In 2014 South Africa will not only celebrate 20 years of freedom from apartheid, it will also hold the country’s fifth national democratic elections. Play Your Part by registering to vote in the upcoming elections – our democracy was hard-earned through decades of activism and sacrifice, and should not be allowed to go to waste. With the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announcing a second and final round of voter registration set for February, we bring you a complete guide to registering for the elections.When will the elections be held?The elections must take place some time in 2014, but the final date will only be known once the president has proclaimed it in the Government Gazette.Who may vote?To be eligible to vote, you must:Be a South African citizenBe at least 18 years oldHave a green bar-coded ID book, or an ID smartcard, or a temporary identity certificate. These are all issued by the Department of Home Affairs. Finally, you may only vote if you are registered on the voters’ roll.How do I register to vote?First, ensure you have the necessary identity document – a green bar-coded ID book, an ID smartcard, or a temporary identity certificate. If you don’t, you will need to apply for one at the Department of Home Affairs.With your identity document, you must then register in person – you can’t do it online, for example, or by email.You can then register in two ways:Any time before the president proclaims the date of the election, you can register at your local IEC municipal office – but you must first contact the office and make an appointment. The IEC has a list of municipal offices with all the contact details you need.On the weekend of 8 to 9 February 2014, you can register from 08h00 to 17h00 at the voting station for your voting district. Find your voting station using the map on the IEC website, or phone 0800 11 8000 on Monday to Friday from 08h00 to 17h00.Do I have to register before every election?Unless you have moved into a new voting district, you only have to register once. If you have moved, you have to register for your new district. If you remain on the voters’ roll for your old voting district, you will only be able to vote at your old voting station.You may have to register again if your voting district changes.How do I check if I am correctly registered to vote?You can check if you are registered to vote, and for the right district, in a number of ways:Send an SMS with your ID number to 32810.Check your voter registration details online – this will also give you the address of your voting station.Phone the IEC’s call centre on 0800 11 8000 – this is toll-free if you phone from a landline.Check at your voting station during the registration weekend of 8 to 9 February 2014.Check at your local municipal electoral office during office hours.How old must I be to register?Even though you may only vote if you are 18 or older, you may register on the voters’ roll from the age of 16.Where do I register?Any time before the president proclaims the date of the election, you can register at your local IEC municipal office – but you must first contact the office and make an appointment. The IEC has a list of municipal offices with all the contact details you need.On the weekend of 8 to 9 February 2014, you can register from 08h00 to 17h00 at the voting station for your voting district. Find your voting station using the map on the IEC website.Note that you must apply for registration on or before the day the president proclaims the date of the election in the Government Gazette. The voters’ roll for the election closes at 17h00 on the day of the proclamation.What documents do I need to register?By law, you must apply in person, and bring with you a valid green bar-coded South African ID book, or a smartcard ID, or a temporary identity certificate if you don’t have an ID book or smartcard. If you don’t have any of these, apply for one at the Department of Home Affairs.Can I register if I’m currently living outside South Africa?Yes, all South Africans with a valid South African ID (see above) and a valid South African passport are allowed to register. Overseas registrations close on 7 February 2014. Find out more on the IEC website.How do I register from overseas?Go to your nearest South African embassy, high commission or diplomatic mission with your valid ID and passport. Note that you can’t register with only your passport – you must have your ID document as well. Both documents must be valid.Can I vote before I leave South Africa?If you will be overseas on election day and would like to vote in South Africa a few days beforehand, you can apply for a special vote at your municipal electoral office.What happens when I register?Go to your voting station, municipal electoral office or, if voting overseas, your diplomatic mission.Fill in the Application for Registration as a Voter formYour ID book will be scannedA bar-coded sticker will be pasted in your ID bookNote that completing the form and receiving a bar-coded sticker doesn’t mean that you’re registered, it only means that you’ve applied for registration. Your application must still be processed, which may take up to seven working days.
The Tin Pan Alley. Stroll in and join the band! Photo by geocacher SUEpriseGeocache Name:The Tin Pan Alley Band (GC2C1NN)Difficulty/Terrain Rating:2.5/1.5Why this is the Geocache of the Week:Musicians and geocachers share quite a few traits. Namely, when they get together, amazing things can happen. One geocache maker has set out to prove this idea by creating one giant geocacher-powered band. And where better to recruit musicians than London’s Denmark street? This famous place is also known as the British Tin Pan Alley. Artists like Elton John, Jimi Hendrix and the Sex Pistols all have ties to this area. Whether or not the band will be headlining any tours or festivals this year has yet to be decided, but one thing is for sure: between the electric triangle players, backup singers, guitarists, cellists and percussionists, this band is going to top the charts for sure.# of Finds:2025# of Favorite Points:776What the geocache owner, goldpot, has to say:“I read every single log (which is almost daily!) and it gives me a great uplifting feeling to read them knowing that I have made so many geocachers happy and given them a geocache of a difference in such an urban location. As for the Favorite Points – totally amazed with the shear numbers – go to show, the most simplest geocache, can create the greatest awards!The best geocaches are those which surprises us geocachers, either by it’s location, history, scenery, challenges or the geocache originality – get them all and they’ll clock up the geocache Favorite Points!”What geocachers are saying:“What an amazing cache. A must if passing this location. gets a favourite.” – Pebbles&Co“This is a wonderful cache and a definite favourite. Never seen one like this before and it’s excellent TFTC” – Tangled two“Brilliant idea for a cache, first time I’ve seen one like this but worked out straight away what I needed to spot… and after a couple of minutes there it was! Thanks for the cache, this one gets the favourite point for the evening. Add another bass player to the band!” – BandMandAandARead More LogsPhotos:The band so far! Photo by geocacher OllivierA few of the band members. Photo by geocacher SelmiceIf you’re ready to start rocking, you can pick up a guitar next door. Photo by geocacher PiRad-lerSee More PhotosIf you had to pick a theme song for your geocaching career, what would it be? Tell us in the comments.Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, leave a comment below with the name of the geocache, the GC code, and why you think we should feature it.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedAnother one down the drain. – A Crappy Cache (GC35T4T) – Geocache of the WeekFebruary 26, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”Don’t forget to bring proper headwear. – Head Case (GC2TD8M) – Geocache of the WeekMay 15, 2013In “Community”Top Five Tips for Creating a World-Class GeocacheJuly 11, 2013In “Geocaching.com Videos”
Former Union Minister M.J. Akbar on Wednesday recorded his statement before a court here in support of his allegations levelled in a criminal defamation complaint against senior journalist Priya Ramani.Recording his statement before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal, Mr. Akbar said that he had suffered “damage due to the scurrilous and false charges levelled by Ms. Ramani”.“Indeed there was an immediate damage because of the scurrilous nature of these concocted and false allegations. I was attacked in my personal capacity about alleged and fabricated non-events allegedly done two decades ago,” he said in his statement.“I chose in that environment to seek justice in my personal capacity without the appurtenance of office. This is why I offered my resignation as Minister of State, Government of India. My reputation has been tarnished in the eyes of general public and those who are near and dear and known to me,” he said. Mr. Akbar had resigned from the Union Council of Ministers on October 17.Later, on conclusion of Mr. Akbar’s statement, the court posted the matter on November 12 for recording statements of other witnesses cited by him in his complaint.Taking cognisance of the complaint on October 18, the Additional CMM had summoned Mr. Akbar for recording his statement.The former editor had sought Ms. Ramani’s prosecution for allegedly defaming him by accusing him of sexual misconduct with journalists who worked with him in different media houses over the years. Mr. Akbar in his complaint cited an open letter by Ms. Ramani published in Vogue magazine last October and her tweets as defamatory.The complaint stated that “the accused herself, while putting forward defamatory statements relating to incidents which allegedly occurred 20 years ago, simultaneously admits that the complainant has not done anything to her”.(With PTI inputs)
Ayonika Paul and Apurvi Chandela pose with their respective medals at the awards ceremony Indian shooter Rahi Sarnobat won the gold and Anisa Sayyed took silver in the women’s 25m pistol event of the Commonwealth Games at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre on Saturday.Playing the gold medal match against her compatriot, Rahi scored eight points to Sayyed’s two. Australia’s Lalita Yauhleuskaya took the bronze.Apurvi Chandela gave a stunning exhibition of skill and concentration to clinch a gold medal while Ayonika Paul and Prakash Nanjappa claimed a silver.21-year-old Chandela was the star performer by taking the honour in the women’s 10 m air rifle event with a score of 206.7 to provide the second gold medal from the shooting arena after Abhinav Bindra’s swansong gold medal effort on Friday.Ayonika Paul, 21, also turned the spotlight on herself by bagging the silver medal in the same event while Nanjappa had to be content with a silver, narrowly missing out on the yellow metal due to a lapse of concentration.With three more medals, India took their overall medals tally to 13 with four gold, six silver and three bronze medals and were placed fifth on the medals table.England are at top with 35 medals, including 13 golds.Australia also have 35 medals but placed second as they have 12 golds. Hosts Scotland are third with 17 medals out which seven are yellow metal. Canada also have seven gold but their total is 13 medals.Nanjappa paid the price for a horrendous shot midway into the final round as he lost concentration and shot a disappointing 7.7 to hand the lead to eventual winner Daniel Repacholi of Australia.advertisementDespite the setback in the sixth shot of the elimination stage, the 38-year-old Banglorean tried his best to catch up with the Australian but failed to do so in the end and had to settle with a silver at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre at Dundee near here.Repacholi won the gold with a total of 199.5 while Prakash scored 198.2. England’s 60-year-old Michel Gault got the bronze.Nanjappa, who topped the qualification round, was ruffled by that mistake and he was taking deep breaths in between the shots. A team member later said Prakash felt time constraint and that was why the grip over his pistol was not proper when he shot 7.7.Before the last round, Repacholi had taken a lead of 1.4 points but he could only come up with a 9.3 in the penultimate shot and Prakash could have narrowed down the gap. The Indian could not do that as he also shot a 9.3 at a crucial juncture.Nanjappa was the first to fire the last shot and he came up with a 10.5, putting pressure on his Australian opponent.But Repacholi fired a 10.4 to run away with the gold.The other Indian in the fray, Om Prakash had failed to qualify for the final round.In men’s skeet event, India’s Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Baba Bedi failed to advance to the semifinals after finishing seventh and 19th in the qualification round. The top eight shooters qualify for the semifinals.Four Indian judokas kept themselves in the reckoning for a bronze medal in the higher weight categories on the third and concluding day of the martial art event.In the men’s event, Sahil Pathania (upto 100 kg) and Parveen Kumar (+100 kg) will be vying for bronze medal via repechage bouts while Jina Devi Chongtham (upto 78 kg) and Rajwinder Kaur (+78 kg) also reached the medal round.India’s leading squash players Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal secured hard fought victories to reach the singles quarterfinals.Fourth seed Ghosal had a narrow escape against Australian Steven Finitsis as he recovered from 6-7 down in the fifth and deciding game to pull off a 11-2, 11-5, 4-11, 6-11, 11-8 victory at the Scotstoun Sports Campus.With this victory, Ghosal became the first Indian to reach the singles quarterfinals since the sport was introduced in the Games programme in 1998. He next plays 12th seed Campbell Grayson of New Zealand .Soon after Ghosal’s win, sixth seed Pallikal matched her compatriot’s feat by getting past 15th seed Delia Arnold of Malaysia 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 in a match lasting 40 minutes.The Commonwealth Games debutant faces England’s fourth seed Alison Waters in the quarterfinals.The Indian women’s table tennis team blanked New Zealand, a side full of Chinese-origin players, to march into the semifinals at the Scotstoun Sports Campus.Shamini Kumaresan starred in India’s 3-0 win over New Zealand. They face Singapore, whom they lost to at Delhi Games to settle for silver, in the semi-finals later on Saturday.advertisementThe ploy to play Shamini in the first singles against 52-year-old Chun Li worked. The Indian played a solid match to beat 2002 singles Commonwealth Games champion and five-time Olympian 5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5.Delhi girl Manika Batra, who plays with a pimpled rubber, outsmarted Chunl Li’s sister Karen 11-13, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 to give India a 2-0 cushion.In the doubles rubber, being played in the team competition for the first time at Games, Shamini and Madhurika Patkar outplayed Karen and Yang Sun 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 for India’s well deserved victory.