Wednesday 20 September 2017

Afrique du Sud

(AFP (eng) 09/19/17)
The South African glamour model who accuses Zimbabwe's first lady of battering her with an electrical plug launched a legal bid on Tuesday to have Grace Mugabe stripped of her immunity. Gabriella Engels and her lawyers sought to persuade the North Gauteng High Court to allow them to proceed with their effort to have Mugabe's diplomatic immunity lifted. Engels, 20, claims that Mugabe beat her repeatedly with an electrical cord in a Johannesburg hotel on August 13. A public spat followed in which Engels and critics of President Robert Mugabe sought to...
(Times Live 09/19/17)
The World Bank on Tuesday halved its 2017 growth forecast for South Africa after the economy fell into recession earlier this year. It said in a report that 2017 growth would probably be 0.6 percent, down from an earlier estimate of 1.1 percent. Growth is seen ticking up to 1.1 percent next year and reaching 1.7 percent in 2019. But the bank warned any prospect of recovery would "remain fragile" unless South Africa succeeds in becoming more productive. "South Africa is not benefiting from the global economic rebound. South Africa is well placed in exports markets but we don't see the country's exports breaking into new markets," World Bank southern Africa specialist Sebastian Deussus said. President Jacob Zuma last month...
(Financial Times 09/19/17)
Firm loses 2 contracts as other companies review ties in wake of political scandal. KPMG has lost at least two audit contracts in South Africa and faces widespread client reviews after the accounting firm became embroiled in a high-profile political scandal involving South Africa’s billionaire Gupta family. Sasfin, the South African financial services company that has been audited by KPMG for 18 years, said on Tuesday it would search for a new auditor “in view of the well-publicised concerns recently raised with regard to KPMG”. KPMG has already lost South African-listed asset manager Sygnia as a client
(APA 09/19/17)
South Africa has lost its long-standing top spot regarding investments in Africa, according to Rand Merchant Bank’s latest “Where to Invest in Africa” report for 2018, APA learnt on Tuesday. This is the first time that South Africa has fell from grace since the report was initiated seven years ago, the report said. Nigeria, on the other hand, has for the first time not featured in the Top 10 list due to the erosion of its short-term investment appeal by...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/19/17)
A South African broker and an energy investment firm fired KPMG on Tuesday, two of a host of local firms weighing whether to ditch the auditor to distance themselves from a scandal involving business friends of President Jacob Zuma. Sasfin (SFNJ.J) and Hulisani (HULJ.J), both relatively small financial companies based in Johannesburg, announced they would drop KPMG [KPMG.UL] due to reputational risk. KPMG, one of the biggest and most influential names in accounting, cleared out its South African leadership on...
(APA 09/19/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma, who is attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Tuesday, has urged the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) to work closely together to make the Paris Agreement a success. "Climate change is a global challenge that requires no one to be left behind,” Zuma told a meeting of the CAHOSCC held at the UN headquarters. “The whole world affirmed this in Paris and Marrakech...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
As global companies implicated in a graft scandal in South Africa scramble to contain the damage to their reputations, politicians and law enforcement agencies are prevaricating and stalling official investigations. The scandal has revolved around members of the wealthy Gupta family, who are friends of President Jacob Zuma and have been accused of looting billions of rand in taxpayer funds and exerting undue influence over the state. Accountants KPMG LLP, public relations firm Bell Pottinger LLP, consultancy McKinsey & Co...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/19/17)
South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) will hear the state’s appeal against the six-year murder sentence handed to Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius on Nov. 3, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Tuesday. The state will argue that six years in jail is too lenient a sentence for the murder by Pistorius of Reeva Steenkamp, his girlfriend, in 2013. “The state, in the papers, we stipulate clearly that the sentence imposed is shockingly low,” said NPA spokesman Luvuyo...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Sasfin Holdings Ltd., a South African financial-services company, said it’s firing KPMG LLP as its independent sponsor and searching for a new auditor, becoming the second company to announce it has dumped the firm because of work it did for the politically connected Gupta family. The decisions were based on “the well-publicized concerns recently raised with regard to KPMG,” Johannesburg-based Sasfin said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Deloitte & Touche LLP has been chosen as a sponsor, which provides...
(Times Live 09/19/17)
Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize on Tuesday wriggled her way out of media questions about the sudden suspension on Monday of her director-general‚ Mkuseli Apleni. Mkhize‚ who paid a surprise visit to the Pinetown Home Affairs office‚ said she would not give reasons on Apleni's precautionary suspension - but she justified her terse statement on Monday. "There are stages in dealing with an inquiry. The first stage is the most important one where the matter is internal‚ is closed to...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Pravin Gordhan, who was ousted from his post as South Africa’s finance minister in March, slammed KPMG LLP after it withdrew a report on the country’s tax agency that was used as evidence in a police probe against him and led to the removal of senior staff. The auditing firm said on Friday that its conclusions and recommendations in a report for the South African Revenue Service about a unit that allegedly spied on politicians should no longer be relied...
(Xinhuanet 09/18/17)
South Africa will sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons next week during the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Presidency said on Sunday. President Jacob Zuma will ink the treaty on behalf of South Africa on September 20, presidential spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said. Signature of the treaty reflects South Africa's continued commitment towards the achievement of a world free from the threat posed by nuclear weapons, Ngqulunga said. This will ensure that nuclear energy...
(Business Day 09/18/17)
Trade and industry minister Rob Davies has approved the appointment of a Chinese company to operate the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ), a specialised energy and metallurgical district. The company is South African Energy Metallurgical Base, a subsidiary of a Chinese conglomerate Shenzhen Hoi Mor Resources Holding Company. It is now authorised to develop, operate and manage the zone within the framework of the SEZ Act. "The Musina-Makhado SEZ is strategically located close to the main land-based trade route between...
(Business Day 09/18/17)
The rand was weaker against the dollar on Monday just before midday, with local investors awaiting the Reserve Bank’s interest-rate decision. The general market consensus was that the Bank would cut interest rates by 25-basis points on Thursday. However, TreasuryOne currency dealer Andre Botha said that with the recent increase in the oil price, the situation could change a little from this consensus expectation. "The increase in oil price could force the monetary policy committee meeting to sit on their...
(Independent Online 09/18/17)
Airports Company South Africa reported revenue growth of 3.4% to R8.6 billion in the year ended 31 March 2017, with profit up 10.8% to R2 billion. Return on equity was 11.3% compared to 11.5% in the previous period. Capital expenditure reduced by 31.3% to R893 million. Bongani Maseko, Chief Executive Officer of Airports Company South Africa, said the Company continued to be resilient, despite sluggish economic growth. The Company reported a total of 20.0 million (2016: 19.4 million) departing passengers...
(Dw-World 09/18/17)
President Zuma has faced numerous corruption allegations in court. As the ANC is due to elect a new party leader, could Zuma's support of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma be a move to save himself? President Jacob Zuma is due to step down as African National Congress (ANC) leader at a key national party conference in mid-December. The new party leader usually succeeds the country's president at the subsequent national poll. Current front runners for the post of ANC leader are Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,...
(Cnbc Africa 09/18/17)
Hit by political turmoil and a sovereign downgrade to "junk," South Africa's economy has managed to pull off something few people believed it could: post growth. After falling in to a "technical" recession earlier this year, one of Africa's largest economies has managed to crawl its way out, even in the face of a credit downgrade earlier this year. Fresh second-quarter data show the country emerged from its second recession in a decade, mainly due in part to an agriculture...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/18/17)
South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance will lay a criminal complaint against McKinsey for “fraud, racketeering and collusion” over work the global consultancy did with businessmen friends of President Jacob Zuma, it said on Monday. Reuters reported last week that McKinsey ignored suspicions raised over several years by local senior staff that companies it worked with were set up to steer state contracts. The deal relates to work McKinsey carried out for South African state power company Eskom alongside Trillian, a...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/18/17)
South Africa’s revenue service will ask parliament to investigate global auditor KPMG for its “immoral conduct” in releasing details of a confidential report it produced for the tax agency, commissioner Tom Moyane said on Monday. KPMG cleared out its South African leadership en masse on Friday after damning findings from an internal investigation into work done for businessmen friends of President Jacob Zuma. Moyane said SARS had cut all ties with KPMG.
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Teaching staff in KwaZulu-Natal province under investigation as mobile phone footage implicating them in savage attacks on students circulates online. Seven teachers face suspension in South Africa after a series of videos emerged showing staff abusing students. Elijah Mhlanga, spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education, said he was “shocked and disgusted” by the films, which are taken in KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal South African province. A video shared online on Monday, which appears to have been filmed discreetly by a...

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(AFP (eng) 09/19/17)
The South African glamour model who accuses Zimbabwe's first lady of battering her with an electrical plug launched a legal bid on Tuesday to have Grace Mugabe stripped of her immunity. Gabriella Engels and her lawyers sought to persuade the North Gauteng High Court to allow them to proceed with their effort to have Mugabe's diplomatic immunity lifted. Engels, 20, claims that Mugabe beat her repeatedly with an electrical cord in a Johannesburg hotel on August 13. A public spat followed in which Engels and critics of President Robert Mugabe sought to...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/19/17)
South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) will hear the state’s appeal against the six-year murder sentence handed to Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius on Nov. 3, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Tuesday. The state will argue that six years in jail is too lenient a sentence for the murder by Pistorius of Reeva Steenkamp, his girlfriend, in 2013. “The state, in the papers, we stipulate clearly that the sentence imposed is shockingly low,” said NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku. “The presiding officer has the discretion to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence when compelling and substantial circumstances exist. But... with this matter, the presiding officer exercised that discretion in a very lenient manner.” Women’s rights groups in a...
(Times Live 09/19/17)
Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize on Tuesday wriggled her way out of media questions about the sudden suspension on Monday of her director-general‚ Mkuseli Apleni. Mkhize‚ who paid a surprise visit to the Pinetown Home Affairs office‚ said she would not give reasons on Apleni's precautionary suspension - but she justified her terse statement on Monday. "There are stages in dealing with an inquiry. The first stage is the most important one where the matter is internal‚ is closed to...
(Dw-World 09/18/17)
President Zuma has faced numerous corruption allegations in court. As the ANC is due to elect a new party leader, could Zuma's support of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma be a move to save himself? President Jacob Zuma is due to step down as African National Congress (ANC) leader at a key national party conference in mid-December. The new party leader usually succeeds the country's president at the subsequent national poll. Current front runners for the post of ANC leader are Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Teaching staff in KwaZulu-Natal province under investigation as mobile phone footage implicating them in savage attacks on students circulates online. Seven teachers face suspension in South Africa after a series of videos emerged showing staff abusing students. Elijah Mhlanga, spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education, said he was “shocked and disgusted” by the films, which are taken in KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal South African province. A video shared online on Monday, which appears to have been filmed discreetly by a...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/18/17)
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will launch legal proceedings against KPMG due to reputational damage caused by the auditor releasing details of a confidential report it produced for the tax agency, commissioner Tom Moyane said on Monday. Moyane told a televised news conference that SARS would report KPMG to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, with a view to blacklisting the auditor for its "unethical" and "unlawful" behaviour. KPMG cleared out its South African leadership en masse on Friday after damning...
(Eye Witness News 09/18/17)
Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi delivered the opening address at the Public Servants Association's AGM in Pretoria on Monday. Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi says positive labour relations are key to an efficient public service. Muthambi delivered the opening address at the Public Servants Association's AGM in Pretoria on Monday. The minister says since her appointment, she's held talks with several unions in the sector. “For our public service to prosper we need to create and...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/15/17)
The head of South Africa’s state-owned pension fund dismissed as spurious allegations made by a newspaper on Friday that he had misused funds and improperly raised salaries for some executives. Daniel Matjila has been chief executive officer of Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which manages nearly 2 trillion rand ($152.30 billion) of civil servants’ pensions, since 2014. He told Reuters he would meet board members later on Friday to discuss the allegations made by newspaper Business Day. “These are spurious allegations,”...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma’s lawyers conceded in a court hearing that a decision by prosecutors to drop bribery and corruption charges against him in 2009 was irrational, opening up the possibility that they will be reinstated. Zuma’s lawyer gave the concession Thursday before the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. It’s considering an appeal by the president’s legal team and the National Prosecuting Authority of a High Court ruling that the decision to drop 783 charges for fraud, corruption...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/15/17)
A violent feud between South African meter taxi drivers and ride-hailing services Uber and Taxify escalated with another three vehicles torched using petrol bombs, police said on Thursday. Drivers for Uber [UBER.UL] and Estonian start-up Taxify operating in Johannesburg and capital Pretoria have faced threats and protests from regular taxi operators who accuse the app-based drivers of poaching customers with cheaper fares. One Uber vehicle and two other taxis were torched last week in the upmarket Sandton district and on...
(AFP (eng) 09/13/17)
A former South African minister was convicted on Wednesday of brutally beating two women at a Johannesburg nightclub after one of them called him gay. Ex-deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana pleaded guilty to three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and described how he kicked and punched the women after one asked "Who do you think you are? You gay." He had been in the upmarket Cubana nightspot in Johannesburg's Fourways district in the early...
(Times Live 09/12/17)
Failure to implement the Public Protector's remedial action on state capture allegations could harm the public's confidence in her office‚ the Democratic Alliance said on Tuesday. "The Public Protector is only as powerful as the effect of the remedial action. If it is not implemented‚ that could harm the public faith in her office‚" said DA federal executive chairman James Selfe. Selfe was speaking on Tuesday outside the Pretoria High Court‚ which the party has asked to force Zuma to...
(The Citizen 09/11/17)
Zimbabwe’s first lady claims Gabriella Engels, who brought charges of assault against her, was drunk and ‘unhinged’. Mugabe has given her side of the story after she allegedly went on a violent rampage at a luxury Sandton hotel, where her sons were staying in the company of a model and her friends. According to Reuters, Mugabe has completely denied the report brought forward by Engels that she was hit with a cord. Engels sustained injuries to her forehead and was...
(The Citizen 09/11/17)
Steve Biko suffered great abuse, harassment and torture over a period of time, says Zuma. President Jacob Zuma called on South Africans on Monday to remember, celebrate and preserve the legacy of Black Consciousness Movement leader and struggle hero, Stephen Bantu Biko, who died in custody as a result of police brutality on September, 12, 1977, as the country gets ready to mark the 40th anniversary of his death. “To mark this sad episode in the history of the South...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/08/17)
Retired South African cleric and anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu urged Myanmar leader and fellow Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday to intervene to help Rohingya Muslims fleeing her country. Western critics have accused Suu Kyi of not speaking out for the Rohingya, who have been fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh, following an army counter-offensive against militant attacks. Tutu said in an open letter to Suu Kyi that: “I am now elderly, decrepit and formally retired, but breaking my...
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist...
(AFP (eng) 09/07/17)
South African chef Nthabiseng Mabuza, 35, was on her way to work and the only passenger in a public mini-bus taxi when she was raped by the driver. Her alleged attacker was arrested at the scene after she shouted for help to a passerby who flagged down a police patrol car. Although the suspect was held in custody for several months, he was later freed on bail. Two years on, the case has not yet come to court and the...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/07/17)
South Africa’s top prosecutor said police were still examining a trove of leaked documents detailing relations between the wealthy Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma, but it was too early to say if a prosecution should be launched. Wednesday’s comments to lawmakers by Shaun Abrahams were the first time the head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has spoken publicly about the Gupta case. “The leaked emails need to be investigated,” Abrahams told a parliamentary committee in response to a...
(AFP (eng) 09/06/17)
Nigeria on Tuesday summoned South Africa's envoy over allegations that South African police suffocated a Nigerian national to death while he was in custody. The Nigerian foreign ministry said Kingsley Ikeri, a 27-year-old living in South Africa's eastern Kwazulu-Natal province, had been "suffocated to death by the South African police on the allegation that he was involved in drug trafficking". The ministry "summoned the South African Acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Kenneth Pedro, to protest the extra-judicial killing", it...

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(Times Live 09/19/17)
The World Bank on Tuesday halved its 2017 growth forecast for South Africa after the economy fell into recession earlier this year. It said in a report that 2017 growth would probably be 0.6 percent, down from an earlier estimate of 1.1 percent. Growth is seen ticking up to 1.1 percent next year and reaching 1.7 percent in 2019. But the bank warned any prospect of recovery would "remain fragile" unless South Africa succeeds in becoming more productive. "South Africa is not benefiting from the global economic rebound. South Africa is well placed in exports markets but we don't see the country's exports breaking into new markets," World Bank southern Africa specialist Sebastian Deussus said...
(Financial Times 09/19/17)
Firm loses 2 contracts as other companies review ties in wake of political scandal. KPMG has lost at least two audit contracts in South Africa and faces widespread client reviews after the accounting firm became embroiled in a high-profile political scandal involving South Africa’s billionaire Gupta family. Sasfin, the South African financial services company that has been audited by KPMG for 18 years, said on Tuesday it would search for a new auditor “in view of the well-publicised concerns recently raised with regard to KPMG”. KPMG has already lost South African-listed asset manager Sygnia as a client
(APA 09/19/17)
South Africa has lost its long-standing top spot regarding investments in Africa, according to Rand Merchant Bank’s latest “Where to Invest in Africa” report for 2018, APA learnt on Tuesday. This is the first time that South Africa has fell from grace since the report was initiated seven years ago, the report said. Nigeria, on the other hand, has for the first time not featured in the Top 10 list due to the erosion of its short-term investment appeal by...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/19/17)
A South African broker and an energy investment firm fired KPMG on Tuesday, two of a host of local firms weighing whether to ditch the auditor to distance themselves from a scandal involving business friends of President Jacob Zuma. Sasfin (SFNJ.J) and Hulisani (HULJ.J), both relatively small financial companies based in Johannesburg, announced they would drop KPMG [KPMG.UL] due to reputational risk. KPMG, one of the biggest and most influential names in accounting, cleared out its South African leadership on...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
As global companies implicated in a graft scandal in South Africa scramble to contain the damage to their reputations, politicians and law enforcement agencies are prevaricating and stalling official investigations. The scandal has revolved around members of the wealthy Gupta family, who are friends of President Jacob Zuma and have been accused of looting billions of rand in taxpayer funds and exerting undue influence over the state. Accountants KPMG LLP, public relations firm Bell Pottinger LLP, consultancy McKinsey & Co...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Sasfin Holdings Ltd., a South African financial-services company, said it’s firing KPMG LLP as its independent sponsor and searching for a new auditor, becoming the second company to announce it has dumped the firm because of work it did for the politically connected Gupta family. The decisions were based on “the well-publicized concerns recently raised with regard to KPMG,” Johannesburg-based Sasfin said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Deloitte & Touche LLP has been chosen as a sponsor, which provides...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Pravin Gordhan, who was ousted from his post as South Africa’s finance minister in March, slammed KPMG LLP after it withdrew a report on the country’s tax agency that was used as evidence in a police probe against him and led to the removal of senior staff. The auditing firm said on Friday that its conclusions and recommendations in a report for the South African Revenue Service about a unit that allegedly spied on politicians should no longer be relied...
(Xinhuanet 09/18/17)
South Africa will sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons next week during the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Presidency said on Sunday. President Jacob Zuma will ink the treaty on behalf of South Africa on September 20, presidential spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said. Signature of the treaty reflects South Africa's continued commitment towards the achievement of a world free from the threat posed by nuclear weapons, Ngqulunga said. This will ensure that nuclear energy...
(Business Day 09/18/17)
Trade and industry minister Rob Davies has approved the appointment of a Chinese company to operate the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ), a specialised energy and metallurgical district. The company is South African Energy Metallurgical Base, a subsidiary of a Chinese conglomerate Shenzhen Hoi Mor Resources Holding Company. It is now authorised to develop, operate and manage the zone within the framework of the SEZ Act. "The Musina-Makhado SEZ is strategically located close to the main land-based trade route between...
(Business Day 09/18/17)
The rand was weaker against the dollar on Monday just before midday, with local investors awaiting the Reserve Bank’s interest-rate decision. The general market consensus was that the Bank would cut interest rates by 25-basis points on Thursday. However, TreasuryOne currency dealer Andre Botha said that with the recent increase in the oil price, the situation could change a little from this consensus expectation. "The increase in oil price could force the monetary policy committee meeting to sit on their...
(Independent Online 09/18/17)
Airports Company South Africa reported revenue growth of 3.4% to R8.6 billion in the year ended 31 March 2017, with profit up 10.8% to R2 billion. Return on equity was 11.3% compared to 11.5% in the previous period. Capital expenditure reduced by 31.3% to R893 million. Bongani Maseko, Chief Executive Officer of Airports Company South Africa, said the Company continued to be resilient, despite sluggish economic growth. The Company reported a total of 20.0 million (2016: 19.4 million) departing passengers...
(Cnbc Africa 09/18/17)
Hit by political turmoil and a sovereign downgrade to "junk," South Africa's economy has managed to pull off something few people believed it could: post growth. After falling in to a "technical" recession earlier this year, one of Africa's largest economies has managed to crawl its way out, even in the face of a credit downgrade earlier this year. Fresh second-quarter data show the country emerged from its second recession in a decade, mainly due in part to an agriculture...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/18/17)
South Africa’s revenue service will ask parliament to investigate global auditor KPMG for its “immoral conduct” in releasing details of a confidential report it produced for the tax agency, commissioner Tom Moyane said on Monday. KPMG cleared out its South African leadership en masse on Friday after damning findings from an internal investigation into work done for businessmen friends of President Jacob Zuma. Moyane said SARS had cut all ties with KPMG.
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/16/17)
Global auditor KPMG cleared out its South African leadership en masse on Friday after damning findings from an internal investigation into work done for businessmen friends of President Jacob Zuma. KPMG’s investigation into its work for the Guptas, accused by a public watchdog of improperly influencing government contracts, identified no evidence of crimes or corruption, but found that work done for Gupta family firms “fell considerably short of KPMG’s standards”, the auditor said in a statement. In particular, it acknowledged...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/16/17)
South Africa’s state-owned pension fund, the continent’s biggest money manager, backed its chief executive on Friday and dismissed newspaper reports he had misused funds and improperly raised salaries for some executives. Daniel Matjila has been chief executive officer of Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which manages nearly 2 trillion rand ($150 billion) of civil servants’ pensions, since 2014. Business Day reported on Friday that Matjila had been accused in a letter sent to PIC’s board of using funds reserved for corporate...
(Business Day 09/15/17)
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies is also concerned about the lack of adherence by government departments and SOEs to the policy of designation Parliament’s trade and industry committee is due to launch an inquiry into SA’s localisation policy, and its implementation by public-sector entities and state-owned companies. The committee believes the policy might not have been implemented effectively. The form of the inquiry still has to be decided and the terms of reference will be drawn up during the two-week parliamentary recess which begins on Monday, committee chairperson Joan Fubbs said after a committee meeting on Friday. The committee has been engaging with state-owned entities (SOEs) and companies
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
After helping topple one of Britain’s best known public-relations companies, South African anti-corruption groups are now targeting U.S. consultancy McKinsey & Co. and auditing firm KPMG LLP for doing work for businesses tied to the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma’s son. The Guptas, originally from India and including brothers Atul, Rajesh and Ajay, moved to South Africa in the 1990s and are being accused of using their friendship with the president to influence government contracts and cabinet appointments. They deny wrongdoing. “Instead of raising the alarm, these companies seemed to have played along,” said Lumkile Mondi, a senior lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand
(Business Day 09/15/17)
The portfolio committee on trade and industry will look into Transnet’s R50bn locomotives acquisition and a purported R5.3bn in kickbacks for Tequesta Parliament’s portfolio committee on trade and industry has agreed to hold an inquiry into Transnet’s R50bn acquisition of 1,064 locomotives‚ the DA said on Friday. The party said it was hoping to get answers after two failed attempts at extracting answers from Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama‚ who appeared before the committee to answer for the many allegations that...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
The South African Reserve Bank’s fight against its detractors escalated this week, and now even has President Jacob Zuma in its sights. The central bank in court papers accused Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane of bias and being part of a campaign to undermine its independence after documents showed the anti-graft ombudsman held a secret meeting with Zuma’s lawyers before proposing changes to its mandate. It’s another in a series of wrangles that could keep the institution in the public eye...

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(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all...
(Times Live 09/08/17)
The Free State Cheetahs will somehow have to stem the bleeding with a callow team when they take on Western Province at Newlands in a Currie Cup match on Saturday. The Cheetahs come into the match on the back of 45-15 loss against the Sharks last weekend and nothing suggests that their squad‚ staffed mainly by Varsity Cup players‚ will be able to live with WP. The Cape side have a vastly experience unit filled with Super Rugby players and a smattering of Test experience as well. Coming off a bye‚ the home team will also be fresh while the Cheetahs at least will be better for the experience they endured last weekend when they were put to the sword...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/07/17)
FIFA has ordered the World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal, played in November 2016, to be replayed after the referee was banned for life. FIFA said in March that Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey had been banned for life after they found him guilty of unlawfully influencing a match result following South Africa’s 2-1 win over Senegal in African Group D. FIFA did not give further details but African soccer’s governing body (CAF) said at the time that Lamptey...
(AFP (eng) 09/02/17)
Nigeria hammered African champions Cameroon Friday to virtually seal a 2018 World Cup place, but Ghana drew and South Africa lost to suffer serious qualifying setbacks. Current and former Chelsea midfielders Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel scored one goal and created another as Nigeria overwhelmed Cameroon 4-0 in southeast city Uyo. A late strike from Thomas Partey of Atletico Madrid salvaged a 1-1 home draw for lacklustre Ghana against Congo Brazzaville in Kumasi. Russia-based Nuno Rocha broke the hearts...
(Times Live 08/30/17)
Eyebrows were raised after former Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba declared his loyal and passionate support for the national team ahead of Friday's away 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde. Mashaba was at the helm when the World Cup qualification programme began last year but the burly mentor was suspended after a heated altercation with South African Football Association (Safa) officials in November last year and was later fired. He was sacked for “gross misconduct‚ insubordination and violating...
(Times Live 08/29/17)
Bafana Bafana will have Sports Minister Thembelani “Thulas” Nxesi in their corner when they face Cape Verde in a must-win 2018 World Cup qualifier in Praia on Friday night. Coach Stuart Baxter's charges were expected to depart for Cape Verde on Tuesday morning and Nxesi said it was important for government to support Bafana‚ given the magnitude of the match. “The national team needs all the arsenal and the boost they can get to ensure that they go over this...
(News24 08/23/17)
A wide range of allegations of maladministration at the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) will be the subject of a ministerial committee of inquiry, Sports Minister Thulas Nxesi announced on Wednesday. This comes amid fears that the ructions at Sascoc could affect Team SA's preparation for next year's Commonwealth Games. Nxesi also announced a ministerial committee of inquiry into last month's tragedy at the FNB Stadium, in which two football fans died from injuries sustained during a...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Jailed South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius briefly left his Pretoria prison on Wednesday to attend his grandmother's funeral. "He left in the morning under supervision of our officials and by 20-minutes-past-one he was back at the facility," Correctional Services spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo told AFP. He was driven from Atteridgeville prison in Pretoria after he had been granted permission to bury his maternal grandmother‚ Joyce Bekker, who according to local media, died last week aged 93. The funeral took place...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/11/17)
Olympic champion Caster Semenya maintained her two-year unbeaten record over 800 meters as she eased through the first round at the World Championships on Thursday. Her main challengers, Francine Niyonsaba, Margaret Wambui and Ajee Wilson, also cruised into Friday's semi-finals but defending champion Maryna Arzamasova was eliminated after finishing fourth in her heat. South African Semenya, last beaten at the World Championships semi-final in Beijing two years ago, was third going into the final straight and eased past Rose Mary...
(Times Live 08/10/17)
Oupa Manyisa may be a shadow of the player he was at the peak of his powers but Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana expects their recent acquisition to regain his bearings in his new surroundings and fire from all cylinders again. The 29-year-old Manyisa‚ who joined the Brazillians on a three-year deal last week‚ joined his new teammates on the last day of their mini pre-season camp at the Royal Marang Hotel in Rustenburg on Saturday morning and Kekana says...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/09/17)
Wayde van Niekerk retained his world 400 meters title in dominant fashion on Tuesday as he stormed to victory in 43.98 seconds but there was almost as much interest in the empty lane alongside him where Botswana's Isaac Makwala should have been. South African Van Niekerk, the Olympic and defending champion and world record holder, ran a controlled race and was even able to ease down over the final strides as he secured the first half of what he hopes...
(AFP (eng) 08/08/17)
South African Caster Semenya, dogged by gender accusations since shooting to fame in 2009, has played down efforts by track and field's governing body to change rules on naturally occurring testosterone in female athletes. Semenya is back in the spotlight following a study funded by the IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that showed female athletes with naturally high levels of testosterone enjoy a competitive advantage of up to 4.5 percent over their rivals. The 26-year-old South African, double...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/03/17)
Andre De Grasse's withdrawal through injury has only boosted the chances of Usain Bolt and Wayde Van Niekerk stamping themselves as the headline acts of the World Athletics Championships that start in London on Friday. The news that the exciting young Canadian had succumbed to a season-ending hamstring strain in training on Monday gives a very different complexion to the 100 and 200 meters, in which he was expected to offer perhaps the biggest threat to the duo. In the...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/01/17)
Caster Semenya is making a bold bid for double gold in the women’s 800m and 1500m but her only guarantee at the World Athletics Championship in London is further scrutiny of the gender controversy that has dogged her career. The powerful, 26-year-old South African is runaway favorite for the 800m, where she seeks a third world title to add to Olympic gold from Rio de Janeiro last year, and is taking on the 1500m for the first time at a...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
South African officials on Sunday said ticketless fans and fake ticket-holders were to blame for the death of two supporters who were trampled underfoot at the country's showcase soccer stadium. The macabre event occurred on Saturday at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg, where the 2010 World Cup final was held. Jacques Grobbelaar, CEO of the company that manages the stadium, said dozens of fans who held counterfeit tickets or no tickets at all, forced their way through an emergency gate after distracting security for several minutes. Two people were then trampled to death by fellow fans, he said. The incident happened 20 minutes before the start of a pre-season local derby on Saturday
(Times Live 07/27/17)
New SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler will make a decision on the future of Togo international Dove Wome‚ who is back at the club after his loan spell at Orlando Pirates ended. Tinkler has incorporated the winger‚ still under contract at SuperSport‚ back into the squad and will run the rule over the player before a decision is made on his future. Wome played for Orlando Pirates in the second half of last season on loan after previous SuperSport coach...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/25/17)
Caster Semenya will chase a golden double at next month's world championships in London after adding the women’s 1500 meters to her 800m entry, Athletics South Africa (ASA) said on Tuesday. Semenya, who had to undergo gender testing before being cleared to compete as a woman after winning the world 800m title in 2009, is the Olympic champion at the shorter distance. She set a world-leading time of 1:55.27 last week in Monaco at the Diamond League meeting, which is...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the...
(APA 07/17/17)
South Africa clinched 11 medals and topped the table at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) world under 18 championships that came to an end on Sunday evening in Nairobi. South Africa managed to clinch 5 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals. China came second with 11 medals (5 gold, 2 silver and 4 gold medals); followed by Cuba with 8 medals (5 gold, 2 silver and I bronze medals). The hosts, Kenya finished 4th place with 11...

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(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites...
(The Citizen 08/25/17)
The unit will also investigate staff members who have undisclosed or unauthorised interests in companies that have done business with the public broadcaster. President Jacob Zuma has given the greenlight for the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate any wrongdoing at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), his office said on Friday. The proclamation, signed by Zuma, gives the SIU the authority to investigate irregularities and criminality relating to the procurement of “goods, works or services or on behalf of the SABC from various companies or service providers and payment made in respect thereof in a manner that was not fair, transparent, competitive and equitable or cost effective”. In terms of the proclamation, the SIU is also empowered to probe...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the...
(Voice of America 08/01/17)
South Africa entered an economic recession in June, and the country’s unemployment rate is fast approaching 30 percent, according to the government statistics agency. But for the sellers of secondhand books, business has never been better. Eric Nofal, who has been selling used books for almost 30 years, shows a customer around his store in Johannesburg. He says he recently faced “intense” competition before launching his fifth bookshop in the city. “My ex-wife also wanted to open up a shop...
(The Associated Press 07/11/17)
Africa has several new sites on the United Nations world heritage list, including an old royal capital in Angola, the Eritrean capital of Asmara and a desert area in South Africa that was inhabited during the Stone Age. UNESCO said this weekend at a meeting in Poland that Mbanza Kongo in northwest Angola was the capital of the Kongo kingdom, a largely independent state between the 14th and 19th centuries. The U.N. cultural agency says Asmara, which experienced large-scale construction...
(Xinhuanet 06/01/17)
China-South Africa relations are expected to be lifted to new heights with increasing cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two BRICS countries. Lucas Banda, an international relations expert at the Midrand University, cited the tourism sector as a highlight of the trend. "Chinese arrivals were up 93 percent in 2016," Banda told Xinhua. Chinese tourists to South Africa increased by 56 percent during the period from January to October in 2016 compared to a year earlier, showed data from South...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/26/17)
The exhibit coincides with the publication of a controversial paper that questions the widely-held view that humanity’s evolutionary roots lay in Africa. An exhibit of the largest collection of fossils of close human relatives ever to go on public display opened on Thursday in South Africa, not far from the caves where they were unearthed. Launched on Africa Day in an area named “The Cradle of Humankind,” the exhibit coincides with the publication of a controversial paper that questions the...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong...
(Business Day 05/10/17)
The SABC wants the Broadcasting Act to be changed so that those watching TV via electronic devices can be charged a TV licence fee. The shock proposal was made by acting CEO James Aguma in Parliament on Wednesday while presenting a corporate plan for the 2017-18 financial year to the portfolio committee on communications. The cash-strapped SABC is scrambling to find new revenue streams amid plummeting audience rates that are repelling advertisers who used to spend hundreds of million of...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
South African visual artist William Kentridge, best known for his animated films of shape-shifting charcoal drawings, won on Thursday Spain's top arts prize, the Princess of Asturias award. The prize jury hailed Kentridge, 62, as "one of the most multifaceted innovative artists on the international scene" in its citation for the 50,000 euros ($57,000) award. His work "has expressed emotions and metaphors related to the history and reality of his country which nonetheless transcend the latter and raise essential questions regarding the human condition," it added. Born in Johannesburg in 1955, Kentridge's parents were both lawyers specialised in defending the victims of the apartheid white minority rule in South Africa.
(AFP (eng) 04/21/17)
A painting by a South African artist showing President Jacob Zuma raping the late Nelson Mandela has caused outrage in the country, with the ruling party Friday describing it as "grotesque". The piece by controversial artist Ayanda Mabulu shows Zuma seated on a red chair, penetrating a crying Mandela. Both men have their legs wide apart, exposing their genitals. The African National Congress and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have condemned the colourful artwork titled: "The economy of rape". "Whilst we respect Mabulu's freedom of expression, we find his work grotesque, inflammatory and of bad taste,"
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
About two years ago, blues-folk artist Alice Phoebe Lou gave a performance in a park in Berlin, looking for donations as a street entertainer. A listener invited her to perform at a function. Her career has since taken off. Last year, she released her debut record, and on Wednesday she played one of the world's premier music festivals: the South by Southwest event in Texas. Lou is just one of a growing list of South African musicians who've felt compelled...
(Bloomberg 03/16/17)
Portia Lekgoto faced a dilemma: how to take her three-year-old daughter to a doctor without missing a day of work while waiting in line at one of only two public health clinics in the South African shantytown of Diepsloot. She decided to take her daughter to Quali Health, a new private clinic that a friend had told her about. While she had to pay 250 rand ($19) for the visit, she finished the consultation by mid-morning. “I am going to...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Esther Mahlangu's colourful geometric artwork is exhibited in galleries around the world, but she remains in her South African village unfazed by fame and determined to preserve her ethnic Ndebele culture. The 81-year-old painter and mural artist earned an international reputation with her Ndebele motifs at a time when the art scene in her home country was focused on contemporary styles. Now Johannesburg is hosting a major exhibition for Mahlangu, an elderly black woman with no art training who rose...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
A jury in Warsaw on Monday named South African writer and anti-apartheid activist Breyten Breytenbach as the recipient of the 2017 Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award, named after the anti-communist Polish poet and philosopher. "I'm pleased that this year the jury has chosen a poet who combines great talent with the attitude of an uncompromising man who sides with the oppressed," said Katarzyna Herbert, the widow of the poet who died in 1998, as she announced the winner. Born in...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to...
(News24 02/27/17)
Thirty tons of school books collected in Bedfordview and meant for distribution to schools in Zimbabwe are stuck at Beitbridge Border Post because the state revenue authority is demanding tax, reports say. The official Herald newspaper says the books were destined for 11 schools in Bulawayo, near where President Robert Mugabe will hold his birthday party on Saturday. The book shipment was organised by Chitungwiza Rotary Club, which says it's been doing this without problems since 2011. Past president of...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset...
(CNN 02/10/17)
A car painted by renowned 81-year-old artist Esther Mahlangu and Zulu carved ox horns are just some of the items on display at the first major UK Exhibition on South African Art. The exhibition explores the rich heritage of the country and covers seven key episodes of South African history, sculptures, clothes and ornaments are displayed alongside artwork from the same time to give them context. The gold treasures of Mapungubwe -- small gold figures found in royal graves in...

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(Financial Times 09/19/17)
Firm loses 2 contracts as other companies review ties in wake of political scandal. KPMG has lost at least two audit contracts in South Africa and faces widespread client reviews after the accounting firm became embroiled in a high-profile political scandal involving South Africa’s billionaire Gupta family. Sasfin, the South African financial services company that has been audited by KPMG for 18 years, said on Tuesday it would search for a new auditor “in view of the well-publicised concerns recently raised with regard to KPMG”. KPMG has already lost South African-listed asset manager Sygnia as a client
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
As global companies implicated in a graft scandal in South Africa scramble to contain the damage to their reputations, politicians and law enforcement agencies are prevaricating and stalling official investigations. The scandal has revolved around members of the wealthy Gupta family, who are friends of President Jacob Zuma and have been accused of looting billions of rand in taxpayer funds and exerting undue influence over the state. Accountants KPMG LLP, public relations firm Bell Pottinger LLP, consultancy McKinsey & Co. and software company SAP SE are among the companies that have been implicated in facilitating, being party to or turning a blind eye to their deals. Zuma and the Guptas deny wrongdoing. Eight top executives at KPMG’s South African office...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Sasfin Holdings Ltd., a South African financial-services company, said it’s firing KPMG LLP as its independent sponsor and searching for a new auditor, becoming the second company to announce it has dumped the firm because of work it did for the politically connected Gupta family. The decisions were based on “the well-publicized concerns recently raised with regard to KPMG,” Johannesburg-based Sasfin said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Deloitte & Touche LLP has been chosen as a sponsor, which provides...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Pravin Gordhan, who was ousted from his post as South Africa’s finance minister in March, slammed KPMG LLP after it withdrew a report on the country’s tax agency that was used as evidence in a police probe against him and led to the removal of senior staff. The auditing firm said on Friday that its conclusions and recommendations in a report for the South African Revenue Service about a unit that allegedly spied on politicians should no longer be relied...
(Dw-World 09/18/17)
President Zuma has faced numerous corruption allegations in court. As the ANC is due to elect a new party leader, could Zuma's support of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma be a move to save himself? President Jacob Zuma is due to step down as African National Congress (ANC) leader at a key national party conference in mid-December. The new party leader usually succeeds the country's president at the subsequent national poll. Current front runners for the post of ANC leader are Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Teaching staff in KwaZulu-Natal province under investigation as mobile phone footage implicating them in savage attacks on students circulates online. Seven teachers face suspension in South Africa after a series of videos emerged showing staff abusing students. Elijah Mhlanga, spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education, said he was “shocked and disgusted” by the films, which are taken in KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal South African province. A video shared online on Monday, which appears to have been filmed discreetly by a...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
After helping topple one of Britain’s best known public-relations companies, South African anti-corruption groups are now targeting U.S. consultancy McKinsey & Co. and auditing firm KPMG LLP for doing work for businesses tied to the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma’s son. The Guptas, originally from India and including brothers Atul, Rajesh and Ajay, moved to South Africa in the 1990s and are being accused of using their friendship with the president to influence government contracts and cabinet appointments. They deny wrongdoing. “Instead of raising the alarm, these companies seemed to have played along,” said Lumkile Mondi, a senior lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma’s lawyers conceded in a court hearing that a decision by prosecutors to drop bribery and corruption charges against him in 2009 was irrational, opening up the possibility that they will be reinstated. Zuma’s lawyer gave the concession Thursday before the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. It’s considering an appeal by the president’s legal team and the National Prosecuting Authority of a High Court ruling that the decision to drop 783 charges for fraud, corruption...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
The South African Reserve Bank’s fight against its detractors escalated this week, and now even has President Jacob Zuma in its sights. The central bank in court papers accused Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane of bias and being part of a campaign to undermine its independence after documents showed the anti-graft ombudsman held a secret meeting with Zuma’s lawyers before proposing changes to its mandate. It’s another in a series of wrangles that could keep the institution in the public eye...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way...
(Bloomberg 09/13/17)
Strong supporters of South African President Jacob Zuma are on a provisional list of people who would run for the top positions at the African National Congress’s leadership conference in December on the ticket of his former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, according to two people familiar with the matter. A proposed list drawn up at a meeting late Monday includes David Mabuza, the premier of Mpumalanga province, as the choice of ANC deputy president, and Ace Magashule, the head of Free State province, as the party secretary-general, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly
(Bloomberg 09/12/17)
The country’s graft ombudsman used a probe into an apartheid-era bailout of a lender to attack the South African Reserve Bank and didn’t disclose a meeting with lawyers in President Jacob Zuma’s office to discuss the investigation before its findings were released, the central bank said. Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane instructed lawmakers in a June 19 report to amend the constitution to make the bank focus on the “socioeconomic well-being of the citizens” rather than inflation. This followed her probe into CIEX consultancy’s report on the bank’s bailout of Bankorp, which Barclays Africa Group Ltd.’s Absa bought
(Bloomberg 09/12/17)
South Africa’s High Court overturned the election in 2015 of African National Congress leaders allied to President Jacob Zuma in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, a decision that could sway the outcome of the race to become leader of the party and the nation. With the biggest ANC membership of the nine provinces, the party’s KwaZulu-Natal’s leadership will wield great influence over its internal elections due to be held in December. The party has split into two loose camps in the...
(Bloomberg 09/12/17)
Standard Bank Group Ltd. appointed Sim Tshabalala as sole chief executive officer, ending a dual role he shared with Ben Kruger, and making him the first black person to lead Africa’s largest lender independently. Kruger, 58, will step down as joint-CEO immediately and continue as an executive director, reporting to Tshabalala, 49, Johannesburg-based Standard Bank said in a statement on Tuesday. The joint leadership structure was necessary as part of the company’s management succession plan when it was introduced in...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
Oil has denied Saudi Arabia the opportunity to overtake South Africa as the biggest stock market in the Middle East and Africa, even as political turmoil and a faltering economy hold back share prices in Johannesburg. The total market capitalization of the South African bourse was $489 billion as of Friday, about $25 billion more than that of Riyadh’s after its main index advanced 10 percent this year, about five-times the gain in Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index. The...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
South Africa’s four biggest banks, pummeled by political wrangling and enmeshed in the country’s economic malaise, are increasingly shying away from their main role: lending. “Credit extension is going to be low for the next two to three years, unless we see some real recovery in economic growth,” FirstRand Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Johan Burger said by phone from Johannesburg on Thursday. “South Africa’s growth prospects remain weak and uncertain.” Banks are reining in lending as President Jacob Zuma’s administration...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
South African business confidence fell to the lowest level since a partial state of emergency declared by the former all-white government in 1985. An index compiled by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry fell to 89.6 last month from 95.3 in July, according to an emailed statement on Wednesday. That’s the lowest level since August 1985, the month then-President PW Botha gave his infamous “Rubicon” speech that ended hopes for an earlier end to apartheid. Policy uncertainty and...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
South African Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini asked the parliamentary speaker to rein in “onerous” requests by a committee overseeing the state welfare agency’s efforts to end a contract with Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc. to distribute the payments. Dlamini said in a letter to parliamentary speaker Baleka Mbete that efforts to find a new payment system were at a “sensitive” stage and the Social Security Agency, known as Sassa, needs to finish its work “without compromise or perceived undue...

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