrences in future.
 
The deadline of 14 May 2013 was complied with, and the Investigating Team provided Ministers with a comprehensive report. The JCPS Ministers met on 17 May 2013 to discuss the content of the report.
 
In investigating this matter the team interviewed the role players involved; obtained sworn statements and affidavits; and conducted site visits. The team received the full cooperation of departments and role players, and is satisfied that no stone was left unturned in determining the truth of the matter.
 
In keeping with our undertaking we present the following findings from the investigation:
 
1.          The Investigating Team has conclusively found that in February 2013 the Gupta family approached the Airports Company South Africa and requested landing rights and an elaborate reception for the wedding party. This would have disrupted the functioning of O.R. Tambo International Airport at the time of landing, particularly the operations of the National Immigration Branch at the airport. As a result, this was turned down. In March 2013 the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans and her advisor were approached by the Gupta family on different occasions. On 3 April 2013 this request was also turned down. The Gupta family then resorted to the use of the diplomatic channel with the support of an individual in the Indian High Commission who re-designated the wedding entourage as an official delegation to enable them to use the Air Force Base Waterkloof under the cover of diplomatic privilege. It is an undisputed fact that there was no official Note Verbale from the Indian High Commission to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, and therefore due process was not followed. An individual in the Indian High Commission communicated directly with individuals at the Air Force Command Post. The collusion of officials resulted in the irregular approval of the flight clearance.
 
2.          Members of the Executive were not required to issue any instructions, did not issue any instructions, and did not create the impression that they ought to have issued any instructions. 
 
3.          The aircraft in question was cleared for landing by the Air Force Command Post, and the correct clearance procedures were followed, but based on false information and abuse of privileges, the combination of which resulted in the manipulation of the process by various persons who shared a common purpose and acted in concert. They include the Chief of State Protocol, Ambassador V.B. Koloane, who acted in the absence of a Note Verbale from the Indian High Commission in contravention of existing diplomatic protocols; and the Officer Commanding Movement Control at Air Force Base Waterkloof, Lieutenant-Colonel C. Anderson. The process of disciplinary hearings will continue to be pursued to determine the guilt or otherwise of these individuals.
 
4.          The Air Force Base has seven functions: the conduct of operations; the hosting of training flights; receiving VVIP and VIP flights; receiving foreign heads of state, envoys and dignitaries; receiving registered military aircraft; serving as a diversion airfield for commercial aircraft; and conducting air shows.
 
5.          As a result of the nature of these functions, the Air Force Base Waterkloof handles both civilian and military aircraft. This notwithstanding, the landing of the chartered commercial aircraft, Flight JAI9900, was a direct result of manipulation of processes.
 
6.          The Air Force Base Waterkloof is a strategic military base that resorts under the Defence Act, Act 44 of 1957. The Air Force Base Waterkloof is not a National Key Point and is not governed by the National Key Points Act, which is managed by the SAPS. This being a strategic military base, which also serves as an entry point into South Africa, it has even more stringent security measures. 
7.          The landing of Flight JAI9900 following the exercise of undue influence had the potential to compromise the credibility of the Government of the Republic, and could have caused severe reputational damage to the state itself.
 
8.          The activities of some of the persons involved were driven by the undesirable practice of the exercise of undue influence, and abuse of higher office. It posed a threat to the culture of professionalism that ought to characterise a caring and professional public service rooted in the Batho Pele principle. It undermines the quest to build a capable state and the requirement that it be served by professional public servants with foresight to understand the implications of their conduct for the reputation of the state.
 
9.          While Flight JAI9900 was in South African airspace, all procedures, protocols and instructions from air traffic control were complied with. The dramatised reports in the media, including social media, about the flight taking a tour over South African cities and disrupting air traffic are therefore unfounded.
 
10.      Following the application for the SAPS, North-West Province, to exercise their responsibilities in terms of the Safety at Sports, Recreation and Entertainment Act, (SSAREA), the police were obliged to prepare and implement a safety plan for the wedding. This is despite their earlier refusal to do so, when they had adjudged it to be a private event.Had the National Joint Operations and Intelligence Structure been convened, the involvement of other departments would have provided an opportunity to avert this breach.
 
11.      The involvement of law enforcement agencies under the auspices and leadership of the South African Police Services, in providing convoy protection services was authorised, but involved officers who were moonlighting contrary to regulations. The officials from the Metro Police who carried their firearms irregularly to protect the event are only authorised to bear their firearms within their respective Metro jurisdictions. Their use in this instance was a violation of regulations. Some of them also drove vehicles that were fitted illegally with blue lights.
 
12.      In the interest of the safety of all road users and taking into account that 121 vehicles were deployed by the event organiser, it was necessary that law enforcement officers take charge of the convoy to Sun City. However, due to the lack of vigilance of the SAPS members deployed for escort duty, who did not identify the drivers as non-SAPS members, they placed reliance on those drivers. This made it possible for the cars fitted with illegal blue-lightsto push people off the road, cause delays and inconvenience other road users. The public outcry that followed was therefore justified.
 
13.      It is now confirmed that all helicopters used in the operation were organised and funded by the Gupta family, and were neither SAPS nor SANDF helicopters. All of the black BMW’s used in the convoys were hired from a private company.Three Range Rovers had similar registration numbers; two Mercedes Benz had similar registration numbers; three of the BMW’s had false registration.
 
14.      Overall, the total deployment of government personnel during the operation was 194 persons and 88 vehicles. 296 private security officers were deployed at the expense of the event organiser. The organisers also deployed two fixed-wing aircraft and seven helicopters to ferry their guests from the base to Sun City. This was authorisedas a package linked to the already-issued clearance for Flight JAI9900.
 
15.      It is commendable, notwithstanding the manipulation by a few, that public servants in affected government departments and structures raised concerns, some of them repeatedly, as to what was transpiring. However, their concerns were neither addressed, nor acted upon by those in positions of authority over them bent on manipulating the system, working with individuals outside the state.
 
16.      Despite this isolated breach, the system for the management of foreign visits and the requisite permits, policies and procedures is in place and functioning. That is why flights arrive and depart daily without incident.Thebreach in this instance was a consequence of manipulation by the responsible persons, who contemptuously manipulated the system to advance the wedding objectives at all costs.
We have accepted the following recommendations arising from the investigation to close all gaps that made this breach possible:
 
1.          All affected departments must complete their investigations into this matter as soon as possible to ensure that justice is seen to be done, and the required disciplinary measures are fully implemented where deemed necessary.
 
1.1      This is to ensure that those who made the following transgressions are brought to book:
 
•                  SAPS Act, Act 68 of 1995: Contravening of Section 67(2)(a): Conspiring or inducing or attempting to induce a member not to perform duty or act in conflict with his duty; and Section 68: Falsely pretending to be a police officer.
 
•                  Road Traffic Act, Act 93 of 1996: Section 89(3) and Section 68(1) and (2): Use of false registration.
 
•                  Companies Act, Act 71 of 2008: Section 214(1)(b): Person with a fraudulent purpose knowingly provided false or misleading information in any circumstances under this Act; and Section 214(1)(c): Knowingly a party to an act of omission by a company calculated to defraud a creditor or employee of the company, or a holder of the company securities, or with another fraudulent purpose.
 
•                  Firearms Control Act, Act 60 of 2000: Section 120(1)(a): Failure to apply for renewal of a licence/permit/certificate authorisation before end of period determined by the Minister.
 
•                  Common Law Crimes: Fraud, falsely pretending or misrepresenting the existence of a company.
 
•                  Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority Act, Act 56 of 2001: Section 20(1): Conducting of security service contrary to the Act.
 
1.2   The following cases have been registered:
 
•                  Sun City CAS 16/05/2013: Contravention of the Firearms Control Act.
 
•                  Sun City CAS 18/05/2013: Contravention of the National Road Traffic Act.
 
•                  Sun City CAS 19/05/2013: Contravention of the PSIRA Act.
 
•                  Sun City CAS 20/05/2013: Contravention of the PSIRA Act.
 
•                  Lyttelton CAS 71/05/2013: Contravention of the South African Police Act.
 
We anticipate that more cases will be opened as the investigations proceed.
 
2.          To avoid impunity and to address violations stemming from the landing of Flight JAI9900 at Air Force Base Waterkloof, relevant government departments have imposed fines and are taking corrective action. This includes the imposition of a fine of R80 000 for the failure of the pilot of Flight JAI9900 to obtain a Foreign Operators Permit. 
 
3.          Government, led by the Department of Public Service and Administration, should develop and implement a public service awareness campaign to discourage the negative culture of name dropping in the form of improper use of the names of members of the Executive in the public sector. In addition, the definition of acts of misconduct should be amended across government to include name dropping as gross misconduct.
 
Ministers are instructing their Directors-General to urgently action the relevant recommendations.
 
In conclusion, the landing of flight JAI9900 at Air Force Base Waterkloof has brought to the fore serious issues that need immediate attention. These include the identified culture of undue influence, underpinned by poor ethical conduct and a lack of professionalism described in this report.
 
We believe that the unified public voice which condemned the incident, together with decisive government action, serves as a useful basis for the development of a partnership between our people and their government in the fight to combat crime and corruption in our country. 
 
Notwithstanding the negative findings, the work of the Investigating Team has brought to light the many public servants who conscientiously and faithfully perform their duties and daily tasks, and whose work is a credit to our country that they serve.
 
The report will be released in the course of the coming week.
 
 
Issued by the Chairperson of the JCPS Cluster Ministers
The HonourableMr J. Radebe, MP.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development
 
19 May 2013
 
 
end

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ISSUED BY: CONSTITUTION HILL
 
ATTENTION: REPORTERS/ NEWS EDITORS
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
05 MARCH 2013
 
A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women
 
Constitution Hill (ConHill) in Collaboration with the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) observes United Nations International Women’s Day
JOHANNESBURG, 5 MARCH 2013 – Constitution Hill and the Human Right Institute of South Africa as the pillars of Human Rights, Equality, and Constitutional Democracy in South Africa invites the media and the public to join in as we honour the United Nations International Women’s Day on the 8th of March 2013, 8am- 12h30 at Constitution Hill Women’s Gaol .
 
While this day coincides with Human Rights month commemorations in South Africa, it perfectly fits the theme and objectives to protect and promote human rights. In joining the International community to call upon every person to commemorate this day, under the theme: “A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence against Women”, ConHill and HURISA will host a Women’s Rights Tour and a dialogue.
 
Activities for the day will start off with Chanting, Drumming and Poetic messages for the woman survivors and victims of violence in  Rissik Street, Opposite Park Station, then proceed to Constitution Hill. The dialogue will take place from 11am .
 
The Woman’s Gaol Museum has a rich history of women’s stories, fighting  human rights violations and the resilience to overcome atrocities of the past.
 
Dress Code: All Black, women to wear stockings and men ties
 
Parking: Underground Basement Parking Level C, Constitution Hill, Entrance at Joubert Street
 
Ends
   
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SADC Gender Protocol Goes Through

The SADC Secretariat announced this week that the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development has entered into force following ratification of the instrument by the requisite two-thirds of member states.
According to a communiqué issued after the annual meeting of ministers responsible for gender and women affairs in the Southern African Development Community held in Mozambique earlier in the month, ten member states have ratified the protocol.
These are Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. "The meeting applauded member states' efforts in depositing instruments of ratification that has subsequently led to its entering into force," said the communiqué.
The meeting re-iterated the importance of ensuring effective implementation of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. This requires the domestication of the Protocol into national law. The process of approval of a regional legal instrument requires, first, signing, and then ratification, a process that differs from country to country.
The protocol "enters into force" following ratification by two-thirds of SADC member states. This advances the regional law from being a stated intention to actual application The objectives of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development are to provide for the empowerment of women, eliminate discrimination, and achieve gender equality and equity through gender-responsive legislation, policies, programmes and projects.
The targets include, among others, the achievement of 50 % representation by women and men in politics and decision-making by 2015, in line with the decision by SADC Heads of State and Government and the African Union.
The ministers also approved the proposal to develop an Addendum to the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development to accommodate gender and climate change. This is in response to the observation that women and children are affected disproportionately by climate change, compared to its impact on males
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HURISA noted the challenges mentioned in the 5th State of nation address, although there was strong emphasis on combating corruption yet no reference was made on the achievements of the public protector and how these institutions of constitutional democracy will be supported including SAHRC, CGE, CRL and PANSALB as custodians of the bill of Rights
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