The ACTION Support Centre Blog http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php Blog: Africa Regional Hub of a Global Network of Individuals and Organisations Committed to Positive ACTION to Transform Conflict en-us Statement of Kenyan Government attack in Nairobi's Eastleigh Area http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=65

STATEMENT TO THE KENYAN GOVERNMENT ON THE ATTACK IN NAIROBI’S EASTLEIGH AREA


1 April 2014

 

We condemn in the strongest terms the bombing in Nairobi's Eastleigh area on the 31 March 2014. We are outraged by the reports of two blasts in the country’s capital that took the lives of 5 civilians and critically injured 9 other civilians. In the past such attacks have been associated with Somalia’s armed group Al-Shabaab but we jump to no conclusions in this regard, only to denounce the action of whatever group is found to be responsible.

 

We urge the Kenyan people to remain in solidarity with their fellow Somali brothers and sisters who are themselves not responsible for the past actions of the Somali armed group or terrorist movements. All Kenyans have suffered as a result of these attacks and our hearts go out to all who have been affected. We urge the Kenyan government to consider its options cautiously in cognisance of the delicacy of the national and regional dynamics.

 

The Kenyan government has to date played a considerable role in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in the efforts to curb the violent militarised bouts that are initiated by the Al-Shabaab group in Somalia.


We call upon the East African Community (EAC) at this crucial time to stand firm as it seeks to fulfill its mandate, and to ensure that the government of Kenya responds to the bombings in a cautious manner which ensures the protection of civilians and promotes the principles that are stated in the EAC Treaty which provide for undertaking approaches for a peaceful settlement of disputes, and peaceful co-existence.


We call upon the EAC to ensure that it acts jointly with the African Union in addressing the need to find peaceful measures to address the attacks. We, at ACTION Support Centre remain concerned about militarised and polarising responses in the past, and we urge the EAC to adopt a firm position on the matter and play a more pro-active role in ensuring that the Kenyan government authorities promote dialogue and build relationships, as a necessary peaceful measure in resolving the conflict in Kenya and Somalia, and that the underlying systemic and structural causes of conflict in the region receive equal attention. The role of the EAC to monitor the progress and compliance with the principles of its mandate remains crucial, and should remain in consonance with the vision and aspirations of the African Union.


We firmly believe that it is only through the implementation of the principles of the EAC Treaty and partnership with the African Union, that the Kenyan government will be able to respond accordingly through the use of peaceful negotiations, and that the Kenyan government can come to the realisation that violence does not necessitate an armed response, but raises the need to include the assailants in forums of dialogue to better understand their demands and include them in the roadmap for peace consolidation. The ACTION Support Centre remains committed to the achievement of sustainable peace in Kenya and throughout Africa, and calls on all Africans to unify behind a shared solidarity agenda.




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Tue, 01 Apr 2014 15:13:12 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=65
Message of support from Friends of Cuba Society (FOCUS-SA) http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=64

Message of support from Friends of Cuba Society (FOCUS-SA) on the release of Fernando Gonzalez Llort from USA Prison.

We welcome the release of Fernando González Llort on the 27 February 2014, one of the Five Cuban heroes unjustly condemned to long prison terms in the United States for defending their homeland. Fernando was released from the Safford Federal Correctional Institute in Arizona, having completed his full sentence.

Comrade Fernando was a part of the Cuban contingent in Angola that contributed towards the Freedom of South Africa.  From 1987 to 1989 he participated as an internationalist combatant in the war of liberation in Angola and against apartheid.

On September 12, 1998 Fernando was arrested. He was held in preventative custody for thirty-three months before the sentence was passed and was isolated in special cell, known as “the hole”, designed for prisoners with serious disciplinary problems for almost 17 months prior to the trial and for 48 days after the verdict was passed. In February 2003 he was once again held in solitary confinement for almost a month without any reason being given.

We therefore call on the government of Obama to release the remaining three Cuban prisoners.

We will take active steps to ensure that the South African Government passes this message to the Obama Administration. The release of the Two Cubans is the culmination of a long International struggle for the release of the Cuban Five. Through FOCUS we have kept the name of the FIVE alive in the National and International public. They have never been forgotten. The release of Fernando González Llort happens in the context of the 20 year post-apartheid bilateral relations with Cuba, Government to Government and people to people. We thank the South African government for their role on being in the forefront of the campaign for the FIVE.

Glory to the five Cuban Patriots and their family members! 

 Released by:

Che Matlhako General Secretary (FOCUS SA)

Clever Banganayi (Deputy Secretary (FOCUS SA) 0721426625

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Thu, 06 Mar 2014 11:23:58 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=64
African Solidarity Caravan-IASC http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=63 Reflect, Connect, Strategise, Organise, Mobilise, Transform, Consolidate, Celebrate

Deepening a culture of Pan-African people-to-people solidarity!

The African Solidarity Caravan seeks to deepen the connections of conflict transformation, peacebuilding and solidarity activists through out Africa through series of solidarity events hosted by local networks intent on taking forward the vision of a world of justice and peace in which all the basic needs of people are met and peoples’ rights and dignity are respected. The Caravan also focuses on building and strengthening a culture of Pan African people-to-people solidarity.

A series of activities will be held across Africa building up to the main event, a festival in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa that will seek to hand over a declaration of solidarity to the African Union through the chair Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. Many regional blocs will also be engaged during the build up activities.

The build up activities will take the form of reflective and analysis sessions, information and experience sharing discussions, solidarity vigils, pickets, marches, blitzing, street theaters, cultural evenings and celebrations that will include live performances from local artists, poetry, drama, traditional dances, music, great African food, speeches key note addresses and other forms revelry.

Thus, the African Solidarity Caravan offers activists across Africa an opportunity to Reflect, Connect, Strategise, Organise, Mobilise, Transform, Consolidate, and Celebrate in way that contributes to a deepened culture of Pan-African people-to-people solidarity.

This will also involve taking forward the ideas around the Proudly African Campaign; a CALL TO ACTION to all African people across Africa and around the world to begin to think and act creatively and collectively and find solutions to Africa’s numerous challenges.

Thousands of activists in Africa and around the world will link arms and pledge their solidarity to all those struggling for peace and justice.

This means that everyone everywhere will be involved in some form of action that contributes to a deepened culture of Pan-African people-to-people solidarity. 

There are key forms of action expected through out Africa and solidarity activists can do the following:

1.  Organise a local event that contributes to building and deepening a culture of Pan-African people-to-people solidarity, justice and peace.

2.  Send messages of solidarity and demands that will form part of the Declaration that will be submitted to the AU through the chair Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

3.  Share organic stories of resistance, and transformation, including initiatives around peace, solidarity, African Renaissance, human and people’s rights etc. that will be posted, shared on the Caravan website and form a pool of stories in which solidarity activists can draw lessons.

4.  Join the main event, which will be a festival in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. Date will be announced. 

For more information on the Caravan please contact; philani@asc.org.za


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Tue, 18 Feb 2014 09:20:18 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=63
Applied Conflict Transformation (ACT) Course http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=62 The ASC will conduct three courses focusing on Applied Conflict Transformation in May, August and October 2014. The first course will run from the 5th  to the 9th of May 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The courses are designed by a team of conflict and development specialists and aim to enhance and support the work of practitioners and policy makers affected by conflict. The courses’ approach to learning uses a fine balance of pedagogical methods that include analysis from specialist resource people, input on critical conflict issues facing the African continent, conceptual frameworks, detailed case studies and creative participatory exercises.

The application deadline for the May course is 15 February 2014. For enquiries and or more information email Richard on richard@asc.org.za or Charity on charity@asc.org.za. Dates for other courses will be announced as soon as they are available.

For detailed information on the upcoming and other courses and the visit our website www.asc.org.za.

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Tue, 18 Feb 2014 09:18:11 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=62
African Insider Mediators Platform-AIMP http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=61 Through the Secretariat hosted by the ASC, AIMP will organise a series of events through out year 2014. These will include a pre AIMP meeting on the 31st of March, an African Union Panel of the Wise on the 1st and 2nd of April and a Consultative Conference for selected members either in September or October 2014.  

The AIMP recognises the importance of involving mediators with inside, context specific knowledge and a strong relationship with conflicting parties in mediation processing. Apart from moving the mediation process in the positive direction, insider mediators play a strategic role in providing continuity between short-term peacemaking responses to periods of crisis and long-term peacebuilding processes.

This means that insider mediators contribute tremendously towards long-term social transformation and address conflict that emerges during periods of transition and in countries that have been affected by violence.

For more information please contact Lerato on: lerato@asc.org.za, or Richard on: richard@asc.org.za.

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Tue, 18 Feb 2014 09:17:28 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=61
ACTION Support Team http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=60 The ASC intends to facilitate a connection; training, sharing and learning process with solidarity and peace activists with the aim of establishing a network that is able to respond to the urgent need for transforming conflict in Africa and around the world, in particular at grassroots level.

Interested solidarity and peace activists are welcome to be part of this process of building relationships, establishing crosscutting linkages, and strengthening a network of solidarity and peace activists that are committed to a common transformative agenda.

There will be five training workshops that will focus on building capacity for conflict transformation practitioners and sharing some strategies for collective action where possible. These workshops will take place in March, May, June, August and September 2014. Participants will also be part of the African Solidarity Caravan.

For more information please contact Nkateko on nkateko@asc.org.za

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Tue, 18 Feb 2014 09:16:44 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=60
2014 Africa Week Festival http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=59 Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance in Action

The ASC and the Proudly African Campaign, in collaboration with a wide range of movements and formations, will host a performance stage at the Africa Week Street Festival in Yeoville, South Africa on Africa Day, the 25th of May 2014, Africa Day. The weeklong festival will run from the 20th to the 25th of May 2014.   

The festival will give activists an opportunity to celebrate 20 years of Democracy in South Africa, 51 years of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU), and acknowledge the 6th anniversary of the xenophobic attacks that devastated South African communities in 2008.

The events of the festival will give Africans, from South Africa and across the continent, an opportunity to engage with one another in the collective sharing of information, knowledge, music, song, dance, craft, clothing, food, film and art in an open vibrant community space.

ASC and the Proudly African Campaign performance stage will be filled with a number of African solidarity-focused performances and addresses, all in the spirit of celebrating cultural diversity, promoting social cohesion and championing human and people's rights.

To be part of this initiative please contact Philani on: philani@asc.org.za.

You are also encouraged to like the Proudly African Campaign on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProudlyAfriCanCampaign

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Tue, 18 Feb 2014 09:15:33 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=59
Peace, Conflict and Security in the post-2015 Development Agenda http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=58 The ASC, Saferworld and the Southern African Liaison Office (SALO) are working together to promote the inclusion of peace and security in the post-2015 development framework by raising awareness and catalysing dialogue about these issues in South Africa.

This is part of a broader Saferworld project designed to generate support from key member states, including South Africa, for the inclusion of peace and security in any post-2015 agreement.

Two events will be organised on the 26th of February 2014 in Johannesburg and on the 27th of February 2014 in Pretoria.

The objectives of this initiative are:

  • To raise awareness about the post-2015 development framework in South Africa as it relates to the peace and security agenda.
  • To foster understanding of South African perspectives on the relationship between peace and development in relation to the post-2015 framework.
  • To develop South African messaging on peace and security in relation to the post-2015 framework.

 For more information you can contact Philani at philani@asc.org.za or Richard at richard@asc.org.za.

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Tue, 18 Feb 2014 09:14:31 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=58
Applied Conflict Transformation Course http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=57

ACTION for Conflict Transformation is a global network of individual practitioners and organisations working for global peace using a conflict transformation approach. The Africa Regional Hub is the ACTION Support Centre. Through its Skills and Strategies for Change programme, aims to be a resource for African wisdom with the hope that it will assist organisations and individuals to respond effectively to the deep-rooted social conflicts across the continent. It connects people working for peace and development, human and people’s rights and social transformation in Anglophone, Lusophone and Francophone countries throughout Africa, and in countries experiencing violence that are connected to the conflict systems on the continent.

The ACTION Support Centre is conducting a course on Applied Conflict Transformation from 5th of May – 9th of May 2014 in Johannesburg.

The course was designed by a team of conflict and development specialists and aims to enhance and support the work of practitioners and policy makers affected by conflict and escalating tension. The workshop approach to learning uses a fine balance of pedagogical methods that include analysis from specialist resource people, input on critical conflict issues facing the continent, conceptual frameworks, detailed case studies and creative participatory exercises.

Following the success of the previous Applied Conflict Transformation Course in October 2013, the programme has been reworked to incorporate some of the suggestions made by the dynamic team of participants.

A full selection of comments received from past ACT course participants is available on our website: www.asc.org.za

“I feel a new sense of passion to continue contributing to the transformation of conflict. The networking connections made between the groups are exciting as well – there is so much potential for positive change and I want to become more involved.” ACT Course 2012

“I came here to learn a set of skills and strategies. Not only has the course surpassed my expectations in this regard I will also leave with a deeper understanding of my passions and where I can make my contribution in this world.” ACT Course 2013

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Specifically the course aims to:

  • Use a conflict transformation approach to facilitate learning processes with individuals , organisations and communities across the African continent;

  • Introduce tools and skills for analysing conflicts that can assist in identifying intervention strategies to reduce and prevent violence;

  • Use a conflict transformation approach to provide an interconnected dynamic systems lens that informs how we see ourselves in relation to the world around us and how we see the world itself;

  • Demonstrate the value of long-term processes that connect the past to the future by emphasising how analysis can be used to strategise effective approaches to engaging with conflict in the present;

  • Use a conflict transformation approach to analyse the interconnected dynamics of conflict systems;

  • Design spaces that deliberately cultivate a peoples culture of humanity reflective of the values, attitudes and relationships inspired by our shared vision of the future;

  • Expose participants to academic lectures, bringing in specialist resource people
    and historical tours that facilitate debate, discussions and a deeper analysis on issues using South Africa and its connections to the world as a case-study;

  • Promote a deeper look at land, natural resources, poverty and inequality as drivers of conflict;

  • Nurture a critical self-reflective sense of individual growth connected to a transformative

    agenda focused on empowered relationships between people and the empowering institutions

    that collectively enable a culture of people-to-people solidarity;

  • Share ideas that cultivate the notion that one cannot inspire others by trying to be inspiring;

    inspiring others comes from being your very own inspiring self. Conflict transformation starts

    with the self;

  • Develop a vision for Africa that reflects African values and capacities for peace.

    Using examples from across the continent, the course has been designed specifically for people who want to focus on conflict in Africa and connect this focus to the global context. Most of our courses also include participnats from contexts outsdie of Africa, who are able to adapt the learnings, and add their contributions to perspectives that asist in making the lessons from the course globally relevant.

    The course includes a set of analytical skills and strategies for analysing and engaging with conflict, as well as a focus on insights derived from new forms of resistance and change and their implications for Africa and beyond. The workshop includes field visits to the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill with specialist resource people coming in to give presentations on relevant issues designed in response to the expressed needs of participnats during the application and selection process.

    Participants should bring to the course case studies and examples of conflict transformation from their own experience and research. Throughout the course there is a strong focus on the

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need for individuals and organisations to form learning networks, and coalitions and alliances with others working in similar fields. Another important element focuses on the self, encouraging personal reflection and development. Participants who complete the training will receive the acclaimed Applied Conflict Transformation certificate.

The final programme will be developed in line with the specific needs and interests of selected participants.

Day One: Introduction to Conflict Transformation

  • Conceptual framework - Conflict, peace, violence, development;

  • Understanding key concepts;

  • Theoretical paradigms, dynamic systems theory and conflict transformation in practice;

  • Culture, identity and the connections to emerging forms of conflict and tension;

  • Conflict analysis tools and frameworks.

    Day Two: Working with Conflict

  • Approaches to intervention;

  • The African political economy;

  • Developing case studies and intervention opportunities; and

  • Integrating humanitarian assistance, development and peace building.

    Day Three: Social cohesion and relationship building

  • Land and natural resource conflict;

  • Transforming asymmetrical power relations;

  • Processing trauma; and

  • Faith, values and religion in Africa.

    Day Four: Conflict Intervention in Africa

  • Developing a peace architecture for Africa;

  • Facilitating dialogue, mediation, negotiation and arbitration;

  • Reconciliation and reintegration;

  • Advocacy, lobbying and campaigning;

  • New forms of struggle; and

  • Building an African vision.

    Day Five: Assessing Impact and Mapping Outcomes

  • Human rights, peace building and the African Charter;

  • Collaborative partnerships, networking, coalitions and alliances;

  • Monitoring and evaluation;

  • Mainstreaming conflict sensitivity in project planning; and

  • Developing context specific action strategies.

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For organisations:

This course is aimed at exploring skills and strategies for engaging with conflict across Africa and around the world. It will also draw practical insights from people in contexts severely affected by escalated conflict and violence. The enriching self-reflective and participatory learning approach will draw out skills and strategies that will inform the work that conflict practitioners are involved in and connect these skills and experiences to theories and policy debates.

It is therefore essential that:

Organisations:

  • Identify the areas of the course that will inform their work;

  • Identify the participant’s objectives for the course;

  • Clarify how will the participant use the learning obtained from this course in the

    organisation?

  • Discuss how organisation proposes to integrate the participant’s learning and experience?

    Facilitators:

    Skilled ACTION members from the African continent will facilitate the course. ACTION facilitators take a participatory approach, emphasising experiential learning. Facilitators bring experience of living and working on conflict situations across the continent. The course process and content will be developed and adapted by the facilitators’ in-line with participants needs.

    In addition to the full-time tutors, resource specialists from external institutions will conduct sessions on particular topics.

    Participants:

    The course is aimed particularly at:

  • Development and relief workers operating in contexts of conflict and violence acroos Africa

    and from around the world;

  • Civil society formations wanting to develop their programme beyond development and

    emergency relief, or social mobilisation to include advocacy, lobbying, peacebuilding,

    reconciliation and a long term social transfromation agenda;

  • Peacebuilders and conflict transformation practitioners;

  • Human rights defenders interested in Conflict Transformation;

  • Policy makers and academics looking for practical skills and strageies that close the gap

    between scholars and practitioners;

  • Governance institutions interested I exploring the potantial for collaborative cooperative

    partnerships.

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Participants from Francophone and Lusophone countries are encouraged to apply. While the course is conducted in English, translation and interpretation will ensure full participation of all groups. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.

If you have special needs that you fear may affect your participation, inform the ACTION Support Centre. Every effort will be made to accommodate these needs.

Scholarships:

Limited funds are available to support those unable to raise the full fees. Through the much appreciated support of Norwegian People’s Aid, limited scholarships will be awarded primarily on the basis of the context in which the applicant is working and their need for such training. Other factors taken into account include prior experience, diversity of applicants (age, gender, nationality, experience, etc.) and the demonstrated commitment and motivation of applicants. Applicants for scholarships should complete section 4 of the application form as early as possible. This should include an explanation of why they require a partial scholarship and should list the other sources of funds they have approached. Participants should first seek funding from their employer, partner organisations or donors already familiar with their work. The ACTION Support Centre can offer advice to applicants on how to find alternative sources of funding.

The application deadline is 15 February 2014.


Enquiries: Richard Smith, E-mail: richard@asc.org.za or Charity Mungweme, E-mail:

charity@asc.org.za .
For more about ACTION for Conflict Transformation, refer to www.asc.org.za.

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Thu, 13 Feb 2014 13:31:38 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=57
Peace, Conflict and Security in the post-2015 Development Agenda http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=56 Peace, Conflict and Security in the post-2015 Development Agenda

Hosted at the Humanities Graduate Centre, University of Witwatersrand

Invitation to an Analysis, Discussion and Information Sharing Session

The ACTION Support Centre and SAFERWORLD would like to invite you to take part in an analysis, discussion and information sharing session on Peace, Conflict and Security in the post-2015 Development Agenda.

Date: 26 February 2014

Venue: Humanities Graduate Centre Seminar Room, South West Engineering, University of Witwatersrand.  

Time: 08:30-15:00, Lunch will be provided

RSVP: We kindly request that you confirm your attendance by Friday (21st February 2014) by submitting your name, organisation and contact details to: 011 482 2453/philani@asc.org.za.

This analysis, discussion and information sharing session seeks to begin the process of promoting a focus on peace and security in the post-2015 development framework by raising awareness and catalysing dialogue about these issues in South Africa and beyond.


The objectives of the initiative are:
  • To raise awareness about the post-2015 development framework in South Africa as it relates to the peace and security agenda.
  • To foster understanding of South African perspectives on the relationship between peace and development in relation to the post-2015 framework.
  • To develop South African messaging on peace and security in relation to the post-2015 framework.

Kind regards

ACTION Support Centre

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Tue, 11 Feb 2014 13:35:33 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=56
NUMSA Struggle Expo – JHB http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=55

China Ngubane

Chairing the ‘migrant and refugee’ sector of the Struggle Expo on February 1, Bafana Zitha of NUMSA began by briefing us about the pre-1994 UDF goals which were never achieved and later abandoned. Twenty years later that gave rise to NUMSA going for a special national congress with the realisation that we haven’t achieved even an inch of the intended goals. 


The objective is not to become a front in an organisational form but a front that will be built in our trenches without a logo, a banner and head office etc. Movements that will join the united front will still maintain their independence. NUMSA is resolute towards a maximum programme of overthrowing our prime enemy which is capitalism. The front’s main objective is to give birth to a socialist movement that will eventually overthrow the capitalist system.


The ideology is premised in the Marxist Leninist approach where NUMSA seeks to solicit ways in which it can build a united front with migrant communities and other different fronts. This can be done through exchanging and understanding what migrant challenges and struggles are. Recommendations would be conveyed to the union on whether migrant struggles are a formidable or a questionable front to work with in the building of a solid united front. 


I was part of the group of migrants and refugees in the Struggle Expo, and we were represented by the KwaZulu Natal Refugee Council (KZNRC), Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), Centre for Civil Society (CCS) UKZN and people of DRC, Zim, Somalia and SA origin. Migrant groups highlighted common challenges including structural exclusion such as access to proper documentation, health, education, security etc. Given NUMSA’s intent to overthrow the capitalist system, some views were that the crisis of migration continues with the promotion of the capitalist system modified only by what we term reformist reforms. Capitalism as the root cause should be traced from the colonial era whose legacy led to the current problems. 


South Africa as a leading economy in Africa can also be seen to lead certain African struggles. Notions such as refugee, asylum seeker, and kwerekwere were brought by the same system (capitalism) which divided Africa into 53 countries in 1885 in Berlin, and which introduced discriminatory classifications of human beings. "Once Rhodesian now Zimbabwean" merely depicts the evolution of capitalism in our region, where at most Africans become commodities in these imperial territories, and are still commodities in today's neo-colonies. 


The point of departure for us to overcome the system will be, first, addressing the issue of documentation to migrants, the issue of boundaries, tribalism and ethnicism and promote equality among people regardless of origin. Local mayors and councillors also propagate division among local communities by blaming e.g. people from Eastern Cape as a reason for the delay in the provision of basic services such as housing. In 2008 migrant groups received assistants from many sectors of the society. 


Although these networks seem to hibernate, they are readily available to fight for migrant rights. Churches, civil organisations, human rights groups, lawyers for human rights and individuals played a role in serving lives of migrants through community dialogues promoting integration, where in some cases police also helped. Institutions like universities also facilitated workshops, capacity building and research, not only to understand what happened but also to find how different we can deal with the problem. 


Media played both a positive and negative role around xenophobia. NUSMA has very compressive resolutions on xenophobia and has not turned a blind eye to such atrocities. During the 2008 xenophobic wave NUMSA assisted migrants at the Central Methodist church in Johannesburg with blankets etc. The union will try and strengthen its relationship with migrants however it’s not always about NUMSA doing things for them, but we will work together.


Migrant groups argued that efforts to engage with authorities are usually fruitless; thus we may address things at local level but without influence from government nothing will sustain. Marches, pickets, publicity, press, petitions etc. are forms of resistance used to stand for migrant rights and it seems there is no success. This initiative (united front) gives hope and opportunity for migrant voices to be heard.  For example Somalis, like many other immigrants, leave home countries due to war and other life threatening conditions, and one day they wish to go back home. The challenge is that the political stalemate in home countries looks far from being resolved, as leaders want to stay in power forever; twenty years or more. 


Our problems mount in the meantime. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) are closing refugee reception centres (e.g. Cape Town) and relocating these to the border areas, which will put much pressure on refugees and asylum seekers while further excluding those without documentation. There are also challenges of selective attacks on migrant individuals and businesses; other people call it xenophobia or Afrophobia but the reality remains that it’s only a certain group of people that are victimised. Migrant children have no easy access to schools, where they succeed e.g. metric they are not able to further their education. There are difficulties with converting educational qualifications of migrant nationals, it’s a long process and it never materialises. 

Migrant communities also face problems in accessing health and they are harassed in hospitals and clinics. Recently the department of health in Gauteng developed a foreign patient policy which CoRMSA is planning to campaign against. They are planning to have a policy which will deal with foreigners only in all hospitals and clinics. If you are non-South African health officials will not follow what the National Health Act says but what they have developed. 


One of the problems with this is that you have to pay the whole amount before you get treated regardless of whether it’s an emergency or you’re dying, if you don’t have money you are not going to be treated. The challenges is the same in all provinces, however even if we try to consult government officials they are always in denial.


Given that they are not here forever and that most of them would like go back home, immigrants would appreciate to be empowered to be able to correct the ills which initiated their departure from home. Employers exploit migrant labour as migrants accepts anything that comes on offer due to lack of permits which brings tension and conflict with the local people. This also puts migrants into vulnerable situations; the provision of proper documentation to migrants would solve many challenges facing migrants and tension with local communities. 


And migrants will be able to look for proper job, negotiate for better salaries, join unions and fight the struggle together with local workers. The Department of Labour is not playing its role adequately; this is because we have a lot of cases where migrants have taken formal jobs, they contribute towards the UIF and many other schemes but the challenge is when they lose those jobs they cannot access benefits.


Again the Zimbabwe Dispensation programme gave an opportunity to Zimbabwe get work, study or business permits but all these permits are due to expire by end of the 2014. The problem is that they did not make a clause for permit renewal, and so later this year we are obviously going to face huge documentation backlogs on Zimbabweans. This also means loss of jobs and the right to be in SA for Zimbabweans and they will be further exploited by the employers. When they go to CCMA they are made to pay for services which should be provided free of charge and this is because they are not able to negotiate and there is nobody to speak on their behalf. 


Corruption remains the biggest challenge in the DHA; it takes over ten years to get a permit, even if you receive a confirmation to collect your permit the time you arrive at the offices you will find that your permit goes missing. This is because DHA officials sell it to other people who usually commit crime with your ID. There is lack of interpretation capacity of migrant policies in government employees. 


Without documentation people are going underground which means they are subject to exploitation which comes with undermining wage negotiations, undercutting wage etc. Access to banking also remains a challenge, migrants earn their pay by envelops and usually resort to pillow-banking because banks no longer allow asylum seekers to open accounts with them. There are notions that migrants don’t pay tax; how can they pay tax without bank accounts? 


Currently there is a new licencing bill which if passed would exclude migrants from opening businesses in South Africa. One should have one million rand to get a business licence. It was hoped that these challenges could be better fought together with NUMSA, because like so many things, this kind of tendency represents a neo-liberal return to apartheid's principles, but now on class lines not race lines.

Urgent priorities included the call for NUMSA’s intervention on issues around documentation, the relocation of refugee reception centres, access to schools and health, and backlogs as this will empower migrants to negotiate wages and organise themselves. Migrants working in the security sector are working long hours, in many cases they are fired without notice or pay. The relocation of refugee reception centres to borders, corruption and bribes remains central; NUMSA could consider opening membership to migrants working in the farms, domestic work, security and mostly fuel stations etc. Migrant groups to work with NUMSA regional offices to advance migrant concerns e.g. legal assistance, opening of bank accounts, representation on labour issues etc. NUMSA to engage on educational processes and work with academic institutions for research, teach political history etc. NUMSA to get involved in social cohesion initiatives which will bring South Africans and migrant groups together. NUMSA will work in partnership with organised communities and movements including migrants. It was recommended that NUMSA must educate communities on policies that affect them e.g. land. NUMSA will fight all forms of discrimination and intensify solidarity with all sectors.

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Thu, 06 Feb 2014 09:39:56 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=55
The ACTION Support Centre Pays Tribute to Madiba http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=54 We honour him and celebrate his life and legacy by empowering the people of Africa and serving all humanity in pursuit of peace

The ACTION Support Centre joins fellow Africans and the people across the world in celebrating the life of a consummate servant leader Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

President Mandela inspired South Africa, Africa and the world with his vision of equality and transformation in society. Emerging from a painful past, he encouraged reconciliation, tolerance, forgiveness, true and effective leadership, including a culture of collaboration to deal with challenges. His legacy cannot be summarised in black and white. President Mandela played a significant role in helping Africans not only to imagine a future but also to begin to live a life where the most vulnerable and marginalised people would be free from fear and want.  The ACTION Support Centre shares this vision of a transformative society in which every person feels valued, respected, and protected.

We also remember him as an ardent protagonist of Pan-African solidarity, Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance. As we reflect 50 years of the formation of the African Union and the Organisation of African Unity before it, African people have a renewed belief and commitment to a politically and economically independent African continent.

The departure of President Mandela leaves us with a legacy that offers us an opportunity to reflect as Africans on the journey that we have travelled since independence. As advised by Frantz Fanon, the Mandela generation discovered the mission of their generation and they remained faithful to it and thus accomplished it. The task of defeating apartheid and colonialism was a daunting one and so is the task of addressing the many challenges we face today.  As we celebrate the life of President Mandela there are many fundamental questions we must ask ourselves, one of which should be – what shall we do to respond to the tasks of building a people centred African Renaissance to whose attainment, among many others, President Nelson Mandela dedicated his whole life?

Issued by the ACTION Support Centre

For more information contact: Philani Ndebele, ASC Campaigns Manager, +27 76 942 3565

philani@asc.org.za

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Tue, 10 Dec 2013 22:19:38 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=54
Invitation to a Learning Exchange Meeting on the DRC http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=53 Invitation to a Learning Exchange Meeting on the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC

Warm greetings from the ACTION Support Centre-ASC

We would like to invite you to take part in a planned Learning Exchange Meeting on DRC.

Date: 26-27 November 2013

Venue: Elijah Barayi Memorial Training Centre, 49 Joe Slovo Drive, Cnr Alexander and Saunders, Yeoville, Johannesburg, South Africa

Time: 8:30-16:30

We kindly request you to indicate to us if you will be able to attend the meeting or send a representative from your organisation. Below is a summary of key areas that will be covered during the meeting and see attached Process Outline.

DAY ONE: 26 November 2013: Information Sharing and Analysis

  • Unpacking the DRC crisis, challenges and opportunities for developing a transformative agenda. Focusing on youth, women, democracy, development, and human and people's rights and other key issues
  • Assessing the role of organisations, movements and formations in the DRC in deepening and advancing the democratisation process in DRC
  • Assessing and strengthening the role of Regional Solidarity Movements in the region: Focusing on DRC

DAY TWO: 27 November 2013: Developing Strategies and Identifying Opportunities for Collaborative Initiatives

  • Strengthening the DRC Mass Democratic Movement: Sharing Lessons, Challenges and Upcoming Events
  • Identifying and sharing strategies for collaborative initiatives in the region: Developing a Regional Declaration and Comprehensive Plan of Action on DRC

RSVP: For logistical purposes we kindly request that you confirm you attendance by Friday (22 November 2013) by submitting your name, organisation and contact details to: 

Philani Ndebelephilani@asc.org.za+27 76 942 3565

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Mon, 18 Nov 2013 16:11:56 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=53
Give a Red Card to the Swazi Dictatorship! http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=52 Give a Red Card to the Swazi Dictatorship!

Boycott South Africa, Swaziland Unfriendly Soccer Match!

The Swaziland Democracy Campaign-SDC unites with all progressive and democratic movements in calling for a cancellation of the upcoming football match between South Africa and Swaziland.

Swaziland is one of our continents most impoverished nations, and yet the ruling elite, centred on the dictatorial Royal Household enjoys outrageous opulence. The majorities of the people in Swaziland live in abject poverty and are denied the most basics of social, economic, political, human, people and civil rights. Soccer players and fans should check out the appalling human and people’s rights record of the regime before committing themselves to the match.

The Royal Elite waste vast amounts of money on conspicuous consumption, typified by squads of King Mswati’s wives and hangers on foraging around the exclusive shopping malls of the world. And how do they afford to do this? By shamelessly plundering the national treasury and this is the reason why Mswati is now known as the Designer Dictator?

Meanwhile, those courageous enough to raise their voices against institutionalised corruption in Swaziland, and who dare to organise others in defense of their living standards, are physically attacked by the security services, criminalised, systematically harassed, face trumped up charges, and some die in prisons. Many are incarcerated in appalling prison conditions on the flimsiest of ‘evidence’.  This is the reality of Swaziland today, a reality that the world must know and confront.

Football is the Peoples Game. All over the world, millions of players and fans turn to football for relaxation, excitement, and displays of great skill and expertise. It is a game capable of producing great passion and loyalties, but it is also a game that makes certain people extremely rich, and it can also provide a cover for those regimes that abuse their own people. This is the case in Swaziland.

Football and many other activities are promoted by the Royal Elite to give the impression that Swaziland is a ‘normal’ country. But this is not the truth.  Swaziland is our continents last absolute dictatorship. Its people are denied, by force, the right to enjoy even the most basic of democratic rights. For these reasons, footballers cannot escape their responsibility to humanity, to the millions who love the beautiful game.

Whether soccer fans and players like it or not, the Mswati regime will benefit politically and financially if the match goes ahead. The sports boycott was an important part of the anti-apartheid struggle, and can be today too, in the fight for a genuine democratic Swaziland.  

The Swaziland Democracy Campaign therefore wholeheartedly supports the call of the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF), COSATU and many others in calling for Bafana Bafana not to be used as a cover for human and people rights abuses in Swaziland.

Its time to give a Red Card to the Mswati’s regime, and for the South African football community to say, we don’t play with dictators!

For more information please contact: 

Stephen Faulkner, +27 82 817 5455

Philani Ndebele, +27 76 942 3565


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Fri, 08 Nov 2013 11:23:19 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=52
Does the unwieldy label of the African Capacity for Immediate Response http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=51 Does the unwieldy label of the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises conceal a real determination to act?

Peter Fabricius, Foreign Editor, Independent Newspapers, South Africa

All the attention this week on the unconditional surrender of the M23 rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – including the Southern African Development Community (SADC)/International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) summit on the topic in Pretoria which South African President Jacob Zuma hosted on Monday night – rather overshadowed another important summit which he hosted the next night.

After the big SADC/ICGLR summit which nine heads of state attended, Tuesday’s summit on the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) was something of an anti-climax. Only four leaders were present and it also failed to attract much media attention, mainly, it seems, because the ACIRC invites such scepticism; it seems so perfectly to encapsulate the African Union’s (AU) propensity to prevaricate and procrastinate.

The AU summit in Addis Ababa in May decided to create the CIRC because of its embarrassment at being found so badly wanting when jihadist and separatist insurgents launched their offensive to try to take over Mali. While Africa dithered and mulled over its response, the former colonial power France intervened decisively with Operation Serval stopping the insurgents in their tracks.

The AU’s African Standby Force (ASF) should really have done the job in Mali. But at the May summit, the AU leaders said it was not going to be ready for some time, because, as then AU peace and security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra in effect explained, it was intended to be such a perfect instrument that creating it would be a long process.

So the leaders agreed on a stopgap measure, the ACIRC, which would be a voluntary mechanism of countries ready to come together quickly to tackle specific crises. And so Tuesday’s meeting was the first gathering of the volunteers at summit level. The four leaders who attended were Zuma, Chad’s President Idriss Déby, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete.

Niger, Ghana, Ethiopia, Angola, Algeria and Sudan were represented at a lower level. Zuma was explicit in his opening remarks about the genesis of the ACIRC as a mechanism Africa felt it needed to ensure ‘African solutions for African problems’ – swiftly and independently of external powers. He suggested that this mechanism should be up and running by the end of the year.

But in a statement afterwards the leaders said they had decided to establish a Working Group of all Chiefs of Defence Staff of volunteering countries. The leaders had agreed on guidelines to help the defence chiefs to draft practical proposals for setting up the ACIRC. The chiefs would report back to the leaders of volunteering countries who would in turn report to the next AU summit in January 2014.

None of which sounds very ‘immediate’.

Nonetheless official sources insist there is a real determination by the core group of volunteers to create a rapid response force relatively rapidly. The volunteers were asked to pledge forces at Tuesday’s meeting. Déby, Museveni and Kikwete each pledged a reinforced battalion, while South Africa pledged a motorized battalion, sources said. South Africa and Tanzania are already quite committed with a battalion each in the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) which contributed decisively to the DRC army’s victory over the M23. And Uganda’s military is even more deeply committed through its major contribution to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) force in Somalia.

Nevertheless the sense of Tuesday’s meeting was that these new pledges would be over and above existing operations, if necessary. The commitment of the other volunteers at the meeting was less, as symbolised by their lower-level representation. They pledged logistics, training and equipment for the envisaged force, or said they would have to consult further with their governments before committing themselves.

Déby’s interest is evidently in the new rapid response force intervening in Chad’s neighbour, the Central African Republic (CAR), which remains in chaos after  the ousting of President Francois Bozize by Seleka rebels in March this year. One can imagine, although he may not have said so, that that is a mission Zuma could support. After the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) small force in CAR was overrun by Seleka on its way to the capital Bangui in March, Zuma let it be known that he would like the SANDF to return in greater force to restore order (and, some might think, settle the score with Seleka).

The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and AU have theoretically agreed on a substantial reinforcement of the peacekeeping force that ECCAS now has in CAR but it so far just exists on paper and is likely to remain there.

What Museveni and Kikwete’s ideas for using the rapid response force might be is not clear. Museveni, especially, has always had ambitions beyond what for him are evidently the rather narrow confines of Uganda. The absence of Nigeria from Tuesday’s summit was remarked upon. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier expressed enthusiastic support for the ACIRC but later tried to block it. Some observers believe he is too pre-occupied with fighting the Boko Haram Islamist militants in northern Nigeria to be able to lend forces to anyone else – but is too proud to admit it.

Ethiopia’s position also seems ambivalent. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn was presumably expected at the summit at some point since Zuma welcomed him in the written version of his opening remarks. Instead foreign minister Tedros Ghebreyesus represented Ethiopia at Tuesday’s meeting. Desalegn had enthusiastically – and publicly – offered Ethiopia’s support for the ACIRC at the May AU summit. But others in his government who are politically influential evidently do not share Desalegn’s enthusiasm for getting involved in anything that does not directly serve Ethiopia’s interests.

One might legitimately ask why the AU did not just accelerate the establishment of the ASF rather than creating this new bureaucracy. The trouble with the ASF, officials reply, is that all AU members are supposed to be involved and that is really why it is taking so long to stand up.

And so the ACIRC is intended to be, not a whole new bureaucracy, but merely a way to secure AU legitimacy for what will essentially be coalitions of the willing, volunteers ready to put boots on the ground in a hurry in any given crisis. We shall see. 


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Fri, 08 Nov 2013 11:02:19 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=51
ASC Applied Conflict Transformation Course http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=50 The Upcoming Applied Conflict Transformation Course will focus on a wide range of issues:

Date: 28th October to 1st of November 2013

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Specifically the course aims to:

  • Use a conflict transformation approach  to facilitate  learning processes with individuals , organisations and communities across the African continent
  • Introduce tools and skills for analysing conflicts that can assist in identifying intervention strategies to reduce and prevent violence
  • Use a conflict transformation  approach to provide an interconnected dynamic systems lens that informs how we see ourselves in relation to the world around us and how we see the world itself
  • Provide long-term processes that connect the past to the future by emphasising the approach that we use in the present in analysing conflicts
  • Use a conflict transformation  approach  to analyse what, why and how  conflicts occur
  • Design spaces that deliberately cultivate a peoples culture of humanity reflective of the values, attitudes and relationships inspired by our shared vision of the future
  • Expose participants  to academic lectures, bringing in specialist resource people and  historical tours that facilitate debate, discussions and a deeper analysis on issues that affect human beings including land, natural resources, poverty and inequality as drivers of conflict
  • Nurture a critical self-reflective sense of individual growth connected to a transformative agenda focused on empowered relationships between people and the empowering institutions that collectively enable a culture of people-to-people solidarity
  • To share ideas that one cannot inspire others by trying to be inspiring, inspiring others comes from being your very own inspiring self. Conflict transformation starts with the self
  • Develop a vision for Africa that reflects African values and capacities for peace.

Using examples from across the continent, the course has been designed specifically for people who want to focus on conflict in Africa and connect this focus to the global context. It will include an analysis of skills and strategies for analysing conflict in Africa and beyond, as well as a focus on new forms of resistance and change and their implications for Africa and beyond. The workshop includes field visits to the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill with specialist resource people coming in to give presentations on certain issues.

Participants should bring to the course case studies and examples of conflict transformation from their own experience and research.  Throughout the course there is a strong focus on the need for individuals and organisations to form networks, coalitions and alliances with others working in similar fields.  Another important element focuses on the self, encouraging personal reflection and development.  Participants who complete the training will receive the acclaimed Applied Conflict Transformation certificate.

The final programme will be developed in line with the specific needs and interests of selected participants.

Day One: Introduction to Conflict Transformation

  • Conceptual framework- Conflict, peace, violence, development;
  • Understanding key concepts;
  • Theoretical paradigms and conflict transformation in practice;
  • Culture and identity; and
  • Conflict analysis.

Day Two: Working with Conflict

  • Approaches to intervention;
  • The African political economy;
  • Developing case studies and intervention opportunity; and
  • Integrating humanitarian assistance, development and peace building.

Day Three: Social cohesion and relationship building

  • Land and natural resource conflict;
  • Transforming asymmetrical power relations;
  • Processing trauma; and
  • Faith, values and religion in Africa.

Day Four: Conflict Intervention in Africa

  • Developing a peace architecture for Africa;
  • Facilitating dialogue, mediation, negotiation and arbitration;
  • Reconciliation and reintegration;
  • Advocacy, lobbying and campaigning;
  • New forms of struggle; and
  • Building an African vision.

Day Five: Assessing Impact and Mapping Outcomes

  • Human rights, peace building and the African Charter;
  • Collaborative partnerships, networking, coalitions and alliances;
  • Monitoring and evaluation;
  • Mainstreaming conflict sensitivity in project planning; and
  • Developing context specific action strategies.

For organisations: 

This course is aimed at exploring skills and strategies for engaging with conflict across Africa and around the world. It would also draw practical insights from people in acute conflict zones. Its enriching content will unpack a lot of skills and strategies that will inform the work that conflict practitioners are involved in.

It is therefore essential that:

Organisations:

  • Identify the areas of the course that will inform their work;
  • Identify the participant’s objectives for the course;
  • How will the participant use the learning obtained from this course in the organisation?
  • How does the organisation propose to integrate the participant’s learning and experience?

Facilitators:

Skilled ACTION members from the African continent will facilitate the course. ACTION facilitators take a participatory approach, emphasising experiential learning. Facilitators bring experience of living and working on conflict situations across the continent. The course process and content will be developed and adapted by the facilitators’ in-line with participants needs.

In addition to the full-time tutors, resource specialists from external institutions will conduct sessions on particular topics.

 Participants: 

The course is aimed particularly at:

  • Development and relief workers operating in contexts of conflict and violence in Southern Africa and the continent more broadly;
  • NGOs wanting to develop their programme beyond development and emergency relief to include advocacy, lobbying, peacebuilding and reconciliation;
  • Peacebuilders and conflict transformation practitioners;
  • Human rights defenders interested in Conflict Transformation;
  • Those wanting to explore African cultural mechanisms for peace making; and
  • Governance institutions. 
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Tue, 22 Oct 2013 14:26:26 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=50
STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY TO THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE ON THE RENDITION... http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=49 STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY TO THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE ON THE RENDITION AND ILLEGAL DEPORTATION OF ZIMBABWEANS IN SOUTH AFRICA

The Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum (ZSF) is gravely concerned about reports by progressive civil society, solidarity activists and the media that senior officials in various government institutions are implicated on the illegal deportations of the people of Zimbabwe. It has become public knowledge that over the past years, many Zimbabweans have been subject to rendition, the illegal kidnapping and transfer of a prisoner from one country to another, at the hands of South African police officials in particular and many other government institutions.

Although the extent of the truth underlying these allegations will be established as investigations continue, the ZSF remains deeply concerned about the violations of rights and brutal treatment of Zimbabwean and other migrants in South Africa. The ZSF remains committed to building and deepening a culture of people-to-people solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe in South Africa and across the region.

The ZSF is also aware of the power imbalances and the abuse of power by police officials, and therefore, strongly condemns police brutality and the illegal deportation of migrants in South Africa. Further to this, the ZSF strongly believes that the abuse of power by state officials cannot be separated from the social context in which it occurs. Social intolerance, prejudice, the manipulation of “anti-foreigner” sentiments and the absence or dysfunctionailty of systems and structures that protect the human and peoples rights of marginalised groups are part of the wider problems that need attention. 

The ZSF recognises and acknowledges the role that has been played by the investigators from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) in overseeing the investigation process of the conduct of the concerned police officials, and expresses hope that justice will be done, and seen as such. The ZSF asserts the importance of recognising that the concerns around the ill-treatment of Zimbabwean migrants, rendition and the flouting of democratic principles and values is not a concern for Zimbabweans alone, but necessitates concern from all progressive forces across the region.

Thus, the ZSF calls on all progressive civil society and government institutions in Southern Africa to continue building a culture of people-to-people solidarity and amplifying a unified voice that demands an end to police brutality, illegal detainment and rendition of Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa.

The ZSF also calls on the South African government to ensure that police officials are better equipped on issues around refugee rights, as well as aligning their responsibilities with the democratic principles and values of existing policy framework.

The ZSF remains confident that progressive formations from across the region will continue deepening people-to-people solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, and affirms its ongoing commitment to support the people of Zimbabwe in their quest for freedom, respect and dignity in Zimbabwe and across the region. Guided by the principles of people-led democracy, sustainable peace and stability in Zimbabwe and the region, the ZSF will remain connected to the progressive movements that are contributing to end the torture, illegal arrests, harassment, rendition and the loss of the lives of the victims of rendition.

Issued by the ZSF Secretariat

For more information please contact:

Philani Ndebele on Philani@asc.org.za or +27 (0) 76 942 3565 and/or Nkateko Chauke on Nkateko@asc.org.za or +27 (0) 78 152 6939

About the ZSF

The Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum (ZSF) is a network movement of progressive South African civil society organisations, including youth, women, labour, faith-based, human rights and student formations that are engaged in the promotion of people-to-people solidarity for sustainable peace, democracy and human and peoples rights in Zimbabwe, engaged with and supported by regional counterparts and solidarity formations in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland.

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Fri, 18 Oct 2013 08:03:10 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=49
Statement of Solidarity with the People of Sudan http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=48 Statement of Solidarity with the People of Sudan

 The Sudan Solidarity Network (SSN), troubled by the on-going brutal and inhumane events taking place in the Sudan, hereby call on President Omar Al Bashir and his ruling Islamist regime of the National Congress Party (the NCP) and the rest of the Sudanese regime’s leadership to take, with immediate effect, decisive steps to end the state of lawlessness currently prevailing in the Sudan.

The SSN hereby issues this Emergency Motion and Statement of Solidarity with all the people of the Sudan as they are being indiscriminately killed, maimed and/or being forcibly displaced, internally and externally, as the nation is being pillaged and looted by some self serving people who care only about themselves and holding onto power despite the clear and unambiguous wishes of the people that they should vacate their seats of power.

Sudan is witnessing a new escalation of lethal violence, which is resulting, on a daily basis, in scores of protesters and activists being killed or seriously wounded. To insist on pursuing selfish interests at the expense of the people and to deploy state security agents to crush growing popular uprisings is to trample on highly treasured and cherished precepts of democracy – freedom of peaceful association and freedom of expression. This inevitably promotes more widespread violence throughout the country.

As such, the SSN NOTES WITH CONCERN, the following violations against the people’s fundamental and inalienable human rights:

  • The random and indiscriminate firing of live ammunition at civilians’ heads and chests as they exercise their constitutional rights, resulting in death and serious injury.
  • The prevention of students and youths from attending academic institutions as they are closed and they are hunted down by the regime’s military forces and police.
  • The denial of access to humanitarian aid by the affected people and the embargo on humanitarian assistance being made accessible to those most vulnerable and in need.
  • The corrupt maladministration of the regime and the economic suffocation of the people.
  • The rounding up and detaining of more than 1000 people, since the start of the protests to date, including journalists who are now at risk of persecution, by arrest and interrogation, as a result of a media blackout.
  • The violent break up of protests by state agents, through the use of lethal force, against the peacefully demonstrating protesters.
  • The forced disappearances of activists at the hands of the intelligence and other state and non state actors working in cahoots with government departments and the NCP.
  • The ever increasing numbers of Sudanese men, women and children who continue to be killed, forcibly displaced, and calculatingly starved by President Omar Al Bashir and the NCP regime.

 In light of the above referred concerns the SSN therefore DEMANDS as follows:

  •  An immediate secession of violence against the people.
  • President Omar Al Bashir and his NCP to, without further ado, respect the Sudanese people’s wishes to be governed responsibly, and without undue intimidation and torture.
  • President Omar Al Bashir and the NCP to, forthwith, concede to the legitimate demands of the people for them to vacate the seats of power.
  • That the African Union and African Presidents and Heads of State stop all support to Al Bashir and all others indicted by the International Criminal Court and allow the indictment to be executed without hindrance.

 The SSN thus RESOLVES:

  • To stand by and support the people of the Sudan and their cause and shall, in that regard, use any and all means and ways at its disposal to ensure success.
  • To stand with the Sudanese people who are protesting the ending of subsidies on essential goods, including fuel, which has placed an unbearable economic burden on the lives of the people. This is untenable, excessive and unreasonable against those who are already impoverished.
  • To stand with the Sudanese people who are protesting the denial to accessing humanitarian assistance that they deserve, as the NCP government is deliberately failing in its responsibility to deliver such services.
  • To stand with the Sudanese youths and young people who are protesting against the closure of academic institutions.

 As the Sudan Solidarity Network remembers and honours Martyr’s Friday, it expresses unequivocal and uncompromising support and solidarity with the people who are protesting, including the activists and journalists who are being persecuted simply for standing their ground against consciously planned and executed state repression. The people’s demands against a state that is obviously failing to protect, promote and uphold the fundamental rights of its own citizens are just and progressive.

Finally the SSN calls upon the whole of humanity, in the Sudan and outside, to join forces and raise a resounding denunciation of the current violations of the human rights of civilians, including women and children. The SSN also appeals for support in working for a peaceful and democratic Sudan.

Despite the attempted news blackout, let the world hear, know and act decisively to stop this insanity, now.

Sudan Solidarity Network (SNN)

www.sudansolidaritynetwork@gmail.com

South Africa, Pretoria

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Fri, 18 Oct 2013 07:52:35 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=48
Solidarity Message to the Ogaden Communities http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=47 STATEMENT OF SUPPORT TO THE COALITION OF OGADEN COMMUNITIES AND CIVIL SOCIETIES

 An essential aspect of the ACTION Support Centre’s commitment to social transformation is centred on empowerment and solidarity. The ACTION Support Centre realises that linking individuals together, and finding organisations that can support and strengthen initiatives that recognise that freedoms are indivisible, contributes towards generating collective momentum for the achievement of sustainable peace. It also allows for the realisation that respect, as well as the promotion and protection of human and people’s rights is a prerequisite to development. Under the auspices of the Solidarity and Transformation Agenda, the ACTION Support Centre works to promote advocacy and generate awareness for the need for a collective effort from every individual committed to sustainable peace, democracy and human rights and for unity in action behind a shared agenda.

The ACTION Support Centre appreciates the key role that the Coalition of Ogaden Communities and Civil Societies has played in collectively advocating for the rights of Ogaden people in the Diaspora and the Ogaden region.

The ACTION Support Centre is disturbed by the marginalization, social intolerance and sporadic violence that the Ogaden people have suffered at the expense of the escalating conflict in the Ogaden region, which has not only forced people into displacement, but also denied them their rights. The ACTION Support Centre therefore affirms its commitment and ongoing effort to support the Ogaden people and to stand by communities that are affected by conflict and violence.

The ACTION Support Centre remains concerned about the ongoing violence in the Ogaden region. Conflict and violence in the Ogaden cannot be separated from the regional context of the greater Horn of Africa. The complex conflict systems across the region demand an integrated multi-stakeholder dialogue process that addresses the human rights violations, the unacceptable violence and the demands of the Ogaden people.  Within this context, the ACTION Support Centre supports the call for a dialogue process aimed at transforming the military conflict between the Ogaden National Liberation Front, the Oromo Liberation Front, the G7 and the Ethiopian government and for an engagement that is focused on the pursuit of Human Security and not just the security of the armed forces.

The ACTION Support Centre comes with a spirit of solidarity as it moves towards the achievement of durable peace on the continent, and therefore extends its support to the ongoing efforts of the Ogaden people to advocate for their collective and individual rights. In the spirit of a deep people-to-people solidarity we stand here ready to contribute where we can to ending violence and ensuring an Africa that allows all of us to live and thrive in accordance with our collective needs.

Issued by the ASC 

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Wed, 16 Oct 2013 09:54:15 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=47
AIMP Liliesleaf Declaration http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=46 Liliesleaf Declaration  

Johannesburg, South Africa

12th -13th September 2013

We the participants of the AIMP Consultative Conference convened at Liliesleaf, Rivonia in Johannesburg, South Africa,

Recognising the need for the development and application of national and local capacities for mediation and the accompaniment of mediative processes, in the context of shifts in the dynamics of conflicts affecting the African continent,

Affirming the role played by the ACTION Support Centre as the current Secretariat of the AIMP,

Agreeing to work collectively in support of building and strengthening the AIMP initiative:

Hereby mandate the Secretariat of the AIMP, to develop a detailed action plan built around the following four pillars of action identified by the participants, and in line with the detailed input provided by the participants:

1.  Community of Practice

  • Knowledge and experience sharing
  • Dissemination of case studies
  • Online portal development
  • Regular meetings of practicing mediators at regional and continental levels

2.  Training and capacity building

  • Organising training courses on insider mediation
  • Development of training methodologies
  • Training of upcoming insider mediators

3.  Direct support to mediation processes

  • Utilising members of the platform to provide timely support
  • Sustaining a resource group of skilled mediators
  • Analysing the context and conflict dynamics in support of these processes

4.  Partnership building

  • Complementary support to Track I mediative processes
  • Building partnerships in support of national and local capacities for mediation and national peace architectures that are coherent, credible and complementary
  • Working closely with UNDP, the African Union Commission, including the Panel of the Wise and the Regional Economic Communities in support of the African Peace and Security Architecture
  • Networking, identifying complementarities with all key stakeholders

In undertaking these initiatives we will seek to build a culture of accountability through the production of regular reports that will be shared with relevant stakeholders including the African Union Commission and the African Regional Economic Communities.

In the selfless spirit embodied by Liliesleaf, former underground headquarters of the armed wing of a liberation movement, we commit ourselves to working in support of each other, and as a contribution to the collective efforts to transform the conflict systems on our continent.

Proposed by Hon. Justice James Ogoola, Seconded by Lona Lowilla, Adopted unanimously!

Dated and signed at Liliesleaf, Rivonia, South Africa, on this 13th day of September 2013

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Wed, 25 Sep 2013 09:30:35 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=46
Think Tank Report on Swaziland Reinforces Tinkhundla http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=45 Think Tank Report on Swaziland Reinforces Tinkhundla: Dismisses Democracy Movement!

SDC Statement

09 September 2013

Chatham House is a UK based think tank that is home to the Royal Institute for International Affairs, and promotes itself as an independent source on matters of international relations. However, judging from its latest report on Swaziland, largely authored by Alex Vines (Order of the British Empire) a senior officer of the organisation, it is in danger of having its reputation shredded!

The report on Swaziland is chronically deficient in several ways. While it outlines some of the harsh conditions experienced by the people of Swaziland in terms of poverty and HIV, mass unemployment and the almost total absence of social welfare, it places all possibilities for change on the worsening economic situation, and the unsustainable route being followed by the Royal Elite. It argues that it will be impending financial ruin and not peoples power that will eventually bring King Mswati and his court to their senses.

The parlous state of the Swazi economy is extremely well documented and known, including the fact that a large proportion of the countries receipts go straight into propping up the ostentatious lifestyles of the Royal Family, but that they also complement the skewed domineering ownership by King Mswati himself of very large parts of the private and public assets of the country.

The institutionalised corruption that takes place is also well known and documented, as are the ridiculous shopping expeditions of the Kings family members to all corners of the planet, including recently to Australia. What the report does not address is the allocation of resources to the security cluster in the country, to maintain these corrupt and completely wasteful extravagancies, and which serve to keep the people of Swaziland in dire and worsening poverty.

The report fails the people of Swaziland, in a number of ways.  It completely bypasses the need to apply universal standards of what should constitute a democratic election process. The fact that prominent and completely innocent democracy activists continue to languish in miserable Swazi prisons, while peaceful political parties remain banned and forced underground with no rights whatsoever to contest elections, let alone campaign, when civil society activists are routinely arrested, detained and maltreated, including respected and well known trade union leaders, and when even multi-congregational prayer meetings calling for peace and justice are broken up by police. This alone should render the so-called elections a farce. Does Alex Vines OBE believe that free and fair elections can take place under these conditions? The answer appears to be yes! But there is more. Even if the repression unleashed again last week during the Global Week of Action had not taken place, the fact that there is not even an accurate or transparent electoral roll, that there is no open process for the selection of parties and candidates by constituents, and mounting evidence of widespread intimidation of especially poor communities by chieftaincies backed by the police should be more than enough to condemn the electoral charade that is taking place. 

As if this is not bad enough, the holder of the Order of the British Empire insisted when in Swaziland that the democratic movement, and especially PUDEMO was wrong to boycott the electoral charade! This is a ridiculous conclusion from one who is supposed to be independent, and capable of critical analysis.

Let us put the record straight. If it were not for the courage and determination of countless democracy activists drawn from the Trade Unions, banned Political and Faith Based Organisations, Youth and Student movements, there would not even be the sham elections that the Royal Elite are now offering. If not for those outstanding, people centred activists who have bravely challenged Royal rule by decree, and who, at great personal risk, have organised and mobilised against incredible odds, to expose the wholly corrupt Tinkhundla system, then even worse pillaging of national resources would have taken place. After all, it was the concerted effort of the democracy movement, and especially the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) and its campaigning wing the Swaziland Democracy Campaign inside the country and many activists from outside that helped prevent the South African bailout from going ahead.

Rather than be bewitched by another Royal Family, why didn’t Alex Vines OBE and his team recognise that supporting the democratic movement is the best way of promoting democracy in Swaziland? Why have they fallen into the trap of believing that only a worsening economic crisis may relieve the country of its Royal despot? From the point of view of the poor and ordinary people of Swaziland, the economic situation is already at a crisis level! How hard does it have to get before the likes of Chatham House acknowledge the positive role of the democratic movement in rescuing Swaziland? Why has Alex Vines OBE not argued for a concerted approach from the EU, from the AU and from SADC instead of castigating those who are the real defenders of human and civil rights?

The fact of the matter is this. Think Tanks like Chatham House are not neutral observers. They are part of a self serving elite who pontificate and even at times dare to criticise, but who nevertheless are prepared to bypass the democratic imperative, especially when vested interests, including South African and British capital, continue to benefit from an association with one of our Continents last discredited despots. 

Thankfully, the democratic movement does not require the endorsement of Alex Vines OBE and his team, but this report confirms that his institution has failed to break from its inglorious colonial past, and remains part of the problem, and not part of the solution.

For more information please contact:

Stephen Faulkner, 082 817 5455, steve.faulkner@samwu.org.za

Philani Ndebele, 076 942 3565, Philani@asc.org.za


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Mon, 09 Sep 2013 17:06:51 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=45
Repression Stepped Up Again in Swaziland: http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=44 Repression Stepped Up Again in Swaziland: Democratic Movement Unstoppable!

06 September 2013

SDC Statement

The Global Week of Action on Swaziland has now become a fixed part of the International Solidarity agenda. In many parts of the world, including the UK, Canada and throughout Africa, comrades are gathering outside Swaziland Consuls and official buildings to protest the need for a genuine democracy in Swaziland, as opposed to the phoney exercise that King Mswati wants the world to believe are a step towards a multi-party democratic state.

Even the most humble of political observers will know that a democratic election requires the free movement of people, including the release of those in prison for challenging undemocratic rule, the right of parties to exist, an open voters roll, and transparent procedures unhindered by gross political and financial patronage. None of these simple conditions exist in Swaziland today. The elite gathered around the King are nothing more than self-serving sycophants bent on doing their masters bidding, and his repressive dirty work.

To underline the absence of democratic intent, yesterday (05 September 2013) a most respected trade union leaders in Southern Africa, Comrade Vincent Ncongwane, the Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) was again arrested at his office and roughly bundled away by a snatch squad of the notoriously violent Serious Crimes Unit. He is currently being held in detention and is likely to face charges and be under house arrest for the foreseeable future. Comrade Vincent’s only crime has been to be the elected the head of TUCOSWA, and for the organisation to lend its weight to the struggle for a democratic and peaceful Swaziland. 

No doubt the authorities will do all they can to disrupt the actions, which are taking place for the remainder of the week, including the banning of an international enquiry of eminent persons, a peoples summit, and a number of religious and cultural events.

Today, the Swazi Police is now holding the Chair of the Global Inquiry, Jay Naidoo and Co-Panelists from proceeding with the Inquiry in Manzini.  A contingent of Swazi police and para-military led by Manzini Regional Police Commander entered the Hotel room where the inquiry is being held and demanded that the Chair of the Inquiry, Jay Naidoo and the whole Panel stop and pack all their belongings and leave Swaziland. It is expected that they shall be deported anytime sooner. The inquiry is an initiative of the ITUC, TUCOSWA and COSATU to hear workers’ accounts of their experiences and sufferings in order compile a report to be taken to the ILO for the Committee on the Application of International Standards.

As the Global week of action for democracy in Swaziland surge forward with activities inside the country and all over the world, the Swazi security forces have been forced to resort to their desperate acts of brutality.

The Panelists of the Global Inquiry organised by TUCOSWA, ITUC and COSATU arrested today are; Jay Naidoo, former General Secretary of COSATU and former Minister under Mandela Presidency, Bishop Paul Verryn of the Methodist Church and South African Council of Churches and anti-apartheid activist, Alec Muchadehama, Human Rights lawyer and activist from Zimbabwe, Ms Nomthetho Simelane, former lecturer of Political Science at the University of Swaziland, together with COSATU delegate Monk Molapeni.

This is the real face of Swaziland today, and the leadership of the rest of the Continent must ask themselves if they can remain silent when an African State continues to abuse its citizens in this manner, and when resources that are supposed to care for its people are routinely and corruptly stolen by the elite to maintain their ostentatious lifestyles, and to arm a repressive state to act against ordinary people. In the face of repeated warnings and admonishments by the ILO and many other respected international organisations, King Mswati continues to flout even the most basic of democratic reforms. His refusal to even recognise the legitimate trade union organisation TUCOSWA when the rest of the world does is a case in point.

As we have seen before and we shall see again, the Ruling Swazi elite cannot stop the democratic will of the people from expressing itself. It is unable, despite beatings, bannings and even claims to be acting under divide guidance, to suppress the democratic spirit of the brave and honourable people of Swaziland. Coalitions are being built and strengthened, workers, students, informal sector workers and congregations of church goers are coming together under the banner of the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) and its campaigning wing the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) to continue to push forward for genuine democratic measures, and to reject the manipulative, power hungry, exclusive pretence that King Mswati is attempting to enforce upon the people of Swaziland.

To all of those who are part of this great noble struggle we repeat that you are not alone. The campaign will continue even in the face of repression, and friends from all over the world will continue to help expose the myths perpetuated by the Royal Elite. The days are numbered for Africa last monarchistic dictatorship. As we have seen in many other parts of the world, the democratic will of the people is irrepressible, and will one day deliver to the people of Swaziland, a democracy where rule by dictator will be a relic of an inglorious past.

The SDC South Africa chapter supports the demands of the Swazi people for: 

  • The unconditional release of all those arrested and other political prisoners in the country.
  • The unbanning of TUCOSWA and the right to free association, organisation and expression in Swaziland
  • A Multiparty democratic elections and rejection of the tinkhundla royal selections
  • An End to the cancerous corruption of the royal family government
  • The Unbanning of political parties and unconditional return of all exiles

Free Swaziland Now!

For more information please contact:

Bishop Paul Verryn, 082 600 8892, paulveryn@gmail.com  

Stephen Faulkner, 082 817 5455, steve.faulkner@samwu.org.za 

Philani Ndebele, 076 942 3565, Philani@asc.org.za

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Fri, 06 Sep 2013 11:48:13 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=44
Attacks on workers’ rights continue even 45 years after independence http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=43 INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION (ITUC)

Media Release: Attacks on workers’ rights continue even 45 years after independence

In 45 years of independence from colonial what has the Tinkhundla system done for the workers of Swaziland? The official unemployment rate stands at 28.5 per cent. Over 60 per cent of the population live in abject poverty and the World Food Programme warns that the Swazi economy is losing US$92 million per year due to the long-term impacts of hunger. Moreover, democratic institutions and trade unions are under constant attack. Political parties are excluded from participating in elections. There is no press freedom or independent judiciary and the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland is still de-registered in order to prevent the unification of workers.

On 6 September, Swaziland’s Independence Day, an international panel of experts will hear directly from workers about how labour rights violations impact their lives. Panellists will present their findings after the hearing and identify where the attacks come from. The role and responsibility of trade unions and civil society in fighting against the violation of fundamental rights will be highlighted.

The panel consists of Alec Muchadehama (human rights lawyer and activist from Zimbabwe), Paul Verryn (ordained minister of the Methodist Church of Sothern Africa, anti-Apartheid activist and advocate for refugees in South Africa) and Nomthetho Simelane (Former Lecturer in Political Science, University of Swaziland). It will be chaired by Jay Naidoo, founding General Secretary of Congress of South African Trade Unions and former Minister of Communications for South Africa. 

“The international trade union movement is mobilising against attacks on the fundamental rights of Swazi workers,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). “We support demands for multi-party democracy and full respect of trade union rights.”

 The Global Inquiry Panel Swaziland will start at 9h00 on 6 September 2013 and will take place in the George Hotel in Manzini. For more information please contact the following:

 Makbule Sahan (ITUC): +32 488 778 486

Mduduzi Gina (TUCOSWA): +268 7-602-8510 or 7-611-9211

Zanele Matebula (COSATU): +27823008979+27113394923

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Wed, 04 Sep 2013 15:26:50 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=43
WOMEN’S LIVES, WOMEN’S RIGHTS PROJECT http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=42 WOMEN’S LIVES, WOMEN’S RIGHTS PROJECT

Celebrating women’s month with “Cry of the Iris” art installation to end violence against women and girls

1. INTRODUCTION

Rural women in particular are bearing the brunt of poverty as they are faced with different barriers that seem to impede on their livelihoods.  Rural women still walk long distances to clinics and other essential services. The research findings in 2008 provided a basis for Amnesty International South Africa (AISA) work on Women, Poverty, HIV and AIDS, Sexual and Reproductive Rights shows that women linger in perpetual poverty and remain in the lower end of the social strata. Poor road infrastructure and lack of transport continues to be a barrier for women to access basic services such as antenatal care, antiretroviral treatment, and trauma counselling and post exposure prophylaxis in the event of violent attacks.


2. THEME AND FOCUS AREA

Theme - Amnesty International South Africa and partners are proud to announce celebration of Women’s lives, women’s rights project with the art installation of “Cry of the Iris” on Friday 23 August, 2013 from 09:00 to 11:00 at Constitution Hill’s Rampart Walk in Johannesburg. The installation is part of global campaign My Body, My Rightswhich aims to demand and support ending sexual and gender based violence in the South Africa. A walk to Johannesburg Stadium will take place for a soccer game with partners to promote the end of sexual and gender based violence.

Focus area: AISA is working towards empowering women and girls to claim their rights and remove barriers that prevent women from enjoying sexual, reproductive and maternal health rights in response to calls on governments and UN agencies to protect the sexual and reproductive rights of young people, in particular young women and adolescent girls, when they review the commitments made in the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action at the 20th anniversary of its adoption in 2014.

2.1 PARTNERS

Amnesty International South Africa with participation and support from South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) Women Sector, SANAC Sport, Arts and Culture Sector, the City of Joburg, the City of Joburg Mayoral Spousal Office, Show Me Your Number, the Drumming Campaign, Action Support Centre and Constitutional Hill.

 

2.2 ACTIVITIES

The Women’s lives, women’s rights project activities for the 23rd August 2013, as part of the activities during women’s month will have the following components:

a.  Installation 

The art installation is of origami flowers made by girls, boys, women, men and activists who delicately, carefully and lovingly folded paper into exquisite and delicate flowers –irises, lilies, roses and water lilies, with some flowers taking in over 26 folds.

These origami flowers will be placed onto sticks and planted into a field of flowers at the Rampart Walk and Women’s Jail Garden at Constitution Hill.

b.  Symbolic walk

A symbolic walk by activists, partners, AISA staff and members from different provinces will take place from the Constitutional Court to Johannesburg Stadium from 12h00. The walk will raise awareness to end violence against women.

c.  Healthy living through aerobics

Upon arrival at the Johannesburg Stadium, participants will be taken through a lively healthy living campaign through aerobics. This is in line with the The City’s Healthy Lifestyle Campaign was launched by the Executive Mayor, Clr Mpho Parks Tau, on 4th May 2013 at Thokoza Park, Soweto. MMC for Health and Social Development, Ms. Nonceba Molweele is driving this campaign and she will form part of the activities.

In the spirit of the Joburg 2040 strategy – with the slogan: “We are all players”, the City of Johannesburg working with communities is looking to promote healthy living. The campaign seeks to tackle the risk factors associated with obesity, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity especially their impact on women and the girl-child.  The Healthy Lifestyle Campaign will serve to instil a culture of healthy lifestyle choices in Johannesburg.

d.  Symbolic soccer game

Soccer is the game of millions, and women form part of the millions who play and are spectators of soccer. In this regard, a soccer match will take place, exclusively featuring women. The game will be played to symbolize a commitment for healthy living by women and to encourage women to speak out to end gender based violence.   

  

e.  Night vigil

From 17:00 to 21:00, a night vigil will be held at the women’s jail to symbolize the freedoms women struggled and fought for, for democracy and rights still fighting to end sexual violence and abuse in South Africa. The night brings celebrations through poetry, songs, drumming and sharing of stories and the enjoyment of womanhood.

 

PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES

23 August 2013

10:00-11:00

Gathering and Purpose

11h00 – 12h00

Installation of ‘Cry of Iris’ at Rampart Walk

Activists, Members and supporters

12:00-13:00

Procession walk to Johannesburg Stadium

13:00-14:00

BREAK

14:00-14:30

Aerobics

Show Me Your Number

14:00-15:00

Speeches

MMC, Mayoral Spousal Office, Partners

15:30-16:30

Soccer game

Show me Your Number

17:30-21:00

Night Vigil begins - Women’s Jail, Constitution Hill

Activists, partners, women, men and members and supporters of AISA

21:00

Closing

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Wed, 21 Aug 2013 17:37:09 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=42
President Morgan Tsvangirai’s press briefing on elections http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=41 President Morgan Tsvangirai’s press briefing on elections 

Thursday, 01 August 2013 

This election has been a huge farce. Its credibility has been marred by administrative and legal violations which affect the legitimacy of its outcome. There are two critical issues: 

1. The election does not meet SADC Guidelines. It is a sham election that does not reflect the will of the people. 

1.1 Voters’ Roll 

 Thousands failed to register and were disenfranchised

 Not delivered timeously as required by law

 No proper inspection of the voters’ roll to verify authenticity

 Duplication of names on the voters roll

 Unauthorised movement of voters from their wards (leading to almost 40% voters being turned away and disenfranchised) 

1.2 Manipulation of voters’ choice - Voters forced to plead illiteracy and resort to “assistance”. 

1.3 Use of traditional leaders (chiefs and headmen) to intimidate voters. 

1.4 Unauthorised voter migration - Voters bussed into constituencies to vote eg Harare South, Epworth 

1.5 Unaccounted for voters especially in farming areas

1.6 Abuse of the facility to use voter registration slips as proof of registration 

1.7 Militarisation of the electoral process – electoral processes under the effective control of security personnel 

1.8 Lack of transparency in the printing of ballots 

a.) non-compliance with section 51 of the Electoral Act. b.) over-printing of ballots (more than 35%) and lack of accountability for ballots. 

1.9 Lack of transparency and double-voting in the use of the Special Vote 

1.10 Lack of transparency in the use of the Postal Voting system 

2. Failure to implement SADC reforms 2.1 Media reform 2.2 Security sector 

I have met with the chair of the AU observer mission, former Nigerian President Obasanjo, head of the SADC observer mission, Minister Mmembe and I have given a diplomatic briefing. The message we have given is that this is not a credible election. It does not reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe. 

For the above reasons, the election has been heavily manipulated. In our view, the outcome of this election is illegitimate. But more importantly, the shoddy manner in which it has been conducted and the consequent illegitimacy of the result will plunge this country into a serious crisis. 

We therefore call for SADC and the AU audit teams to look into this process, in particular the voters roll, the ballots and the manner in which the whole process was conducted. In our view this election does not meet the SADC, AU and international standards for a credible, legitimate, free and fair election. 

I thank you!!!

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Thu, 01 Aug 2013 13:04:20 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=41
ZSF Regional Solidarity Statement on Zimbabwe http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=40

Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum

Regional Solidarity Statement on Zimbabwe

1st August 2013

The Regional Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum notes with concern the premature announcement by the Leader of the African Union Observer Team, Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who has provisionally declared Zimbabwe elections free and fair as polls close after a day of voting.

Concerns raised by opposition parties, in particular those raised by MDC T Secretary Tendai Biti, and the numerous concerns regarding the electoral climate raised in statements issued by Zimbabwean civics and regional solidarity movements appear to have been completely disregarded.

In particular the diabolical manner in which the flawed voters roll has been dealt with, and the varied forms of repression and intimidation that have been well documented and clearly presented, cast the AU statement that the election is free and fair in an extremely dubious light.

The Regional Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum has stated repeatedly, based on the SADC Guidelines on Governing Democratic Elections and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance that the credibility of an election does not rest on the conduct of voters at voting stations on the days of the election alone.

In the run up to the polling day the SADC mediation team, speaking on behalf of the African Union as a whole, raised serious concerns about reforms which had been deliberately ignored and purposively circumvented. The failure to act on these reforms, agreed and signed by all conflicting parties, and guaranteed by SADC as a signatory to the Global Political Agreement are a massive set back for the regional and continental democratisation processes.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, efforts to increase meaningful citizen participation in decision making processes regarding their elected leaders, have been dealt a resounding slap in the face.

As the biased and severely tainted Zimbabwe Electoral Commission sits on the results that trickle in, ensuring that it has full control over how these results are reported on, it will be important to seek out and listen to the voices of those who have been on the receiving end of decades of violent policies that have failed to respond to the material needs of ordinary Zimbabweans. Millions of people are likely to remain living in poverty, and as the militarized elite consolidates its grip on power the future for Zimbabweans in and outside of the country remains highly precarious.

Lessons learned in the process of building a deep culture of people-to-people solidarity amongst citizens across the region will have to inform and guide the next steps of these important forms of social organisation. Workers struggles amongst those affected by an increasingly voracious extractive sector, and a rapacious state, have suffered further setbacks, and there is much work to be done to build solidarity across the working classes.

New forms of organisation will have to be found, and increasingly sophisticated ways of mobilising and organising people into new forms of power will have to be developed. We will need to find forms of organisation that cannot be circumvented by the technically flawed and deeply circumspect current systems of voting that cannot any longer be argued to be legitimate representations of the will of the people.

The Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum is a network movement of progressive South African civil society organisations, including youth, women, labour, faith-based, human rights and student formations that are engaged in the promotion of people-to-people solidarity for sustainable peace, democracy and human&peoples rights in Zimbabwe, engaged with and supported by regional counterparts and solidarity formations in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland

On the 17th July 2013 at a multi-sectoral gathering of civil society formations from across Southern Africa, meeting under the banner of the Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum, solidarity activists resolved to commit themselves to a solidarity action plan in support of their Zimbabwean counterparts. This action plan continues.

Supported by representatives at the Regional Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum meeting held on the 17th of July.

Delegates were drawn from the following formations:


The Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum Secretariat, ACTION Support Centre, COSATU, NUMSA, SAMWU, NEHAWU, SATAWU, SASCO, SACC, CRISIS in Zimbabwe Coalition, PASSOP, African Diaspora Forum, Zimbabwe Peace and Counseling Services, Local Peace Committees from Orange Farm, Alexandra and Soweto, Namibia National Farmers Union, Gauteng Concerned Residents, Treatment Action Campaign, Norwegian People's Aid, Solidarity Peace Trust, Zimbabwe-Mozambique Solidarity Alliance, TUCOSWA, Zambia Social Forum, National Constitutional Assembly, GERMANY Trade Union Congress, Malawi Economic Justice Network, World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), Media Coalition of Tanzania, DRC Diaspora Forum, OSISA, PUDEMO, Swaziland Solidarity Network, Swaziland Democracy Campaign, SALO, NC branches / ANCYL and Regional Solidarity Formation in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland


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Thu, 01 Aug 2013 11:11:56 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=40
ZESN OBSERVES 2013 HARMONISED ELECTIONS http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=39 ZESN OBSERVES 2013 HARMONISED ELECTIONS

Harare, 31 July 2013 –The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) is observing the 2013 Harmonized elections in a calm and peaceful environment. Most polling stations opened on time with adequate voting materials available.

It is regrettable that the voters’ roll remained unavailable and this can potentially undermine the credibility of the electoral process. Also of major concern was the delayed release, distribution and the non- availability of the electronic and hard copies of the voters roll particularly to contesting political parties. ZESN noted the following issues regarding the voters’ roll;

·        Some who voted in the special voting process, had not had their names removed from the voters’ roll.

·        Registered voters who voted in previous elections did not appear on the voters’ roll.

·        Some who claim to have not voted in the special voting process had their names crossed out of the voters’ roll.

·        Some people’s registration slips did not disclose the ward but constituency and block. As a result some people were referred to the constituency command centres where they were either assisted or not. The Ward based voting system was confusing and many as a result were turned away.

ZESN is also concerned by reports filtering in from various provinces regarding disruptions in the voting process and the high numbers of assisted voters particularly in Mashonaland East, West and Masvingo provinces.  For example, in Goromonzi South Mashonaland East, at one polling station voters in this area have been assisted to vote by the same three people from their area while others were provided an opportunity to be assisted by people of their choice.

In a related incident, known MDC-T supporters from Muzarabani North constituency were allegedly ordered by ZANU PF officials to declare that they are illiterate and were assigned people who assisted them to vote. Only the headman and his wife voted freely with about 40 to 50 people being assisted to vote at Nyadukutu Primary School.  In Mutare South, Ward 2, at Gutaurare School as at 1300hours 50 assisted voters had been recorded. In Midlands those who are illiterate, were not being given a chance to choose a person who can assist them as stated by Section 59 of the Electoral Act.

The disruption of voting in Chipinge South as a result of an error by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). ZESN observers reported that ZEC had switched candidates’ pictures on the ballot papers and voting had to be stopped temporarily as the ZEC tried to rectify the problem.

ZESN also notes the harassment and intimidation of voters by traditional leaders in Provinces such as Masvingo and Mashonaland East. There have also been reports of voters being instructed to register their names and serial numbers of their ballot papers at desks set up in some areas.

In addition, ZESN has received reports of missing ballot papers in areas such as Nkulumane in Bulawayo and inadequate ballot papers in areas like Goromonzi South. At Gutaurare School in Mutare South Ward 22 and Gwanda Central, voting was put on hold after ballot papers for Ward councillors ran out.  ZESN also observed varying treatment of voters where some voters were turned away despite having produced a voters’ slip. Voters in Mutare South constituency who have voter registration slips were being turned away on allegations that their names do not appear on the voters roll.

Furthermore we noted that the inconsistent treatment of the elderly, pregnant women, nursing mothers and people living with disabilities at polling stations.

ZESN continues to encourage all registered voters to exercise their right to vote within the few hours left before polling stations close at 7pm.

ZESN has set up hotlines for citizens to share their views and comments about the Harmonised Elections.The contact numbers will be: 0771692029, and 0771692032. Citizens can also participate on our social media platforms; https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Election-Support-NetworkZESN andTwitter handle: #ZESN1.

ZESN will be issuing updates on the entire process and will issue itsPreliminary Statement on the Harmonised Elections on Thursday 01 August at a time to be advised.


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Wed, 31 Jul 2013 19:49:50 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=39
A Rare and Unique Gift of Solidarity http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=38  Protesters forum of solidarity with Zimbabwe against the Israeli Embassy in South Africa

Israeli media rarely talks about Zimbabwe's elections to be held tomorrow. It is not particularly unusual, since the Israeli media coverage of elections do little to African countries in general, even when they are controversial and fascinating dictionaries worldwide. However, when suspected Israeli company that assists leading candidate election system is corrupt and anti - democratic, the lack of research on the subject raises questions.

In the global arena, as noted, the elections in Zimbabwe receive much attention. President Robert Mugabe, leader of the Zanu-PF (Zimbabwe National Union of African - Patriotic Front) government is already 33 years since Zimbabwe's independence. Prime Minister Morgan Zvangirai is prominent opponent (leader of the "Movement for Democratic Change" - MDC). Last election held five years ago were characterized by violence, intimidation and great corruption, which was the result of several years of severe political conflicts.Solution obtained in the elections of 2008 to end the violence, was the establishment of a national unity government, with Mugabe remained president and Zvangirai become prime minister.

As the current election campaign, many organizations have expressed optimism about the conduct. African Union, for example, announced that it pleased the way prepared for Zimbabwe elections.And yet, even now, with the opening of early elections, popping and exposed corruption and problems.

For example, the website Think Africa Press release yesterday video, which are among other people say about attacks and threats from soldiers that require elevated trust. Two years ago posted that more than 40,000 thousand people are on the list of voters should be a hundred or more. The average life expectancy in Zimbabwe is under the age of 45. These are just a few examples of evidence and numerous documented cases indicate that elections in Zimbabwe, not only are not democratic, but also methods of operation to ensure that the elected ruler are devastating and include violence and killings and displacement of people from their homes.

Framework consisting of elections in Zimbabwe, where recurring in the local media and beyond has been since 2008, is a society of "punching international projects", takes part in preparing the voter lists. Ten days ago demanded the MBC party elections committee to cancel the contract it has with the company, claiming that it is involved Vateitn.

The Mail & Guardian of South Africa published a comprehensive article in April, which is claimed by sources in Zimbabwe's Ministry of Defence, the Israeli company that is working on the upcoming elections. Perforation, according to its website specializes in both registry civilian population and security solutions, was accused in 2008 by the opposition parties in Zimbabwe, that she helped rig the election in favor of Mugabe. Zvangirai claimed that he scooped more than 50% of the vote in the first round, but published results have shown that the graph only 47.9% of the vote, compared with 43.2% elevated swept. Such an outcome forced the candidates to go for another round, but particularly violent campaign brought Zvangirai pull his candidacy for president.

Activity of punching other African countries - particularly its involvement in the elections in Zambia - as well as the past of the companies and individuals associated with top Israeli defense punching, made ​​hairs on the front end of the Israeli company that wants to keep Mugabe in power for its own reasons. In response to these hypotheses, released the same year the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, a statement that the institution is not involved in the elections in Zimbabwe.

According to the newspaper Mail on Sunday, Documents of the security services of Zimbabwe shows that to punch paid $ 13 million for consulting in the field of elections in the current system. research paper argues the role of puncturing is used in the Population Register and the list of voters to help seemingly elevated to win elections, and that it operates To do so in cooperation with the Chinese government, which supports the president's power conservation. Yesterday posted on zimeye that the voters list has a huge amount of names - about 2.3 million - that appear twice. By checking the site, duplicate names appear in areas with clear support for the ruling party Zanu-PF.

Once published requirement of the MBC, Representative perforating Zimbabwe, Ron Asher, spoke to the Mail & Guardian and denied the allegations . However, he did not say with which government agencies working in Zimbabwe punch and right here lies the problems of the company's operations. These questions also media organizations in the country are trying to answer: Who gets piercing instructions (entities that are considered "neutral" or those Snstlim entirely by Mugabe and his associates) and whether they have access to the election data so that they can skew the results.

Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum (ZSF), the members of several organizations South Africans, last Saturday organized a demonstration in front of the Israeli embassy in Pretoria.announcement of the demonstration said that the embassy was chosen as a destination which symbolizes the complicity of the international community with armed minority which controls the country in an democracy, and willing to do anything to stay in power. " Among other demands of the demonstrators were punching withdraw from its involvement in the elections in Zimbabwe and Israel will demand accountability for the actions of her friends. In addition, the Forum Secretariat signed a petition against the activities of the perforation in the elections in Zimbabwe, along with 26 other networks and coalitions of organizations from across Africa and Europe, and submitted it to the Israeli embassy.


http://www.african.co.il/2013/07/30/zime/ 
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Tue, 30 Jul 2013 21:01:22 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=38
Regional Observers, detained and deported http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=37 Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum

Press Statement for Immediate Release

30 July 2013

Three of the Regional Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum Observer team were, detained for 6 hours, denied access to Zimbabwe last night, and were deported back to South Africa on the next flight out of the country.

On 29th July 2013 the Regional Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum, through the offices of the ACTION Support Centre, sought to support a regional group of election observers access to the upcoming electoral context in Zimbabwe. Delegates were drawn from Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, representing a cross section of civil society activists who sought to obeserve the elections and establish a strong culture of people-to-people solidarity.

The intention was that these observers woud be deployed to those areas that have been under scrutiny in terms of contentious pre-election  tactics employed by local officials with a history of using violence and intimidation in the areas concerned. The refusal to admit them suggests that there are still no go areas in the country that ruling government officials would prefer to keep out of the eyes of the public media.

Three of the observer team, despite having successfully obtained the necessary accreditation credentials from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission were denied entry into Zimbabwe. The imigration officials claimed that a specific letter from the Zimbabwe Ministry of Foreign Affairs giving permission to the observers was required, despite this information never having been clearly explained to the proposed observers, and the fact that the rest of the team obtained entry without any such formalities being requested.

The Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum is gravely concerned that even those observers from within the region, who have no agenda other than to provide support to their civil soiciety counterparts, and to produce an impartial account of the election process and the announcement of the results, have been denied access.

If the Zimbabwean Government has nothing to hide, and is confident that these elections are going to provide Zimbabweans with an opportunity to freely express their political will then there should be no concerns regarding the intention of civil society to monitor these election processes.

The ZSF acknowledges that while ultimately the solutions to the complex challenges in Zimbabwe must be owned and driven by the people of Zimbabwe the current power imbalances and the abuse of power by a minority militarised elite that has captured the state with the intention of maintaining an undemocratic position of power requires innovative forms of people-to-people solidarity.

Observant of the derogatory statements made by the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe against the principal mediator, Ambassador Lindiwe Zulu, and the rest of the SADC appointed mediation team, and the inflammatory and anti-democratic statements made by members of the Zimbabwean military forces, there are deep concerns over the climate leading into these elections.

Concerned that the current Zimbabwean context undermines SADC regional and African Union continental structures and threatens the peace and security of the entire Southern Africa the Regional Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum:

Hereby commits itself to a three-pillared programme of action:

1.  We call on SADC and the African Union, as the Guarantor of the Global Political Agreement to vigorously assert and uphold the principles enshrined in the SADC Guidelines on Governing Democratic Elections and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance knowing that there is full support from progressive civil society formations in this process for a postponement of the proposed election date until the necessary reforms that will level the electoral playing field have been put in place

2.  We will be embarking on a programme of mass action that will seek the maximum participation of the citizens across the SADC Region who seek to express their solidarity with and support for the demands and concerns contained within the communiqués released by Zimbabwean civics and outlined in the Feya Feya Campaign document calling for a peaceful free and fair election

3.  We will be preparing the ground for solidarity networks, and systems and structures that will be able to respond rapidly to an increase in the levels of violence and displacement that are envisaged if an election goes ahead under the current conditions. Under such circumstances the need for practical forms of people-to-people solidarity will be paramount

Finally we reassert the importance of recognising that the concerns around the current climate in Zimbabwe and the flouting of democratic principles and values is not a concern for Zimbabweans alone. Current events in Zimbabwe are a concern for all progressive forces across the region and throughout the continent of Africa.

We call on all civil society and governments in Southern Africa and beyond to join us in demonstrating a strong show of solidarity by engaging with the planned programme of mass action and amplifying a unified voice that demands that the Zimbabwean electorate be given the opportunity to freely express their democratic will in selecting their leadership without intimidation and in an open, transparent and democratic manner.

Released by the ACTION Support Centre – secretariat of the Regional Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum

www.asc.org.za

Contact Philani Ndebele for more information 011 482 7442, 076 942 3565

philani@asc.org.za

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Tue, 30 Jul 2013 15:28:28 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=37
ZSF and CRISIS IN ZIMBABWE COALITION TO LEAD A PROTEST PICKET http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=36 The Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum (ZSF)

25/07/2013

Press Statement For Immediate Release

ZSF and CRISIS IN ZIMBABWE COALITION TO LEAD A PROTEST PICKET:

THE ISRAELI EMBASSY IN PRETORIA

SATURDAY 27th JULY 2013.

PICKETS FROM 11am

428 King's Highway, (Corner Elizabeth Grove),

Lynnwood, Pretoria

Pick Up Point, 8am, COSATU House, 110 Jorissen Street, Cnr Simmonds, Braamfontein

The Israeli embassy serves as a symbolic target for the international complicity that allows for a minority militarized anti-democratic elite in Zimbabwe to retain hold on power at all costs.

NIKUV, AN ISRAELI BASED COMPANY HAS BEEN ACCUSED REPEATEDLY OF SUPPORTING ELECTION RIGGING IN ZIMBABWE AND ACROSS THE REGION. ISRAEL, SADC, THE AU, AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST CONDEMN AND ISOLATE THESE SPOILERS

The protest picket also serves as a reminder that in less than a week Zimbabweans will go to the polls in an election that is highly unlikely to produce a legitimate accepted outcome. We will be right back where we started in 2008.

On 17th July 2013 a multi-sectoral gathering of civil society formations from across Southern Africa, meeting under the banner of the Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum, resolved to commit themselves to a solidarity action plan in support of their Zimbabwean counterparts.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Feya Feya Election Campaign specifically targets NIKUV as a company at the centre of the manipulated, corrupt and highly politicised electoral systems within which the upcoming election is scheduled to take place.

This joint Regional Zimbabwe Solidarity action serves to galvanise support from across the region to call on our governments to say that enough is enough, a culture of un-manipulated free and fair electoral democracy is at the heart of our collective struggles for freedom, for liberation and for emancipation.

Similar protests will be organised in the following countries, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Botswana, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Lesotho.

We will be embarking on a programme of mass action that will seek the maximum participation of the citizens across the SADC Region who seek to express their solidarity support for the demands and concerns contained within the communiqués released by Zimbabwean civics and outlined in the Feya Feya Campaign document calling for a peaceful free and fair election

The pickets will make the following specific and broad demands:

Demands for the Israeli Embassy

·  NIKUV – hands off the electoral commission

·  ISRAEL – hold your companies accountable for their actions

Broad Demands

·  ZEC – assert your role as an independent African electoral body, not a puppet of the puppet masters

·  We call on SADC and the African Union, as the Guarantor of the Global Political Agreement to vigorously assert and uphold the principles enshrined in the SADC Guidelines on Governing Democratic Elections and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance

·  Political Parties, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Government Institutions, the Justice System, all Zimbabwean institutions - facilitate in words and deeds the creation of an environment that allows the opportunity to enjoy full and equal participation in the elections for all Zimbabweans. Don’t create bottlenecks, technical obstacles, and deliberate frustrations.

·  Allow full and equal access to the media now

·  Judiciary must be independent and apply the law equally

·  Police must be impartial and professional

·  Political party leaders to discourage intra party violence and hate speech and take appropriate action against offenders – JOMIC must play a crucial role in this

·  Political parties to adhere to the Code of Conduct on elections

·  The Security Sector in Zimbabwe to confine themselves to their constitutional mandate and not become politically partisan and must in particular desist from making pronouncements that will adversely affect the process and outcome of the election.

Finally we reassert the importance of recognising that the concerns around the current climate in Zimbabwe and the flouting of democratic principles and values is not a concern for Zimbabweans alone. Current events in Zimbabwe are a concern for all progressive forces across the region and throughout the continent of Africa.

We call on all civil society and governments in Southern Africa and beyond to join us in demonstrating a strong show of solidarity by engaging with the planned programmes of mass action and amplifying a unified voice that demands that the Zimbabwean electorate be given the opportunity to freely express their democratic will in selecting their leadership without intimidation and in an open, transparent and democratic manner.

For more information and transport please contact:

Philani Ndebele, 076 942 3565, 011 482 2453, philani@asc.org.za

Jabulani Sikula, 083 964 7687, 011 838 3736, programs@crisiszimbabwe.org

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Thu, 25 Jul 2013 18:08:15 +0200 http://www.asc.org.za/latestnews.php?d=36