The Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, Treatment Action Campaign and SECTION27 are saddened and outraged to learn of the brutal murder of comrade David Kato in Kampala, Uganda yesterday, 26 January 2011. We join activists in Africa and across the world in condolences to fellow comrades in Uganda, his loved ones, family and friends.
Today, SECTION27, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), the Gay and Lesbian Equality Project and COSATU hosted a joint rally outside the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria to demand the immediate release of Tian Xi and other human rights defenders wrongly imprisoned in China. Tian Xi, an AIDS and human rights activist who has been imprisoned since 6 August 2010, was infected with HIV as a child during a surgical operation – a common event in China at the time – and has been actively campaigning for the rights of people so infected to receive compensation from the Chinese government.
In a show of solidarity and to commemorate World AIDS Day, the Treatment Action Campaign, SECTION27, COSATU and others will be staging a protest on 1 December 2010 at the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria to demand the immediate release of Chinese AIDS activist, Tian Xi and other Human Rights activists detained in China.
Date: 1 December 2010
Where: Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, 972 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, 0083, Pretoria
The Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF) held its fourth meeting on 12 November 2010. It brought together over 30 people from 10 organisations. The forum considered the Integrated Support Team reports, the antiretroviral tender and the future cost of antiretroviral treatment in the public health system. The forum also heard updates on events in the public health system in Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Free State provinces. An update on the TAC/CEGAA community budget monitoring project was also presented.
The fourth Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF) will take place tomorrow (Friday, 12 November 2010) in Johannesburg. The BEMF draws together individuals and organisations from civil society to focus attention on the state’s health budgeting and expenditure.
Statement by the TAC and SECTION27, co-hosts of the Labour/Civil Society conference
The Civil Society Conference held on 27-28 October 2010 will hopefully come to be seen as a historic turning point in South Africa. It may mark the revival of co-ordinated community based activism that aims to achieve social justice and better the lives of the poor in South Africa. It was attended by more than 50 independent organisations that believe in social justice and that fight for it every day.
On 16 and 17 September 2010, over 60 members of civil society organisations and trade unions met to discuss their work and their efforts – independently and through the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) – to strengthen the national response to HIV and to achieve the goals of the National Strategic Plan (NSP). The aim of the meeting was to define a new agenda going forward for civil society activism both within and independent of SANAC and to focus on our human right to health.
The politics of South Africa after the World Cup: Strategies for taking forward struggles for equality, dignity and social justice in South Africa
SECTION27 was launched at a conference of activists, legal professionals, and civil society organisations on May 6 – 7 2010. That conference began a discussion on the state of the Constitution, human rights and rule of law in South Africa, and the role that activists, lawyers, and civil society organisations should have in the continued struggle for the realisation of equality and dignity in South Africa.
In continuation of the discussions begun at that conference, SECTION27 hosted an activist dialogue – The Politics of South Africa after the World Cup: Strategies for Taking Forward Struggles for Equality, Dignity and Social Justice in South Africa – on 5 August 2010 to further discuss the links between current politics, the use of human rights law and the Constitution, and struggle.
We are organisations that campaign for social justice. The success of our work is dependent on respect for the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights. The right to free expression and freedom of the press and other media are essential components of democracy. That is why they are contained in the Bill of Rights. They are one of the essential means by which all people in South Africa, especially the vulnerable, exploited and poor, can hold government and the powerful private business sector to account.
A broad range of civil society organisations have called on the South African government to distance themselves from homophobic and unconstitutional comments made by Jerry Matjila, South Africa’s representative at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Matjila said that to protect gay people, “demeans the legitimate plight of the victims of racism”.
Leading activist organisations have condemned the cruel sentence by a Malawian magistrate imposed on Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, two men (one of whom is transgender and identifies as a woman) because they held a public engangement. They have been sentenced to 14 years in hard labour.
We condemn in the strongest terms the 14 years of hard labour sentence handed down by a court in Blantyre to Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga for committing so-called “unnatural acts”. Steven and Tiwonge were arrested in December 2009 after celebrating their engagement and have been in jail ever since.