| Africatime
Friday 28 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
An unemployed South African man appeared in court Friday charged with conspiracy to commit murder in a mysterious alleged plot to assassinate 19 politicians and other prominent figures. Local media said President Jacob Zuma was on the list of targets, along with several ministers and the Gupta business family who are alleged to have influenced government appointments and contracts. Elvis Ramosebudi, 33, wearing a dark jacket, appeared in Johannesburg Magistrates Court after being arrested on Wednesday. He was remanded in custody and the case was postponed until May 2.
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
South Africa's former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who was dramatically fired by President Jacob Zuma, has warned that the ruling ANC party could lose power in the next election. Gordhan -- widely seen as a bulwark against government corruption in South Africa -- also appeared to back deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma. "I think there are many of us who are extremely worried that if we continue as we are in the African National Congress (ANC), we are likely to lose the 2019 elections," Gordhan told CNN late Thursday. "If we, like any business organisation or political organisation, fail to muster the right leadership, stick by the right kind of values and do the right thing... then of...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
South Africans gathered Thursday to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the country's first post-apartheid elections, but the annual Freedom Day celebrations were mixed with demonstrations calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Zuma addressed the main gathering of supporters in his home province of Kwazulu Natal. "This day must be the day on which we are happy to contribute more in building South Africa," he said. "Happy Freedom Day to you all." Speaking in Zulu, Zuma criticized opposition parties,...
(News24 04/28/17)
There are no plans yet for Treasury to give the ailing SABC a bailout, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said on Friday. Media reports of a potential R1bn bailout were incorrect, and her department and new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba had only been discussing how the broadcaster could revive its current revenue streams, she told reporters in Cape Town. She was briefing media following Cabinet's bi-weekly meeting this week. "There is no financial bailout. The discussion is about assistance to the...
(Times Live 04/28/17)
South Africa has seen a great deal of progress in many spheres of life since non-racial democracy in 1994, yet many of its people are still waiting for their hard-won freedom to pay dividends. Economic freedom still eludes them. Unemployment is stubbornly high and the redistribution of wealth and land hasn’t been successful. It seems that the country’s leaders have hijacked this freedom in pursuit of their own selfish gains. Politically exposed people, public officials and cronies in the private...
(News24 04/28/17)
South African Airways says cabin crew members whose strike forced some flight cancellations have returned to work after a court order. The financially struggling airline has said that it hopes for a negotiated solution to the dispute with the South African Cabin Crew Association, a labour union whose members went on strike on Wednesday to demand higher meal allowances when working outside South Africa. The airline says 50 flights, including 28 domestic ones, were cancelled Wednesday. Later that day, a...
(AfricaNews 04/28/17)
A major protest has taken place in South Africa against embattled President Jacob Zuma. Some 2,000 people gathered in Pretoria on Thursday to demand Zuma’s exit on the occasion of the “Freedom Day”, which marked the first free elections in the country’s history in 1994 as well as fall of apartheid. The group, “Freedom Movement”, combining parties and civil society groups hostile to Zuma, gathered in a park in the capital, holding placards that read “Zuma must go “. “Coalition...
(The New York Times 04/28/17)
“Heh, you people, you used to laugh at us. Look at you now. You can’t even buy a bottle of Coke!” It was the early 2000s, during the economic free-fall that had followed Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform program, which began 20 years after the country had won its political independence from Ian Smith’s settler colonial regime. My parents were visiting Zambia from South Africa and in the town of Livingstone met a woman who, upon discovering that they were...
(News24 04/28/17)
A highly-placed source has confirmed to News24 that President Jacob Zuma and members of the Gupta family are among a list of senior government officials that were the targets of an alleged assassination plot by Elvis Ramosebudi. The source, who has intimate knowledge of the case, provided News24 with two letters, both dated October 25, 2016 - one talking about plots against those involved in state capture, and the other talking about targeting those supporting "white monopoly capital". The list...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But...
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
South Africa on Thursday marked 23 years since its first post-apartheid election with some protesters calling for President Jacob Zuma to resign after numerous corruption scandals. At his address to commemorate the April 27, 1994 election that brought Nelson Mandela to power, Zuma hailed the end of white-minority rule as "one of the greatest achievements of humankind". "We have achieved political freedom but economic freedom still remains largely elusive... the majority of black people are still economically disempowered," Zuma said at the event in KwaZulu Natal province. Zuma, who came to power in 2009, has faced fierce criticism over government corruption scandals, record unemployment and slowing economic
(Financial Times 04/27/17)
Zuma failed to secure parliamentary approval for reactor agreement with Putin. Plans to build nuclear power plants in South Africa have stalled after a court ruled that president Jacob Zuma should have sought parliamentary approval for a deal with Russia. The Western Cape high court in Cape Town ruled on Wednesday that the agreement struck between Mr Zuma and president Vladimir Putin in 2014 to co-operate on the reactors was unlawful. The decision could exacerbate tensions in the ruling African National Congress after speculation that Mr Zuma fired Pravin Gordhan, his respected finance
(Xinhuanet 04/27/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday hailed China's commitment to supporting Africa's independent growth, expressing hope for closer cooperation with China in international and regional affairs. Zuma made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong here. During the talks, President Zuma asked the Chinese vice premier to extend his warm greetings to President Xi Jinping, saying he was pleased to see quick implementation of his consensus with the Chinese president on setting up the...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
A South African pact with Russia's Rosatom to build nuclear reactors was deemed unlawful by a High Court on Wednesday, casting fresh doubt over the country's energy plans. Operator of Africa's only nuclear power station, Eskom wants to add 9,600 megawatts (MW) of nuclear capacity — equivalent to up to 10 nuclear reactors — to help wean the economy off of polluting coal in what could one of the world's biggest nuclear contracts in decades. South Africa and Russia signed...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma will meet with business leaders to discuss the country’s credit-rating downgrades and a surprise cabinet reshuffle that saw the ouster of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, according to a person familiar with the matter. Zuma, 75, will meet members of the CEO Initiative on Friday to assure them of the government’s willingness to bolster investor confidence, said the person, who asked not to be identified because a public announcement hasn’t been made. S&P Global Ratings...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
Two white South African farmers were arrested on suspicion of murdering a black boy in a farming community in North West province, police said on Wednesday, as racial violence persists two decades after the end of apartheid. Police spokesman, Sabata Mokgwabone, said crowds gathered on Tuesday to protest about poor basic services in Coligny, about 200 kms (124 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, and then started demanding that arrests be made over the boy's death. "What we know is that this...
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
South Africa’s finance ministry has asked for a study into the introduction of an annual wealth tax as the government seeks to boost the standard of living of the black majority. The Davis Tax Committee, which makes recommendations to the National Treasury, also requested submissions from the public on the feasibility of a land tax and a national tax on the value of property in addition to existing charges, it said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. It will take...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
South African inflation is under control and the central bank will maintain a policy to keep it low to protect the poor and ease inequality, Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago said. Pursuing other priorities, such as reducing unemployment, has been shown in other countries to cause “widespread economic damage,” Kganyago said in a speech at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the coastal city of Durban on Tuesday. The central bank expects price growth to slow to 5.4 percent next year...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
South Africa hasn’t complied with the constitution in seeking bidders for a nuclear-energy program and must cancel any deals that have already been signed, the Western Cape High Court ruled. The government must hold public hearings and debate the estimated 1 trillion rand ($76 billion) program in Parliament, according to a ruling read out on Wednesday by Judge Lee Bozalek in a case brought by civil-society groups Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute. Agreements set aside...

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