Tuesday, March 10, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
The Health Professions Council of South Africa has said that it will investigate the three doctors who allegedly approved convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik's release on medical parole.
HPCSA spokesperson Bertha Peters-Scheepers said that they had received a complaint from the Democratic Alliance and would immediately start an investigation.
DA spokesperson on correctional services, James Selfe, says that the HPCSA needs to determine whether the doctors acted in compliance with the rules. He explained that the doctors would have to have made an assessment of the life expectancy of the offender if medical parole rules were properly followed.
Selfe said that the controversy around Shaik's release on medical parole had been exacerbated by African National Congress President Jacob Zuma's statement that he would consider pardoning Shaik if it was legally possible, once he becomes President of South Africa.
In other news, antipoverty campaigner Bob Geldof says that investors should look past the dire images of poverty in Africa to see genuine opportunities for trade and investment.
Speaking on the sidelines of a British government-backed conference in London, Geldof said that the combination of Africa's natural resources and lack of infrastructure means that there is still money to be made on the continent.
While investment in Africa has been rising in recent times, campaigners say that not enough of the fruits of economic growth get through to the poor. Nevertheless, poverty levels have begun to fall in much of the continent. The global financial crisis is seen to be threatening this improvement.
Geldof warns that the global financial crisis will hurt the poorest most.
In economic news, speaking in Dar es Salaam, International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, admitted that the fund's policy advice had not always been correct. He also promised more streamlined lending practices as the economic crisis forces more countries to seek aid.
Strauss-Kahn said that sub-Saharan Africa will be affected more by the slowdown in world growth than by the systemic banking crisis hurting advanced economies.
He explained that African exports will suffer from falling global demand, lower prices for oil and commodities, and a fall in the supply of international financing.
Strauss-Kahn said that the IMF is working to increase financial support to affected countries, step up technical assistance, and streamline its lending conditions.
Also making headlines:
The Independent Electoral Commission says that the Inkatha Freedom Party has failed to prove the allegations that its members have been removed from the election roll.
The United Nations says that Sudan's expulsions of non governmental organisations leave a major gap in humanitarian aid.
And, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai rules out foul play in the car accident that killed his wife.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.