South Africa’s Ubuntu awards: winners

first_img15 February 2016“Today we honour those who hold our beautiful flag high, and who contribute to not only telling, but demonstrating the good story of the Republic of South Africa,” said President Jacob Zuma at the second Annual Ubuntu Awards held on 13 February in Cape Town.“The men and women that have been honoured here today are inspirational examples of this. In their various industries they have truly excelled, thus promoting a positive image of our nation across the globe.”The aim of the awards is to recognise organisations or individuals who have, through excellence, innovation, creativity, inventiveness, social responsibility or patriotism, distinguished themselves as true ambassadors of South Africa.Nkoana-Mashabane: #UbuntuAwards is about I am because you are. The human qualities of compassion and humility. Community above self-interest— carien du plessis (@carienduplessis) February 13, 2016Best lessons are learnt in this word… What are we without one another? #UbuntuAwards— J’Something™ (@jsomethingmusic) February 13, 2016WinnersUbuntu Economic Diplomacy Award: Standard Bank and DiscoveryUbuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy Award: DJ Black Coffee and musician Hugh MasekelaUbuntu Social Responsibility Award: Rescue SA and the Motsepe FoundationUbuntu Sport Diplomacy Award: Runner Wayde van NiekerkUbuntu Youth Diplomacy Award: Former Miss Earth, LeadSA executive and Play your Part ambassador Catherine ConstantinidesOR Tambo Lifetime Achievement Award (Minister’s Award): Agnes Msimang and the late Johnny Makhathini for their contribution to the anti-apartheid struggleUbuntu Ambassadorial Excellence Award: Ambassador Bene L M’pokoCongratulations to all the #UbuntuAwards winners. We are because you are! Continue showing Ubuntu – Botho – humanity— DIRCO South Africa (@DIRCO_ZA) February 13, 2016Upon receiving his award, Masekela urged the audience to never forget the late Miriam Makeba, the award-winning songstress and icon. She “made everyone know about South Africa”, he said, when she performed in foreign countries during the days of the struggle.Source: South African Government News Agencylast_img read more

Are robotic milkers failing to live up to promises?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Leisa Boley Hellwarth, a dairy farmer and attorney near CelinaIn a likely attempt to reach every dairy farmer in the U.S. who purchased robotic milkers, plaintiffs lawyers have been mailing information to every dairy farmer in the nation. The first post card arrived at my house several months ago from, the website for Cullenberg & Tensen, a New Hampshire law firm. Attorney Arend Tensen looks more like the beef farmer he also is in his website pictures. There is more farm equipment pictured on his website than legal resources. Obviously, Tensen’s perceived strength is his agricultural background and current investments.The card that arrived last week came from Steuve. Siegel. Hanson, LLP, trial lawyers and no one in their website wears anything but power clothes, and I do not mean winter weight Carharts or hunting gear camo. This was one of the firms front and center in the Syngenta class action, so they are used to slaying Goliath, even if they look a little Goliathy to me. In fact, Attorney Patrick Steuve, who is handling the robotic milking litigation for the firm, wears a bow tie in his photo and there are 22 attorneys separately profiled in their attorney section of the website.A quick Google search ( determined that Tensen and Steuve are working together representing a class action against DeLaval. The lawsuit alleges that the voluntary milking system robots were defective and failed to perform as represented. Specifically, the systems did not achieve “true quarter milking” as promised, dairy farmers were not permitted to upgrade their VMS robots, and the system did not come equipped with mastitis detection and an online cell counter. The lawsuit further claims that the plaintiffs lawyers have already obtained evidence from former DeLaval sales agents, attached to the lawsuit that the robots were defective, and that its marketing was misleading or fraudulent.Of course, there are at least two sides to every story. I suspect that DeLaval denies the allegations and has a whole other explanation for the situation. Given that robots have been used successfully in Europe for years, there are likely to be denials and counterclaims. Tense and Steuve are also investigating potential cases against Lyle and Galaxy, related to the robotic milking systems they sold in the U.S. that had operational problems or failed to perform as advertised.Why a class action? So long as there are at least forty plaintiffs injured by the defendant in the same way, a class action aggregates many claims into one lawsuit, thereby lowering the cost of litigation. And, unlike the rest of civil litigation in this country, if a class action plaintiff prevails, the attorney fees are paid by the defendant. Keep in mind, however, that a class action binds all group members, unless a plaintiff formally opts out of the group.I always advise clients you do not go to court to make money. In this instance, should the plaintiffs prevail, they will be awarded damages to make them whole. And I have no idea how you calculate the cost of a defective robotic system in the middle of one of the worst dairy economies in history. This litigation is new, though, and anything is possible.last_img read more