| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
South African airport customs officials have confiscated male sexual enhancement tablets worth 20.6 million rand ($1.63 million) en route to Swaziland from India, the revenue service said on Monday. Customs officers found 80,000 tablets and 126,000 oral jellies in transit sheds at Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport on Sunday. The pills were wrapped in brown sacks sent from Mumbai. "These tablets are restricted and controlled substances and must have permits when being imported," the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said in a statement. "The shipment has been handed over to the Medical Council of South Africa for further investigation." SARS spokesman Sandile Memela said the police would investigate who had sent the pills and the intended recipient. (Reporting by Joe Brock, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
(Eye Witness News 03/21/17)
Lawyer Damon Parker says the lawsuit is about ethics with people feeling cheated. A class action lawsuit in the UK over the VW emissions scandal could spark similar cases in other countries, including South Africa. More than 35,000 people in Britain are being represented with the number expected to grow to 100,000 or more. The carmaker used technology to misrepresent emission levels of nitrogen oxide. Lawyer Damon Parker says the lawsuit is about ethics with people feeling cheated. “People feel strongly about the environment and corporates and it’s an important corporate scandal.” Parker says while regulations are different in countries like South Africa, it's possible motorists there will unite in a similar kind of lawsuit. In the UK, VW is...
(AL Jazeera 03/21/17)
Property developers buying and renovating old buildings are driving up prices and rents. Some poor families in Cape Town face being moved out, and it's evoking painful memories of apartheid in South Africa. Al Jazeera's Tania Page reports from Wolf River, Cape Town. Tania Page
(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 result after handing South Africa a soft penalty for handball just before halftime and allowing a second goal in controversial circumstances from a quickly taken free-kick soon after in a qualifying match for the 2018 finals in Russia. Who had...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly bludgeoned to death before being skinned in backyards and clandestine slaughterhouses. Around Mogosani village, in South Africa's North West province, residents say syndicates catch the animals in grazing fields and pens. Soon after, skinned carcasses with hooves chopped off are...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/17)
Nelson Mandela's eldest grandchild has publicly ditched the ruling African National Congress party over its damaging and seemingly endless scandals. Nelson Mandela led the ANC from 1991 to 1997, carrying the party to an historic election victory at the end of apartheid when he became South Africa's first black president in 1994. "I will not be voting for something that does not resonate with me anymore, and does not resonate for what granddad and his comrades fought for," Ndileka Mandela, 52, told the News24 website at the weekend. Ndileka said her decision followed scandals including the death of about 100 psychiatric patients last year in a neglect crisis and a social welfare grants dispute that threatened payments to 17 million...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/20/17)
South Africa's police minister will fight a court order to remove the head of an elite police investigation unit, popularly known as the Hawks, after the court ruled his appointment unlawful, media said on Monday. Berning Ntlemeza was appointed in 2015 to lead the powerful Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation, but two domestic non-government bodies, Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation, applied to the High Court to have Ntlemeza removed on the grounds that he was unfit for the office. Sandile Ngidi, a spokesman for Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, said Nhleko was appealing against Friday's ruling, eNCA television reported. Ntlemeza will stay on while the appeal was processed, the report added. Reuters could not immediately reach Ngidi for...
(Bloomberg 03/20/17)
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma will chair an inter-ministerial committee set up to ensure social grants are paid to recipients on time after the government was criticized for leading the system close to failure. The committee will consist of ministers including Pravin Gordhan, minister of finance, and Bathabile Dlamini, minister for social development, who has been criticized for her handling of the payment process, the government said Saturday in a statement. It will ensure the government implements a court order to improve transparency and reform the system. The system of payments of more than 150 billion rand ($12 billion) a year was on the brink of collapse because Dlamini and the South African Social Security Agency failed to find a...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
South Africa, long a haven for migrants from across Africa, is trying to update its immigration policy with a number of changes, which one official says aims to strike a balance between being welcoming of immigrants and keeping the nation safe. Among the policy changes being considered: the creation of processing centers for asylum-seekers along South Africa’s border; the end of an automatic path from long-term residency to citizenship; the introduction of a points-based system intended to attract highly skilled immigrants and the elimination of some visa requirements for African citizens.
(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 to leave their homeland to be rewarded for their art. Another is Josie Field. "I feel my sound and where I want to go musically, I've hit a ceiling in South Africa," Field said. "The market is extremely niche for...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(AFP (eng) 03/17/17)
A South African court on Friday ordered the dismissal of the head of the police's elite unit, delivering another stinging ruling against President Jacob Zuma's government. Berning Ntlemeza was named as head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, commonly known as the Hawks, which handles serious corruption and organised crime. But High Court Judge Peter Mabuse ruled that Ntlemeza's appointment in 2015 was unlawful and must be "reviewed and set aside." The Hawks were not immediately available to comment on whether Ntlemeza would be sacked or if he would appeal the decision. An earlier court judgement had found Ntlemeza to be "dishonest, lacking in integrity and dishonourable"
(AFP (eng) 03/17/17)
A South African court Friday gave a private company a one-year extension of its contract to distribute vital welfare grants to millions of people, easing fears of a payments disruption. A dispute arose after nearly a third of the country's welfare beneficiaries faced problems when a government agency failed to secure new terms before the contract expired this month. Judge Johan Froneman of the Constitutional Court ordered the Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the company, Cash Paymaster Services, to "ensure payment of social grants to grant beneficiaries from 1 April 2017 for a period of 12 months." Froneman also criticised Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini for not showing "interest" in making
(Reuters (Eng) 03/17/17)
South Africa's High Court in Pretoria said on Friday that the appointment of Berning Ntlemeza as head of an elite police investigation unit is unlawful and must be revoked. Ntlemeza was appointed in 2015 to lead the powerful Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks. Critics have accused the unit of sometimes carrying out politically motivated probes to discredit those who have fallen out of favor with President Jacob Zuma and his inner circle. "Our take is very simple: we will abide by the ruling," Hawks spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi told Reuters.
(New Zimbabwe 03/17/17)
Zimbabwe owes South Africa's power utility ESKOM more than $12 million and is struggling to clear the debt, it has emerged. Harare does not generate enough electricity to meet its needs and relies on imports from the region to plug the supply gap. However, with its economy in the tank and government struggling with its finances, supplies from the region often come under threat due to unpaid bills. The country's supply deal with Eskom is nearing its end and energy minister Samuel Undenge held talks company officials on Monday aimed at reaching agreement. The talks also focused on clearing Zimbabwe's debt which has accrued over a number of years. Undenge, during a press briefing after closed door meetings with South...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/17/17)
China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec) is nearing an agreement to buy a majority stake in Chevron Corp's South African assets, which are estimated to be worth $1 billion, two people familiar with the transaction said. The sources said Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, was the last bidder remaining, and close to a deal with Chevron after an auction that spanned more than a year. The people declined to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. French oil firm Total and commodity traders Glencore and Gunvor also looked at the assets, Reuters reported last year. Chinese oil companies and merchant traders have become more visible in the hunt for refinery assets that come on the...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
South Africa's main opposition party was plunged into a racism dispute on Thursday after a provincial leader tweeted that colonialism had brought benefits including clean water. Helen Zille, former leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) party and the current premier of the Western Cape, apologised for the tweet, which unleashed fierce criticism from her own party and opponents. "For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water," she wrote on Twitter. The DA, which won 22 percent of the vote in 2014's general election, has been gaining popularity and trying to shed its image
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Government offers to compensate victims of 2012 police shooting at Marikana mine that left 34 workers dead. The South African government has offered to pay 1.17bn rand (£75m) in compensation to victims of a 2012 police shooting that left 34 mineworkers dead and dozens wounded. “The 1.17bn rand presented here is an amount linked to a certain number of individuals’ loss of support’ injuries and of course fatalities,” the police minister, Nathi Nhleko, told lawmakers. The sum will cover 652 claims made by families whose relatives were killed, miners who were injured and those who were unlawfully arrested. The 34 miners were gunned down after police were deployed to break up a wildcat strike that had turned violent at the...