Wednesday 28 June 2017

Afrique du Sud

(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
Four of South Africa's neighbours have banned poultry imports from the rainbow nation following a serious outbreak of a highly contagious strain of avian influenza. Namibia on Tuesday became the latest country to ban South African chickens -- live and uncooked -- following last week's outbreak of the H5N8 strain of bird flu at two South African poultry farms. Windhoek followed Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique, along with Zambia, which had already halted the imports of certain poultry products from South Africa. Namibia's chief veterinary officer Adrianatus Maseke confirmed in a statement "the suspension of import and 'in-transit' movement...
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
South African prison officials said Monday that they were considering suspending 13 guards after one of the country's high-security jails held an "explicit" strip show for inmates last week. The announcement was made after racy pictures of prisoners in orange uniforms, some bare-chested, standing with scantily dressed women in black corsets and knee-high boots went viral on social media over the weekend. Officials said the pictures were taken during an event on June 21 at the notorious Johannesburg Correctional Centre, more commonly known as "Sun City". "After a preliminary investigation...
(News24 06/27/17)
South Africa has chosen to side with the Democratic Republic of Congo on its investigation into violence in its Kasai province, which has seen hundreds of people killed in the past 10 months and at least 1.3 million displaced. No mention was made in any public statements of this violence during President Joseph Kabila's state visit to South Africa over the weekend, but his delegation was asked to explain it in a closed meeting that was chaired by Kabila and...
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
A policeman who was with a South African anti-apartheid activist when he fell from a 10th-storey window in the 1970s could be questioned over the fatal incident, a new inquest into the death heard Monday. Ahmed Timol, a 30-year-old activist, was arrested in Johannesburg on the night of October 22, 1971 and after five days in detention he plunged to his death from the city's police headquarters. Following an investigation by authorities at the time, the anti-apartheid activist was found...
(Others 06/27/17)
A small but vocal group of Congolese immigrants protested outside the Sefako Makgatho presidential guesthouse in Pretoria, as President Jacob Zuma hosted the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila. The two leaders were meeting with their respective ministerial teams as part of a binational commission. Protesters, some of whom draped themselves in the light blue DRC flag were left disappointed when Kabila's convoy avoided the protest and used another entrance into the presidential guesthouse. "The man is...
(AFP (eng) 06/24/17)
The brutal death of anti-apartheid campaigner Ahmed Timol was allowed to go quietly unsolved in the interests of South Africa's democratic reconciliation. But now more than 45 years after he fell from a 10th-floor window at a notorious regime security building and died, Timol's case is being re-examined following a campaign to expose the truth led by his family. Timol, a 30-year-old activist with the then-banned South African Communist Party (SACP), was arrested in Johannesburg on the night of October 22, 1971. After being held in detention for five days, he was declared dead following his plunge...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/24/17)
The South African parliament is planning to challenge in court an anti-graft watchdog's recommendation of constitutional changes to the mandate of the central bank, it said on Friday, highlighting worsening divisions between state institutions. Divisions have also surfaced within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) since President Jacob Zuma sacked his finance minister in March and are likely to keep emerging until the party elects a new leader in December. The central bank and Barclays...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
South Africa reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at a farm in the Free State province, agricultural industry body group AgriSA said on Friday. Poultry producer Astral confirmed that the H5N8 bird flu strain was found on its Villiers farm on the outskirts of the Free State province, it said in a statement. The company said the farm had been quarantined and the site affected would be depleted of all birds. "Astral assures all stakeholders that everything...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
South Africa's highest court on Thursday ruled that lawmakers can cast secret ballots in a no-confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma, who is facing mounting criticism within the ruling ANC. Although no date has been set for such a vote, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said the National Assembly speaker had the authority to order a secret ballot in a case brought by the country's opposition parties. "The speaker of the National Assembly has constitutional power to prescribe that voting in a motion of no-confidence in the President of the Republic of South Africa be conducted by secret ballot," the chief justice said.
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Tributes were paid Tuesday to Joel Joffe, the lawyer who defended Nelson Mandela in the trial that saw the anti-apartheid icon jailed, following his death at the age of 85. Lord Joffe died on Sunday, said Oxfam, the aid agency which he chaired. The Nelson Mandela Foundation said the human rights lawyer died in London. Joffe was a key part of Mandela's defence team in the 1963-4 Rivonia Trial, which saw Mandela given a life sentence for sabotage against the...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Three teenage boys appeared in court on Monday on rape charges after a video emerged showing a trio of youths sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the South African city of Bloemfontein, the prosecution said. The boys aged 15, 16 and 17 years were arrested after the video was posted on social media last week. It showed two youths in school uniform fondling and trying to forcibly kiss the girl on school premises, local media said. "The three are facing...
(RFI(EN) 06/19/17)
A court in South Africa this week announced that there would have to be a trial to decide who actually owns a shipment of phosphate from Western Sahara that's been stopped and held in a South African port. Western Sahara's Polisario Front movement stopped the ship last month (May) with a legal complaint, saying the phosphate had been taken from land that Morocco occupies illegally. Read at more: http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20170617-south-africa-trial-decide-fate-western-...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
South Africa buried the "spirit" of one of its first rebel leaders Friday, 200 years after his death in Australia, where his bones were never found. A traditional ritual was performed by indigenous elders to bring Khoi San chief Dawid Stuurman's spirit home, and a coffin symbolically carrying the spirit was buried on Friday in his rural hometown of southern Hankey. Stuurman, the last Khoi San chief, resisted British colonial rule so was jailed at Robben Island from where he...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
Morocco's OCP group denounced Friday a decision by a South African court to hold a Moroccan ship laden with phosphate mined from the disputed Western Sahara pending a trial. The court said it wanted to determine ownership of the cargo of the boat that is being held at Port Elizabeth. The 34,000-tonne vessel from Western Sahara, which was destined for New Zealand, was last month prevented from departing due to a court motion seeking that the vessel return its cargo...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
War crimes judges will rule next month on whether South Africa flouted international law when it failed to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2015, wanted on charges of genocide in Darfur. The International Criminal Court "convenes a public hearing on 6 July... for the delivery of its decision," the court said in a statement Friday. The tribunal based in The Hague "invites representatives of South Africa and the prosecutor to attend," it added. Pretoria, at an unprecedented hearing in April, disputed accusations by ICC prosecutors that...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
A South African court on Thursday ordered the further detention of a Moroccan vessel laden with phosphate mined from the disputed Western Sahara pending a trial to determine the owner of the cargo. The 34,000-tonne vessel from Western Sahara and destined for New Zealand was last month blocked from sailing off due to a court motion seeking that the vessel return its cargo. The motion argued that transportation of goods from disputed Western Sahara is illegal and in violation of international principles. "The court has basically found that the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Polisario Front have established...
(AFP (eng) 06/15/17)
South Africa adopted a new mining code on Thursday requiring companies to have majority black investors to qualify for new prospecting licences, causing the major miners' stock to tumble. The controversial Mining Charter forces firms seeking mining prospecting rights to have a minimum of 50 percent plus one share owned by black investors while requiring firms with existing mines to have 30 percent black ownership -- up from 26 percent. Companies will have one year to achieve the new 30...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
South Africa's anti-corruption watchdog has launched an investigation into several allies of President Jacob Zuma allegedly linked to corruption at three state-owned companies, based on a trove of recently leaked emails. South Africa's Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said she would probe alleged "improper or dishonest" acts and "unlawful enrichment... by certain public officials" at rail company Prasa, power company Eskom and the Transnet freight logistics conglomerate. One of the allegations involves suspected kickbacks worth 5.3 billion rand ($411 million) on a contract...

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(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
Four of South Africa's neighbours have banned poultry imports from the rainbow nation following a serious outbreak of a highly contagious strain of avian influenza. Namibia on Tuesday became the latest country to ban South African chickens -- live and uncooked -- following last week's outbreak of the H5N8 strain of bird flu at two South African poultry farms. Windhoek followed Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique, along with Zambia, which had already halted the imports of certain poultry products from South Africa. Namibia's chief veterinary officer Adrianatus Maseke confirmed in a statement "the suspension of import and 'in-transit' movement...
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
South African prison officials said Monday that they were considering suspending 13 guards after one of the country's high-security jails held an "explicit" strip show for inmates last week. The announcement was made after racy pictures of prisoners in orange uniforms, some bare-chested, standing with scantily dressed women in black corsets and knee-high boots went viral on social media over the weekend. Officials said the pictures were taken during an event on June 21 at the notorious Johannesburg Correctional Centre, more commonly known as "Sun City". "After a preliminary investigation...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
South Africa reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at a farm in the Free State province, agricultural industry body group AgriSA said on Friday. Poultry producer Astral confirmed that the H5N8 bird flu strain was found on its Villiers farm on the outskirts of the Free State province, it said in a statement. The company said the farm had been quarantined and the site affected would be depleted of all birds. "Astral assures all stakeholders that everything...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Tributes were paid Tuesday to Joel Joffe, the lawyer who defended Nelson Mandela in the trial that saw the anti-apartheid icon jailed, following his death at the age of 85. Lord Joffe died on Sunday, said Oxfam, the aid agency which he chaired. The Nelson Mandela Foundation said the human rights lawyer died in London. Joffe was a key part of Mandela's defence team in the 1963-4 Rivonia Trial, which saw Mandela given a life sentence for sabotage against the...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Three teenage boys appeared in court on Monday on rape charges after a video emerged showing a trio of youths sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the South African city of Bloemfontein, the prosecution said. The boys aged 15, 16 and 17 years were arrested after the video was posted on social media last week. It showed two youths in school uniform fondling and trying to forcibly kiss the girl on school premises, local media said. "The three are facing...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
South Africa buried the "spirit" of one of its first rebel leaders Friday, 200 years after his death in Australia, where his bones were never found. A traditional ritual was performed by indigenous elders to bring Khoi San chief Dawid Stuurman's spirit home, and a coffin symbolically carrying the spirit was buried on Friday in his rural hometown of southern Hankey. Stuurman, the last Khoi San chief, resisted British colonial rule so was jailed at Robben Island from where he...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
Morocco's OCP group denounced Friday a decision by a South African court to hold a Moroccan ship laden with phosphate mined from the disputed Western Sahara pending a trial. The court said it wanted to determine ownership of the cargo of the boat that is being held at Port Elizabeth. The 34,000-tonne vessel from Western Sahara, which was destined for New Zealand, was last month prevented from departing due to a court motion seeking that the vessel return its cargo...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
War crimes judges will rule next month on whether South Africa flouted international law when it failed to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2015, wanted on charges of genocide in Darfur. The International Criminal Court "convenes a public hearing on 6 July... for the delivery of its decision," the court said in a statement Friday. The tribunal based in The Hague "invites representatives of South Africa and the prosecutor to attend," it added. Pretoria, at an unprecedented hearing in April, disputed accusations by ICC prosecutors that...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
A South African court on Thursday ordered the further detention of a Moroccan vessel laden with phosphate mined from the disputed Western Sahara pending a trial to determine the owner of the cargo. The 34,000-tonne vessel from Western Sahara and destined for New Zealand was last month blocked from sailing off due to a court motion seeking that the vessel return its cargo. The motion argued that transportation of goods from disputed Western Sahara is illegal and in violation of international principles. "The court has basically found that the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Polisario Front have established...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
South Africa's competition commission said Tuesday it had launched investigations into pharmaceutical giants Roche, Pfizer and Aspen for suspected overpricing of cancer drugs. The commission said it had initiated probes into US firms Roche and Pfizer for suspected "excessive pricing" of breast and lung cancer medication, respectively. "The commission has reason to believe that Roche and its USA-based biotechnology company, Genentech Inc. (Genentech) have and continue to engage in excessive pricing, price discrimination ... in the provision of breast cancer medicine in South Africa," it said in a statement. It said it had information to reasonably suspect that Roche...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/13/17)
South Africa's tourist capital Cape Town remains gripped by critical water shortages despite being lashed by torrential rains last week in the region's worst storm in 30 years, officials said on Tuesday. More than eight people were killed and thousands forced from their homes after gale force winds and flash floods hit shanty towns already coping with Cape Town's worst drought in a century. "It may take a few seasons of normal rainfall for the dams to recover and therefore...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/10/17)
Up to 10,000 people in the South African coastal resort of Knysna have been evacuated as wildfires fanned by strong winds ripped through the town, razing homes and other properties, officials said on Thursday. Eight people have been killed, three of them in the Knysna area, as the worst storm to hit Cape Town in three decades made landfall late on Tuesday before hurtling eastwards along what is known as South Africa's "Garden Route". "Humanitarian support is being co-ordinated for...
(AFP (eng) 06/09/17)
South Africa has halted poultry imports from Zimbabwe after a recent outbreak of highly contagious avian influenza at a farm in the neighbouring country, the government said Thursday. The department of agriculture said although South Africa imports "very little" poultry products from Zimbabwe, it has "suspended all trade in live poultry, meat and table eggs" from its northern neighbour and has stepped up surveillance. "We have heightened inspections of all consignments, including all private and public vehicles at all our ports of entry, especially in and out of Zimbabwe," said the department in a statement. Zimbabwean authorities...
(Bloomberg 06/08/17)
Residents of Cape Town, South Africa’s second-largest city, and other towns in the surrounding Western Cape province mopped up the damage Thursday after a devastating storm that caused nine deaths, flattened hundreds of shacks and downed power lines and trees. Four people died in a fire caused by a lightning strike in the northern Cape Town suburb of Kraaifontein, while another was killed in the Lavender Hill area when a building collapsed, according to the provincial government. About 830 shacks...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as...

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(RFI(EN) 06/19/17)
A court in South Africa this week announced that there would have to be a trial to decide who actually owns a shipment of phosphate from Western Sahara that's been stopped and held in a South African port. Western Sahara's Polisario Front movement stopped the ship last month (May) with a legal complaint, saying the phosphate had been taken from land that Morocco occupies illegally. Read at more: http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20170617-south-africa-trial-decide-fate-western-...
(AFP (eng) 06/15/17)
South Africa adopted a new mining code on Thursday requiring companies to have majority black investors to qualify for new prospecting licences, causing the major miners' stock to tumble. The controversial Mining Charter forces firms seeking mining prospecting rights to have a minimum of 50 percent plus one share owned by black investors while requiring firms with existing mines to have 30 percent black ownership -- up from 26 percent. Companies will have one year to achieve the new 30 percent target. By midday, South African-focussed miners Sibanye Gold shares had shed six percent, platinum giant Anglo American had lost five percent while Kumba Iron Ore also dipped five percent. The country's mining minister Mosebenzi Zwane said the long-awaited regulations...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Credit ratings agency Moody's on Tuesday said it had downgraded a slew of top South African banks, insurers and local authorities prompted by fears over the country's worsening financial position. It slashed the creditworthiness of the five largest banks -- FirstRand, Standard, Nedbank, Investec and Absa -- to just one notch above junk status, all with a negative outlook. "The primary driver for today's rating downgrades is the challenging operating environment in South Africa, characterized by a pronounced economic slowdown, and weakening institutional strength," Moody's said in a statement.
(APA 06/13/17)
The South African and Lesotho governments have agreed on the equitable sharing of contracts to be awarded during the construction of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP). Speaking at the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) briefing sessions held at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg on Monday, Water and Sanitation Deputy Director-General Lindiwe Lusenga emphasised on the equal participation of the Lesotho and South African contractors. Lusenga said the LHWP was committed to enhance the use of Black entrepreneurs, individual experts and smaller companies. She encouraged smaller and bigger entities to join forces with one another to form a competent and financially efficient...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/12/17)
Sibanye Gold's (SGLJ.J) $1 billion rights issue, aimed at raising capital to help fund its acquisition of U.S. platinum producer Stillwater, was oversubscribed by almost five-fold, the company said on Monday. Such capital raising efforts are comparatively rare at the moment in South Africa's troubled mining sector, which is beset by a range of challenges including policy uncertainty and labor and social unrest. But Sibanye, which has built a reputation on its dividend flow, is diversifying away from its home base with its Stillwater acquisition, reducing its exposure to the risks associated with doing business in South Africa. Those risks are...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will on Monday meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and conflict driving a mass migrant influx to Europe. The idea is to team up African nations willing to reform with private investors who would bring business and jobs to a continent where instability or graft often scare off foreign companies. Merkel is hosting the initiative as part of Germany's presidency of the Group of 20 powerful economies, whose leaders meet in the northern port of Hamburg a month later. Invited to Berlin are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast...
(AFP (eng) 06/10/17)
Credit ratings agency Moody's on Friday said it had downgraded South Africa a notch over gloomy growth prospects and the political instability unleashed by corruption scandals engulfing President Jacob Zuma. Africa's most advanced economy was knocked down from Baa2 to Baa3 -- one notch above junk status -- with a negative outlook, Moody's said in a statement. Fitch and Standard and Poor's, the other two main global ratings agencies, already downgraded South Africa to junk status after Zuma's shock purge of critical ministers in March, including respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan. The decision outraged the opposition
(Bloomberg 06/08/17)
South Africa named Dondo Mogajane as the director-general in the National Treasury, appointing an official from within the department’s ranks two months after President Jacob Zuma replaced a respected finance minister and his deputy. Mogajane, who has been acting in the position since May 16 after Lungisa Fuzile left, will take up the position immediately, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo told reporters in Cape Town Thursday after a cabinet meeting. Fuzile’s resignation sparked concern that all three top finance positions would...
(Financial Times 06/07/17)
South Africa plunged into its second recession in eight years in the first three months of the year, even before a political crisis in the ruling African National Congress triggered rating cuts to junk status. On an annualised basis Africa's most industrialised economy contracted 0.7 per cent in the first quarter after a 0.3 per cent drop at the end of 2016, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday. The announcement confounded most economists' expectations for growth of about 1 per...
(Bloomberg 06/07/17)
South Africa’s economy fell into a recession for the first time since 2009 after it contracted for a second straight quarter in the first three months of the year as all bar two industries shrank. Gross domestic product receded an annualized 0.7 percent in the first quarter from a contraction of 0.3 percent in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released on Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median of 19 economists’ estimates in a...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
South Africa has entered recession for the first time in eight years, data showed on Tuesday, piling pressure on a government facing corruption allegations and credit downgrades. Data from Statistics South Africa showed the first quarter contraction was led by weak manufacturing and trade, suggesting high unemployment and stagnant wages were dragging down South Africa's long-resilient consumer sector, analysts said. Political instability, high unemployment and credit ratings downgrades have dented business and consumer confidence in South Africa and the rand...
(Daily Maverick 06/07/17)
There are many things that are offensive about the conduct of the Gupta family. Their sense of entitlement to South Africa’s resources and disdain for the country’s people are perhaps most infuriating. The deluge of information being released into the public domain about their dodgy business practices and manipulation of political leaders and government officials might create a sense of powerlessness among ordinary citizens. But there should never be hopeless acceptance of the Guptas’ corrupt and immoral practices. Neither should...
(AFP (eng) 06/06/17)
South Africa's economy contracted in the first quarter of this year, pushing the continent's largest economy into its first recession since 2009, the official statistics agency reported Tuesday. "The South African economy moved into recession with the reported decrease of 0.7 percent in GDP (gross domestic product) during the first quarter of 2017, following a 0.3 percent contraction in the fourth quarter of 2016," said Stats SA. The biggest contributor to the negative GDP growth were the trade, catering and...
(Bloomberg 06/06/17)
South Africa’s economy fell into a recession for the first time since 2009 after it contracted for a second straight quarter in the first three months of the year. Gross domestic product shrank an annualized 0.7 percent in the first quarter from a contraction of 0.3 percent in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released on Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median of 19 economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for 1 percent expansion. One economist forecast the contraction. While rains are helping Africa’s most-industrialized economy recover from a 2015 drought that was the worst since
(Myjoyonline 06/06/17)
Trade from Ghana to South Africa is currently pegged at around $7.4 million – a significant drop from three to four years ago when it was quoted in the billions. Both countries are now seeking to close the gap and forge closer trade ties. “We need to go back and understand why suddenly there has been a significant drop,” said the Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center, Yoofi Grant. Mr Grant was part of a 31-member business delegation...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/06/17)
South African information technology firm Datatec Ltd (DTCJ.J) said on Tuesday it will sell its Westcon-Comstor Americas business to Synnex Corp (SNX.N) for up to $800 million, sending its shares up 25 percent. Westcon-Comstor, a distributor of technology and services for network security and data centers mostly in the United States, accounts for more than a third of Datatec's sales and a quarter of profit. "The transaction provides a unique opportunity for Datatec to partner with a leading distribution business...
(Financial Times 06/06/17)
The South African economy has officially entered recession, after a much worse than expected first quarter saw economic output contract by 0.7 per cent, in contrast to expectations of decent growth. The rand weakened immediately after the news, and was off 1.16 per cent against the dollar at publication time. South Africa had already been struggling to address sluggish growth even before recent political upheaval – namely the surprise sacking of its respected finance minister – rocked the country’s financial...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/06/17)
South Africa's Deputy Finance Minister Sfiso Buthelezi said on Tuesday he was dismayed by a media report alleging he improperly benefited from tenders during his time as chairman of the state-owned rail services company. Allegations of government corruption have escalated this week after local media began reporting on more than 100,000 leaked emails they say show inappropriate interference in the issuing of lucrative tenders. "The Deputy Minister would like to once again reiterate and place it on the record that...
(Financial Times 06/02/17)
South Africa’s government has avoided a second damaging credit rating cut from Fitch, but the ratings agency warned that the recent political upheaval is likely to further weaken the economy. Fitch cut South Africa’s foreign- and local-currency credit ratings to junk status in an unscheduled update in April after the ousting of finance minister Pravin Gordhan. In its regular ratings decision announced today, the agency confirmed the government’s BB+ rating with a stable outlook, suggesting further downgrades are unlikely in the short-term. Fitch said “South Africa’s ratings are weighed down by low trend GDP growth, sizeable contingent liabilities and deteriorating governance”, and said the cabinet reshuffle “is likely to undermine governance
(Eye Witness News 06/02/17)
Fitch says it is unlikely that government will raise its expenditure ceilings, which has served as anchor for fiscal policy. Ratings agency Fitch has affirmed South Africa’s rating at 'BB+' with a stable outlook. It says South Africa's ratings are weighed down by low trend in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and deteriorating governance. The agency and S&P global downgraded the country to junk status earlier this year. Fitch has cited in-fighting within the ANC, saying it "remains particularly strong"...

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(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Former Champions League winner and South Africa's record goalscorer Benni McCarthy was named Cape Town City coach Tuesday. The 39-year-old takes over the one-season-old South African Premiership club after former international Eric Tinkler quit to join another top-flight side, SuperSport United. Cape Town had a fairytale first season after buying a franchise, winning the League Cup and qualifying for the CAF Confederation Cup by finishing third in the championship. McCarthy has previous managerial experience as an assistant coach at Belgian outfit Sint-Truiden. The highlight of his playing career in Europe was helping Jose Mourinho-managed Porto defeat Monaco 3-0 in the 2004 Champions League final. He also played for Ajax in the Netherlands, Celta Vigo in...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/06/17)
France drafted experienced fly half Francois Trinh-Duc and lock Paul Jedrasiak into their touring party in South Africa to replace the injured duo of Camille Lopez and Arthur Iturria, the French rugby federation said on Monday. Trinh-Duc, a 30-year-old who has 58 caps, made a return in March against Wales after breaking his arm against Samoa last year but was originally left out of the 35-man squad for the three tests. He was scheduled to arrive in Johannesburg on Tuesday after it was decided to rest Lopez following Sunday’s French Top 14 final, where he helped Clermont Auvergne beat Toulon 22-16 at the Stade de France in Paris. Lopez’s teammate Iturria was injured in the match and will be replaced...
(AFP (eng) 06/05/17)
South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk and Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas each captured their 200 metre races on the second day of a track and field event in Boston on Sunday. The 24-year-old Van Niekerk, who is the reigning World and Olympic champion in the 400m, clocked a winning time of 19.84 on a temporary built track to beat runnerup BeeJay Lee (20.17) at the Boston Boost Games. Because the competition was run on a straight line instead of the...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/02/17)
Fresh off a record-breaking performance in the 400 meters at the Rio Olympics, South African sprinter Wayde van Niekerk finds himself among a crowd of athletes jostling for the mantle of the retiring Usain Bolt, who has long outshone all his rivals. The 24-year-old smashed American Michael Johnson's 17-year-old record in the 400 at the Rio Games with a time of 43.03 seconds, and is the only man to break 44 seconds in the 400m, 20 seconds in the 200m...
(AFP (eng) 05/31/17)
Nigeria have left out Chelsea star Victor Moses from their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa next month. Speculation has been rife in recent weeks over the whether Moses would be available for the June 10 match in the southern city of Uyo. The 26-year-old has been Nigeria's most outstanding player in Europe this past season but there have been doubts about his commitment to the Super Eagles. Another surprise in Gernot Rohr's 23-man squad is a...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
South Africa's Akani Simbine surprised a world-class sprint field, including Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell and Andre De Grasse to claim a season-opening 100m Diamond League victory on Friday. The 23-year-old powered home in a time of 9.99sec to become the first South African man to win a Diamond League 100m, and serve notice that the Blue Riband event could be more competitive than for some time with the impending international retirement of Usain Bolt. "I'm happy with my shape now,...
(AFP (eng) 05/05/17)
England-born Stuart Baxter was named South Africa coach Thursday for a second time after a saga in which three preferred candidates dropped out of contention. Baxter, 63, who coaches Pretoria-based top-flight club SuperSport United, was hired when plans to lure Carlos Queiroz, Herve Renard or Hugo Broos failed to materialise. Iran wanted a large pay-out to release Mozambique-born Queiroz, the former Real Madrid manager and Manchester United assistant manager. Africa Cup of Nations-winning coaches Renard from France and Broos from...
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
Wits became the third top-flight club to be knocked out of the South African FA Cup this season by lower-league rivals when they lost on penalties to Jomo Cosmos Tuesday. Second-tier Cosmos won the shootout 5-4 after a 1-1 draw following extra time in a last-16 tie in Tsakane, 70 kilometres south of Johannesburg. Premiership leaders Cape Town City and neighbours Ajax Cape Town fell to lower division clubs in the previous round. The fifth successful Cosmos spot-kick came down...
(AFP (eng) 04/03/17)
In a bid to rebuild from a disastrous 2016 South Africa appointed former centre Brendan Venter as defence coach on Sunday giving him two months to prepare for a three-Test home series against France in June. A South African Rugby statement said the 47-year-old will be involved in a three-day preparation camp, which began Sunday in western Cape university town Stellenbosch. Venter replaces JP Ferreira, one of several defence coaches used during 2016 when the Springboks lost eight of 12...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/17)
The final day of the deciding third Test between New Zealand and South Africa was abandoned because of persistent rain in Hamilton on Wednesday, giving the Proteas a 1-0 series victory. The umpires called the game off as further showers swept across the ground just after the scheduled lunch break. New Zealand, who were in command after four days, were left frustrated to be denied the opportunity to draw level and snap a 13-year winless streak against South Africa. Play...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
South African football was embroiled in another scandal on Monday when FIFA said the national team's World Cup qualifying win over Senegal last year was fixed, leaving the legacy of the country's hosting of the 2010 finals in more turmoil. In banning Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey for life, world soccer's governing body said the outcome of South Africa's 2-1 home win in African Group D in November had been contrived. The official was found guilty of unlawfully influencing the match...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/17)
South Africa’s government has expressed disappointment at the decision to strip Durban of the right to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, saying the budget it had guaranteed for the event was sufficient. The Commonwealth Games Federation said on Monday it was seeking a new host because the coastal city had failed to deliver on the promises it had made in its bid, including on governance, venues, funding and risk management. But South Africa’s Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula, said the...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Commonwealth Games chiefs said Monday they were looking for a new venue for the 2022 edition after announcing scheduled hosts Durban had failed to meet "key obligations". Last month, South Africa sports minister Fikile Mbalula indicated the government might withdraw its financial support because of the cost of staging the multi-sport event, saying "we cannot live beyond our means". Following a meeting in London, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Louise Martin said Monday: "The CGF is actively exploring alternative options,...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
South Africa will gamble on the fitness of speedster Morne Morkel when the first Test against New Zealand begins in Dunedin on Wednesday. With cool, blustery conditions expected and a green hue to the wicket, New Zealand would not confirm their likely line-up Tuesday, leaving open the option of playing a second spin bowler. But South African captain Faf du Plessis felt that one spinner and Morkel slotting in as the third seamer behind Vern Philander and Kagiso Rabada would...
(AFP (eng) 03/04/17)
Cape Town City went top of the South African Premiership Friday after completing a double over title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns by winning 1-0 at home. Lebogang Manyama became the co-leading league scorer on 11 goals after hooking the ball over goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands midway through the second half. Cape Town wasted several other great scoring chances while Sundowns had two goals disallowed because of offside and handball. It was the third league loss of the season for African champions Sundowns and...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
South Africa's sports minister Fikile Mbalula said on Tuesday that host city Durban may not be able to hold the 2022 Commonwealth Games due to financial pressures. "I don't want to raise your expectations and say everything looks good‚ it doesn't. We are unable to agree on the fundamentals," Mbalula told South African media at a press conference in Cape Town. Despite successfully bidding for the Games, South Africa has been unable to come to agreement with the Commonwealth Games...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/28/17)
Fikile Mbalula says cost challenges may mean Durban could lose out on hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games. South Africa's Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Tuesday Durban may lose out on hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games due to cost challenges. In December South Africa's officials said it remained "fully committed" to hosting the games despite falling short of requirements. Durban was the only city with a confirmed bid after Edmonton in Canada withdrew in February.
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
A record-breaking century from Ross Taylor steered New Zealand to a gripping six-run win over South Africa in the second one-day international in Christchurch on Wednesday. Taylor scored an unbeaten 102 as New Zealand batted first and set a target of 290, with South Africa coming close thanks to a late 26-ball half-century from Dwaine Pretorius. The result snaps a 12-match ODI winning streak for South Africa and levels the five-match series in New Zealand at 1-1. Taylor completed his...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
Fallen South African giants Orlando Pirates named Swede Kjell Jonevret as coach Monday in succession to Turk Muhsin Ertugral. The 54-year-old Scandinavian inherits a team lying 10th in the league after suffering a club record 6-0 defeat by Mamelodi Sundowns last weekend. Pirates only realistic chance of success this season is winning the South African FA Cup, which begins next month. "I have visited South Africa several times and watched local matches," he told reporters after the announcement. "This is a fantastic opportunity for me with one of the biggest names in African club football."

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(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 Africa's tourism research institute. "The cooperation between China and South Africa is expected to surge this year because of the bilateral agreement," he added, referring to the bilateral high-level people-to-people exchange mechanism launched in April...
(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 widely-held view that humanity’s evolutionary roots lay in Africa. The displays contain more than 1,000 original fragments of Homo naledi, named in 2015 after a cache of its fossils was discovered in caves near the Sterkfontein and Swartkrans dig sites...
(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...
(Times Live 12/15/16)
Local series and film junkies have been given an early Christmas present – Amazon Prime Video is now available in South Africa. Amazon announced on Wednesday that it is extending its service to more than 200 countries and territories‚ including South Africa. “We are excited to announce that starting today‚ fans around the world have access to Prime Video‚” said Prime Video's Vice President Tim Leslie. “The Grand Tour and other critically acclaimed Amazon Original Series like Transparent‚ Mozart in...
(News24 12/14/16)
The SABC has finally handed over requested documents to Parliament's ad hoc committee which is holding an inquiry on the fitness of the broadcaster's board. Chairperson of the committee Vincent Smith told MPs on Monday that more than 400 documents were sent on Saturday. He said the committee's legal team is processing the documents. "It is going to be a tall order but I'm sure the team will be able to give us some indication of what is in there...
(Eye Witness News 12/07/16)
Mbulaheni Maguvhe went to the Western Cape High Court to interdict the ad hoc committee from beginning with its probe. The last remaining South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board member Mbulaheni Maguvhe has filed for leave to appeal a high court ruling which dismissed his previous application to halt the parliamentary committee tasked with investigating the public broadcaster’s board. The Parliamentary ad hoc committee is now to decide whether proceedings will be suspended pending the outcome of this court action...
(Voice of America 11/14/16)
Ever fancied owning world famous South African landmarks like Table Mountain, the Kruger game park and Robben Island, where former president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned? Well, players of the internationally popular Monopoly property purchase board game can now do so. The American toy company that manufactures the game, Hasbro, recently released Monopoly Mzansi. Mzansi is a Xhosa word meaning South Africa. It’s the first version of the game to fully represent modern-day, democratic South Africa. South Africans have been playing...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/16)
Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in an industry otherwise battered by falling CD sales and rampant piracy. A recent study of the entertainment sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants showed rapid earnings growth in many African countries, fuelled largely by live performances by local artists. "Consumers are increasingly wanting local content," Vicki Myburgh, a PwC director who conducted the study released last month, told AFP. "The Nigerian music market... will (soon) grow at...

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(Reuters (Eng) 06/24/17)
The South African parliament is planning to challenge in court an anti-graft watchdog's recommendation of constitutional changes to the mandate of the central bank, it said on Friday, highlighting worsening divisions between state institutions. Divisions have also surfaced within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) since President Jacob Zuma sacked his finance minister in March and are likely to keep emerging until the party elects a new leader in December. The central bank and Barclays...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
South Africa reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at a farm in the Free State province, agricultural industry body group AgriSA said on Friday. Poultry producer Astral confirmed that the H5N8 bird flu strain was found on its Villiers farm on the outskirts of the Free State province, it said in a statement. The company said the farm had been quarantined and the site affected would be depleted of all birds. "Astral assures all stakeholders that everything is being done to contain this incident. If this incident is contained to that specific site and/or farm Astral’s contingency plans do ensure continued operations with no impact,” Astral Managing Director, Agriculture, Gary Arnold said. Read more at: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-birdflu-safrica-idUSKBN19E0NE
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(RFI(EN) 06/19/17)
A court in South Africa this week announced that there would have to be a trial to decide who actually owns a shipment of phosphate from Western Sahara that's been stopped and held in a South African port. Western Sahara's Polisario Front movement stopped the ship last month (May) with a legal complaint, saying the phosphate had been taken from land that Morocco occupies illegally. Read at more: http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20170617-south-africa-trial-decide-fate-western-...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
War crimes judges will rule next month on whether South Africa flouted international law when it failed to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2015, wanted on charges of genocide in Darfur. The International Criminal Court "convenes a public hearing on 6 July... for the delivery of its decision," the court said in a statement Friday. The tribunal based in The Hague "invites representatives of South Africa and the prosecutor to attend," it added. Pretoria, at an unprecedented hearing in April, disputed accusations by ICC prosecutors that...
(Voice of America 06/08/17)
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has been hurt by a new wave of corruption allegations targeting President Jacob Zuma, with the top party brass saying Wednesday that the end may be nearing for the increasingly unpopular leader. “We’ve got a brand to protect as a current leadership as the next leadership will have the same responsibility," party spokesman Zizi Kodwa told journalists. "The more the allegation of corruption is repeated, about any member of the ANC, it damages the...
(Bloomberg 06/08/17)
A graft scandal enveloping South African President Jacob Zuma’s administration has laid bare the chaos swirling around the nation’s law-enforcement agencies and their vulnerability to political manipulation. Local investigative reporters have published a series of reports over the past two weeks that Zuma, 75, allowed members of the wealthy Gupta family to unduly influence government appointments and contracts -- known in South Africa as “state capture.” The alleged actions coincided with changes at the heads of the police force, its...
(Bloomberg 06/08/17)
South Africa named Dondo Mogajane as the director-general in the National Treasury, appointing an official from within the department’s ranks two months after President Jacob Zuma replaced a respected finance minister and his deputy. Mogajane, who has been acting in the position since May 16 after Lungisa Fuzile left, will take up the position immediately, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo told reporters in Cape Town Thursday after a cabinet meeting. Fuzile’s resignation sparked concern that all three top finance positions would...
(Bloomberg 06/08/17)
Residents of Cape Town, South Africa’s second-largest city, and other towns in the surrounding Western Cape province mopped up the damage Thursday after a devastating storm that caused nine deaths, flattened hundreds of shacks and downed power lines and trees. Four people died in a fire caused by a lightning strike in the northern Cape Town suburb of Kraaifontein, while another was killed in the Lavender Hill area when a building collapsed, according to the provincial government. About 830 shacks...
(Financial Times 06/07/17)
South Africa plunged into its second recession in eight years in the first three months of the year, even before a political crisis in the ruling African National Congress triggered rating cuts to junk status. On an annualised basis Africa's most industrialised economy contracted 0.7 per cent in the first quarter after a 0.3 per cent drop at the end of 2016, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday. The announcement confounded most economists' expectations for growth of about 1 per...
(Bloomberg 06/07/17)
South Africa’s economy fell into a recession for the first time since 2009 after it contracted for a second straight quarter in the first three months of the year as all bar two industries shrank. Gross domestic product receded an annualized 0.7 percent in the first quarter from a contraction of 0.3 percent in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released on Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median of 19 economists’ estimates in a...
(AL Jazeera 06/07/17)
South Africa has been experiencing the worst drought in 100 years. Since the 1990s, the country has lost a third of its farms due to water scarcity. As a result, farmers have had to turn to a hi-tech solution to help cope with dwindling water supplies and harsher environments. We speak with Professor Jill Farrant, a professor at the University of Cape Town who has been trying to unlock the secret behind so-called resurrection plants which can survive long periods...
(Bloomberg 06/06/17)
South Africa’s economy fell into a recession for the first time since 2009 after it contracted for a second straight quarter in the first three months of the year. Gross domestic product shrank an annualized 0.7 percent in the first quarter from a contraction of 0.3 percent in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released on Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median of 19 economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for 1 percent expansion. One economist forecast the contraction. While rains are helping Africa’s most-industrialized economy recover from a 2015 drought that was the worst since
(Financial Times 06/06/17)
The South African economy has officially entered recession, after a much worse than expected first quarter saw economic output contract by 0.7 per cent, in contrast to expectations of decent growth. The rand weakened immediately after the news, and was off 1.16 per cent against the dollar at publication time. South Africa had already been struggling to address sluggish growth even before recent political upheaval – namely the surprise sacking of its respected finance minister – rocked the country’s financial...
(Voice of America 06/06/17)
South Africa's anti-graft watchdog will investigate the government's providing of protection services to former African Union (AU) Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, its spokesman said on Sunday. Dlamini-Zuma, once married to President Jacob Zuma and seen as a front-runner to succeed him, in March concluded her five-year tenure as AU Commission chairwoman and has made several public appearances in South Africa since. An investigation into Dlamini-Zuma, seen as Zuma's preferred candidate by political analysts, is bad news for the scandal-plagued president...
(Voice of America 06/03/17)
South Africa’s ruling ANC party has called for an investigation into potentially explosive graft allegations against President Jacob Zuma and government officials. Two media outlets say they have obtained tens of thousands of emails and documents showing undue influence by the wealthy Gupta family. President Jacob Zuma finds himself embroiled in yet another corruption scandal. On Thursday, two South African media outlets, the Daily Maverick and Amabhungane, published reports saying they have unearthed over 100,000 emails and documents purporting to show how the rich Gupta family unduly influenced the president
(Financial Times 06/02/17)
South Africa’s government has avoided a second damaging credit rating cut from Fitch, but the ratings agency warned that the recent political upheaval is likely to further weaken the economy. Fitch cut South Africa’s foreign- and local-currency credit ratings to junk status in an unscheduled update in April after the ousting of finance minister Pravin Gordhan. In its regular ratings decision announced today, the agency confirmed the government’s BB+ rating with a stable outlook, suggesting further downgrades are unlikely in the short-term. Fitch said “South Africa’s ratings are weighed down by low trend GDP growth, sizeable contingent liabilities and deteriorating governance”, and said the cabinet reshuffle “is likely to undermine governance
(Bloomberg 06/02/17)
South Africa avoided a second downgrade in two months from Fitch Ratings Ltd. as the company left its assessment of the nation’s debt at the highest non-investment grade. The local- and foreign-currency ratings were affirmed at BB+, Fitch said in an emailed statement Thursday. The outlook on both assessments was kept at stable. Fitch and S&P Global Ratings cut their assessments of South Africa’s foreign-currency debt to the highest junk level in early April after a late-night cabinet reshuffle in...
(Bloomberg 06/01/17)
Spar Group Ltd. said the firing of South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and subsequent credit rating downgrades had caused a “massive loss of confidence” among shoppers already battling weak economic growth. While there has yet to be a “huge impact” on trading at the Durban-based food and liquor retailer, the decision by President Jacob Zuma at the end of March was another barrier to economic growth, Chief Executive Officer Graham O’Connor said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “All...
(Bloomberg 06/01/17)
South Africa will remove Brian Molefe as chief executive officer of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. less than three weeks after his controversial return to the state power utility. Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown will appoint an acting CEO within 48 hours, after a committee of cabinet ministers asked by President Jacob Zuma to review Molefe’s reinstatement found that the decision was incorrect, she told reporters in Cape Town on Wednesday. Brown has asked the Eskom board to propose two alternatives...

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