Thursday, October 1, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Bradley Dubbelman.
According to a Constitutional Court ruling, the President, and not the Justice Minister, should be held accountable for a six-year delay in the processing of pardon applications by 384 jailed Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) members including Mqabukeni Chonco. The court upheld an appeal by the Justice Minister against a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling in favour of the IFP members.Chief Justice Pius Langa, criticises the government for the long delay in the pardon applications and says that "Mr Chonco has pursued the incorrect party to obtain the legal relief that he seeks." Chonco was convicted of a string of crimes in 1989 and sentenced to death, which was subsequently changed to a life sentence after the death penalty was abolished in 1990. Chonco applied for a Presidential pardon six years ago, arguing that his crimes were committed for political reasons.
According to a new United Nations (UN) report, more than one half of the 9,5 - million people who need Aids drugs cannot access them. Further, 33 - million people across the world are still affected by the virus. Access to drugs, counselling and testing for HIV/Aids has increased in low-, and middle- income countries, but there were still 2,7-million new infections in 2007, and combating the HIV virus that causes Aids remains a major challenge for global health, it reads. Teguest Guerma, an HIV/Aids director at the Geneva- based World Health Organisation, says that an internationally agreed goal of achieving universal access to treatment by 2010 was unlikely and required a more concentrated effort.
Growth in Africa will slow a bit more than initially thought this year as the continent battles a collapse in exports and tight global financial conditions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says. In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF projected gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the resource-rich continent slowing to 1,7% from the 1,8% it estimated in July. It grew 5,5% in 2008."Growth in Africa has slowed significantly as a result of global trade and disruptions in global financial markets, but growth is expected to regain momentum as the global recovery gets under way," the IMF says. The Fund also pointed out that the region is subject to significant uncertainty as a weaker- than- expected recovery of the global economy will slow the recovery in commodity markets and worsen the prospects for inflows.
Also making headlines:
Developing counties will need to spend as much as $100-billion annually to adapt to climate change, a World Bank study says. South African police officers are turning to an anonymous helpline to deal with stress.And, Guinea's ruling military junta calls for the formation of a national unity government.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.