Sunday 25 June 2017
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/14/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma is consulting legal advisers about setting up a judicial inquiry into allegations of influence-peddling within his government, his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa told parliament on Wednesday. New allegations in recent weeks of inappropriate collusion between state-owned companies and business interests close to Zuma have put more pressure on the scandal-plagued leader and ministers close to him. "He (Zuma) has indicated that he is not opposed to the establishment of a commission of inquiry and as we speak now, he is in the process of consulting his legal advisers to find ways of giving effect to this proposal," Ramaphosa told...
(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) 06/14/17)
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...
(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...

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