Wednesday 18 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/08/18)
Shana Power, South Africa's first female amateur mixed martial arts champion, has been defying gender stereotypes in the world of combat sport for five years. Power said that prominent female competitors like US star Holly Holm had inspired her passion for the sport and that she now hopes to motivate others to take it up. "I've inspired people around me, I've been supported by people I trained with so I've had a good experience. I've only had positive feedback from people around me," she told AFP during a training session at her gym in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, ahead of International Women's Day on March 8. Powers, who at 25 is also the country's first female MMA coach, said that...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/18)
South African coach Ottis Gibson on Wednesday called for umpires in the second Test against Australia to "do their job" and defended Quinton de Kock against allegations of provoking an altercation with Australian vice-captain David Warner. Gibson also questioned what was meant in Australian assertions about not "crossing the line" with their behaviour. Warner was cleared to play in the second Test starting on Friday but was fined 75 percent of his match fee and given three demerit points for an incident captured on closed circuit television as the players climbed the stairs towards the dressing rooms at the start of the tea interval on the fourth day of the first Test in Durban on Sunday. Warner, who was charged...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/18)
A disputed goal helped relegation-threatened Polokwane City win 2-0 at Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday and rise three places in the South African Premiership. City scored a second time on 38 minutes through Sibusiso Sikhosana, but TV replays suggested that the whole of the ball had not crossed the line. Cameroon-born Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb was yellow-carded for protesting the decision as the referee pointed to the centre spot. Sikhosana turned from scorer to villain at the hour mark when he was cautioned a second time, for simulation, and sent off. Lethargic Celtic could not take advantage of their numerical superiority, however, and rarely threatened to score. Seeking a first league win in nine matches, Polokwane took the lead after 30...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/07/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa has opened an inquiry into allegations of influence peddling revolving around former president Jacob Zuma and businessman friends of his, the deputy chief justice said on Wednesday. The allegations around Zuma, who was forced out of office last month by his ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, and the wealthy Gupta family have tarred major companies, among them, KPMG and McKinsey, and triggered the revolt against Zuma. Zuma and the Guptas, who are Indian nationals, have consistently denied wrongdoing. Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said in a televised news briefing that the investigative commission had started preliminary work on March 1.
(AFP (eng) 03/07/18)
Robbers used a hacksaw to try to cut off a South African triathlete's legs when they attacked him on his way to a training session, the sportsman's colleagues said Wednesday. A gang of three men targeted 27-year-old triathlete Mhlengi Gwala in a dawn attack in the east coast city of Durban on Tuesday before dragging him to a bush and attempting to cut off his legs. "He is currently in surgery to try and save his leg -- the surgeons are confident," Dennis Jackson, the head of South Africa's Elite Athlete Development Programme, told AFP. Gwala's friend and fellow triathlete Sandile Shange said Gwala told him that the attackers failed to cut through the bone because they had used a...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/07/18)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s future is looking “a lot more positive” since President Cyril Ramaphosa succeeded scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma last month, Anglo American’s Chief Executive Mark Cutifani said on Wednesday. “We’ve continued to invest in South Africa, we believe in the future of South Africa and from our point of view it just got a lot more positive,” Cutifani said at a conference in Cape Town. Cutifani said the new mines minister, Gwede Mantashe, had a “great meeting” with mining companies on Tuesday.
(AFP (eng) 03/07/18)
Cape Town will not be forced to shut-off normal water supplies in 2018 in response to a three-year-long drought as previously feared, the region's governing party said Wednesday. Mmusi Maimane, who leads the Democratic Alliance which controls both the Cape Town city council and the wider Western Cape province, said that a 60 percent reduction in consumption averted the shut-off. "Provided we continue consuming water at current levels, and we receive decent winter rainfall this year, 'Day Zero' will not occur in 2018. This means the taps will stay open in 2018," he said in a statement. It was previously forecast that "Day Zero" -- when normal water supply would be disconnected and people would have to queue at 200...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/07/18)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s city of Cape Town said on Wednesday that if no rainfall comes then “Day Zero”, when the taps are predicted to run dry, would be pushed back to 27 August from July 9, and that the bullet could be dodged completely this year. “Provided we continue our current water savings efforts, Day Zero can be avoided completely this year,” deputy mayor Ian Neilson said in a statement. “The city now projects that, if there was to be no rainfall, Day Zero would arrive on 27 August 2018. As this date falls deep within the normal rainfall period, it is no longer appropriate to project the date without any consideration of rainfall,” the statement said.
(AFP (eng) 03/06/18)
South Africa's economy grew by a better-than-expected 1.3 percent in 2017, driven by agriculture and finance, Stats SA said on Tuesday, beating forecast growth of 1 percent. The improved economic performance "was partly driven by an agriculture industry bouncing back from one of the worst droughts in recent history", it said. "After a wobbly start to 2017, which saw economic activity contract in the first quarter, the economy saw sustained growth for the remainder of the year. The fourth quarter experienced the highest growth rate of 2017, with the economy expanding by 3.1 percent quarter-on-quarter," Stats SA said in a statement. The trade sector also contributed to Tuesday's good news, Stats SA added, and was the second largest contributor to...
(AFP (eng) 03/06/18)
Four countries in southern Africa on Monday took steps against South African chilled meat imports made at a factory found to be the origin of the world's worst-ever listeria outbreak. Mozambique and Namibia announced they were immediately suspending imports of the products. Botswana said it was recalling the items "with immediate effect", while Zambia called on South African retail chains in its country to pull the incriminated goods from local shelves. Since January 2017, 948 people in South Africa have contracted listeriosis -- a disease caused by bacteria from soil, water, vegetation and animal faeces which can contaminate fresh food, notably meat. At least 180 have died, according to official figures. Health officials say the source of the outbreak was...
(AFP (eng) 03/06/18)
Kenya's health ministry on Tuesday announced a ban on the import and sale of certain South African processed meat products after a listeria outbreak that has killed at least 180 people. Kenya is the first nation in east Africa to ban ready-to-eat meat products from South Africa that include polony -- a local version of baloney sausage -- sliced ham and Frankfurter-style sausages. "In order to ensure the health of the public is protected and as a precautionary measure you are required to stop the importation and sale of these products" and recall those already on sale, the health ministry wrote in a note to country health officers. Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland and Zimbabwe have also blocked the...
(AFP (eng) 03/06/18)
Australian coach Darren Lehmann expects the coaches and captains of both teams to "chat" before the second Test against South Africa starting in Port Elizabeth on Friday after a bad-tempered start to the series. Lehmann was talking to Australian journalists after an acrimonious ending to the first Test in Durban after leaked closed-circuit television footage showed a confrontation between Australian vice-captain David Warner and South Africa's Quinton de Kock. In a video posted on Cricket Australia's website, Lehmann said he continued to back Warner as the team's vice-captain as the Australians hunt a 2-0 series lead. Asked whether there would be talks between the two sides in a bid to reduce hostilities, Lehmann said: "I'm sure the coaches will chat...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
A South African court on Thursday remanded in custody a man and a woman accused of abducting an elderly British couple in a case with suspected links to the so-called Islamic State. Fatima Patel and Sayfydeen Aslam del Vecchio are alleged to have snatched British holidaymakers Rod, 73, and Rachel Saunders, 64, both renowned botanists, in KwaZulu-Natal province last month. The Saunders are still missing. Since their disappearance, 734,000 rand ($62,000) has reportedly been drained from the couple's accounts and their Toyota Land Cruiser was found covered in blood. Patel, 27, and Del Vecchio, 38...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
A South African court has fined a self-styled prophet who sprayed his followers in the face with insecticide as a supposed cure for illness. Pastor Lethebo Rabalago was found guilty by a court in the northwest town of Limpopo of five charges of grievous assault and contravening chemicals laws . He used "Doom", a household insecticide on his followers, earning the sobriquet "Prophet of Doom". The Sowetan daily reported Wednesday that the presiding judge jailed Rabalago to four years or a 21,000 ($1,700) fine. Lawyer Edmund Lubusi said Tuesday his client would pay the money. "We have made an arrangement that my client will pay 3,000 rand in instalments every month until the fine is fully paid," Lubusi told the...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
Johan "Rassie" Erasmus was hailed as a coach who can transform struggling South Africa after being confirmed as successor to sacked Allister Coetzee by officials in Johannesburg on Thursday. The Springboks, traditionally the strongest rivals to top-ranked New Zealand, have slumped to sixth in the world rankings with the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan on the horizon. In the last two seasons, the 2015 World Cup semi-finalists won only 11 of 25 Tests under Coetzee and twice conceded 57 points against greatest rivals New Zealand. South Africa face top-ranked New Zealand twice and second-place England four times this season, offering huge challenges for the 45-year-old former Test loose forward. Erasmus was scheduled to hold a media conference later on...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/18)
South African lawmakers on Tuesday voted in favour of land expropriation without compensation, one of the thorniest issues to confront the country since the fall of apartheid. The motion was brought by the radical left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, and was backed by the ruling Africa National Congress (ANC) after amendments. The parliamentary motion could eventually lead to changes to the constitution over land reform. New President Cyril Ramaphosa used his first major speech on February 16 to express his support for expropriation without compensation -- as long as it increases food production.
(AFP (eng) 02/28/18)
The announcement of a successor to sacked Allister Coetzee as Springboks coach will be made Thursday in Johannesburg, a South African Rugby statement said. It had been widely anticipated that former Test loose forward Johan "Rassie" Erasmus would be revealed Wednesday as the new coach at a SA Rugby media conference in Johannesburg. But the function was devoted to the announcement that South African Breweries will sponsor the national men's and women's sevens teams. Coetzee was fired this month after winning only 11 of 25 Tests during two seasons in charge of a country that won the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and 2007. Erasmus quit as director of rugby at Munster late last year after guiding the Irish outfit...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/18)
Cape Town City coach and UEFA Champions League winner Benni McCarthy said his grandmother would have done better after they wasted chances in a 2-0 league loss at Baroka on Tuesday. It was the usual story for the visitors as they controlled possession and created a number of clearcut scoring opportunities, but failed to take any in northern city Polokwane. "My grandmother would have converted several of those chances," said McCarthy, who was part of the Jose Mourinho-managed Porto team that won the biggest European club prize 14 years ago.
(AFP (eng) 02/27/18)
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who took office 11 days ago, announced a sweeping reshuffle Monday that included re-appointing Nhlanhla Nene, who was sacked by Jacob Zuma, as finance minister. Ramaphosa stamped his mark on the presidency with his choice of Nene, while David Mabuza, the current premier of Mpumalanga province, was controversially named as deputy president. Ramaphosa announced a total of 30 changes to minister and deputy minister positions after graft-tainted Zuma was forced to resign by the ruling ANC party earlier this month. "In making these changes, I have been conscious of the need to balance continuity and stability with the need for renewal, economic recovery...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/27/18)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Tuesday his predecessor’s budget last week might not prevent further credit ratings downgrades as new President Cyril Ramaphosa tries to revive the economy. The state of government finances forced the Treasury last week to take the politically risky step of raising value-added tax for the first time in 25 years. Ramaphosa, 65, hailed a “new dawn” after his inauguration and has promised to fight corruption. The move was welcomed by ratings agencies and markets priced in expectations that it would enable South Africa to hang on to its last investment grade rating in a Moody’s review due soon. Ramaphosa announced Nene’s return on Monday in a reshuffle that...

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