August 14, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
Justice Albie Sachs says Parliament must have a public voice.
The UN Mission says increasing violence in Syria is taking a heavy toll on civilians.
And, Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi sweeps out army rulers.
Justice Albie Sachs says Parliament must embrace its connection with voters and the public voice.
He said the Constitution wasn’t just a document that was chosen because it looked good and seemed to respond to the needs of everybody. He added that including the phrase in the Constitution about the public being involved wasn’t simply so that the public could sit upstairs and watch the proceedings, but rater so that the public could make its representations to the portfolio committee.
However, this means an ongoing, active connection and association between Parliament and the public, with Sachs saying that South Africa’s model should be viewed as one full of potential and power, and a model that other countries can successfully copy.
The head of the United Nations observer force says that violence and the indiscriminate use of heavy weapons by the Government as well as targeted attacks by the opposition are increasing in Syria. This is taking a heavy toll on innocent civilians.
UN Military Adviser, Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye, who is currently serving as the head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria said it’s clear that violence is increasing in many parts of Syria.
In the previous two weeks, there have been reports of an escalation in violence in many towns and villages, as well as the country’s two biggest cities, Damascus and Aleppo. Aleppo is the centre of intense combat between Government and opposition forces, involving both aerial bombardments and heavy weaponry.
In a bold bid to end 60 years of military leadership, Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi has driven back the biggest challenge to civilian rule by dismissing top generals and tearing up their legal attempt to curb his power.
Taking the country by surprise, Mursi pushed Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi into retirement. The 76-year-old figurehead of the old order had taken charge of the biggest Arab nation when Hosni Mubarak fell last year. He remained the head of its powerful, ad hoc military council after the Islamist was elected in June.
Mursi and his long-suppressed Muslim Brotherhood had been expected to roll back the influence of the army. It is a close ally of Washington and recipient of $1.3-billion in annual military aid. However, many had predicted a process that would take years of delicate diplomacy to avoid sparking a military backlash.
Also making headlines:
Analysts warn of ANC regional rifts.
World powers weigh an emergency meeting on food prices.
And, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba wants the new South African Express board to rebuild airline’s damaged image.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.