With concern continuing to grow about the changes to South Africa’s immigration laws, Alex Bell speaks to Lawyers for Human Rights about a court application they have filed, challenging the constitutionality of a section of those rules. Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, the head of the LHR’s Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme, says they are seeking a change in the detention procedures at the notorious Lindela Repatriation Centre, changes that the Department of Home Affairs failed to include when they made the sweeping changes to the Immigration Act. Ramjathan-Keogh explains that the current procedures are unconstitutional, and the rights of the detainees held there are infringed upon.
Archive for the 'Southern Africa Focus' Category
Alex Bell looks at the uproar that has followed this week’s introduction of sweeping changes to South Africa’s immigration laws, with claims that the new rules are unconstitutional. Alex examines these changes and then speaks to Rodgers Mudarikwa from the MDC-T in South Africa, who says Zimbabweans will be worst affected by the tightening laws.
We hear from Florence Sichundu from the Zambian Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, and Slyvia Chirawu, the National Coordinator at the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust, about the prevalence of forced child marriages in Southern Africa. The pair was part of a roundtable discussion in Harare this week that focused on tackling the problem and both warned that unless the customary laws that allow child marriages to happen are changed, the future of Southern Africa’s girls remains bleak.
Alex Bell speaks to the Institute for Security Studies about attempts by Africa’s leaders to secure immunity from prosecution before the African Court on Justice and Human Rights. Senior Researcher Jemima Njeri says it is a sign of African leaders trying to support each other, at the expense of the rule of law and justice. Alex also looks ahead to next week’s South African Constitutional Court hearing of a landmark legal challenge, where the authorities there are appealing two previous court orders to investigate crimes against humanity in Zimbabwe.
On this South Africa election special, we hear from the Institute for Security Studies about corruption in the country and how the problem has affected the public’s voting choices. Daniel Muzenda from the Zim Migrants Association in South Africa then expresses his hopes and fears about what direction the new government will take in terms of immigration. Barbara Trionfi from the International Press Institute says that now the elections are over, the controversial ‘Secrecy Bill’ must be reviewed.
With ZANU PF sending an observer team to oversee South Africa’s elections next week, Alex Bell asks what this says about democratic values in Southern Africa. Tiseke Kasambala from Human Rights Watch says SADC leaders have lowered the bar in terms of democracy by endorsing Zimbabwe’s disputed polls last year, and this is problematic for the region. South African political analyst Ebrahim Fakir meanwhile comments on the external pressure for South Africa to lead the way in protecting the democratic principles of the region.
Alex Bell speaks to Jeffrey Smith from the Robert F. Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights, about a campaign for US President Barack Obama to include civil society and human rights groups in the August US-Africa summit. Alex also speaks to Joy Mabenge, from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, about the anti-democratic legacy being left by ZANU PF and the threat it poses to other African nations.
Alex Bells speaks to Daniel Muzenda, spokesperson for the South Africa based Zimbabwe Migrants Association, about the recent deaths of at least 17 suspected border jumpers in the Limpopo River. We also hear from Johnny Rodrigues, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, about the US decision to ban the import of hunted elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Tanzania.
Alex Bell speaks to Paul Hoffman, the head of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa, which has made the unprecedented move of lodging an official objection against Jacob Zuma’s candidacy for presidency in the forthcoming South African elections. Alex also examines how the land debate in Southern Africa is shifting towards a property rights based argument, and she speaks to John Worsley-Worswick from Justice for Agriculture about the debate in Zimbabwe.
With South Africa moving to toughen up its Zimbabwean permit laws, Alex speaks to the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum about concerns for the future of Zim nationals there. The Forum’s Diana Zimbudzana says the move, which requires permit holders to return to Zimbabwe to reapply for the documents, will force more Zimbabweans into illegal work because there is no guarantee they can get their permits renewed.