Liberia as a Christian-Nation?—A Dangerous Theocracy in a Post-Modern World

first_imgNearly 199 years ago, when white patrons of the American Colonization Society met and decided in Washington DC on December 20, 1816 to form a colony later named as Liberia as a bastion for the liberation of enslaved descendants of Africans from these American shores and Recaptives (pejoratively referred to as Congoes) from Africa, multiple interests prevailed. The justification of that initiative overwhelmingly captured the popular narrative of forming a Christian nation to liberate the so-called African heathens by the descendants of enslaved Africans known as Americo-Liberians, a label given by the patrons of the American Colonization Society (ACS).However, as if by an act of intellectual maneuvering, Professor Simon Greenleaf, the Harvard Law professor and one of the founders of Harvard Law School, known within Christian thoughts for developing what is known as legal or juridical apologetics, didn’t stray in his 1846-47 draft proposal, from the deistic and secular constitutional framework of the United States that the founding fathers of America envisioned —yet, he was aware of the Christian hegemony within North America and also in the Commonwealth of Liberia.Based on their collective experience, the settlers inserted  article 4, sections  12 and 13,  which restricted the ownership of property and citizenship rights in Liberia to blacks—the so-called “Negro Clause” that became accepted to this date; and sections 10 and 11 regarding women’s rights. In his honor, at least an evangelical Christian law school is named at Trinity International University in California. Greenleaf, astute in history, was quite aware of the series of religious wars waged in Europe from ca. 1524 to 1648, following the onset of the Protestant Reformation in Western and Northern Europe. He knew about the religious prosecution (amongst various Christian sects/denominations) that so many suffered and escaped to the United States and Canada. He read John Locke’s treatise, on Life, Liberty, and Property (Happiness), an influential document that shaped Jefferson’s America and Greenleaf/Teague’s Liberia’s constitutions, and so on July 26, 1847, Liberia was declared a free, sovereign and independent state of the Republic of Liberia—not the Christian Republic of Liberia, in accordance with modern international law.Governor Joseph Jenkins Roberts captured the principled foundation of Liberia’s independence based on “the embarrassment we labor under with respect to the encroachments of foreigners and the objections urged by Great Britain in regard to our sovereignty.”  Yet, in spite of their solid Christian heritage, the framers and the patrons of Liberia’s constitutions knew the importance of the separation of church and state. That is why in the constitution of 1847, it states:  Article 1: Sec. 3, (Declaration of Rights):All men [and women] have a natural and inalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, without obstruction or molestation from others: all persons demeaning themselves peaceably, and not obstructing others in their religious worship, are entitled to the protection of law, in the free exercise of their own religion; and no sect of Christians shall have exclusive privileges or preference, over any other sect; but all shall be alike tolerated: and no religious test whatever shall be required as a qualification for civil office, or the exercise of any civil right.            Furthermore, in the 1986 Constitution similar intentionality is reemphasized by the Sawyer led committee in Chapter 3, Article 14 (Fundamental Rights), which reads:All persons shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment thereof except as may be required by law to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others. All persons who, in the practice of their religion, conduct themselves peaceably, not obstructing others and conforming to the standards set out herein, shall be entitled to the protection of the law. No religious denomination or sect shall have any exclusive privilege or preference over any other, but all shall be treated alike; and no religious tests shall be required for any civil or military office or for the exercise of any civil right. Consistent with the principle of separation of religion and state, the Republic shall establish no state religion.In June of 1846, Greenleaf’s draft constitution was sent to the Liberian Commonwealth. Twelve delegates from the then three counties of Liberia, Montserrado County (Samuel Benedict, Hilary Teague, Elijah Johnson, John N. Lewis, Beverly R. Wilson and J.B. Gripon); Grand Bassa (John Day, Amos Herring, Anthony William Gardiner and Ephraim Titler); and Sinoe County (Jacob W. Prout and Richard E. Murray) of the Commonwealth were represented at the convention.Teague was made chairman of the committee on the preamble and bill of rights and responsible to draft the Declaration of Independence. The convention altered some of Greenleaf’s draft proposal –the transposed American based Constitution. Even though the declaration of independence was signed on July 26, 1847, Teague’s committee report on the preamble and bill of rights were ready and approved on July 28, 1847. No doubt, like the framers of the American constitutions, Hilary Teague’s religious heritage or influence on Liberia’s Constitution is visible. However, he rejected any law respecting an establishment of a national church (“religion”) or excessively involving the young republic itself in religion, particularly to the benefit of one religion over another.Born in the state of Virginia in 1802, like Madison and Jefferson, Teague migrated to Liberia with his father, Collin Teague, a prominent black Baptist pastor, later becoming a member of the Senate of Liberia and Liberia’s first Secretary of State. Prior to his rise as a statesman, Teague became the owner and editor of the Liberian Herald in Monrovia, after John Brown Russwurm left to become governor of the Republic of Maryland, Liberia. It was at this post until 1849, that Teague championed the cause for Liberia’s independence, invoking Black Nationalism, religious heritage, and rhetoric so similar to the United States’ own Declaration. In Liberia’s Declaration of Independence, it states,“Therefore, in the name of humanity, virtue, and religion, in the name of the great God, our common Creator, we appeal to the nations of Christendom, and earnestly and respectfully ask of them that they will regard us with the sympathy and friendly considerations to which the peculiarities of our condition entitles us, and to that comity which marks the friendly intercourse of civilized and independent communities.”In these writings, we observe the intentions of the framers to be accepted by the international community—mainly Western Europe, largely divided by several Christian denominations—Germany (Lutheran), Holland (Dutch Reform/Calvinists),  England (Anglicanism), and Spain, Italy, and Portugal(Roman Catholic). In essence, in the word of Dr. James Cone’s Black Theology and The Black Church, there was a syncretism –a reconciliation of their African identity with the teaching of the Western Christian culture based on a Caucasian Jesus Christ, were the motif for evangelizing or Christianizing the whole of Africa—a mission they quickly deferred for economic, political, and social rights in Africa in the here and now. To that effect, these framers, mainly pastors and evangelists stated that “No sect of Christian shall have exclusive privileges or preferences over other sects,”—in the economic, political, or social contracts they were forging on these African shores—never in search of forming a Christian nation based on any of the seven Christian principles—faith, hope, love, justice, prudence, courage, and fidelity,” which are not even unique to any religious traditions, but essential for the personal and collective upliftment of the individuals and community as a whole.So, in the midst of becoming a failed state or fragile state, after a prolonged civil war, and a deadly Ebola crisis, one might think that Liberia would seriously think about ways of rethinking genuine nation-building, bringing a solid representation of all sectors of the Liberian population to help reshape its national agenda for rebuilding.  Instead, so-called delegates at the Gbarnga Conference were focusing on issues that have no place in the current discourse for genuine nation building. Divisive of all, is the “Woiwor Christianization Petition” of 2013 that has won support amongst political leaders, a farce that relegates the urgent needs of Liberia—the  issues of rampant corruption, reconciliation, reuniting the diaspora with the homeland in building a robust human resource, security, institution and infrastructural development, democracy vis-à-vis theocracy, and economic viability.Clearly, Liberia since 1847 to present has remained a secular state in spite of the fact that the founding fathers were overwhelmingly Christian ministers and evangelists. The landmass they met was overwhelmingly the home of African Traditionalists (pejoratively called heathens/animists) and Muslim Marabouts and their large followers. Today, so many of us share these mixed heritages. In my opinion, it is beautiful melting pot! We must avoid every modicum of religious bigotry. No Western or Middle Eastern religious views (Christianity or Islam) must trump and trample the rights of others—especially our own traditional African cultural beliefs or the freedom to think and act within the confines of sound reasoning. A pastor who thinks his Christian faith is better than others and must be imposed is no different from the BOKO Haram and ISSIS. True religion brings blessings in the here and now—living water! It is about the darn golden rules—treating each other with respect and dignity. It’s about ethics! Until then, we must never allow the bigots in their power greed to lead the masses astray.Sadly, if the proponents of the Christian Nation agenda were asked to describe their vision of a Christian Nation or list the Christian principles they believe Liberia was founded by, not one could pass such test. Yet, they become irrational and arrogant in their responses. Their action in large part is driven by frivolities, lacking the will to advocate and uphold such basic principles in curbing corruption, reducing poverty, and improving health, education, security, prosperity, justice, equanimity, and basic human rights. We must resist this irrational belief system by the meeting of the minds and persuasively letting the vast majority to understand the danger of invoking such vitriolic political rhetoric in the national discourse. This view is well captured by my colleague Cyrus Tarpeh, who writes,The belief the Liberia was founded on Christian principles (Christ-like principles) is a social construct that has no practical manifestation in the governing process of Liberia. If the founding fathers of Liberia were liberally committed to the Christ-like principles upon which they founded Liberia, why was Liberia inflicted with incurable contusions and still continues to suffer from such confusions as a result of corruption, egotism, and dishonesty visited upon her by succeeding administrations? …Liberia became the sanctuary of selfish, lying, and dishonest leaders and is still the arena of selfish, lying, and dishonest leaders whose insatiable desire for power and wealth has become the modus operandi in the governing of Liberia.            Sadly, the Gbarnga Fiasco seeks to turn back the clock of progression—being inattentive to global history especially of religious bigotry that destroyed Europe, leading to the formation of the United States upon which, such great thinkers like John Locke (the natural rights), Francis Scott keys, and others saw the need to find a balance approach in advocating for a secular state that respected the diversity of its people, irrespective of the large Christian population.  In Liberia’s case, it is about working for the common good that brings life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness not just for a few, but for all Liberians This ought to be our Sitz im Leben to building a just society, respecting the diversity and beauty of our body politic. Artemus W. Gaye, PhD, Loyola University of ChicagoDr. Gaye is chairman, of The All Liberian Diaspora Conference that takes place in Washington DC on April 25-26, 2015 at the Churchill Hotel.  Dr. Gaye has background, in Counseling, Religion, Journalism, Ethics, and Community Development. He can be reached at (773)6470721 or liberiaaldc@gmail.comhttp://tlcafrica.com/press_release_aldc_march_2015.htmShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Police, Paramedic give statments at Inquest

first_imgDuring cross-examination, the paramedic was asked about the symptoms of cocaine psychosis. She agreed with statements by counsel Andrew Kemp that the symptoms included paranoia, aggravation, violent temperament, elevated metabolism, and superhuman strength. Kemp also asked the paramedic about the wounds on McPherson’s face, which she termed superficial. Several police involved in the takedown of a man who died hours later in hospital gave testimony at an inquest into the man’s death Thursday. At around 1:00am on the morning of August 28th, 2007, Larry McPherson was placed under arrest by police. He was pronounced dead in hospital later that morning. – Advertisement -Three officers—Cpl. Sliworsky, Cst. Crack and Cst. Shearer—were scheduled to testify in the inquest yesterday, but after hearing them, the jury requested that a fourth officer who was also present, Cst. Petre, come in and submit to questioning.Cst. Shearer, the first to speak, testified that he was in the process of responding to a call at Matthews Park when he heard reports of windows being smashed at 100th St. and 93rd Ave. Shearer decided to respond. He said he was driving south down 100th St. when he came upon McPherson, who was holding a large rock in each hand. Cst. Shearer testified that McPherson dropped the rocks when he asked him to do so; however, McPherson then began running. Shearer stated that Cst. Crack had arrived by that time and had parked his car in the McKenzie Inn parking lot. Cst. Shearer then says he saw Cst. Crack chase after McPherson while he got back in his cruiser and followed the two.Cst. Crack testified that he was on general patrol on the morning of the incident, and had left the detachment to respond to a call of someone yelling for help at the Northern Grand Hotel. Crack stated he knew that two other cruisers were following him down 100th St. from the detachment, one of which turned west onto 100th Ave. He then testified that he heard a report on his radio of a male breaking windows near Fountain Tire. Crack says that he arrived on scene too late to see whether McPherson had been holding rocks in his hands as Cst. Shearer had stated. He said that as McPherson began to run, he stumbled, which allowed Crack to catch up with him. Cst. Crack testified that he then put McPherson in a headlock, and Cst. Shearer took the pair to the ground. Shearer stated that during the struggle, he managed to cuff McPherson’s left arm, but that McPherson had folded his right arm underneath his body.Cpl. Sliworsky testified that he had followed Cst. Crack. He stated that he approached Crack, Shearer and McPherson while they struggled and held McPherson against the ground. Cst. Petre testified that he then arrived on the scene and held McPherson by his legs as the other officers attempted to subdue him. Petre said he then heard one of his fellow officers command McPherson to “stop resisting.” Cst. Petre said he then remembered Cst. Crack telling McPherson that he was under arrest. Cst. Shearer then managed to cuff McPherson’s right arm.There was a general consensus by the officers that at this point that they picked McPherson up facedown and attempted to load him into the back of a police cruiser. The officers said they had gotten McPherson partially into the cruiser when they decided that he was struggling too vigorously and needed to be further restrained to avoid damaging the backseat of the cruiser or harming himself. The officers said they then placed McPherson on the ground and Cst. Shearer retrieved a device called a Rip Hobble from his cruiser. Shearer said he then put the device around McPherson’s ankles to limit his movement. The officers testified that either as or just before they began to lift McPherson to his knees, he became unresponsive. Cst. Shearer testified that at this point he attempted to find McPherson’s carotid pulse, but he could not determine it from his own, because his own pulse was elevated from the intense struggle that had occurred minutes earlier. The officers testified that they then moved McPherson into the recovery position. Shearer stated that another officer then tried to find McPherson’s radial pulse, but was uncertain if he had felt anything. The officers then testified that McPherson entered what looked like a seizure. Cst. Petre said he found a towel that McPherson had been carrying and placed it under his head to prevent McPherson from scraping his face on the pavement as he shook. The officers stated that McPherson seized for several seconds. Cst. Petre said that when McPherson stopped shaking, he knelt down next to him and asked him what his name was. He said McPherson mumbled something that sounded like “Leonard.” The officer then testified that “like a switch,” McPherson began struggling again as though he was trying to get away. Petre remarked that McPherson seemed just as strong as before, and that was surprised that McPherson was still able to struggle. The officers testified that by this point, the ambulance had arrived, and as the ambulance personnel brought the stretcher towards them, McPherson once again went silent. Shearer testified that McPherson was uncuffed, but ambulance personnel asked that officers put the ambulance’s leg restraints on McPherson for their safety. Csts. Shearer and Petre testified they began CPR and artificial breathing with an airbag, and continued in the ambulance as they accompanied McPherson to hospital.The attending paramedic also gave testimony Thursday. She testified that she received this call at 1:06am. Her report of the night indicated she was asked to respond Code 3 (lights and siren) to assist RCMP. She testified that her team was on the scene at 1:11. The paramedic testified that she was surprised to see a man on the ground who was restrained, but was still managing to move around four RCMP officers. She testified that she saw a piece of fabric on the ground which she thought had previously been under McPherson’s head, and she also saw abrasions on his face that she assumed to be road rash. She said she knew his airway and breathing were okay, as he was yelling, but she was not prepared to intervene right away because she feared for her safety. The paramedic testified that she began to address the man by the name provided by the RCMP, “Leonard.” She stated that McPherson did not appear to be aware of her despite this. The paramedic said she returned to her ambulance to get a cot, and by the time she returned, McPherson had become unresponsive. She also added that RCMP did not appear to immediately recognize that he had become unresponsive. She stated police told her he had gone unresponsive before. The paramedic’s report stated that by 1:15am, she had the cot out of the ambulance. She testified that police uncuffed McPherson and put him on the cot, then put the BC Ambulance leg restraints on him at her request. The paramedic testified that she took out her AED, an automatic defibrillating device, and attached it to McPherson. She stated that McPherson now had no breathing, no pulse, and his eyes were fully dilated (a possible sign of brain death). The paramedic said that after receiving 5 signals from the AED that the patient would not benefit from a shock, the ambulance left the scene at 1:26am. Her report stated that at 1:29am, the ambulance arrived in hospital. During that time, she testified, McPherson never regained consciousness.Advertisementlast_img read more

Premier League team of the week: Man United, Arsenal and Spurs stars included

first_img 11 11 11 Goalkeeper: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace) – Click the arrow, right, to see talkSPORT’s team of the week – Crystal Palace finally got their first win of 2016 with a 1-0 win over relegation-threatened Norwich City and Hennessey was crucial in holding on to the win. His best save came immediately after the Eagles had scored. Leicester City secured Champions League football for next season and their 2-0 victory over Sunderland brought manager Claudio Ranieri to tears.That result kept the Foxes seven points clear after Tottenham’s win over Manchester United kept them in the race with only five games remaining.United’s Champions League pursuit appears to be over while Newcastle look like they will be joining Aston Villa in the Championship next season.But who were the individual stars of the weekend’s action? talkSPORT takes a look at the team of the weekend.Click the arrow above, right, to see our XI! 11 Right back: Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Manchester United) – Young Fosu-Mensah did well to keep Christian Eriksen quiet up until his disappointing injury just after the hour mark. Once he was replaced, Tottenham scored all three of their goals attacking down United’s right, highlighting how well the 18-year-old played. 11 Centre midfield: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) – Swansea are safe from Premier League relegation and Sigurdsson has been instrumental in that, scoring 11 goals – including the winner against Chelsea on Saturday. Centre back: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham) – Reunited with Jan Vertonghen at the heart of the Spurs defence, Alderweireld contributed to keeping his side in the title race at both ends of the pitch. Did well to keep Anthony Martial quiet and scored a magnificent header to put Spurs 2-0 up. 11 11 11 11 Left wing: Erik Lamela (Tottenham) – Lamela missed a golden chance to give Spurs the lead against Manchester United in the first half but bounced back brilliantly. The Argentine scored one and assisted another in that six-minute blitz. Left back: Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) – Despite his inconsistent performances defensively, Moreno is particularly impressive in attacking positions and proved it against Stoke on Sunday with a great left-footed strike. Centre midfield: N’Golo Kante (Leicester City) – Kante put in another stunning performance; bossing the midfield and helping Leicester secure their fifth consecutive clean sheet. The Frenchman had an 86% pass accuracy, made five tackles, made four interceptions and created two good chances for his teammates. 11 11 Centre forward: Andy Carroll (West Ham United) – Carroll started his first West Ham game since January and Arsenal could not control him as he scored a ten-minute hat-trick. If he can stay fit and keeps scoring, there is a chance he could sneak into England’s Euro 2016 squad. Right wing: Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) – The youngster has impressed since breaking into the first team and made two great assists for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Roy Hodgson will be fuming that the FA let him slip through after he chose to represent Nigeria instead. Centre back: Steve Cook (Bournemouth) – Cook will be disappointed not to keep a clean sheet but scored a fantastic flicked goal worthy of a top striker rather than a centre back. It also helped Bournemouth reach the safety of the 40-point mark. Centre forward: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – Vardy got his 20th and 21st goals of the season as he fired Leicester past Sunderland to make it look increasingly likely that the fairytale will have a happy ending.last_img read more

Coffee Morning to mark World Suicide Prevention Day

first_imgThe people of Letterkenny are being urged to ‘connect, communicate and care’ by coming along to a coffee morning being held in Letterkenny to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.The coffee morning is being organised by the community mental health organisation, GROW, and will take place in Mac’s Deli on the Highroad in Letterkenny from 10:00am-11.30am on World Suicide Prevention Day – Saturday, September 10th.All are being urged to come along and join with others around the world, and across Ireland, in spreading the important message of World Suicide Prevention Day 2016. For further information contact – 07491 61628/ 087 770 2860Coffee Morning to mark World Suicide Prevention Day was last modified: August 31st, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:coffee morningGROWletterkennymacs deliworld suicide prevention daylast_img read more

BREAKING NEWS: MFG CLOSURE TALKS FAIL TO RESOLVE CRISIS

first_imgEnvironment and Community Minister Phil Hogan has so far failed to find a resolution to save services affected by the closure this week of Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta.Fifteen Donegal staff lost their jobs with up to 80 others – including school bus drivers – directly affected.In a statement issued a short time ago, the department said: “The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) and Pobal have been informed by Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta Teoranta (MFG) that it has decided to cease trading. “We are conscious of the direct impact which this decision will have on the company’s staff. We are also conscious of the impact it will have on those who receive services from the company.“A range of services which are funded by the Department or which are managed by Pobal, on behalf of Government Departments, are delivered in Gaeltacht areas through MFG.“The DECLG and Pobal  have today met with representatives of MFG Board and management. This meeting’s aims were to gain clarity on the company’s situation; on the steps which are being taken to ensure staff receive all entitlements and to assist in exploring options for alternative methods of delivering services.”The statement added: “The DECLG and Pobal will continue discussions with the other relevant parties to examine methods of sustaining services within Gaeltacht communities.” BREAKING NEWS: MFG CLOSURE TALKS FAIL TO RESOLVE CRISIS was last modified: September 9th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

BONNER LEADS DONEGAL MINORS TO ULSTER LEAGUE SUCCESS – BUT SENIOR HURLERS LOSE TO ROSSIES

first_imgTHERE were mixed fortunes for Donegal teams today.Donegal’s Minors have won the Ulster League after a five point victory over Tyrone at Brewster Park in Enniskillen.Declan Bonner’s young charges beat the red-hand county 1-15 to 2-07 in the final clash, leading throughout and only conceding the second goal late on. Tyrone’s Cormac O’Hagan was also sent off. Lorcan Connor netted for Donegal from the penalty spot.John Campbell and Caolan McGonigle had great games for Donegal today; and but for Packie O’Neill in the Tyrone goal, Donegal’s win would have been much greater.However Donegal’s senior hurlers were denied by the smallest of margins in the Nicky Rackard Cup, going down 1-12 to 1-11 against Roscommon.  BONNER LEADS DONEGAL MINORS TO ULSTER LEAGUE SUCCESS – BUT SENIOR HURLERS LOSE TO ROSSIES was last modified: April 26th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalGAAhurlersMinorslast_img read more

Donegal gardaí issue warning over scam calls

first_imgGardaí in Donegal are warning people to be on alert for scam callers who are trying to steal bank details.The calls come from a number starting with 00578. When the call is answered the person is told that they have overpaid on their Visa account and in order to rectify the situation and to return the money to them they wish to go through a few steps. The scammers then ask for bank details and personal details.Gardaí say that a number of local people have been targetted in recent days. They are advising people to be on alert and to advise their elderly/vulnerable neighbours or friends about the calls.A Garda notice said: “If you receive a call from anyone who asks you personal questions then please hang up. Do not ever give out your personal details on the phone.“No Company/bank will ever ask for personal details via a phonecall. Take note of the number and if possible block the number.”Donegal gardaí issue warning over scam calls was last modified: October 28th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ex-QPR employee among six to be charged over Hillsborough disaster

first_img Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook Embed from Getty ImagesA former QPR employee is among six people who will be prosecuted over the Hillsborough disaster.Graham Mackrell will be accused of breaching Health and Safety and Safety at Sports Ground legislation in relation to the tragedy at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground in May 1989.Mackrell was Wednesday’s club secretary and safety officer at the time.He was given the role of chief operating officer at QPR by the then club chairman Gianni Paladini in August 2006, but left just three months later.Last year, new inquests into the disaster at the Liverpool v Nottingham Forest FA Cup semi-final concluded the 96 fans who died had been unlawfully killed.last_img read more

Local Roundup: McKinleyville girls golf claims NCS D-II title with 26-stroke win in title meet

first_imgHercules >> Last season, the McKinleyville Panthers girls golf team narrowly missed a North Coast Section Division II title after losing by a mere one stroke to St. Patrick-St. Vincent. At Monday’s championship meet, the Panthers wiped the taste of that bitter defeat out of their mouths with a resounding win, shooting 366 as a team to beat St. Patrick-St. Vincent by 26 strokes and claim the NCS D-II title at the Franklin Canyon Golf Course in Hercules.“It’s been a long time coming,” Mack head …last_img read more

Retelling South Africa’s freedom stories

first_img26 April 2012 South Africa will launch three new museums this year – including one that retells the story of the Battle of Blood River – as well as the Steve Biko Heritage Centre, to honour the memory of those who fought for the country’s freedom. The other museums are the 1980 Matola Raid Museum in Maputo, Mozambique and a new museum at Freedom Park outside Pretoria. The Department of Arts and Culture’s Vusithemba Ndima said this week that the museums and heritage centre would all be launched between July and November. The 1980 Matola Raid Museum pays homage to the 17 people that died during an SA Defence Force raid on African National Congress (ANC) houses in Matola in 1980. Construction is expected to be completed this week, and the museum should be furnished, equipped and staffed by July.Steve Biko Heritage Centre The Steve Biko Heritage Centre is being built at Ginsberg outside King Williams’ Town in the Eastern Cape, where the Black Consciousness pioneer was born in 1946. The centre, which will include a museum, archive and library, training rooms and cultural performance and retail spaces, will also create economic opportunities for the local community. Ndima said construction of the centre was about 95% complete, and its launch is scheduled for October or November. The Battle of Blood River revisited Ndima said phase two of the Ncome Museum in KwaZulu-Natal, which aims to tell the story of the infamous Battle of Blood River – fought between Zulu and Afrikaners in 1838 – from an African perspective, is scheduled for completion by August. The second phase of the museum will include a multi-purpose hall to host conferences, a library, work room, curio shop and reconciliation bridge. The first phase was launched in 1998. Ndima said a museum being constructed as part of the final phase of Freedom Park, detailing the stories of those who fought for the country’s freedom, is expected to be opened in September.Homes, graves of liberation figures to be restored The department, through the South African Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra), is also restoring the graves and homes of various struggle stalwarts around the country. These include the homes of literary icons Bessie Head, Olive Schreiner and Ingrid Jonker, and of the Reverend Zaccheus Richard Mahabane, the first president-general of the ANC. There is also a plan to turn the house of Winnie Mandela, who was exiled to Brandfort in the Free State in 1977, into a museum. The Lejweleputswa District Municipality has finalised a business plan to develop the house. Negotiations are under way with the current owners of the property of Bram Fischer – the lawyer who represented Nelson Mandela during the Rivonia Trial in 1963 – with the aim of restoring the home. Graves that have been declared national heritage sites are those of Steve Biko; Pan African Congress (PAC) founder Robert Subukwe; John Dube, the founding president of the SA Native National Congress, the forerunner of the ANC; and former ANC leaders Pixley ka Seme, Sefako Makgatho, Josiah Gumede, Alfred Xuma, Albert Luthuli, and Oliver Tambo. Ndima said the graves of Luthuli and Dube were in good condition, while the Sobukwe grave had been refurbished. However, he said the site where Luthuli died was in a poor condition and the granite needed restoration, while Gumede’s grave in Pietermaritzburg also required restoration. The Soweto house of Lillian Ngoyi, an anti-apartheid activist and the first woman elected to the ANC’s executive committee, will also be declared a heritage site after an evaluation. Other sites which will be declared heritage sites include the site of the 1913 revolt by women in the Free State, and the site of the 1957 anti-pass revolt by women in Zeerust.Ngquza Hill, John Dube legacy projects While the sites of the Frontier Wars in the Eastern Cape will be developed as part of a wider National Liberation Heritage Route, Ngquza Hill – the site of the 1960 Ngquza Hill massacre of 11 Pondo tribesmen by police – and the Holy Cross Church where Oliver Tambo went to school (both near Flagstaff) will be declared heritage sites next year. A service provider has been appointed by the department to develop a heritage centre at Ngquza Hill, and construction of the centre is expected to start in October. Ndima said the department was also busy developing the Dube Legacy Project, following a ceremony in February to mark the restoration of John Dube’s grave site and the unveiling of a Dube statue at the launch of the Dube Tradeport at King Shaka International Airport in March. The development of the Dube grave site will includes the construction of an interpretative centre and a Tower of Hope. In Cape Town, Sahra will declare as a heritage site the Rocklands Seven monument where the UDF was launched in 1983, as well as the Gugulethu Seven monument in Gugulethu, with the latter to form part of a museum to be developed in collaboration with the Fawu Gugulethu Development Committee.Union Buildings’ centenary The department is also helping to prepare for the centenary of the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 2013. In preparation for the celebrations, the Presidential Guest House will be renamed Sefako Makgatho House – after the second president of the ANC – while Kings House in Durban will change to John Langalibalele Dube House, and the Diplomatic Guest House to Johnstone Mfanafuthi Makhathini Guest House. Johnstone Mfanafuthi Makhathini is a former anti-apartheid activist whose work contributed to the formation of the Organisation of African Unity – the forerunner of the African Union. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more