National team aims for better placing

first_imgJamaica’s national dart team is looking forward to a stronger performance at this year’s Caribbean Championship that will be held in Barbados.The local body, Jamaica Dart Association (JDA), named a 13-member squad for the regional tournament to run from July 12-17.National player/coach Colin Chandia expects the team to finish better than the seventh place in last year’s competition.”We participated last year after a long layoff, where we finished seventh out of 12 teams. We have been working hard for the past three months in order to be better prepared,” Chandia told The Gleaner.”The main focus is to finish in a higher position. We should give a significant performance this year,” he emphasised.He is looking towards the senior players to inspire the team, which was selected from players participating in the ongoing local league.The full team is: Men – Albert Bailey (Portmore Contenders), Colin Chandia (Chelsea Precision), David Green (BOJ Gators), Dwight Smith (Chelsea Precision), Evon Faulkner (BOJ Gators), Lynford Jonas (Dynasty MoBay), Mark Birthwright (Central Miners) and Winston Ferguson (Portmore Stimulus).Women – Carol Cheese (Shooting Stars), Catherine Stewart (BOJ Gators), Jennifer Reid (MoBay Darters), Lorraine Nembhard (Portmore Contenders) and Marvel Brown (MoBay Darters).last_img read more

Government explains new Children’s Act

first_imgSouth Africa’s department of social development explains the objectives of the Children’s Act and things like the definition of the parental responsibilities.The Children’s Act of 2005 makes provision for matters such as children’s courts, adoption, child abduction and surrogate motherhood. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterSouth Africa has put certain sections of the new Children’s Act, which lowers the age of majority to 18 and allows those above 12 access to HIV testing and contraceptives into immediate effect, gaining much approval from the Children’s Rights Centre.The Children’s Act of 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005) sets out principles relating to the care and protection of children, defines parental responsibilities and rights and makes provision for matters such as children’s courts, adoption, child abduction and surrogate motherhood.The principles call for the prioritisation of the best interest of the child, the right to the child being able to participate in any matter concerning that child, children living with disability or chronic illness and a child’s right of access to court.The Act also clarifies the grey area that currently exists in relation to the age of adulthood, whereby the Age of Majority Act of 1972 stipulates the age of 21 as the age of majority, while a child was defined as someone under the age of 18.“Between 18 and 21 you’re neither a child nor an adult. The Children’s Act of 2005 clarifies that grey area and brings in line with section 28 (3) of the Constitution. Now any person under 18, unless married or emancipated by order of court, is a child and any person over 18 is an adult,” the department of social development explained.It added that the Constitution and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child defined a child as any person under the age of 18 years.“[The] government felt that the changed socio-economic and political circumstances in South Africa justify the advancement of the age of majority to 18 years,” the department said.HIV testing and contraceptivesChildren’s Rights Centre spokesperson Noreen Ramsden last week welcomed the decision to give access to HIV/Aids testing contraceptives to those aged above 12 years, stating every person of a reproductive age should have such access, in addition to reproductive information.The Aids Foundation of South Africa’s deputy director Nozuko Majola agreed that this provided a platform for families, health care providers and schools to start talking about sexual reproductive health more openly with the youth.Responding to criticism that it excluded parental involvement in allowing children to undergo HIV testing or gain access to contraceptives, the department of social development said: “The Act provides that children should be provided with access to contraceptives. This is in realisation of the fact that children are sexually active at a very young age, even though the legal age of consent is 16.”“Furthermore, given HIV and Aids [prevalence], especially amongst teenagers, it would be unwise to deny children access to condoms,” the department maintained.It explained that the provision of the reproductive health services to minors would help government detect children who were in need of care.“We are mindful of the fact that a sexually active child may be a child in need of care. Therefore the health practitioners would be required to report suspicious cases to a child protection organisation, social workers, police officers or children’s court,” the department said.“The child would then receive proper attention and assistance. This would assist children who are abused, neglected and exploited.”It further emphasised that access to contraceptives should go hand in hand with appropriate sexuality education.The Act also contains new provisions on the parental responsibilities and rights of unmarried fathers relating to access to the custody of their children, with Ramsden stating that giving unmarried fathers custody of their children would encourage South African men to be better fathers.Regulations still requiredSocial Development Minister Zola Skweyiya explained last week that the bulk of the Act dealt with matters that need to be implemented on a practical level, which meant regulations were required before it could be fully implemented.“The Act, however, also deals with principles that are fundamental to the manner in which children are treated and protected,” he said.“To ensure the application of these important principles to all matters affecting children, the legislation containing the principles should be put into operation as soon as possible.”According to the department, the main objectives of the Act are to:Make provision for structures, services and means for promoting and monitoring the sound physical, psychological, intellectual, emotional and social development of children;Strengthen and develop community structures which can assist in providing care and protection for children; protect children from discrimination, exploitation and any other physical, emotional or moral harm or hazards;Provide care and protection for children who are in need of care and protection;Recognise the special needs that children with disabilities may have;Promote the protection, development and well-being of children;Promote the preservation and strengthening of families;Give effect to certain constitutional rights of children;Give effect to the Republic’s obligations concerning the well-being of children in terms of international instruments binding on the RepublicThe department said that in order for the rest of the Act to come into effect, regulations needed to be finalised first and another proclamation would be prepared at a later stage.Source: South African Government News Agency.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

A media guide to the Oscar Pistorius trial

first_imgRecent media reports on the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. Clockwise from top left: The New York Times, News24, The Guardian, The Mail & Guardian, City Press, and Sky News.Shamin ChibbaParalympian athlete Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial, set to start on Monday 3 March, is a landmark case for the media. A groundbreaking court ruling makes it the first time in South African history a criminal trial will be broadcast live on TV, instantly streamed via audio apps, and live-tweeted to the world.Jump to:South African justice system ‘moving with the times’Oscar Pistorius Twitter feed and websiteConditions imposed on the mediaMain players in the trialTelevision coverageAudio coverage: radio and streaming appsLinks to streaming audio appsFollowing the trial on TwitterOn Tuesday 25 February Gauteng judge president Dunstan Mlambo ruled in favour of an application by Multichoice and Eyewitness News to broadcast the trial. It will be shown on two news channels on satellite TV service DStv, as well as on eNews Channel Africa (eNCA) and a special channel under the banner of MNet’s investigative programme Carte Blanche. But the judge ruled that only certain parts of the trial – the opening and closing arguments, expert witness testimony, judgment and sentencing – may be broadcast on TV. Radio broadcaster Eyewitness News, eNCA and Multichoice will, however, be allowed full audio coverage of the trial.Under Mlambo’s ruling, Multichoice must provide a free feed to other television channels. According the Associated Press, the broadcasts may also be made available to international stations through a sharing agreement.Pistorius is facing charges of premeditated murder and the illegal possession of ammunition after shooting Reeva Steenkamp, his girlfriend, to death through the closed bathroom door in his house on 14 February 2013. He claimed to have mistaken her for an intruder. In December last year two additional charges were added to the trial, for separate incidents of illegally discharging a firearm through the sunroof of a car, and under a table at a restaurant.South African justice system ‘moving with the times’George Mazarakis, executive editor for the Carte Blanche channel, said in an interview with AFP that judge Mlambo’s ruling set a precedent and was a victory for open justice. “We are thrilled that the South African judiciary has matured to this ground-breaking decision. It is a seminal moment and will make South African television and legal history as visual access of this nature has never before been granted in a South African court.”Eyewitness News editor-in-chief Katy Katopodis said in her web column that the ruling was a sign the justice system was moving with the times. She said the live broadcast of the trial will simply be an extension of the live tweeting reporters do when covering court cases. The broadcast, she said, would be no different from the principle of open justice, under which any person was allowed to walk into a courtroom and listen to a case.Normal witnesses can refuse consent to have their testimony broadcast, Katopodis said. “We can, however, have the testimony of witnesses who are expert witnesses, whose job essentially it is to give testimony in court cases like this.”In the hearing, Pistorius’ lawyers argued that television cameras in the courtroom would prevent him from having a fair trial. They said the broadcast of witness evidence may allow tailoring, fabrication and adaption of evidence.But Mlambo said the trial is in the public interest and having cameras in the courtroom would ensure a greater number of people, especially those unable to attend the proceedings, would be able to follow it wherever they may be. “Particularly those who are poor and who have found it difficult to access the justice system, they should have a first-hand account of the proceedings involving a local and international icon.”Oscar Pistorius Twitter feed and websiteMeanwhile, Pistorius’ public relations team has launched a Twitter account – @OscarHardTruth – which it claims will reveal the truth about the shooting.Pistorius’ family has also made the decision to turn his official website, once used to chronicle his exploits on the track and his charitable activities, into a news website featuring the latest developments in his trial, and a space for messages of support.The website states that it will provide the opportunity for the media to make enquiries or requests, but the family may not always respond or comment because of legal reasons.Conditions imposed on the mediaJudge Mlambo’s ruling has been hailed as a victory for media freedom, but he did impose a number of conditions to ensure broadcasters would not interfere with proceedings. These include:The presiding judge, Thokozile Masipa, will specifically direct when recording should start and when it should stop.No recordings of personal legal discussions and private conversations are allowed.No recordings when the court is not in session.Three small, unmanned spy cameras must be fitted to the courtroom at least 72 hours before the trial starts. The cameras must be installed in such a way that they do not interfere with proceedings. No camera operators will be allowed in the courtroom to control equipment, to prevent disruptions.Close-ups are not permitted.Mlambo allowed the opening argument for state and defence, expert evidence, and the testimony of police and all consenting state witnesses to be broadcasted.Print media will be allowed to take still photographs of the trial. Two cameras are allowed, but flash photography is not permitted.No cabling is allowed on the floor of the courtroom.Where concerns are raised about video coverage, final authority rests with the presiding judge.Prosecution witnesses may elect to have their testimony withheld from video cameras.Main players in the trialCome Monday, all cameras will be focused on Pistorius. But little is known about the other role-players in the trial, namely the presiding judge, Thokozile Masipa, prosecuting lawyer, Gerrie Nel, and Pistorius’s lawyer, Barry Roux.The judge: Thokozile MasipaSince becoming a high court judge in 1998, Thokozile Masipa has distinguished herself in three major trials. According to the Mail & Guardian, she threw out a R85-million unfair dismissal lawsuit against Eskom brought by former Eskom chief executive Jacob Moroga. She also presided over the City vs Occupiers case, in which she maintained that the City of Johannesburg had failed to fulfil its obligations to find alternative accommodation for squatters threatened with eviction from old warehouses in Berea. And in 2011, she had handed serial rapist and robber Shepherd Moyo a 252-year sentence after a two-year crime spree.A former crime reporter, Masipa was the second black woman to be appointed to the bench after Constitutional Court judge Yvonne Mokgoro.The prosecutor: Gerrie NelAdvocate Gerrie Nel is a state prosecutor for the National Prosecuting Authority. He previously headed the Gauteng division of the Directorate of Special Operations, also known as the Scorpions. In 2010, he successfully prosecuted Jackie Selebi, the former South African Police Services commissioner, who was found guilty of corruption and handed a 15-year prison sentence.The defence lawyer: Barry RouxSenior advocate Barry Roux has won out in a number of high-profile cases, including tax charges against mining magnate Roger Kebble, the father of politically connected murder victim Brett Kebble. At Pistorius’ bail hearing, Roux’s masterful cross-examination skills helped secure the athlete’s release on a R1-million bond. According to the Mail & Guardian, his sharp questioning may have changed the course of the case.The detective: Vineshkumar MoonooCase investigator lieutenant-general Vineshkumar Moonoo was appointed as the head of the Pistorius murder investigation after detective Hilton Botha resigned from the police in March 2013. Police commissioner Riah Phiyega has described him as the “top detective in the South African Police Service”. He has led a number of high-profile investigations, including the 250 robberies where suspects wore police uniforms and used blue-light vehicles, and the bombing of Czech businessperson Radovan Krejcir’s gold dealership in Bedfordview, Johannesburg.WitnessesThere are 107 witnesses listed for the trial from friends and neighbours to security guards at the Silverwoods Country Estate, where the shooting took place.Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor will testify for the prosecution. She has claimed to have witnessed the runner angrily fire a gun through the sunroof of his car after being stopped at a police roadblock. After they broke up, her mother, Trish Taylor, reportedly posted on Facebook that she was glad Samantha was “out of the clutches of that man”. The alleged comments were later removed. Trish will also take the stand at the trial.Christo Menelaou, Pistorius’s neighbour at Silverwoods, will also testify. In a Drum magazine article, he claimed to have woken up startled by what sounded like three thunderclaps at eight minutes past three in the morning. An hour later, when he went to the bathroom, he peered outside and saw blue and red lights flashing outside Pistorius’s house.Television coverageThe Carte Blanche channel will feature interviews with expert guests from around the world, including US criminal defence attorney Robert Shapiro, famous for his successful defence of murder accused OJ Simpson in 1995. Also on the panel will be senior legal experts, psychologists, social commentators, social media analysts, American forensic experts, and police consultants to hit crime-TV shows such as Dexter.Multichoice said the current editorial team for Carte Blanche will cover the trial for its special channel. They include journalists Derek Watts, John Webb, Bongani Bingwa and Devi Sankaree Govender. Also on the team will be social media lawyer Emma Sadleir, radio talk show host Leigh Bennie, legal journalist and radio talk show host David O’Sullivan, and former BBC presenter Subniv Babuta.According to eNCA group news editor Ben Said, the station will cover large parts of the trial in much the same way as Carte Blanche. Karyn Maughan and Annika Larsen will be the correspondents on site. The channel will consult a number of experts to analyse the trial but Said did not provide any names. “We have lined up both local and overseas justice criminal experts, forensic experts and legal experts.”Audio coverage: radio and streaming appsWhile TV coverage will be slightly limited, the full trial will be available on radio and streaming audio. Eyewitness News, part of the Primedia group that owns the stations Talk Radio 702, 567 CapeTalk, 94.7 Highveld Stereo and 94.5 Kfm, will provide the public with a continuous audio feed of the trial, accompanied by analysis.The feed will be available, for free, via streaming apps – both iOS and Android – provided by the four Primedia radio stations.An extra pop-up station positioned as “Gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Oscar Pistorius trial” will stream audio from the courtroom live each day from 09h00 to 16h00. This will be available on all four stations’ websites, free of charge. David O’Sullivan and Gushwell Brooks, who both have legal backgrounds, will present the show. Primedia said it would make copies of the daily audio streams available to international listeners across different time zones.Links to streaming audio apps94.5 Kfm: Apple • Android94.7 Highveld Stereo: Apple • Android567 CapeTalk: Apple • AndroidTalk Radio 702: Apple • AndroidFor further information and updates, visit Eyewitness News, Talk Radio 702, 567 CapeTalk, 94.7 Highveld Stereo and 94.5 Kfm.Following the trial on TwitterBarry BatemanEyewitness News Pretoria correspondent Barry Bateman will cover the trial for Primedia’s radio stations, and live-tweet it as it unfolds. Bateman was one of the first to report the case on Twitter, sending his follower count up by over 100 000 in the week after Steenkamp’s death. Bateman is also co-author, with his colleague Mandy Wiener, of a forthcoming book about the case. Follow him @barrybateman.Talk Radio 702Gushwell Brooks: @GushwellBrooksDavid O’Sullivan: @702David eNCAAnnika Larsen: @AnnikaLarsen1Karyn Maughan: @karynmaughanCarte BlancheCarte Blanche: @carteblanchetvDerek Watts: @DerekWatts Bongani Bingwa: @bonglez Devi Sankaree-Govender: @Devi_SGOscar PistoriusOscar Pistorius’s public relations team: @OscarHardTruthlast_img read more

Opinion: ‘It’s our turn to move South Africa forward’

first_imgThe freedom we now enjoy and celebrate was achieved through the selfless sacrifice of patriots who were prepared to pay the ultimate price, says the GCIS’ acting director-general Donald Liphoko. (Image: Shamin Chibba)By Donald Liphoko, acting director-general of GCISOn Freedom Day millions of South Africans will celebrate the day that marks the occasion of our first democratic elections in 1994 and gave birth to our freedom and constitutional democracy.Some will choose to spend the day at home surrounded by family and friends, others may gather at the national Freedom Day celebrations in Manguzi, Umhlabuyalingana Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, which will be led by President Jacob Zuma. There are also those who may choose to use the national Freedom Day celebrations as a platform to raise their concerns.Whatever South Africans choose they will be free to do so. Our Constitution, our democracy, and our freedom have ensured that all people across our land are free to celebrate in the manner of their choosing.At face value, this seems utterly obvious, but we must never forget that before 1994, what now seems so utterly normal was denied to the majority of our fellow countrymen and women.The freedom we now enjoy and celebrate was achieved through the selfless sacrifice of patriots who were prepared to pay the ultimate price. They lived and died for the dream of a free and democratic South Africa that would be truly united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous. A country where everyone no matter their present circumstances would be free to strive for a better and more prosperous tomorrow.Since 1994 our country, and successive democratic administrations have worked to make this vision a reality. South Africa is undeniably a better place today than it was at the birth of our freedom, but much work still remains to undo the apartheid legacy of poverty, inequality and unemployment.The administration of President Jacob Zuma has continued this work since 2009. As a caring government, we continue to push for a society that is more equal, both socially and economically. Sadly, some have sought to push back against this vision by advocating that the status quo should remain in place.Such a call is both untenable and deeply worrying. We cannot and will not allow the continued existence of two parallel countries, and economies. It cannot be that our freedom dividend should only benefit some in our society, while the majority remain trapped in an existence of poverty, inequality and unemployment.Therefore government will continue its push for meaningful and inclusive economic transformation, that not only benefits some but all in our country. Our priority is to ensure greater participation in the economy by historically disadvantaged communities.We have already begun to implement this through our Medium-Term Strategic Framework 2014 to 2019. It sets out 14 outcomes around which we will mobilise all sectors of our society and it aims to ensure more equitable growth of the economy.These interventions should be seen as part of government’s long-term economic plan as guided by the National Development Plan, and immediate interventions such as the Nine-Point Plan, and Operation Phakisa.We are aware that many would argue that our immediate challenges cannot be resolved by the NDP, which is a long-term plan. However, the NDP is more than just a plan; it is the overarching vision for South Africa. Therefore it includes all key policy instruments aimed at growing the economy and creating jobs.These include the New Growth Path, which sets the trajectory of economic development; the National Infrastructure Plan, which guides the roll-out of infrastructure to improve people’s lives and enable economic growth; and the Industrial Policy Action Plan, which focuses on promoting investment and competitiveness in leading sectors and industries.Together these interventions are a potent driver for inclusive and far-reaching economic growth. However, our nation faces strong headwinds in the form of a slowing economy and global economic weakness. Therefore we need all South African onboard to tackle both our economic and social challenges.Let us, therefore, move away from the rhetoric and grandstanding. It is a luxury our country cannot afford. We must ensure that our dialogues are fair, less acrimonious and more constructive.As a caring government we will continue to lead the way by providing hope to all South Africans. Our social assistance programmes have lifted millions of people out of despair, and have planted the seeds of hope.The structural changes we are implementing will spur economic growth and ultimately lead to an economy and society that is more equitable. However, we cannot do it alone and need every sector of society to partner with us in this endeavour.Many South African companies have reaped the fruits of our freedom and have over the years have grown into strong multi-national corporations.As pillars in industry, we encourage them to use their success to move the country forward as we create the nation we all envisioned at the start of democracy. When South Africa benefits we all stand to benefit. Equally, we call on society to put aside narrow self-interest. Together we can build the country of our dreams; a nation which is prosperous, equitable and provides space for everyone to shine.The patriots who lived and died for our freedom have paved the way for this future, now it’s our turn to move South Africa forward.last_img read more

Ohioan wins Ag Leader’s $25,000 giveaway

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Lora Howell from Danville won $25,000 worth of precision equipment for her farming operation from Ag Leader Technology.With the help of Evan Watson with Precision Agri Services, Inc., Howell created a video to share her story and participate in the national contest. The video of her farm to got her into the top three and Ag Leader selected the winner and announced the results in early August.“In case you don’t know us and our story, my dad passed away a few years back and when most people told my mom to downsize, she said, ‘I can do this,’” said Linsey Howell, Lora’s daughter. “Today, my mom and 14-year-old brother Justin, are successfully farming 500 acres and running livestock all while showing sheep competitively across the country!”She was the only Ohio contestant that made the top three and Ohio voters supported her until the July 20 deadline. Lora is a fourth generation farmer who manages the Farm Service Agency office out of Millersburg while maintaining 500 acre operation of corn, soybean, wheat, hay along with raising cattle, sheep, and goats.last_img read more