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ARTICLE: LANGUAGES, JUSTICE AND THE COURTS: A MISINTERPRETATION

interpreters - foterAccording to media reports, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is getting ready to introduce indigenous language courts “in an attempt to speed up justice” and “make courts more accessible”.

A pilot project for indigenous language courts was run in 2009, but was stopped after an assessment by the Department. The Department stated last month that it was reopening the project.

According to the Department, the objective is to introduce and promote the use of indigenous languages in a few courts, then to expand to other courts.

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ARTICLE: THE 2014 ELECTION

sa-election-foterThere are a few points that we should consider in the wake of last week’s election.

The first – and most positive – is that the fifth election of our new constitutional dispensation has helped to consolidate and entrench our constitutional democracy. The elections were free and fair and were, on the whole, managed in an exemplary fashion. All those involved – the 18.6 million voters who cast their ballots; the political parties that participated and the IEC – deserve our sincere congratulations.

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ARTICLE: WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY 2014: STOPPING THE PRESSES?

WPFD logoWorld Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of a UNESCO General Conference.

Since then every 3rd of May is an anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek and is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. It is an opportunity to:

  • Celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom;
  • Assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;
  • Defend the media from attacks on their independence; and
  • Pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
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ARTICLE: QUOTAS IN SPORT: RACIALLY ISOLATING OURSELVES ONCE MORE

MBALULA-FOTERA core policy directive in the Department of Sport and Recreation’s 2013 White Paper on Sport and Recreation stated that “The racial composition of national teams should not be advocated, nor should National Federations be prescribed to on how they should select their teams. National teams should be selected on merit but transformation should be implemented at school/youth levels to prepare a broad basis of athletes for participation at higher levels in future”.

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ARTICLE: PRESIDENT ZUMA RETURNS TO SECOND PHASE PLAY

president-jacob-zuma-responds-foterSouth Africans would do well to take note of President Zuma’s statement in Parliament yesterday regarding the ANC’s plans to “intensify the implementation of affirmative action policies in order to deepen reconciliation and social cohesion in our country.” The President did not grab these ideas from the air – they are a core element of the second phase of the ANC’s National Democratic Revolution.

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ARTICLE: THE URGENT NEED FOR ECONOMIC LITERACY

zuma-world-economic-forumIn a recent article (abridged in the Cape Times, 20 January 2014) Professor Jane Duncan pointed to the fact that although socialist ideas are widely espoused by the masses there is little reference to socialism in most of our media. She says that objective viewers “would probably conclude that socialism was consigned to the dustbin of politically bankrupt ideas long ago.”

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ARTICLE: THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT, SOUTH AFRICA AND NELSON MANDELA

houses-of-parliament-londonThe sorrow and adulation that the world has expressed following the recent death of Nelson Mandela are a worthy tribute to his greatness. Last Monday the British parliament added its voice to the global chorus. It was appropriate – because it was the same parliament that set the course for South Africa’s future history when it created the Union of South Africa only 103 years ago. In so doing it set the stage on which Nelson Mandela – who was born only eight years later – would play out his extraordinary career.

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