Wednesday, May 4, 2011

National Monument

May 4 2011

The Chancellor House in Fox Street, central Johannesburg

The refurbished Chancellor House, where former president Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo had their law office in Johannesburg in the 1950s, was unveiled on Wednesday. 


                                                           Nelson Mandela - 1950's

                                                          Oliver Tambo, 1917 - 1993

“If bricks could talk this building would have been replete with colourful stories about the struggles for national liberation,” said Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo. 

Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo.

The building, which was dilapidated prior to the renovation project, was refurbished by the Johannesburg Development Agency at a cost of R5 million. 

In 1952, Mandela and Tambo started the first black-owned law firm in Johannesburg, where free or low-cost legal services were offered to black South Africans. 

Masondo quoted 'Long Walk to Freedom' to illustrate the significance of the Mandela and Tambo law firm: 

“It was a place where they (the black majority) could come and find a sympathetic ear and a competent ally, a place where they would not be either turned away or cheated, a place where they might actually feel proud to be represented by men of their own skin colour.” 

Masondo said that the building had housed discussions central to the organisation of the Defiance Campaigns and preparations for the Treason Trials, and as such had shaped South Africa's liberation struggle history. 

The law firm closed down in 1960 owing to their political careers and pressure from the apartheid regime and the building gradually fell into disrepair. 

The building was saved from demolition when it became a provisional national monument in 1999. 

The building would house a museum and archive of the historic work of Mandela and Tambo, Masondo said.
Sheryl Cwele decided not to take the witness stand....


The KwaZulu-Natal High Court will on Wednesday morning deliver judgment in the drug trafficking case involving the wife of the state security minister.

                                        State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele

The State alleges that Sheryl Cwele, wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, and co-accused Frank Nabolisa conspired to use two women as drug mules.

Sheryl Cwele

Judge Piet Koen was expected to start delivering his judgment at 10:00.

The pair pleaded not guilty to dealing or conspiring to deal in drugs, procuring a woman called Charmaine Moss to collect drugs in Turkey, and procuring another woman, Tessa Beetge, to smuggle cocaine from South America.

Beetge was arrested when 10kg of cocaine was found in her luggage in Brazil in 2008, and is serving a jail sentence in Sao Paolo. Moss turned State witness.

Both Nabolisa and Cwele decided not to take the witness stand.

1.9m jobless youths

May 03 2011

Johannesburg - It is concerning that 1.9 million unemployed people are new entrants into the labour market, Fedusa said on Tuesday.

"This figure translates into a staggering 43.4% of those who are unemployed," Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) general secretary Dennis George said in a statement.

                                                                     Dennis George
"What are we doing to provide jobs for our young people... many of them have qualifications and skills and they remain unemployed?" he asked.

The information was released on Tuesday in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) which reflected data collected on the labour market activities of people aged between 15 and 64.

While the survey showed that the number of people in the labour force increased between October 2010 and March 2011, employment figures decreased by 14 000 over the period, George said.

The number of unemployed people increased by 227 000 between October 2010 and March 2011, while the number of work-seekers increased by 73 000.

"These figures indicate that the South Africa economy is still very much recovering from the recent global recession, however sustainable job creation must be made a priority," George said.

Fedusa's observation was that the hardest hit industries were transport, construction and agriculture, he said.

Job losses had been experienced in most provinces except Gauteng, the Western Cape and Mpumalanga.

George said Fedusa was pleased that there had been an increase in jobs in crafts and related trades, and sales and services.

"This highlights the importance of skilled artisans," he said.

"South Africa needs to equip workers with the necessary skills that will lay the foundations for entrepreneurs and the increased creation of small to medium businesses which will in turn create more jobs and increase economic growth."