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13 Lawmakers Withdraw Lawsuit against Executive Order #65

first_imgDrama unfolded in the Supreme Court yesterday when lawyers representing 13 lawmakers from Montserrado County, who were questioning the “constitutionality” of Executive Order #65, verbally requested the bench to withdraw the lawsuit without filing the necessary legal documents.The petition was, however, not withdrawn by the bench of justices.Cllr. Kanie Wesso, who represented the interest of the lawmakers, did not meet-up with the legal procedure provided for under the law to file for a motion to withdraw a case.The lawmakers include Edwin M. Snowe, J. Gabriel Nyenkan, Munah Pelham Youngblood, Bill Twehway, Solomon George, A. Vamuyah Corneh, Adolph Akwe Lawrence, Saah H. Joseph, Julius F. Berrian, Edward S. Ford, Acaraus Moses Gray, Thomas P. Fallah and William V. Dakel. These lawmakers had argued that the order violated Articles 13 and 17 of the 1986 Constitution.Their request prompted the Justice in Chamber, Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks to place a “stay order” on the enforcement of the President’s Executive Order #65, which case the Justices of the Supreme Court were hearing yesterday when the lawmakers asked their lawyers to withdraw it, alleging, “we are no more interested in pursuing this matter.”  On December 3, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf issued Executive Order#65 banning certain rights, including mass movement of people, rallies, parades and demonstrations  on the streets of Monrovia, for  thirty days (30) after the announcement of the result of the December 20 Special Senatorial Election.President Sirleaf also said the action was to strengthen the effort of her government to contain the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), to protect the security of the state, and to maintain law and order and promote peace and stability in the country.Speaking on behalf of the full bench yesterday, Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor advised Cllr. Wesso saying, “We can’t do what you fail to do for yourself. Go back and prepare those papers before we can make a determination into your request to withdraw.”“As it stands,” Chief Justice Korkpor emphasized, “there is no request before us to withdraw the lawsuit. We are going to give you time to do so.  We can’t compel you to go ahead with the matter by all cause;” adding “if you chose to withdraw the matter that is provided for under the law, but you have to do the proper legal things.”When Cllr. Wesso appeared before the justices he openly told them, “Your Honor, upon advice of my clients just this morning, they asked me to withdraw the case that is before you for hearing.”He knew full well that he had never submitted any legal papers, including a notice of motion and a supporting affidavit, which a lawyer must file before seeking the justices’ permission to withdraw their case.Cllr. Wesso went as far as saying, “They want me to say that the election is schedule for Saturday and they do not  want to do anything to disrupt the process, because the National Elections Commission (NEC) has  put everything into place for a smooth conduct of the special senatorial election.”When he was asked by the Justices if the withdrawal means that the stay order placed on the executive order should be lifted? The senior counselor quickly replied, “I can’t say more than what my clients want to say. They want me to inform you that they are no more interested in the case.”According to a legal expert, the notice of motion informs the opposing party of the date the motion will be submitted to the judge, the relief requested, the name and address of the court, and the date by which papers in response to the motion must be filed with the court.He added that the supporting affidavit is the notarized statement reciting the facts establishing the party’s right to have the action withdrawn. “The affidavit in support should follow the court’s guidelines for a motion to withdraw a case,” he maintained.In her brief argument, Cllr. Betty Lamie Blamo, Solicitor General and one of the lead lawyers representing the State, told the court, if the lawmakers’ legal team complete their withdrawal procedure, then it means the stay order placed on the executive order should be lifted and they should immediately proceed with its implementation.Unfortunately, Cllr. Blamo was fined US$200 by the High Court, after they filed late their legal responsive pleading against the lawmakers’ petition to quash the President’s Executive Order #65.In the case of Robert Sirleaf, son of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, his lawyer Idris Sheriff told the court yesterday that his client was not prepared to go ahead with the matter and wanted continuance.A continuance can occur by operation of law when a case has not been tried or otherwise disposed of during a particular term because of unanticipated problems, such as the death of the presiding judge. The case is automatically postponed until the following term.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Hiking the dragon’s back

first_imgThe Zulu name for the Drakensberg, uKhahlamba, means “barrier of spears”. The precipitous basalt cliffs of the escarpment drop straight down from the flat plateau while tumbling waterfalls pitch onto the lower slopes, cutting out deep valleys separated by dramatic green ridges. (Images: Mary Alexander, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library.)Fiona McIntoshI’ve hiked many of the world’s best trails: the Annapurna Circuit and well-trodden path to Everest Base Camp, the Milford Track, the Inca Trail and the classic alpine Haute Route from Chamonix to Mont Blanc. But I rate the Drakensberg Traverse as one of the finest of them all.The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park has many marked trails on its lower slopes, but once up on the mountain you’re in the wilderness. And what a magnificent wilderness it is. The precipitous basalt cliffs of the escarpment drop straight down from the flat plateau while tumbling waterfalls pitch onto the lower slopes, cutting out deep valleys separated by dramatic green ridges.Hiking the length of the Berg, from the dramatic Sentinel Buttress in the north of the range to Bushman’s Nek in the south, is no mean undertaking. You need to strong, fit and well-prepared, but there are shorter options, one of the most popular being the five-day Sentinel to Cathedral Peak circuit.Apart from a few well-used steep passes that give access to the plateau, there are no paths and only a few difficult-to-locate caves as shelter, but if you’re an experienced hiker, or go with a guide, the Drakensberg Plateau is a pristine, rugged wonderland that you could spend weeks exploring.Most groups allow 10 or 11 days to complete the traverse, but as with so many hikes it’s a trade off – the more food you carry, the slower you go. When I did it we opted to go fast and light, taking only a week’s food.Not that we could go too light, given the altitude and the unpredictable Berg weather. Massive daily electrical storms are the norm in summer, and snow and blizzards happen throughout the year, so full wet/cold weather gear – including a lightweight four-season mountain tent and sleeping bag – are essential.The trailhead is the Sentinel car park, accessed by a good road from the Free State town of Qwa Qwa. Once you’ve signed the mountain register and paid a paltry sum for park entry you head out on the obvious trail up towards the great golden wall of the Sentinel.Other than by driving up the Sani Pass in the southern Berg, this is the only easy way up to the plateau.After contouring around the base of the sheer cliffs you find yourself in a gully, where two sets of chain ladders allow you to scale the impossibly steep rock band. They’re not for the vertically challenged, but if you steel your nerves and keep looking up you’ll be on the top in minutes.The summit of Mont aux Sources a couple of hours up the valley is a popular option with day trippers. It’s also the first peak you’ll bag on your journey, but before heading off take time to enjoy the incredible vistas. Hike to the edge of the Eastern Buttress for a bird’s-eye view of the famous Amphitheatre and follow the Thukela River to where it tumbles off the edge in a spectacular waterfall down to the valley a kilometre below.Once you’ve summitted Mont aux Sources – a somewhat anticlimactic event as the peak is really only a pimple on the raised plateau – head south to find a campsite. Take it easy – the air is thin at 3 000 metres and, until you acclimatise to the altitude and lack of oxygen, you’ll find any exertion, even sleeping, difficult.This northern section is the wildest, most spectacular part of the Berg – a hostile, jagged land of deep valleys and steep ridges. Often you’re above the clouds and the early morning mist rising from the plains below gives the mountains an eerie, isolated feel.The distinctive shapes of the free-standing peaks poke through the layer of white that obscures the valleys below – the Rockeries, Mweni Needles, Cathedral Peak, the Pyramid, Bell and Devil’s Tooth. The Zulu name for the Drakensberg, uKhahlamba, means “barrier of spears” – and from this vantage it’s easy to see why.You look down on soaring  bearded vultures, pick out splashes of colourful flowers in the grass and occasionally catch a glimpse of a buck disappearing up a rocky slope. If the weather holds, the evening skies are studded with stars. It’s a magical place.Most hikers are content to head down the Tseketseke Pass to the Cathedral Peak Hotel, but if you have the time and energy carry on, over Cleft Peak and on to the fortress-like outcrop of Mafadi, South Africa’s highest point, which straddles the border with Lesotho.The quickest way south from here is through Lesotho, where the landscape changes dramatically. For the first time you’ll see other people – shepherds wrapped in blankets minding their sheep. At night they return, with their flocks and dogs, to their kraals and stone huts; at dawn you hear the sound of bells again as they take the animals back out to pasture.The biggest shock is when you cross the road leading up from the top of Sani Pass and see houses, metal sheds and the odd car for the first time in a week, but once you’re over the road you’re back in the wilderness.The southern part of the Berg, with its carpets of pretty flowers, green rounded hills and herds of sheep and cattle, is more welcoming than the north, so by the time the hike is over and you’ve found the unmarked route down to Bushman’s Nek you’ve been gently reintegrated into lowland life.There are various other easily accessible peaks, such as Champagne Castle, Giants Castle and Thabana Ntleyana, the highest point in southern Africa, to bag along the way. I’d thoroughly recommend these short detours from the most direct route for the views and sheer exhilaration of standing on top of the magnificent peaks.A traverse of the Drakensberg is an adventure you’ll remember all your life. So savour the moment, smell the flowers, look at the dramatic rocks and explore the caves and overhangs for rock art. You’ll soon appreciate why the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg is a Unesco World Heritage Site, and will long to return.Peak High Mountaineering offer the full traverse of the Dragon’s Back and other guided hikes in the Drakensberg. Phone +27 33 343 3168, email gavin@peakhigh.co.za or visit www.peakhigh.co.za.Related articlesWorld heritage in South AfricaThe adventure starts here Walking for Eden, and elephants Slackpacking in the Cederberg Unforgettable SA hiking trails South Africa’s tourist highlights Life’s a beach in South Africa Useful linksPeak High Mountaineering Official Drakensberg tourism site Drakensberg Tourism Association Drakensberg Super Traverse Exploration Society of Southern Africalast_img read more

Urban organic agriculture in downtown Joburg

first_imgDiscussions about the regeneration of Johannesburg’s inner city usually revolve around refurbishment of buildings and attracting business and residents into the city. But an award-winning project in downtown Johannesburg with the ambitious long-term aim of feeding poor people in the inner city is changing the conversation.Urban farming has taken root in the run-down suburb of Betrams, as part of a municipal programme to revitalise the city. The Bambanani Food and Herb Garden has reclaimed the abandoned bowling greens of the old Bertrams Bowling Club, once a recreation centre reserved for white people during the apartheid era. Now, the lawns have been turned over, furrows tilled, soil fertilised, and vegetables planted and harvested.Earlier in November 2013 the project won the Mma Tshepo Khumbane Award, from the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, for the best community-based natural resources management project in the province. Khumbane is a grassroots activist and the founder of the Water for Food Movement, which works in rural Gauteng. For 40 years she has tried to fight malnutrition and hunger by encouraging small-scale farming.‘NO NEED TO GO HUNGRY’Turning upmarket bowling greens into food gardens … Volunteers at work tilling the soil to plant organic fruit and vegetables for the Bambanani Food and Herb Garden in BertramsThe brim of Maria Maseko’s hat shades her eyes from the afternoon sun: it’s a cloudless summer day with temperatures pushing into the 30s. One of the original volunteers at the Bambanani project, she takes in the familiar view of the dramatic Johannesburg skyline, with the iconic concrete tube of the Ponte Tower, and Ellis Park Stadium. “There is no need for anyone to ever go to bed hungry in Betrams, not when there is access to healthy affordable food right on their doorstep,” she says.Bambanani is just one of a number of art, sport and agriculture projects in downtown Johannesburg that are changing the way Joburgers experience their city. The garden is part of what is called Hope Village, a redevelopment project that includes a cricket oval and recreation centre for the kids of Bertrams and Hillbrow.Started with a R21 000 grant from the city in 2006 for seed and tools and the efforts of a group of 10 volunteers, the garden supplies cheap organic vegetables to the local community, and sells to street hawkers and the Bertrams Spar supermarket. The generosity of sponsors such as Talborne Organics and Jojo Tanks and the passion of people like Maseko and fellow volunteer Amon Maluleke has kept the project growing.FOOD AND MEMORY“We dug up the lawn and planted our first crop by hand,” says Maseko, who recently retired from Johannesburg’s Department of Social Development. “It was hard, backbreaking work but it’s a crucial part of the creation of a diverse ecosystem and an important bonding tool for the local community.”The gardeners use the companion planting method and their harvests are Participatory Guarantee Systems certified as organic. This allows the cooperative to also sell their products at local organic markets.“We grow our tomatoes next to our basil. This gives the tomatoes a rich taste, but more importantly the basil protects the plants from insects,” Maseko explains. She pulls a head of kale, known as shiyama to most Africans, out of the ground. It is a deep green and fills both her palms. It sells at the garden for R15 a head; at a supermarket it’s R30.As the suburb declined over the years, the Bertrams Bowling Club, the site of the garden, fell into disuse. The City of Johannesburg decided its two bowling greens would be better used to grow vegetables. The gardeners now produce an astonishing variety of vegetables – potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, chillies, spinach, kale, onions and butternut. The once-fallow plot is now a bright green space, filled with activity and colour.“This Congolese man brought us seeds indigenous to the Congo,” Maseko says. “He wanted us to plant them so he could he have a taste of home here. Those are the memories food can evoke.”‘THEY KNOW HOW TO WORK THE LAND’Working on the food garden helps build a sense of community among the people living in Bertrams. Many of them, people who have moved to Johannesburg from rural areas, have the skills and knowledge to work the land (Images: Bambanani Food and Herb Garden)Bertrams, and Johannesburg, offers a collection of stunning architecture and museums but to a transplant like Amon Maluleke, from rural Limpopo, the city lacked green space that would allow people with the skills to farm vegetables. “People come to the city and want to work in a job where they wear a tie but they don’t have the skills,” he says. “Like me they know how to work the land, they can feed themselves, they can feed their neighbours if they were given the space and the opportunity.”Maluleke came upon the inner city farm in July 2007 after he had been retrenched. He is now assistant groundskeeper at the adjacent cricket oval, home to the Johannesburg Cricket Club, and is studying towards a degree in ornamental horticulture.Bambanani also serves as a gardening academy, training nursery school staff from across the city in the art of vegetable gardening. Across Bertrams school grounds that would have been planted with flowers are now being turned into fertile corners bursting with freshly grown fruit and vegetables. These are, in part, driven by need, but spurred on by the efforts of the volunteers at Bambanani.“In the beginning the idea behind Bambanani was regeneration of the neighbourhood and to improve the health of its residents by making fresh organic fruit and vegetables available to them,” says Maluleke. “It’s taken hold of people’s imaginations. They see the importance of fresh, healthy food and the need for green, working space in the city.”GARDEN SUBURB, THEN AND NOWOriginally built as a suburb for the professional classes, Bertrams abuts Old Doornfontein, the preferred neighbourhood for the city’s wealthy entrepreneurial classes in the early days of Johannesburg. Today it’s a suburb in transition with a multicultural population of South Africans and African refugees building a vibrant community of small businesses and sports clubs.Bertrams can lay claim to some famous past residents. Robert Baden Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, and colonial magnate Cecil John Rhodes lived on the ridge that today overlooks Ellis Park Stadium. Infamous serial poisoner Daisy de Melker did her misdeeds in the suburb. When it was incorporated into the city in 1897 Bertrams was known for its gardens and stables housing thoroughbred horses. Today it’s a part of the city most people race through with car windows closed and doors locked.What they miss as they speed through the neighbourhood is how the area is becoming a place of fecundity again. On the surface it seems to be on the brink of ecological and social collapse, but if you look closely you will see the green shoots of abundance.First published on Media Club South Africa – Brand South Africa’s library of quality images and articles, available for free.last_img read more

China To Overtake U.S. In Smartphone Installations By Early 2013

first_imgThe United States has long been Land Of The Free And Home Of The Smartphone. Since the advent of the Mobile Revolution (which we will tentatively date to July 2007), the U.S. has had the largest installed base of smartphone users on Android and iOS of any country on the planet. But the reign of the U.S. as the country with the most smartphone users is just about over.Mobile analytics company Flurry predicts that China will overtake the U.S. in iOS and Android installations by the first quarter of 2013. According to Flurry’s estimates, China has 167 million iOS and Android devices active, trailing the U.S. by a scant 14 million smartphones. With a growth rate approaching 300%, China is on a pace to eclipse the U.S. very soon indeed. Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#Android#Apple#international#iOS#smartphone Flurry notes that 71% of all app sessions on iOS and Android now take place outside of the United States. That is an important stat for app developers to understand. As we have seen, many popular services started in technology hotbeds like San Francisco, New York or Boston, but have been forced to look overseas in search of massive growth. Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter can testify to the power of this trend as both have seen massive foreign adoption that eventually outpaced their domestic roots.  The United States added 55 million installed iOS and Android devices between October 2011 and October 2012, about a 30% annual growth rate. China added 125 million installations in the time period, a 293% growth rate – tops in the world. China is truly seeing an inflection point in smartphone adoption, much like the U.S. did between 2009 to 2010.  dan rowinski Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementcenter_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Flurry uses data from 250,000 apps between the two operating systems and estimates that it can detect 90% of active iOS or Android devices on the planet in any given month. According to research firm Gartner, Android had 72.4% of smartphone sales in Q3 2012. Apple’s iOS had 13.9%. So 86.3% of the global smartphone went to one or the other in Q3, a trend that has been persistent over the last year or so as rival systems like Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Symbian have tailed off. If we extrapolate this a little further, it is easy to assume that not only will China take over the lead in iOS and Android installs, but the overall smartphone smartphone installed base by early next year.  Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

ICC World Cup 2011 schedule

first_imgThe ICC World Cup begins on February 19 with a match between India and Bangladesh. The finals will be played on April 2 in Mumbai. Here is the tournament schedule:No.Date & TimeMatchVenueResult1Sat 19 Feb 02:00 PM ISTIND vs BANShere Bangla National Stadium, MirpurTo be played2Sun 20 Feb 09:30 AM ISTNZ vs KENMA Chidambaram Stadium, ChennaiTo be played3Sun 20 Feb 02:30 PM ISTSL vs CANMahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, HambantotaTo be played4Mon 21 Feb 02:30 PM ISTAUS vs ZIMSardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, MoteraTo be played5Tue 22 Feb 02:30 PM ISTENG vs NEDVidarbha Cricket Association Ground, NagpurTo be played6Wed 23 Feb 02:30 PM ISTPAK vs KENMahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, HambantotaTo be played7Thu 24 Feb 02:30 PM ISTSA vs WIFeroz Shah Kotla, DelhiTo be played8Fri 25 Feb 09:30 AM ISTAUS vs NZVidarbha Cricket Association Ground, NagpurTo be played9Fri 25 Feb 02:00 PM ISTBAN vs IREShere Bangla National Stadium, MirpurTo be played10Sat 26 Feb 02:30 PM ISTPAK vs SLR.Premadasa Stadium, ColomboTo be played11Sun 27 Feb 02:30 PM ISTIND vs ENGEden Gardens, KolkataTo be played12Mon 28 Feb 09:30 AM ISTZIM vs CANVidarbha Cricket Association Ground, NagpurTo be played13Mon 28 Feb 02:30 PM ISTWI vs NEDFeroz Shah Kotla, DelhiTo be played14Tue 01 Mar 02:30 PM ISTSL vs KENR.Premadasa Stadium, ColomboTo be played15Wed 02 Mar 02:30 PM ISTENG vs IREM Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (Bangalore)To be played16Thu 03 Mar 09:30 AM ISTSA vs NEDPunjab Cricket Association Stadium, MohaliTo be played17Thu 03 Mar 02:30 PM ISTPAK vs CANR.Premadasa Stadium, ColomboTo be played18Fri 04 Mar 09:30 AM ISTNZ vs ZIMSardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, MoteraTo be played19Fri 04 Mar 02:00 PM ISTBAN vs WIShere Bangla National Stadium, MirpurTo be played20Sat 05 Mar 02:30 PM ISTAUS vs SLR.Premadasa Stadium, ColomboTo be played21Sun 06 Mar 09:30 AM ISTSA vs ENGMA Chidambaram Stadium, ChennaiTo be played22Sun 06 Mar 02:30 PM ISTIND vs IREM Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (Bangalore)To be played23Mon 07 Mar 02:30 PM ISTCAN vs KENFeroz Shah Kotla, DelhiTo be played24Tue 08 Mar 02:30 PM ISTPAK vs NZPallekele International Cricket Stadium, KandyTo be played25Wed 09 Mar 02:30 PM ISTIND vs NEDFeroz Shah Kotla, DelhiTo be played26Thu 10 Mar 02:30 PM ISTSL vs ZIMPallekele International Cricket Stadium, KandyTo be played27Fri 11 Mar 09:30 AM ISTWI vs IREPunjab Cricket Association Stadium, MohaliTo be played28Fri 11 Mar 02:00 PM ISTBAN vs ENGZahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, ChittagongTo be played29Sat 12 Mar 02:30 PM ISTIND vs SAVidarbha Cricket Association Ground, NagpurTo be played30Sun 13 Mar 09:30 AM ISTNZ vs CANWankhede Stadium, MumbaiTo be played31Sun 13 Mar 02:30 PM ISTAUS vs KENM Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (Bangalore)To be played32Mon 14 Mar 09:00 AM ISTBAN vs NEDZahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, ChittagongTo be played33Mon 14 Mar 02:30 PM ISTPAK vs ZIMPallekele International Cricket Stadium, KandyTo be played34Tue 15 Mar 02:30 PM ISTSA vs IREEden Gardens, KolkataTo be played35Wed 16 Mar 02:30 PM ISTAUS vs CANM Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (Bangalore)To be played36Thu 17 Mar 02:30 PM ISTENG vs WIMA Chidambaram Stadium, ChennaiTo be played37Fri 18 Mar 09:30 AM ISTNED vs IREEden Gardens, KolkataTo be played38Fri 18 Mar 02:30 PM ISTNZ vs SLWankhede Stadium, MumbaiTo be played39Sat 19 Mar 09:00 AM ISTBAN vs SAShere Bangla National Stadium, MirpurTo be played40Sat 19 Mar 02:30 PM ISTAUS vs PAKR.Premadasa Stadium, ColomboTo be played41Sun 20 Mar 09:30 AM ISTZIM vs KENEden Gardens, KolkataTo be played42Sun 20 Mar 02:30 PM ISTIND vs WIMA Chidambaram Stadium, ChennaiTo be played43Wed 23 Mar 02:00 PM ISTA1 vs B4 (1st Quarter Final, C)Shere Bangla National Stadium, MirpurTo be played44Thu 24 Mar 02:30 PM ISTA2 vs B3 (2nd Quarter Final, D)Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, MoteraTo be played45Fri 25 Mar 02:00 PM ISTA3 vs B2 (3rd Quarter Final, E)Shere Bangla National Stadium, MirpurTo be played46Sat 26 Mar 02:30 PM ISTA4 vs B1 (4th Quarter Final, F)R.Premadasa Stadium, ColomboTo be played47Tue 29 Mar 02:30 PM ISTWinner C vs Winner E (1st Semi Final)R.Premadasa Stadium, ColomboTo be played48Wed 30 Mar 02:30 PM ISTWinner D vs Winner F (2nd Semi Final)Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, MohaliTo be played49Sat 02 Apr 02:30 PM ISTSF1 vs SF2 (Final)Wankhede Stadium, MumbaiTo be playedadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more