SA government to assist Caster Semenya financially in her fight against testosterone ruling

Share this

DURBAN, South Africa – The South African Department of Sports has made R12 million available to support Caster Semenya with her appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) .

Due to drug-hormone rule, the 800m world champion was not included in SA’s provisional squad for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, which is scheduled to get underway on July 23, and has taken the matter to ECHR.

Semenya wants to overturn a World Athletics’ rule on the regulation of hormones because the rule restricts her from competing professionally without taking testosterone reducing drugs.

The Minister of Sport, Nathi Mthethwa revealed that the department was approached by Athletics SA, requesting for financial resources, and R12 million was made available to help in her fight against testosterone ruling.

“The department had also been approached by the department of international relations and co-operation after they received a letter from the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) which expressed interest in the matter and requested support from the government to co-ordinate solidarity against World Athletics Female Athletes Classifications Regulations,” Mthethwa said.

By Zakithi Dlamini

King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu nation in South Africa has died

Share this

The 72-year old ceremonial monarch was hospitalized in KwaZulu-Natal in the last weeks due to unstable diabetes and died unexpectedly after taking a turn for the worse, report South African media.

Despite no political power granted to him in the South African Constitution, the king wielded great influence among millions of Zulus.

By Milan Sime Martinic

South Africa unveils new world-class photonics prototyping facility

Share this

DURBAN, South Africa – South Africa’s photonics industry will benefit from a new state-of-the-art Photonics Prototyping Facility (PPF) that was launched at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Friday.

The PPF, which is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) is aimed at fast-tracking the product development of photonics technologies and devices in line with market needs to stimulate growth and competitiveness of the South African photonics industry.

The facility offers 1000 clean rooms, technical and optical equipment, ranging from electronic, mechanical and diagnostic equipment, for a variety of wave lengths.

Dr. Thulani Dlamini, the Chief Executive Officer of the CSIR said the facility has a huge role to play in developing and supporting new and existing enterprises in the field of photonics, in order to improve their competitiveness.

“This initiative is an important platform for the accelerated development of innovative products and technologies in photonics. This PPF will help to develop South Africa’s expertise in the area of photonics product innovation and development, thus stimulating the growth of the country’s photonics industry by forming small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) and sustainable jobs.”

Dr. Dlamini called on South African scientists, researchers, engineers, industries, SMMEs, entrepreneurs and investors to make use of this facility to develop photonic-related products.

Photonics applications are pervasive in all branches of 21st century science and engineering and everyday life, including fibre optic information and communication networks and systems, cameras, sensors and imaging systems, illumination systems and displays, applications in the energy sector such as photovoltaic materials and systems, and applications in manufacturing where photonics plays an increasing important part as a tool that support advanced manufacturing technology such as 3D printing.

Director-General of the DSI, Dr. Phil Mjwara said the establishment of the Photonics Prototyping Facility is without doubt a significant milestone for the CSIR industry and the national system of innovation as a whole.

“These initiatives are also key components of our contribution to national development imperatives as set out in the White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation and the South African Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. Most importantly, they are a fulfilment of our obligation as government to develop interventions in support of the creation and utilisation of knowledge and innovation for industrial and economic development,” said Mjwara.

By Zakithi Dlamini
Photo credit: CSIR

SA Human Rights Commission to investigate eNCA reporter’s mask saga

Share this

DURBAN, South Africa – The South African Human Rights (SAHRC) Commission has opened an own accord investigation following various complaints, including from the leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), General Bantu Holomisa against eNCA reporter Lindsay Dentlinger.

SAHRC said in a statement, “The grievances allege that Dentlinger treated interviewees differently on the basis of their race, in interviews conducted outside parliament during the Budget Speech on 24 February.”

“The Commission is in the process of investigating the matter and has requested to meet with eNCA and Dentlinger on the allegations,” added SAHRC.

Earlier this week, the African National Congress (ANC) said it would lodge a formal complaint to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) and the SAHRC against Dentlinger’s behaviour.

They also picketed outside the eNCA head office in Hyde Park and handed over six demands which include apologising to all South Africans for pain and hurt caused by Dentlinger.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said they wanted ICASA to investigate whether eNCA’s conduct was inconsistent with its licence conditions. She said they were not happy with eNCA’s handling of the Dentlinger debacle.

By Zakithi Dlamini

Khoi-San leadership recognized in South Africa

Share this

DURBAN, South Africa – For the first time in South African history, Khoi-San will be recognised officially and will now be able to serve in the national and provincial houses, as the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act will come into effect April 1.

During his address at the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders in parliament on Thursday, president Cyril Ramaphosa said, “The country’s Khoi and San leaders will, after following the prescribed processes, for the first time enjoy official recognition and will serve in the national and provincial houses. This is a significant milestone.”

While the contested act of acknowledging the independence and culture of the Khoi and San has been praised, South Africans have mixed feelings and have expressed themselves on social media.

Magesh Makasi commented, “The sons and daughters of the soil. The people of Gqerbeha are very proud of you to be finally recognised,” while Donald Tuck wrote, “Passed in time for elections.” Another Facebook user, Duane Nicholas du Mont commented, “Took so long because the ANC only needed the Khoi vote now.”

By Zakithi Dlamini

Crocs escape farm, South Africans in Danger

Share this

DURBAN, South Africa – Police have set up a special unit to trap the crocodiles after an unknown number of the reptiles escaped from a breeding farm in the SA’s Western Cape Province.

It is believed that the crocodiles have escaped through the breeding farm’s broken fence and made their way to the Breede River.

So far, it was reported that 27 crocs have been captured. However, officials said they were not sure how many more they need to find, and now the South Africans are very afraid.

The residents have been urged to stay clear of the river and have been warned against approaching these dangerous reptiles which are believed to measure up to 1.5m (4ft 11in) in length.

The police are on standby, using bait in cages along the riverbank.

By Zakithi Dlamini

South Africa to establish new land court

Share this

DURBAN, South Africa – The South African cabinet has approved the submission of the Land Court Bill which is aimed at ensuring stronger judicial oversight over land claims.

The new court will allow the appointment of permanent judges and will now go through the parliamentary legislative process, which will include public participation.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said, “The bill seeks to ensure stronger judicial oversight over claims, and this must lead to better settlements, reduce the scope for corruption and avert the bundling of claims into dysfunctional mega-claims that lead to conflict.”

Lamola added that the bill seeks to address the systemic hurdles that make it difficult for land claimants to obtain land restitution.

“For instance, the bill allows for hearsay evidence for most families, who have to rely on oral history and the existence of elders with knowledge of description, location, and extent of land which their descendants previously occupied.”

Lamona further explained that the bill will also allow for expert evidence regarding historical and anthropological facts relevant to any particular land claim.

“It gives effect to the mandate of the sixth administration, namely, to ensure our approach to land reform is based on three elements — increased security of tenure, land restitution and land redistribution. This bill is a concrete intervention to improve the functioning of all three elements of land reform.”

“It creates a policy frame to ensure that land reform is guided by sound legal and economic principles and contributes to the country’s investment objectives and job creation initiatives,” said Lamola.

This bill is the outcome of the work done by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform.

The Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture proposed a number of recommendations to the IMC including:

  • The Land Claims Court be conferred into a new Land Court to adjudicate on all land related matters, and not only restitution.
  • The court must be given additional responsibilities, both judicial and extra functions, such as conflict resolution and mediation.
  • The court must have a functional approach that is modeled on negotiation before litigation on matters such as Expropriation Without Compensation, which is proposed to Parliament in the Expropriation Bill.
  • The panel recommended that the Land Court include the appointment of a permanent judge president and four permanent judges.
  • The Land Court should also be required to check that settlement agreements give just and equitable compensation to landowners, in line with Section 25 and the new Expropriation Act, when enacted.

By Zakithi Dlamini
Photo credits:

Zuma contempt hearing date set

Share this

DURBAN, South Africa – The Constitutional Court of South Africa has set a date to hear former President Jacob Zuma’s contempt application on 25 March.

The commission filed an urgent application last week after Zuma failed to appear. The court said the hearing would take place on a virtual platform.

By Zakithi Dlamini

ANC leadership to meet with former President Jacob Zuma

Share this

The African National Congress (ANC) leadership has proposed a meeting with Zuma over his refusal to appear before the Zondo commission of inquiry into the state capture.

Zuma agreed to a meeting which is expected to take place soon.

“With regards to former President Zuma, there are quite a number of engagements that are happening, and one of those is an engagement with the top leadership of the ANC which should be happening any day soon,” Ramaphosa told the South African National Editors’ Forum.

“It’s been agreed. He agreed to it. We’ve all agreed to it, that we are going to engage with him. He is a disciplined member of the ANC and we will be able to have an engagement with him. The massage will be earnest, simple and straightforward, that let us all abide by our constitution, respect our institutions, particularly the judiciary,” said Ramaphosa.

Zuma was recently summoned to testify at the Zondo commission. However, his lawyer wrote to the commission saying that would not be attending.

By Zakithi Dlamini

South African government continues its fight for Caster Semenya’s participation at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and has taken the matter to the European Court of Human Rights

Share this

DURBAN, South Africa – South African former Olympic champion Caster Semenya is set to appeal at the ECHR and South Africans are rallying behind her.

Semenya wants to overturn a World Athletics’ regulation dealing with hormone use. She is expected to file the papers in March.

The 800m world champion is still unable to compete professionally, as her bid to overturn the drug-hormone rule was so-far unsuccessful. She was not included in SA’s provisional squad for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics which is scheduled to get underway July 23.

News of her appeal was revealed at the portfolio committee meeting of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture where SA’s preparedness for the Tokyo Olympics was discussed.

In a statement, Athletics South Africa President, Aleck Skosana, said Ms Semenya has not been included in South Africa’s provisional Olympic squad.

The Chairperson of the committee, Beauty Dlulane said most countries would like to see Ms Semenya participate in the Games, an aspiration frustrated by “rules and guidelines.”

“We are concerned that this has affected Caster’s preparation. This issue of rules unjustly disadvantages Caster and denies her rights to participation and qualification, and the committee’s view is that those rules are unfair,” she said.

South Africans have taken to social media and voiced their opinions on the Semenya matter.

“Caster Semenya, all eyes on you. You have immense people of interest externally support from South Africa. Bless her,” wrote one interested citizen, while another wrote, “I’m proud of her, she can’t give up just like that. She is doing for the upcoming generations too.”

Another social media user wrote, commenting on the social aspect of the issue, “So this is the level of civilization we are currently at. Someone has to defend their sexuality because they are genetically gifted. If sports is against genetical gifts tall people like Bolt should probably not be allowed to compete. That guy is a beast and not fair to other normal men.”

SA remains hopeful, as Athletics South Africa told the committee that it has received support from Sweden and looks forward Ms Semenya winning her appeal.

By Zakithi Dlamini

South Africa’s constitutional court asks for ex-President to be jailed for contempt

Share this

The country’s constitutional court said that ex-President Jacob Zuma’s defiance of a legal summons that compels him to appear before a commission of inquiry to answer corruption allegations could lead to lawlessness and is asking the Supreme Court to jail him for defying the court’s order.

Accused of letting a wealthy family “plunder state resources” and influence government decisions, Zuma denied the charges and accused the commission of partisanship. The court’s request, however, is for contempt of court. Zuma said repeatedly he is not afraid of jail, but armed and uniformed supporters were outside his home to impede an potential arrest.

By Milan Sime Martinić

Nigeria remains Africa’s top economy as Egypt and South Africa shuffle places again

Share this

In the 3-way see-saw to be at the top African economy, Egypt beat out South Africa again taking its place as the continent’s second-biggest economy, leaving Nigeria at the top, a position it has held since 2020 when it overtook South Africa.

The International Monetary Fund records show that for years the three counties have been in constant competition for the #1, #2 and #3 spots.

By Milan Sime Martinić