Marikana inquiry to be ‘fearless, fair’

first_img2 October 2012 The Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana tragedy owed it to the people of South Africa to do its work as expeditiously as possible without fear or favour, Commission chairperson and retired judge Ian Farlam said at the start of the inquiry in Rustenburg on Monday. “Our country weeps at this tragedy, and we owe it to our country and those concerned that we do our work as expeditious as possible,” Farlam said.Four months to report The inquiry, which is set to begin its formal hearings on Wednesday, has been given four months to furnish South Africans with details of what led to the deaths of 45 people at Marikana near Rustenburg in the country’s North West province in what started as a wage strike by Lonmin platinum mine workers. On 16 August, police shot and killed 34 miners who had engaged on wild-cat strikes in Marikana. Days before that, 10 people, including two police officers, died during clashes between rival unions. The commission, appointed by President Jacob Zuma to probe the death of 45 people, including 34 striking miners, in Marikana, North West province in August, began its work at the Rustenburg Civic Centre by reading the names of each of the deceased. Legal representatives introduced A minute’s silence was then observed. This was followed by the introduction of the evidence leaders and legal representatives appearing for the different parties. These include advocates Mbuyiseli Madlanga and Charles Wesley. Veteran lawyer George Bizo will be appearing on behalf of what he called “the Constitution” of South Africa, and was being instructed by the Legal Resource Centre. Advocate Dali Mpofu is appearing for the 270 miners who were arrested as well as those injured during the confrontation with the police, while Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza is representing the 20 families of the deceased. Appearing on behalf of the police and the Mineral Resources Department are advocates I Semenya and Sipho Matebula respectively.Commission shown Marikana scene Later on Monday, the commission re-lived the tragedy as it combed the scene of the August 16 shooting, with crime scene experts from the South African Police Service leading Farlam, his commissioners and a sea of journalists to different spots where bodies had been found. At least 16 bodies were found lying between five and seven metres from each other near cattle kraals about 100 metres from the Marikana informal settlement. This is also the place where a number of R5 rifles, shotguns and pistol cartridges were found, said Warrant Officer Patrick Thamae. The majority of bodies were found on a nearby koppie, metres from the informal settlements. Photographers shouted at each other as they battled to get the best shot of Farlam and his team manoeuvring through the small spaces in between the stones. The yellow markings on the stones with letters A to J were an indication of 10 miners who died there. The markings on the stones, as pointed out by the crime scene experts, could point to evidence that some died while trying to hide in between the rocks in the koppies. There were also several white markings, which according to police were marks of bullet strikes. Expected to be a tough inquiry Witnesses were allowed to point out scenes that they thought were relevant to the inquiry. The loco inspection was expected to continue on Tuesday, with other suggested places to visit including the Lonmin mine and the informal settlements where some miners lived. Farlam was cautious not to allow journalists to ask questions that might jeopardise the investigation make insinuations regarding what might have taken place in Marikana. That was the job of the commission, he signaled. The commission has divided its investigation into four themes, with the first theme covering the period leading to 9 August and after 16 August. It will also probe the employer, in this case Lonmin, and whether the company’s attitude and policies did not contribute to the tragedy. Another investigation will focus on the actions of the different trade unions, while another investigation will focus on the conduct of certain government departments including the police, the Mineral Resources and Labour Departments. It is expected to be a tough inquiry, with some suggesting that the four months given may not be enough to unearth all the facts surrounding the massacre. But Farlam on Monday stressed the importance of speed as the commissioners carried out their work, saying the country was awaiting its findings. Earlier in the day, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza asked Farlam to delay the start of the hearings for two weeks to allow grieving relatives, mostly from the Eastern Cape and Lesotho, to attend the proceedings. Ntsebeza also claimed that his team was not ready as there was still outstanding documentation critical to his preparation for the inquiry. After a short adjournment, Farlam rejected the request to postpone the inquiry. It also emerged that the Department of Social Development was in the process of assisting affected parties and family members to attend the hearings. Source: read more

A Cross-Section of the Y Combinator Process

first_imgY Combinator founder and master essayist Paul Graham is an indispensable source of wisdom for startups whether they read his advice online or soak it in first-hand by attending YC. Recently, however, Graham felt that many misunderstood what exactly goes on at the unique entrepreneurial breeding ground, so he “wrote something explaining that in detail,” as he puts it. And by “in detail,” he means, “in the form of a massive, 8,000-word dissertation.” Here are some of the highlights from what he had to say about Y Combinator.One of the more interesting areas Graham covers in his essay has to do with the series of dinners which take place over the course of Y Combinator. At these meetings, startups are able to mingle with industry luminaries and founders of successful companies in a relaxed, off-the-record atmosphere.“Eventually we may hit some kind of limit on the number of people we can advise, but we haven’t hit it yet.”– Paul Graham“I didn’t consciously realize how much speakers at more public events censored themselves till I was able to compare the same people speaking off the record at YC dinners and on the record at Startup School,” writes Graham. “YC dinner talks are much more useful, because the details people omit in more public talks tend to be the most interesting parts of their stories. About half the interesting things I know about famous startups, I learned at YC dinners.A longer and equally interesting section (chapter?) of the essay detailed how YC deals with office hours. Throughout the year, it’s not just the companies in the current class that meet with the incubator’s advisors. With the exception of four weeks of the year, any YC member can schedule office hours at any point.“Eventually we may hit some kind of limit on the number of people we can advise, but we haven’t hit it yet,” writes Graham. “And untaken office hour slots show us that, as of now at least, we’re never so overloaded that we can’t satisfy the startups in the current batch.”Graham continues to outline what happens at Angel Day, Demo Day and other events, as well as the relationships with alumni, foundations and other groups. It’s interesting to see the ins and outs of such a successful startup accelerator program. If you’re considering applying to YC, reading Graham’s essay is a good place to start to get a feel for the program. Tags:#start#tips chris cameron Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

[Video] 3 Reasons You’ll Buy Google’s Nexus 7 Tablet

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… eliot weisberg A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Tags:#Product Reviews#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img

Is Voice Search the Next Big Travel Technology Trend?

first_imgDeanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content development. Deanna RitchieManaging Editor at ReadWrite Tags:#travel#travel tech Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Voice technology has limitless possibilities. Siri and Alexa are as popular as ever. Residential voice assistant devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo are a part of daily life for millions of people. Voice search technology is here to stay, recent statistics confirm it. And the travel industry has taken note.Here’s why FlightHub and JustFly think voice search is the next big travel technology trend.Voice Search Technology Statistics, According to Google:Data analysis is the only way to know how impactful voice search truly is. Why Google? With millions of Gigabytes of data (and counting), Google is arguably the best source of unbiased data. Here’s a shortlist of telling voice technology figures: 52% of voice-enabled speakers are placed in living rooms. 25% are in bedrooms, and 22% are in kitchens. In fact, 23% of adults use voice search to help them cook. “Okay, Siri, how many tablespoons are in a ¼ cup?” Voice recognition speakers are used daily by 72% of people.41% of voice-enabled speaker owners say chatting with their device resembles talking to someone else.Over 400 million devices are now compatible with Google Assistant.52% of voice-recognition speaker users want to be sent discounts and promotional content from their favorite brands.Voice searches make up 20% of queries on all Google mobile devices.Location-specific voice searches have increased by 150%. IE “insert location near me.”Teens and Adults Alike Love Voice Search:Google says, 55% of teenagers and 41% of adults use voice search every day. They ask their phones to find restaurants, look up movie times, and to call contacts. Voice commands are also being used to ask for directions, get help with homework, and play music. It’s evident; devices are helping people multitask more efficiently.Many teens were raised with smartphones as part of their everyday lives. Now that voice search is much more than a trend, it’s easy to understand why younger demographics feel most comfortable using it. With the younger demographic loving voice — it likely means that voice search will continue to grow as today’s kids grow into adolescence and adulthood.When Is Voice Search Most Often Used?At 57%, teenagers use voice search with their friends more than twice as much as their adult counterparts. Teens also use voice search more while in the bathroom, when watching TV and while working out. On the other hand, adults use voice search nearly three times more than teens while cooking.Also, the answers to why people are using voice search become more and more varied. Here’s a quick summary:They think it’s cool.They want to be early adopters of new technology.It’s often safer.It makes multitasking easier.It helps to get things done as efficiently as possible.How Voice Search Is Changing Travel Technology:The travel industry is primed to benefit from the growth of voice search technology and its use. A 2018 research report by the Global Digital Traveler gathered impressive findings. Here are a few of the most noteworthy statistics:Between 2017 and 2018, the number of travelers who use voice search during a trip increased from 47% to 50%.More than 70% of Chinese and Turkish travelers use voice search.Nearly 70 percent of Indians surveyed use voice search in the discovery stage of their travels.Travel companies are on board with voice applications. The proof is in the development of travel-friendly, voice-enabled software that is pleasing to customers and clients. FlightHub and JustFly have launched the beta version of LUCY, a virtual travel assistant. Marriott Hotels has partnered with Amazon and Alibaba in separate agreements to include smart speakers in their hotel rooms. Amazon has also developed Alexa for Hospitality to further enhance guest experiences.InterContinental Hotels and Baidu (a Chinese technology giant) have partnered to include Smart Displays in several hotel suites. A voice application simply called Virtual Concierge Service claims that its “technology saves hosts time and delivers 5-star guest reviews.”Voice Search Isn’t A Trend. It’s A Revolution:“Voice search has taken off,” states FlightHub’s Matt Keezer. “It’s evolving rapidly and integrating into the daily lives of consumers in ways they wouldn’t have imagined a few short years ago. Teens love it. It makes life easier for adults. Travel businesses can clearly see the opportunities it has to offer.” In other words, the revolution won’t be televised — it’ll be spoken. Related Posts CEOs in Troubled Waters (with Myriam Joire from… A Review of Instagram Marketing by Matthew Lucas Uber vs Lyft: Battling for Supremacylast_img read more

Reasons to Outsource General Counsel Services for Business

first_imgServerless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Related Posts Amy JonesLegal Content Writer for Ahlawat & Associates 8 Unusual Ideas for a Dentistry Business 5 Essential Skills all Entrepreneurs Need to B… Tags:#general counsel lawyer#general counsel services#outsource legal counsel Amy Jones has been serving as an experienced legal content writer in Ahlawat & Associates, who is related to International Law Firm. She is a passionate writer and always on the lookout for opportunities for sharing her knowledge with legal community. Follow her company on various social media networks like: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. General counsel plays a vital role in ensuring a company functions within the scope of the law. Apart from assisting and guiding the management in general matters of legal compliance, other legal issues arise from time to time, which a general counsel is required to address.Outsourced general counsel services or an in-house general counsel is a crucial decision for an organization.Both outsourced general counsel and in-house general counsel have their distinct advantages and disadvantages. Various factors determine which of the two options would be better suited to the company.The decision largely depends on the nature and size of the business, at what stage of its evolution the company is in and how frequently general counsel services are required. More importantly, is whether a business can afford to have a full-time general counsel as legal advice is very expensive these days.Reasons why general counsel services should be outsourced.Cost-EffectiveWhen compared to hiring a full-time general counsel lawyer, outsourcing general counsel services can be a cheaper option for some companies. For small and midsize companies, the volume of legal work may not be that much to have a full-time legal employee.New companies may not want to incur an extra cost by hiring in house general counsel. They generally do not have enough work to justify the salary they are paid. Until the time a company evolves to a particular growth stage where the volume of legal action increases substantially. There is no need to incur unnecessary expenses on a full-time general counsel.Companies can get the same level of legal experience and expertise by outsourced general counsel services at a fraction of the cost they would otherwise incur. It’s prudent to get outside general counsel services rather than employ a general counsel attorney.Valuable Resource to the CompanyA dedicated and committed outsourced general counsel can be a very useful resource for a company. With the passage of time and every new assignment, the lawyer’s knowledge and understanding of the company’s operations are enhanced.A dedicated counsel who remains onsite to address and manage the legal issues of a company will gradually and steadily develop a better understanding of the intricacies of the business. Having an outsourced general counsel as a go-to person for every legal issue that may arise will encourage the attorney to go beyond the general functions and provide enhanced services to the company.The experience gained over time while being closely associated with the business will enable the lawyer to provide their services in a more effective, efficient, and proactive manner.Allows the Management to Focus on Core BusinessIn the absence of a general counsel, the management and other senior employees are burdened with the additional responsibility of addressing and managing the legal matters. Till the time an in-house legal services team is created, outsourcing the GC services can immensely benefit the organization.The senior management and other non-legal employees are able to perform their core functions. General legal matters like government compliance, contracts, human resource management, etc., that were taken care of by these personnel can now be managed more efficiently by the outsourced general counsel.Meaning crucial other personnel can perform the regular functions that they have expertise in. They can now focus on the core business operations with an uncluttered mind. The extra time available will result in a more efficient functioning of the organization.Streamlines the Legal Functions of the CompanyBefore a company appoints an internal attorney, the legal matters are handled by different employees. Legal work is outsourced on a need-based basis to different law firms on contracts. No single employee or a single law firm handle all the matters.Using this division of legal work means there is lack of continuity which results in functional inefficiencies. That is the legal functions remain totally disorganized.When there is a dedicated outsourced counsel, the legal functions get organized. All routine legal work and even the more specific legal issues are handled by the outsourced counsel. He/she is the first point of reference for any legal issue that may arise. This leads to better coordination and increased efficiencies.An outsourced lawyer won’t have the knowledge and expertise to handle each and every legal issue that a company might be faced with. There would be times when outside legal help would be required, anyway. But, because of the knowledge of law and understanding of the company’s business operation, in-house counsel is a better position to know which external lawyer should be hired to deal with specific issues.Also, the experience gained over time spent with the company can be leveraged to better coordinate with external attorneys or a law firm and effectively manage specific legal issues.To conclude, outsourced general counsel services can immensely benefit an organization in improving its operational efficiency and overall management capabilities. When legal issues are professionally handled by a dedicated counsel, other professionals can pay focussed attention to their predefined roles and thereby help the organization achieve its economic objective. Recovering from Business Difficulties; Resilien…last_img read more