First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

Life Esidimeni Inquest stalls again, misinformation and...

Maverick Citizen

Civil Society Watch: 4-10 October

Life Esidimeni Inquest stalls again, misinformation and vaccine hesitancy, digital equity, local government in crisis and vaccine inequality

Misinformantion is a reason for vaccine hesitancy. (Photo:

The Life Esidimeni Inquest was meant to resume on Monday but has been postponed to 15 November as a result of the NGOs involved in the inquest not having their documentation ready.

On Monday, 4 October, from 11am to 1pm, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law at University of Pretoria, in partnership with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities in Africa, is hosting a webinar for International Day of Older Persons titled Digital Equity for all ages. You can register to attend here.

From Wednesday, 6 October until 29 October the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at Wits is hosting a webinar series on Understanding vaccine hesitancy and our ethical obligations. The first webinar will be at 8am on Wednesday and is titled Misinformation as a reason for hesitancy: why a values-based approach matters. The keynote speaker is Professor Heidi Larson from the vaccine confidence project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Register to attend here.

Also on Wednesday, at  2pm, the Third World Network is hosting a webinar, Access Barriers to Covid-19 Therapeutics & Diagnostics: A Case for TRIPS Waiver. The speakers will be Michelle Childs, Director of Policy Advocacy from the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Christa Cepuch, Pharmacist Coordinator from the MSF Access Campaign, and Reshma Ramachandran, Physician-Fellow at the Yale National Clinician Scholars Program. You can register to attend here.

On Thursday, 7 October at 5.30pm, the Local Government in Crisis webinar series will discuss What happens to local economies? Author of The Economy on Your Doorstep, Ayabonga Cawe, will be the guest speaker and the discussion will be moderated by Phindile Kunene from the Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education. You can register to attend here.

On Friday, 8 October at 5pm the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at Wits is hosting a webinar titled Vaccine uptake and inequality: some quantitative and qualitative findings and some implications. The keynote speaker will be Professor Kate Alexander, the South African research Chair in Social Change at the University of Johannesburg. Register here.

Saturday, 9 October is World Hospice and Palliative Care Day and this year it seeks to Accelerate Access for All, particularly in light of 14 members of the Hospice Palliative Care Association having had to close their doors in 2020 and 2021 due to lack of funding. It is estimated that only 18% of South Africans are able to access palliative care.

Sunday, 10 October is World Homelessness Day, which seeks to draw attention to people who experience homelessness needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness, while taking advantage of the stage an “international day” provides. DM/MC


"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted