Amnesty International and Albinism Task Force Call for Protection of Persons with Albinism Ahead of Court Appearance in South Africa

Amnesty International And Albinism Task Force Call For Protection Of Persons With Albinism Ahead Of Court Appearance In South Africa

As South African traditional healer Bongolethu “Dr Khehlelezi” Mzozo prepares to appear in court tomorrow over a video that spread misinformation about persons with albinism on YouTube, Amnesty International and the National Albinism Task Force are urging the South African government to take action in safeguarding individuals with albinism from discrimination, hostility, and violence.

Following the release of the video, the Thembisilemadlala Albinism Foundation, supported by The National Albinism Task Force, lodged a case with the Equality Court under Section 20 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 2000 (PEPUDA). The organizations argued that the video was discriminatory and constituted “hate speech” against persons with albinism.

Amidst these developments, Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, emphasized that individuals with albinism have the same rights as anyone else, including the right to be free from discrimination and protected against the advocacy of hatred. Chagutah expressed deep concern over the marginalization and discrimination faced by persons with albinism, as perpetuating hate and discrimination puts their safety at serious risk.

Amnesty International and the National Albinism Task Force are jointly calling on the South African government to promptly respect, promote, and fulfil the rights of individuals with albinism. They also urge the government to hold accountable those who violate these rights and take measures to eradicate discrimination, counter misinformation, and dispel stereotypes about persons with albinism.

Patrick Wadula, Chairperson of the National Albinism Task Force in South Africa, appealed to the public to stand in solidarity with people with albinism by condemning and reporting any behaviour that promotes hatred or incites discrimination against them.

The case has gone through previous court proceedings, with opportunities for settlement or mediation, which ultimately failed. The applicants are now seeking just and equitable relief from the court, highlighting the harms and violence caused by the contents of the video.

Furthermore, concerns persist regarding the reported disappearance of two individuals in Kwa Zulu-Natal since the video’s release, as well as the ongoing experiences of violence, harm, and discrimination faced by persons with albinism in South Africa.

Persons with albinism endure structural and systemic discrimination across southern Africa and live in fear for their lives. They are often targeted and killed for their body parts in various countries in the region. Albinism organizations are set to hold a solidarity march from Gandhi Park in Verulam, Kwa Zulu-Natal to the Equality Court at the Verulam Magistrate Court for the hearing, aiming to raise awareness and advocate for the rights of individuals with albinism.

The court appearance of Bongolethu “Dr Khehlelezi” Mzozo marks a crucial moment in the fight against discrimination and violence targeting persons with albinism, calling for justice and protection for this vulnerable community.


Source: Amnesty International

Gunmen Fatally Shoot Couple in Front of School, Causing Panic Among Students in Salt Spring, Jamaica

Gunmen Fatally Shoot Couple In Front Of School, Causing Panic Among Students In Salt Spring, Jamaica

In a horrifying incident that unfolded in Salt Spring, St. James, today, gunmen unleashed a barrage of gunfire that claimed the lives of a man and a woman. The victims were fatally shot in front of Salt Spring Primary School, sending shockwaves of panic through the student population.

According to reports received by Radio Jamaica News, the tragic incident occurred in close proximity to the school, causing a traumatic experience for both teachers and students. Trudi-Ann Taylor, the acting principal of the school, expressed her sorrow over the incident and its impact on the school community. She revealed that the children were left nervous and frightened, with some even experiencing involuntary bodily reactions due to the overwhelming trauma.

“The children were nervous and panicky. Some children even peed and defecated on themselves because of the trauma. It’s incredibly sad that such a horrific event took place so close to the school. Teachers and students are understandably shaken up,” lamented Taylor. She further disclosed that teachers and students sought refuge under their desks as the sound of gunshots pierced the air.

According to reports, the couple was traveling in a taxi from their residence in Flower Hill when, upon reaching a section of the Salt Spring main road, they were forcibly removed from the vehicle and shot by unidentified assailants. The motive behind the attack remains unknown, and investigations are underway to apprehend the perpetrators.

St. James, unfortunately, holds the grim distinction of having the highest number of murder cases in the country, with over 150 recorded since the beginning of the year. The incident in Salt Spring further highlights the urgent need for enhanced security measures and a concerted effort to address the pervasive issue of violence in the region.

As the community mourns the loss of two lives and grapples with the aftermath of this shocking incident, local authorities are urged to prioritize the safety of residents, particularly in areas with high crime rates. The well-being of students should be treated as paramount, with measures put in place to ensure their psychological support and a safe learning environment.

The tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by communities affected by violence. It is a collective responsibility to work towards a safer society, where incidents like these become a thing of the past, and children can pursue their education without fear.


Source: Radio Jamaica News

Ethiopian Airlines Reveals Its Reluctant Involvement in Nigeria Air Project

Nigeria Transport Aviation

In a surprising turn of events, Ethiopian Airlines has broken its silence regarding its participation in Nigeria’s controversial Nigeria Air project, initiated by the previous administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. The airline’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mesfin Tasew, disclosed that Ethiopian Airlines had initially contemplated withdrawing from the deal but was ultimately persuaded by the federal government to stay on board.

This development occurred despite a pending court case initiated by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), which had obtained an injunction halting the project. The project, spearheaded by former Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, was launched on May 27 but faced numerous setbacks when it was discovered that an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft had been used for a demonstration flight, in violation of the establishment process for a new airline.

In an interview with Nigerian journalists in Addis Ababa, Mr. Tasew clarified that Ethiopian Airlines had never harboured any intention to establish an airline in Nigeria. According to him, the Nigerian government had formally requested Ethiopian Airlines’ participation in a bid to assist in the creation of a national carrier, Nigeria Air. Despite initial reservations due to ongoing commitments in other countries, Ethiopian Airlines ultimately agreed to respect the Nigerian government’s request, citing its service to the Nigerian public and government through flights to four cities in the country.

Mr. Tasew further revealed that Ethiopian Airlines had submitted a proposal after being informed that it had been selected by the Ministry of Aviation as the partner for establishing the airline. The proposed structure would see Ethiopian Airlines holding a 49% stake, the federal government retaining 5%, and the remaining 46% being allocated to Nigerian investors. However, there were discrepancies between the two parties regarding the composition of Nigerian investment institutions and the government’s insistence on retaining only a 5% share.

Addressing another point of contention, Mr. Tasew explained that Nigerian authorities had requested the display of Ethiopian Airlines aircraft painted with the Nigeria Air logo for inspection. Ethiopian Airlines obliged and temporarily painted one of its aircraft with the Nigerian logo, which was later repainted with the Ethiopian logo after the inspection.

While discussing the objectives of Nigeria Air, Mr. Tasew stressed that the Nigerian government aimed to establish a reliable and dependable national carrier to address issues of flight punctuality, cancellations, and high airfares charged by foreign airlines. However, this revelation has sparked mixed reactions within the industry, with some stakeholders accusing the government of undermining local airlines.

Mr. Olumide Ohunayo, Secretary General of Aviation Roundtable, expressed his disappointment, labelling the Nigeria Air case as an embarrassment for the nation. He criticized the government for disregarding domestic airlines, claiming that Nigeria possessed the highest number of airlines in Africa, although they may not have as many aircraft as their counterparts.

The involvement of Ethiopian Airlines in the Nigeria Air project, coupled with the revelations made by its CEO, has shed new light on the complexities and controversies surrounding the initiative. As the project undergoes further scrutiny and the aviation industry awaits the court’s decision, the future of Nigeria Air remains uncertain.