PAHRO QUARTELY REPORT (March, April and May 2015)


Projects Abroad Human Rights Office, Cape Town

PAHRO will be sending a quarterly with an updated on what we have been doing these past few months.

These past few months PAHRO has slowly been receiving lots of clients, which have kept us busy and hopeful that the current clients will inform the rest of their families, friends and neighbours of the services we provide.

We have also opened two new legal clinics, one in the area of Mitchells Plain and the other in the area of Vrygrond. Both clinics have brought in an influx amount of clients, whom majority of are looking for assistance with property, divorce and maintenance matters.

We have also started to new Social Justice Projects; Lindelani, which is also a juvenile detention facility for young boys and the Khayalitsha Project, which is in partner with Siyakathala, who we have previously worked with.

Social Justice Projects Updates

Shuan Solomons's Workshops

Vredelus

Poetry and goal setting

This week we did a two part workshop, the first part was on poetry and the second part was on goal settings.

We started off by handing each girl a fill-in-the-blank worksheet entitled "If God Were Looking at My Life". This particular poetry activity was a chance for them to reflect back on their past, the present and their future.

Some of the girls found it difficult to complete this activity as it was too emotional for them to think about their past and their current situation, so instead of completing the poem, they shared their story with the rest of the group.

After the poetry session, we concentrated on goal setting. We divided the girls into small groups, with two or three interns in each group to help the girls write down their short and long term goals.

All the girls had positive goals which they hope to achieve and which they were happy to share with us.

"Both the poetry and the goal setting activities encouraged the girls to think about their past and their future, as well as for them to realise how far they have come and to motivate them to strive to do better.

I really love working with the girls, this is definitely one of the most rewarding experiences I have had so far."- Devon Helm

Peer Pressure

We did the same workshop at Bonnytoun and Lindelani.

We decided to do a presentation on peer pressure to show the girls and boys peer pressure can either be negative or positive.

The most likely reason why the boys and girls are at juvenile detention facilities is due to peer pressure, negative peer pressure and we wanted to educate them on the difference between being positively and negatively influenced by their peers.

A lot of the boys and girls already knew what peer pressure meant, but they only associated peer pressure with negative connotations, and we wanted them to recognise positive peer pressure, as well as have them positively influence their peers.

After the slide show presentation, the interns and the boys/girls were split into groups in order to discuss what we have learned, as well as to share our personal experiences on peer pressure, whether it was negative or positive. This group discussion turned out better than expected as we all learned from each other and were able to motivate one another to make better choices and be the change we wanted to see in the world.

"I feel this workshop was received very well as everyone could relate to being influenced by their peers. The feedback we received from most of the girls were all similar, "if they knew now what they would have known a while back then they would have made better decisions, which would have led not to ending up in a juvenile detention facility". Tom Meerkat

Scandinavia

We also did this workshop at Lindelani and Bonnytoun.

This particular type of workshop is definitely a favourite amongst the boys and girls at Bonnytoun and Vredelus, due to them always being fascinated when learning about different countries.

PAHRO always receives interns from all over the world, so as much as the boys and girls find the workshop interesting, the interns enjoy preparing the workshops and educating people about their home countries.

Each intern attending the Social Justice facilities had to prepare a three to five minute slide show presentation on their home countries; the traditions, different types of food, landmarks, famous people and anything interesting about their country.

During and after each group or individual intern's presentation the girls and boys would ask a lot of questions and share what they have learned from the previous scandinavia workshops.

"I think it is important for everyone to learn about each other's home countries as it teaches us new things, it also expands our minds more to what is outside of our own countries. Learning about different countries and cultures also teaches us to respect each other's beliefs, opinions and makes us more interested in exploring the world beyond what we assume it to be."- Maria Ljørring Rasmussen

Vredelus Has Talent

A week prior to the event we informed the girls that we would be having a talent show the following week and that they should sign up, should they be interested.

The girls signed up for different categories such as singing, dancing, poetry, rapping and acting. The judges were volunteers, namely Kareem, Emilie, Nathan and Simone.

The girls and the interns had so much fun; some girls were in awe at the positive feedback given as they did not expect it.

The purpose of the talent show was to give the girls a platform to show off their talent, creativity and express themselves. This workshop influenced their self-esteem, broke down barriers and motivated them to always express themselves in a way which makes them feel confident.

At the end of the workshop all the girls who participated received a certificate and the three top winners received gift bags.

"This workshop was received positively as usually these girls aren't given a platform to showcase their talents and express themselves, so it was enjoyed by all who attended." - Simone Silke Ellborg

Safe Sex

This workshop was also done at Bonnytoun.

This particular presentation was important for us to do, due to the growing number of teenage pregnancies and reports of teenagers having STD's.

Our presentation highlighted ways in which to protect yourself from STD's, the emotions involved with having sex, contraceptive options, what to do when you or your girlfriend becomes pregnant and the options the girls have when they are pregnant.

We also did a demonstration showing the girls and boys the different types of male and female condoms. For the interns this was an awkward demonstration, but since most if not all the girls and boys are sexually active, this was something they had to be taught.

The presentation was really well received by the boys and girls. They responded positively, listened carefully and interacted verbally throughout the presentation. We can now only hope that the boys and girls will use what they have learned to educate their fellow peers as most young people are not educated with the facts of sex, so they are left to experiment, which leads to unwanted pregnancies and diseases.

"One of the girls at Vredelus broke down about being pregnant, because she did not know what to do, so for her learning about safe sex was something she wish she had known before experimenting. The girl also felt alone and isolated before today, but she is now being supported by the rest of her peers who understand what she is going through."- Jack Sheerin

"In the beginning, this workshop was hard for the boys to grasp as they did not think about the consequences of sex. It was also an assumption that the girls would be on birth control pills or that it would be easier for the girls to obtain the morning after pill. For many of the boys this type of mentality was changed, as we made them realise that with sex comes great responsibility, not only for the females, but the males as well. We got our message across, so we can now only hope that the boys will use what they have learned, even though they were interactive and were willing to learn."- Simone Silke Ellborg

Education after Detention

We previously did this workshop at both Bonnytoun and Vredelus, however with a different dormitory of boys and girls. We have therefore seen how this workshop has encouraged both groups to change their attitudes and focus on a positive future.

We firstly started off with a power point presentation, explaining that there is hope after being in a detention facility and showed them short clips of celebrities and local people who have also been in a detention facility or prison.

The interns and the girls and boys were split into groups in order to discuss: what their future goals are, where they see themselves after being in a detention facility, what they would do when faced with challenges, do they want to completed their education, do they want to make amends with their family and will they focus on living positively.

In each group the interns were prepared to encourage the boys and goals, because no matter what dreams, goals or current situation they are in, they can still achieve it even if they do not think so right now.

The boys were open and honest about what they wanted for themselves and some stated they were "too afraid to dream big", which we could understand, since the boys needed to have positive role models and a positive support system for when they do eventually leave Bonnytoun.

The girls were also very open and honest, and were adamant that they will achieve their dreams and goals, as well as make their children proud. This was really great to hear and we do believe that they will be successful.

The purpose of this workshop was for the boys and girls to be hopeful about a positive future, as well as to encourage them to dream big and start by making small changes, which would lead to positive reactions and in turn lead to them living positive lives.

"The workshop was really great. The boys received the message well and have said that they wanted to be reformed so that they can be good role models for their siblings and people in their community"- Lena Lail

Bonnytoun

Violence against women

From previous discussions with the boys, we became aware that most of them come from broken homes. Some of them come from homes where their mother was being abused by their father or by her boyfriend, and this to the boys seemed "normal". One of the boys in a past discussion also stated "if a woman doesn't listen, then she must be beat". This was shocking as we did not want this to be the type of mentality all the boys have and we wanted to change the negative ways boys think about women.

We started off our workshop by showing the boys different videos; "Like a girl", which is a video showing the term "like a girl" as a statement of degrading women. " Slap her", which is an Italian video about young boys being instructed to hit a girl, but refusing because they are against violence and believe that men don't hit women.

Both these videos displayed how children's thoughts and actions change during puberty and that they learn from what they are exposed too.

We also had a role play and poetry session called "why should somebody like me". Both activities involved the boys digging into their emotions, opening up about it and choosing in which way to respond to it.

We also asked various questions, such as, "would you allow a man to abuse your mother or sister?", "do you respect your mother?", "is your mother important to you and why?" ect. All these questions led to discussions and from the discussions we saw that all the boys had a huge amount of respect for their mothers.

The purpose of this workshop was to change the boys' mindset about violence against women and to treat all women with the same respect that they treat their mothers, as well as all women should be protected in the same way they would protect their mother and sisters.

"This workshops turned out better than we had expected. The boys were paying attention, so I believe they learned a lot and will definitely think twice before disrespecting women. The topic was extremely relevant to them and should be done in more detention facilities, as well as should be done every few weeks." -

Soccer Match

The boys at Bonnytoun have been requesting for us to have a soccer match against them, so this week we decided to have one. The boys were really excited to be playing against the interns and so were the interns.

Some of the interns had not played soccer before or participated in any sport, so it was a challenge for them to be playing against the boys, who were very fit and competitive.

The first half of the match ended with a score of 0 - 0, but in the second half the boys from Bonnytoun beat the interns with a score of 6 – 1, which made them the winners of the match.

All three of our soccer balls were broken during the match, but still the boys and interns persevered until the game was over. This was unexpected, but they also learned a valuable lesson, which was too stay focused, motivated and to keep working hard towards their goals.

The aim of this soccer match was to teach the boys sportsmanship, enhance team building efforts and to learn positive competitiveness.

The aim of the workshop was definitely met by all, as they all worked together as a team to achieve a common goal.

"I definitely enjoyed the soccer match, so did the boys and the rest of the interns and partaking in sports should defiantly be part of the curriculum for the youth to partake in. "- Andreas Faulkner

Workshop one – Anger Management

We did a presentation on anger management as most young people have anger issues and either do not realise it or do not know how to control or cope with it.

The presentation we did covered key areas such as: "what is anger?", "what triggers anger?", "the repercussions of acting when angry and strategies for containing and reducing anger".

We also had a great deal of discussions with the boys and played some brief videos about anger management.

The boys were highly engaged in the presentation, mostly due to the back and forth conversation. The atmosphere was relaxed, which led to some of the boys opening up and speaking about their anger issues, which for many of them was the root cause of their current predicament.

"It was a positive and reflective workshop for the boys and made them think about what they should and should not do the next time they are angry or in an uncomfortable situation." - Nathan Brennan

Workshop two – Body Art

We decided to do a workshop on the concept of body art, due to most if not all the boys having self made tattoos.

We created a power point presentation in which we explained the different implications of getting tattoos and piercings, especially focusing on self made tattoos. We also explained the different safety requirements of getting tattoos, infections and diseases that you can get when tattoos are not done professionally.

Most of the boys were shocked when we showed them images of what happens to tattoos when it is not done correctly.

The purpose of this workshop was to make the boys aware of the dangers of self made tattoos, as well how tattoos might cause problems in their future relationships and careers.

"Some of the boys were shocked at what tattoos can look like should they become infectious, while the rest of the boys asked questions about what they should do in order to avoid getting an infection. This workshop was positively received and we will be doing this again in the future." - Lena Lail

Khayalitsha Project

In February 2015 we started working with our Project Partner, Siyakathala again, which is based in Khayalitsha.

Siyakathala has been doing home based visits in the township, where they have to check and assess the living conditions of certain homes in the area. In order for Siyakathala to assess and check the living conditions they are referred by the local school or concerned community members.

Siyakathala has requested for us to assist them with the home based visits, in order for us to assist with implementing proper admin structures, as well as to attend the home based visits with them.

Once we attend a home, we have to complete and assessment form of our findings, report back to the school or concerned family or community member and then if necessary, report our findings to the local Social Services.

Upon attending a child led household we were devastated to see the living conditions. The fifteen year old child was living with her eight year old sister and blind elderly grandmother in a shack which was not properly structured or suited for them to live in.

Intern Gaby van der Sanden then spoke to Nontsasa (Siyakathala founder) and the rest of the Projects Abroad interns about cleaning up in and around the shack in order to improve the living conditions.

Together the interns came up with funding and purchased paint, cleaning materials, a bed set, food items, a school uniform, a school bag and stationary for the eight year old.

The interns washed in and around the shack, cleared everything outside and sorted through it and disposed of what the family did not need. They also painted the shack, which to them was an enjoyable task.

At the end day the interns smelled like sweat, but were happy to be able to bring a little joy to a family's life. The shack has now been transformed and the family is happy. We will be visiting the family again, to make sure that they are doing okay and still receiving support from some of their community members as well as Siyakathala.

"The shack looks more decent than it previously did and the grandmother was really grateful and said to me "God bless you guys, there are so many poor families here in need, but you chose mine.

Khayalitsha means "new home" in Xhosa, so I think everyone felt grateful, tired, overwhelmed, blessed and happy to provide this particular family with a "new home" experience." - Gaby van der Sanden

Women's Shelters
Judy-Rose Cyster's Workshops
St Anne's

As our main aim and focus at the women's shelters are to empower and motivate the women, the workshops we do relate to their experiences, as well as empower them to believe in themselves, build their self –esteem, confidence and motivate them to be better role models for their children.

Women's Rights and Self Esteem

This week we decided to do a workshop on women's rights and self-esteem as we feel it is important for women to be educated about their rights, as well as for them to have self-confidence and not to have a low self esteem.

The workshop consisted of both theoretical parts and activities. We started off by explaining the different rights women have, how these rights were founded, the women involved in the movements leading to gender equality. Of cause we could not explain women's rights without having to explain the pass laws which prevented women from being equal to men. Surprising all the ladies already knew the history about the pass laws and were able to educate us interns as well.

The slide show presentation was followed by three motivational and educating videos, and discussions about them.

We also gave each woman a page with the different rights on, which was part of an activity, so that each woman could select their favourite right and read it our loudly with confidence.

We also had a poem about session, where the woman had to complete a fill-in-the-blank sheet, name of the poem was "I am Beautiful, I was". The women had to fill in the blanks on the sheet for example, my hair is beautiful like ___________, my body is fine like ______, etc.

At the end of completing the poem the women had a chance to share what they have written with the group. Not only did this poem session teach the women to feel better about them, but to be proud of their physical appearances.

When we were done with the workshop, the women asked us questions and we discussed women's rights and self-esteem. The women were laughing a lot, so it felt rewarding to see the women be happy and in that moment be content with themselves.

"The aim of the workshop was to raise awareness about basic human rights that we as women have, as well as empower the women and build self-confidence; so I feel we definitely surpassed our aim as we all left feeling empowered as women and motivated to do more than what we think we are limited too."- Milena Adamczewska

Self Reflection and Valentines

We did a workshop about the importance of self reflection and celebrated friendship with each other and the interns by making Valentine's Day cards and decorating cookies.

The workshop began with an exploration of emotions through looking at art. The point was made that everyone has different emotions looking at the same work of art, which is similar in life situations. Other activities included listening to a song that won a Grammy award and was lauded by President Obama about overcoming domestic violence; watching a video about what is important to tell daughters; listening to a poem and then writing one entitled, "If God Were Looking At My Life"; and learning about the benefits of journaling.

The women were given journals in which to write their thoughts and keep special objects. The session concluded with everyone creating beautiful Valentine's Day cards and decorating heart-shaped cookies and cupcakes.

"The women of St. Anne's were very grateful for their journals and immediately began decorating them and signing them. We have been happy to see them bringing them to subsequent workshops and writing in them. This workshop made a positive impression on the power of self-reflection."– Mary Rae Bruns

Property, housing subsidies, divorce and maintenance

One of the women at the shelter previously approached one of our interns asking legal advice about her current situation relating to the above and from what we have previously discussed with the women, we have come to realise that many if not all of them are currently in a situation relating to housing subsidies, divorce and maintenance.

Were therefore decided to do a workshop focusing on the above topics as the ladies needed to be educated on the steps they can take regarding their current situation.

During the presentation the women asked us questions, relating to their particular situation and because we did our research we could answer their questions.

Throughout the presentation the women expressed their gratitude and discussed their situations as they now know how to proceed forward and have also asked for us to assist them should they need further advice.

Due to the women being in a shelter for abused, we printed out protection orders and assisted in filling out a dummy form, as previously the women mentioned that they would like assistance with filling out protection orders.

"We felt this workshop went really well and that the women learned a lot, so hopefully with all the information learned they will be able to share it with the rest of the women at the shelter who weren't present at the workshop, as well as be able to use their knowledge to better their situation."- Gaby van der Sanden

Equal Love, Equal Rights

In a previous workshop with the women we discussed discrimination and stumbled upon the topic of people being discriminated due to their sexual preference and by the interracial relationships.

We therefore decided to have a workshop educating the ladies on LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) and interracial relationships.

The theme for the workshop was called "Equal Love, Equal Rights", because people should be treated equally regardless of their race or sexual preference, as well as be loved equally.

We started off by playing a video called "It Could Happen To You"by Shane Bitney Cone, which was about him and his deceased partner's life story and how he started the Equal Love, Equal Rights campaign.

We also had a short power point presentation about being bias, how it affects people, what stereotyping is, discrimination based on gender, sexual preference, skin colour and asking people offensive questions, such as "what race are you?", "which country are you really from?" and "why are you in this country?".

We also showed a very beautiful, yet inspiring video called "Love has no labels", which is about people standing behind an x-ray wall, so that you can only see skeleton figures kissing and hugging each other. Near the end of the video, the people appear from the x-ray wall, and it's interracial couples, gays, lesbians, disabled, old, young and people from different religions being partners. This video was to show that people may look and sound differently, but that we can't help but love who we do.

We then split up into groups of three's to discuss "what you would do if your son or daughter was gay" or "what would you do if your children would date outside their race or religion?". The discussions forced the women to be open about the possibilities of their children being different and we were surprised that the women agreed that is important to accept your child's choices and to love and support them no matter what.

"From the discussions we were able to receive feedback from the ladies, which was very positive and defined our purpose of educating them on being open minded and accepting people for who they are, rather than the colour of their skin and the sexual preferences. The ladies were also able to learn that we cannot control who we fall in love with and that love is a beautiful thing, shared between people who are committed to one another." - Cecilie Müller

Workshop four – Nutrition

We presented a workshop on living a healthy lifestyle and basic nutrition information. The aim of the workshop was to explain how our eating habits and lifestyle can affect not only our physical but also mental health and daily wellbeing.

We prepared a presentation and included theoretical information about nutrition and practical tips on how to introduce changes into eating habits. We watched and discussed 2 videos and practiced reading labels of food products together.

We also did some basic exercises, which the ladies enjoyed and found easy to do. These exercises could be done in small spaces or with their children, so we hope that they will continue to do it, as they felt full of energy and felt motivated to continue working out.

As homework, we asked participants in the workshop to keep a food and exercise journal for a week.

The following week we asked about the food and exercise journal and learned that the women who were present in the workshop, as well as the other residents do the exercises on a daily basis.

"This was definitely a rewarding experience, not only for me, but for the rest of the interns and the women at the shelter."- Milena Adamczewska

Easter and April Fools

We decided to this week have an informal workshop where we celebrate Easter and April Fool's day.

We started off by talking about the meaning of Easter and how it is celebrated in South Africa and in the intern's home countries. This was definitely and interesting discussion, as we were able to learn from each other, as well as understand the importance of what Easter means to each individual person.

We also discussed April and shared various April Fool's day stories, jokes and pranks. We were glad that today's workshop was so refreshing as the ladies did not feel pressured to laugh, talk or open up.

We also did a "laughter yoga" exercise, which seemed ridiculous at first, but proved to be so much fun, as well as made us all feel relieved and stress free.

After the exercise we decided to decorate Easter bags and fill it with sweets, which the ladies could then give to their children over the Easter weekend.

This workshop was all about acting silly, having fun, being creative and being able to talk to each other in a relaxed environment.

"The women enjoyed the crafts and decorating very much. This was a really nice break from all the heavy workshops. The women really appreciated us being able to just have fun with them."- Camille Claire Caroline Leduc

Conflict Resolution and Team Building

From previous discussion with the women, we learned that some of them have conflict with their families and did not know how to work together as a team.

We started this workshop by explaining what the above topic means and what the women would be able to get out of this workshop.

We played two videos showing how to handle conflict, which steps to take and why the steps should be taken. The women were also able to learn that it is best to handle conflict in a calm manor instead of lashing out, as it would make the situation worse.

We split the ladies into groups of three's and gave them scenarios to choose and discuss, which they would later share with the rest of the group.

The scenarios we had were examples from some of the ladies personal experiences, so it was interesting to see how they could relate it to their own lives and be able to express how they would now handle the situation differently.

The team building part of the workshop, we did two activities called "the human knot" and the "trust game". Both activities involved communication and trusting yourself and your team members to know that together you guys can achieve a common task/goal.

"With this workshop the women were able to use their personal experiences, obtain new insight as to how to handle their personal situations, understand the importance of working together, and to be able to trust someone willing to help you. In all this was a great workshop and the women learned a lot. "- Emilie Kielstra

Xenophobia and Countries

Recently a lot of xenophobic attacks have been occurring in South Africa, which have left a lot of foreigners afraid for their lives and left a lot of South African people confused and in awe about the situation.

As the Human Rights Office receives a lot of refugee clients and some of the women at the shelter having children by foreigners, it was important for us to raise awareness about the Xenophobic attacks, as well as change the mind sets of people who think it might be " okay".

We started with a presentation about Xenophobia: what it is, why people commit xenophobic attacks, how these attacks affect the economy, etc.

We also discussed the current situations as we wanted to hear people's different opinions and we were not surprised at all when all of the women agreed that the xenophobic attacks are the same as racism and are inhumane.

A few of the ladies stated that they feared for their children and for their children's fathers as they were foreigners and were in hiding and could not support them anymore.

After the xenophobia workshop we presented the workshops on the different countries the interns come from as often when people do not understand where each other comes from and the difference in cultures, it is hard to get to know or understand someone. This is also one of the reasons why xenophobic attacks occur, due to the fear of not knowing.

We also talked about the different stereotypes people assume of the Americans, Dutch, French and South Africans, and how stereotyping people is wrong and lead to misunderstandings.

"The workshop was very successful, because the women were not shy to share their opinion and were very interactive. They also enjoyed learning about the different countries and thanked us for today's workshop, because it was important to them to learn about xenophobia. "Philo Warmerdam

Sisters Incorporated

We have been unable to attend Sisters Incorporated and have our normal workshops due all the women having jobs. We have however been able to attend the women's shelter to help prepare for their clothing sale as well as attend the clothing sale to support them.

In February, Sisters Incorporated made R12 000.00 and in March, they made R20 900.00 with the clothing sale.

Legal Services
Maria Mulundi – Program Manager

Criminal Matter - Milena Adamczewska (Robert Alexander's case)

Our client attended our office for assistant with two protection from harassment cases which was opened against him by his neighbours.

According to our client, both applications consist of false accusations and were brought against him due to him opening an assault case against his neighbour. The cases were opened against him by two different neighbours, from the same family and living in the same house.

Both cases appeared in court and PAHRO came on record as the client's attorney.

One of the cases will be mediated, while the second case will be going to trial and which PAHRO will be representing him for.

We are currently preparing an opposing affidavit and collecting evidence to prove our client's version of the story.

The matter will go to trial in April 2015.

Miriam MacDonald – Intern Supervisor

Milena Adamczewska – Provident Fund Matter

The client came to us for assistance regarding his provident fund.

The client's provident fund was paid into the wrong bank account and now he needs assistance with obtaining information as to who it was paid to and how he can go about getting the money back.

We are still communicating with the relevant financial institutions and our client's previous employer in order to find out what had gone wrong.

Milena Adamczewska – General Matter

Our client attended the Vrygrond legal clinic, regarding her problem with making monthly payments for her water.

She states she has paid her account on a monthly basis, however in June 2014, the amount due for water supply suddenly rose from less than R1000.00 to almost R8000.00.

As she is not the owner of the house, she was refused help by the city council and therefore she came to us for assistance.

After attending the city council in Plumstead with the client and staying in contact with them telephonically, we later found out that the only way to find out what caused this unreasonable price increase was to have an expensive water meter test done.

We have also contacted the City Ombudsman to enquire if it is possible to get the cost for the meter test waived as the client cannot afford it.

We are currently awaiting feedback from the City Ombudsman, as well as the city council.

Jan Kuijken – Unemployment Insurance Fund Matter

The client came to us for assistance with accessing his Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). The client applied for UIF after losing his job late in 2014, however up to this date the client has not received any paid out.

We assisted the client by accompanying him to the Department of Labour in Cape Town. When we arrived at the department to re-submit the necessary documents, we were informed that the money is waiting for him, however that there had been a problem with his bank account. The client is a refugee from Rwanda and opened his account using his CTR number, before having received a refugee ID number. We then had to go to his bank in order to change the details from his CTR number to his refugee ID number. However, the manager at the bank said that this cannot be done. We went back and forth between the Department of Labour and the bank, as the Department of Labour cannot process a UIF claim with a CTR number present, even if his ID number is also on the form.

Eventually, we were advised that our client could open a second bank account, using his ID number, and the money could be paid into the new account. However, the numerous banks we went to refused to do so without a South African green ID book.

The following day, the client successfully managed to open an account at the Post Office. The client then came to the office where we filled out the necessary forms with his new account information and then submitted to the Department of Labour, which successfully accepted the new documents.

The client will now be receiving his UIF starting the first week in February 2015.

Sherwin Daniels – Legal Services Co-ordinator

Moot Court

On the 27 March 2015 we had a moot court based on a current trial Sherwin is working on.

Kicky van Bavel, Jack Sheerin and Solange Van Beest were the prosecution and the defence consisted of Sean Richards and Philo Warmerdam.

The accused was charged twice with position of presumably stolen property. The stolen items consisted of a digital audio/video control centre and a garden hose pipe.

The possession of presumably stolen property is a violating of section 36 of the general law amendment act 62 of 1955. Any person who is found in possession of any goods other than stock or produce as defined in section one of the Stock Theft Act, 1959 (Act 57 of 1959), in regard to which there is reasonable suspicion that they have been stolen and is unable to give a satisfactory account of such possession, shall be guilty of any offence and liable on conviction to the penalties which may be imposed on a conviction of theft.

For both cases we took the three elements of section 36 of the general law amendment act 62 of 1955 and tried to prove the elements.

  • possession of any goods
  • reasonable suspicion that they have been stolen
  • unable to give a satisfactory account of such possession

In the first case the accused was walking on the street with the device and could not explain to the police how he got a hold of it. The defense stated that the accused found it and abandoned it on the street, but that was not what he told the police when he got arrested. It was the word of the policemen against the word of the defense and the jury believed the defense. It was a close call but the outcome was that accused was not guilty.

The second case, the garden hose, there was even less evidence. It was not clear if the accused was found with the garden hose or near by the garden hose. If he was find nearby then he wasn't in possession of presumably stolen goods. Because that was unclear almost everyone voted not guilty.

"Looking back on the moot court it was a good experience." - Kicky van Bavel

Human Rights Day

On the 21st March 1960 police opened fire, without order, on a crowd that had gathered at the Sharpeville station to protest pass laws, stipulations that required Africans to carry books and produce them for law enforcement officials on request; 69 unarmed people were killed and another 180 were injured.

Since 1994, the 21st of March has been commemorated as Human Rights Day in South Africa.

In 1998, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) found that the police actions constituted "gross human rights violations in that excessive force was unnecessarily used to stop a gathering of unarmed people.

On Friday the 20th March we went to the Grand Parade in the CBD area of Cape Town to educate people on their basic Human Rights. All of the interns were split into groups and assigned a supervisor, which were the various staff members of PAHRO. We were equipped with white boards, board markers, a camera and a positive attitude.

We walked around and stopped people to ask them various questions such as; "do you know your rights?", "what rights do you know?", "what rights do you have?" and "what do you think should be made a basic human right?".

People were able to write right their answer on the white boards and if they allowed us, we took a picture of them holding the white boards.

Surprisingly most people did not know their rights, so we were able to inform them of their rights, as well as hand them a pamphlet which had their basic rights and our contact details written on it.

Not only was this a good opportunity to educate people on their rights, but also to hear people's stories, give them advice and to promote the work that PAHRO does.

"The people we talked to and gave out pamphlets too were grateful and thanked us for informing and providing them information about their different rights.

At the end of the day we got some music out and danced, people joined in and had fun. All in all this was a very successful day." – Jack Sheerin

Conclusion

We are one month away from busy period and are busy preparing for it. We look forward to having an influx of interns with us, as well as an influx of clients.


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