General Motors Restructures International Markets to Strengthen Global Business Performance

SINGAPORE, May 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — GM India to focus on export manufacturing Isuzu Motors to purchase GM South Africa light commercial vehicle manufacturing operations Chevrolet to be phased out of Indian and South African markets General Motors (NYSE: GM) today announced key restructuring actions in its GM International operations to drive stronger financial performance […]

Condolences to Karabo, Courtney’s families

Cape Town � Justice Minister Michael Masutha has sent his condolences to the families of Karabo Mokoena and Courtney Pieters.

Both lost their lives due to horrific acts of violent abuse, in a week that has left the nation reeling in shock.

The Minister said this when he briefed journalists at the Imbizo Centre in Parliament on Thursday, ahead of tabling the department’s Budget Vote speech in the National Assembly.

Public safety is of supreme importance and it requires that all sectors in society must play their role, especially in the protection of vulnerable groups. The shocking deaths of Karabo Mokoena and Courtney Pieters in recent days proves that women and children continue to bear the brunt of abuse, violence and senseless killings.

On behalf of the department, I would like to take this opportunity to express our condolences to their loved ones, he said.

Karabo, 22, was allegedly killed and burnt by her boyfriend, 27-year-old Sandile Mantsoe.

The 27-year-old is currently in custody and the court hearing is scheduled to continue next week.

Courtney, 3, was raped twice before being murdered and buried in a shallow grave in Bofors Circle in Epping, Industria, after she went missing on May 4, from her Pluto Street home in Elsies River in the Western Cape.

Her alleged killer, 40-year-old Mortimer Saunders, is in custody and the case will return to court on 24 May.

The Minister sent his condolences ahead of a visit by President Jacob Zuma to Elsies River on Thursday. Police Minister Fikile Mbalula is expected to speak at a memorial for Courtney later this evening.

Minister Masutha said the department was impelled by such gross acts of injustice to build a justice system that is focussed on victims.

Department unveils 59th new model sexual offences court

Meanwhile, the Minister said on Monday, the department officially launched its 59th new model sexual offences court at the Thembalethu Magistrate’s Court in George, in the Northern Cape.

These homegrown new-model sexual offences courts were introduced by the department in August 2013 to provide specialized support services to victims of sexual offences, decrease turn around times for finalisation of sexual offences cases and improve conviction rates, he said.

The Minister said in the current financial year, the department will commence with phase two of this project, which entails the establishment of 106 sexual offences courts over a period of 10 years.

Cabinet approved the strategy which is expected to integrate police stations, courts and improve offender tracking.

The Minister said, meanwhile, that in March this year, Cabinet approved an Integrated Criminal Justice Strategy through which all departments and entities in the criminal justice system will integrate.

The Minister said once implemented, the strategy will go a long way in addressing the challenges relating to the management of bail, overcrowding in correctional centres and the optimal use of alternative non-custodial sentences.

He said the department was on course to implement the integrated justice system (IJS).

The IJS will allow for the establishment of a unique Single Person Identifier and Person Identification Verification application to assist with the tracking of an individual in the criminal justice system through biometrics.

This system will ensure electronic information exchanges between the SA Police Service, the National Prosecuting Authority and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

These integrations are connecting 1150 police stations linked to 509 courts across all nine provinces, he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

US Health Secretary Visits Liberia, Where Ebola Killed 4,800

MONROVIA � U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is making his first trip overseas to Liberia, the West African country where Ebola killed more than 4,800 people.

Price on Thursday praised Liberia for its “remarkable cooperation” on health care issues. He toured a community that was hit hard by the Ebola virus in 2014.

Ebola survivor Mohammed Kromah told Price how he spent almost two months at a treatment center. He showed the U.S. health secretary his Ebola-free certificate, which was greeted with wide applause.

Price later met with health workers at Redemption Hospital, where the first Ebola death was recorded in 2014. His spoke with members of the hospital’s mental health mobile teams, which go out into communities to provide services.

Source: Voice of America

Strides made in transforming the judiciary

Pretoria – The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) continues to make strides in transforming the judiciary to reflect the racial and gender composition of South African society.

Out of the 246 judges in active service, 159 (66%) are male and 87 (34%) are female, of which 160 (65%) are black and 86 (35%) are white, said Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Michael Masutha.

The nomination by the President of the first ever woman to the position of President of the Supreme Court of Appeal — who is also black — namely Justice Mandisa Maya, is a cause for celebration, the Minister said on Wednesday.

He was speaking to the media ahead of the Office of the Chief Justice’s Budget Vote in Parliament. The Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) was proclaimed as a national department by President Jacob Zuma in 2010. Its mandate is to provide support to the Chief Justice in executing his administrative and judicial powers and functions in his capacity as Head of the Judiciary.

Minister Masutha announced that the project to establish a judiciary-led court administration model has commenced, and engagement with the Chief Justice is underway.

The OCJ has in the past maintained that the creation of a judiciary based court administration system will not compromise the independence of the judiciary. Unlike the Auditor General who must personally account to Parliament, the accounting responsibilities for a court administration model — led by the judiciary — rests squarely on the shoulders of the Secretary General, as is the case in the USA and the Russian Federation.

Minister Masutha said engagements around this are being undertaken by the Inter-Ministerial Committee under the leadership of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is considering the views of the judiciary regarding the end result of the Court Administration Model.

The ongoing institutional reforms are part of the ongoing discourse on separation of powers, the interpretation and application of which has largely evolved through jurisprudence, Minister Masutha said.

Broader access to justice

Turning on improving access to justice, Minister Masutha said the Mpumalanga High Court will be completed during this financial year, following the successful launch and operationalisation of the Limpopo High Court in November 2016.

This milestone, Minister Masutha said, is proof of government’s concerted efforts to realise the goal of establishing a high court in every province in the republic.

The department is also implementing a number of other infrastructure related projects, which include aspects of security, which amongst others, will address the recent security breach at the national offices of the OCJ.

The department will also continue skilling judicial officers this year.

During the 2016/17 financial year, 90 judicial education courses, which include basic and advanced courses for newly appointed magistrates and aspirant judges, were offered to serving and aspiring judicial officers. This exceeded the set target of 70.

In the 2017/18 financial year, the number of judicial education courses to be offered by the South African Judicial Education Institute (SAJEI), located under the OCJ, is 77. �

Source: South African Government News Agency