26 May, 2004

The donkey's driving, dude

The motorist who shot an alleged robber acted in a lawful manner and won't be arrested for murder ; Johannesburg police said the man acted in self-defence. The law makes provision for a person to defend his own life and property, and the life or property of another person (News24 2004-05-20).

The widow of a taxi passenger who died in an accident involving a special haul truck can sue the Road Accident Fund (RAF) in terms of a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling this week (News24 2004-05-18).

The row around the dispensing of medicines has taken a new and ugly twist that pits thousands of pharmacists against medical doctors. The Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa (PSSA) has called on its 5 000 members to oppose doctors' dispensing licence applications (IOL 2004-05-20).

Reinhardt Buys writes that e-mail and the internet make life faster, easier and more productive, but businesses are learning that they can also bring about legal risks and reputational ruin (News24 2004-05-19).

A 32-year-old Johannesburg man was found guilty on Monday of loading a virus on to the computers of Edgars, which the company claims cost them R20 million and affected up to 700 stores. Because the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act governing what employees may legally do with company computers is not yet in force, Berend Howard of Morningside Manor was charged with malicious damage to Edcon property (Witness 2004-05-18).

Ten tertiary education institutions offering Masters in Business Administration (MBA) qualifications have had their MBA courses scrapped, the Council for Higher Education said on Thursday. Six existing business schools received full accreditation. They are the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria, the Wits Business School, the Graduate School of Business at the University of Stellenbosch, the Graduate School of Business of the University of Cape Town, the Graduate School of Leadership at the University of SA (Unisa) and the Graduate School of Management at the University of Pretoria (News24 2004-05-20). See also How much is your MBA worth? (IOL 2004-05-21).

The Star has published a guide to how local government works (2004-05-18).

Newly-appointed Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has been asked to intervene in the row over the shooting of Table Mountain's tahrs (News24 2004-05-20). The war of words over the killing of tahrs escalated into death threats on Wednesday when Table Mountain National Park chief Brett Myrdal was told that he would be murdered if National Parks killed another tahr (IOL 2004-05-20).

A man was fined about R2 100 for drunk driving a donkey cart in a small South African town, and then telling police he was unconcerned "because the animals knew the way home" (IOL 2004-05-20).

Australian, US and other foreign firms paid a secret commission to former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's government to secure contracts under the UN oil-for-food programme (Business Report 2004-05-20).

United Kingdom
The world's first embryonic stem cell bank opens in Britain on Wednesday, breaking new ground in one of the most controversial areas of medical research (IOL 2004-05-19).

An e-crime study by the IPPR think-tank says there is a huge backlog of so-called e-crimes and a serious shortage of skills to deal with them. The report also calls for a nationally recognised computer-related qualification for people across the criminal justice system, including investigators and lawyers. If police skills are not improved the study warns of increased 'vigilantism' as the public sector and individuals take the law into their own hands (BBC 2004-05-18).

Britain's first three-dimensional cyber church has been forced to tighten security after a slew of abusive visitors ranted from the pulpit and swore in the aisles. The church said the first two days of the site, which launched last week, had been very noisy ; in one case, a person logged in as Satan, entered the pulpit and started to blaspheme (IOL 2004-05-19). Visit the site at http://www.shipoffools.com/church/.

The father of a 10-year-old boy filed a police complaint of vandalism after a circus elephant picked up his child's bicycle for a closer look and then dropped it on the ground and trampled it (IOL 2004-05-20).

United States
The Bush administration wants the United Nations Security Council to renew on Friday a controversial resolution exempting American peacekeepers from prosecution by the new International Criminal Court (IOL 2004-05-20).

An American judge on Wednesday acquitted environmental protection group Greenpeace on charges it conspired to break the law by sending activists aboard a freighter carrying illegally felled mahogany two years ago. The politically charged case dusted off a law not used since 1890 to bring the first criminal prosecution by United States authorities of an advocacy group for civil disobedience (IOL 2004-05-20).How much is your MBA worth? (IOL 2004-05-21).


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