Thursday 22 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Hundreds of workers at a South African coal mine owned by the Guptas, a family closely associated with ex-president Jacob Zuma, have gone on strike over uncertainty about the company's future. Some 2,500 workers downed tools at the mine in eastern Mpumalanga province, demanding clarity on whether the firm has been sold to a new owner and if their salaries due this week will be paid, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said Thursday. "Our members say if they don't get paid their salaries the strike which started yesterday, will continue," NUM spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu told AFP, adding "the workers also want to know if the mine has been sold or not". The company's chief...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
An elderly British couple have been kidnapped in South Africa, police said Thursday, amid reports they were abducted by extremists suspected to have links to the Islamic State group. The British foreign office confirmed that a pair of Britons had been kidnapped and warned of a heightened risk of attacks by "terrorists" in South Africa. The couple were abducted in KwaZulu-Natal province last week and have not yet been found, South African police told AFP, adding that two arrests had been made. Local media said the couple, who live in Cape Town, were kidnapped while holidaying...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Listeriosis in South Africa has killed 172 people since the start of last year, officials said Thursday, as the country struggles to contain the world's largest reported outbreak of the disease. Listeriosis is caused by a natural bacteria found in soil, water, vegetation and animal faeces, and can contaminate food especially meat, dairy, seafood and fresh produce. It is prevented by basic hygiene and washing food, but South African authorities admit the source of the worsening outbreak is still not...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/22/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The death toll from an outbreak of the food-borne disease listeria in South Africa has more than doubled from previous numbers given in January to 172 deaths, the government said on Thursday. The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) said 915 cases of the disease have been confirmed since January last year, up from the previous figures given last month of 61 deaths and 720 confirmed outbreaks. The government said the source of the outbreak was still...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
An armed gang stormed into a rural police station in South Africa on Wednesday and stole firearms in an attack that left five officers and a soldier dead, police said. The robbers entered the police station in the southern village of Engcobo shortly after midnight, opening fire on the officers and seizing two others, who were later shot and killed, police spokesman Vish Naidoo said. "During the early hours of this morning six people were killed when robbers attacked Engcobo...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
South Africans were hit by the first sales tax increase since apartheid when the finance minister delivered a tough budget on Wednesday, dampening optimism spurred by the country's new reformist president. President Cyril Ramaphosa took over last week from the scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma, raising hope for a turnaround in the economy that slid into recession in 2016 and has grown sluggishly since. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba warned in his speech to parliament in Cape Town that "this is a tough...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
South Africa won the toss and decided to bowl in the second Twenty20 international against India at SuperSport Park on Wednesday. With South Africa needing a win to stay in contention in the three-match series, captain JP Duminy cited the possibility of rain as a key factor in his decision. Two hours of rain earlier in the day caused a match between the women's teams of the two countries to be abandoned. More rain was possible. Indian captain Virat Kohli...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/20/18)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s new President Cyril Ramaphosa, acting on a pledge to fight corruption, said on Tuesday he planned to screen the lifestyles of future government officials as he mulled the make-up of a new cabinet. Ramaphosa, who was sworn in on Thursday after his scandal-plagued predecessor, Jacob Zuma, reluctantly resigned, told parliament he was working on a new government team and would announce changes at a later date. It was not clear whether this heralded a purge of Zuma cronies from the cabinet. Speculation though mounted about whether Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba would keep his job - something of interest for investors eying fresh opportunity....
(Reuters (Eng) 02/20/18)
SOWETO, South Africa (Reuters) - Ndumiso Madlala, head of the Soweto Gold Brewery, says he is banking on new South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to kick-start the economy and help his business grow. The micro brewery was founded five years ago in the Johannesburg township but has struggled to grow in a fiercely competitive market for beer as high unemployment and a weak economy strangled consumer spending. Madlala places much of the blame on the administration of Jacob Zuma, who...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Tuesday he wanted "healing and atonement" following the 2012 massacre of 34 striking workers at a mine run by Lonmin where he was a director. Ramaphosa has been dogged by allegations that he was partly responsible for the slayings, the worst police violence since apartheid ended, despite being exonerated by a judicial inquiry in 2015. "I would like to use this opportunity to address what role I played in my capacity as a Lonmin director in the events of that tragic week," said Ramaphosa in an address to parliament in Cape Town.
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
A linchpin of South Africa's Gupta business family, which has been closely associated with ex- president Jacob Zuma, fought back Monday against a corruption probe by contesting an assets freeze. Atul Gupta applied to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to force investigators probing a suspect farming scheme to release 10 million rand ($856,000) in frozen assets. "Atul Gupta is challenging the court, he is requesting the court to reconsider the preservation order," NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku told AFP, confirming receipt of Atul's application. Thirteen people are facing charges linked to allegations that millions of dollars of public money meant for poor dairy farmers was siphoned off by the Guptas.
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Residents of drought-stricken Cape Town received good news Tuesday when city officials said they now face losing piped water to their homes by July 9 -- a month later than last forecast. But Capetonians are not yet out of the woods. If drastic consumption reductions are not achieved by so-called "Day Zero" -- the last day of normal water supply -- people will have to queue at 200 standpipes for daily rations of 25 litres (6.6 US gallons). The city,...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo airport, Africa's largest, was evacuated on Monday and passengers forced to wait for two hours to return after South African officials identified a suspect bag. Images of the deserted terminal were posted to social media while other photographs showed crowds of passengers waiting on roadways for the all-clear to return inside. The airport's international arrivals hall was evacuated around 0915 GMT after the errant baggage was spotted and airport users were unable to re-enter until after 1115 GMT, airport spokeswoman Leigh Gunkel-Keuler told AFP. "To ensure the safety of passengers and customers in the airport terminal building, people were evacuated from the area," she added in a statement.
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
South Africa has widened a corruption probe into allies of ex-president Jacob Zuma to other countries including India, China and Dubai, the police minister said Sunday. Fikile Mbalula made the announcement days after South Africa issued an arrest warrant for one of the brothers of the Gupta business family, close associates of scandal-plagued Zuma who was forced from power on Wednesday. Mbalula told public broadcaster SABC that Ajay Gupta and another four people who are being sought in connection with...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
South Africa's freshly-appointed president, Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday hailed "a new dawn" as he pledged to tackle the corruption that his predecessor Jacob Zuma is accused of fostering. In his first major speech after Zuma's bruising nine-year term ended, Ramaphosa outlined a grand vision to revive the stagnant economy, address dire unemployment and control spiralling government debt. "We should put all the negativity that has dogged our country behind us because a new dawn is upon us and a wonderful...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
One player was sent off, 12 cautioned and 46 fouls committed during a fiery South African Premiership derby won 2-0 by Maritzburg United against AmaZulu Friday. There could have been more red cards as Togo centre-back Sadat Ouro-Akoriko of AmaZulu escaped with a yellow after pushing his hand into the face of an opponent. The red card that was shown went to another AmaZulu player, Butholezwe Ncube, midway through the second half after a second booking. Both United goals came...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
South Africa's Jacob Zuma, president until Wednesday when he resigned on live TV, faces an uncertain future as his legal challenges mount and his support network crumbles. Analysts sketch several scenarios for Zuma, an anti-apartheid activist who rose to the presidency only to become thickly tarred by a reputation for graft. These include prosecution over a series of corruption charges and then securing a presidential clemency from his successor Cyril Ramaphosa. He may also quietly disappear into retirement in his...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
South Africa's newly-minted president, Cyril Ramphosa, will deliver his first major policy speech Friday, seizing the chance to offer the country a fresh start after nine bruising years under Jacob Zuma. The State of the Nation address is an annual mix of political pageantry and policy announcements, but the flagship event was postponed last week as Zuma battled to stay in office. He was forced to resign on Wednesday after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party turned against him, and pro-business reformist Ramaphosa was sworn in as president on Thursday. The fight against corruption, allegations of which dogged Zuma and badly dented investor confidence...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s Treasury is set to present its 2018 budget to parliament on Wednesday but market focus is on whether new President Cyril Ramaphosa will reshuffle the cabinet before then and replace Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. Ramaphosa was sworn in as head of state on Thursday after his scandal-plagued predecessor, Jacob Zuma, reluctantly resigned on orders of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) after nine years in office blighted by corruption, economic mismanagement and disputed appointments. Ramaphosa...

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