Wednesday 18 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/27/18)
South Africa's new President Cyril Ramaphosa has reshuffled the cabinet to bring reformers to several key ministries while axing graft-tainted allies of ex-leader Jacob Zuma. Here are short profiles of some of the key ministers: - Deputy President: David Mabuza, 57 - A provincial leader until last week, Mabuza was thrust into national politics when he was elected in December as the ruling African National Congress party's second most powerful official. The controversial politician, a former schoolteacher nicknamed "The Cat", has a reputation as a hardliner and an astute political strategist. Opponents routinely accuse him of having his own private "military" which is allegedly linked to political intimidation and even killings. - Finance Minister: Nhlanhla Nene, 59 - Respected among...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/27/18)
(Reuters) - South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa reshuffled his cabinet on Monday after coming to power two weeks ago when Jacob Zuma resigned under pressure from his party, the ruling African National Congress. Important changes include the return of ministers fired by Zuma, including Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan, to economic posts. But although the 10 ministers axed included a number of close Zuma allies, a number were retained as Ramaphosa sought to keep the different factions of the ruling African National Congress in his cabinet. Below are details of some key ministers: NHLANHLA NENE - FINANCE MINISTER Nhlanhla Nene served as finance minister from May 2014 until December 2015, when Zuma fired him and replaced him with unknown parliamentary...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/18)
A 22-year-old woman was mauled to death by a lion on Tuesday at a private game lodge close to South Africa's capital Pretoria, local media reported. The victim was attacked by the lioness near Hammanskraal, roughly 45 kilometres (30 miles) north of Pretoria around 0900 GMT, the local Rekord newspaper reported citing the emergency services. "When Netcare 911 paramedics arrived at the scene, bystanders had initiated (resuscitation). Tragically, the victim had sustained severe injuries and she died at the scene," Nick Dollman, spokesman for the Netcare 911 ambulance service, told the paper. Netcare 911 confirmed the incident on its Twitter account. Police were investigating, Dollman added. Earlier this month a suspected poacher was mauled to death and eaten by a...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/27/18)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) has referred KPMG to a disciplinary hearing following an investigation of its work for Linkway Trading, a project management firm owned by friends of former President Jacob Zuma. Linkway Trading was a project management company in the Gupta-owned Oakbay Group. The Gupta brothers have been accused of using their links with Zuma to get lucrative tenders and influence cabinet appointment. The Guptas and Zuma have denied any wrongdoing. KPMG has previously refuted allegations that it was involved in, or condoned, any alleged money laundering activities linked to Linkway Trading. “The disciplinary advisory committee resolved that the registered auditor must be referred to a disciplinary hearing,” said Bernard Agulhas,...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/18)
Some of the world's best fast bowlers will square up when the first Test between South Africa and Australia starts at Kingsmead on Thursday. They may find, however, that some of their sting drawn by pitch conditions. Kingsmead has lost the reputation it once had as a fast bowler’s paradise. It has been many years since wicketkeepers had to leap around as balls soared and sped off the playing surface. Indications are that the pitch will offer encouragement but not excessive help to the fast men, with enough grass on the surface to assist movement off the seam. The South African team, it seems, has given up on trying to influence conditions after their "requests" to groundsmen resulted in pitches...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/18)
South African state prosecutors on Monday said they would next month release their decision on whether or not to prosecute former president Jacob Zuma for corruption. Zuma faces the risk of jail over 18 criminal charges linked to 783 payments totalling four million rands ($345,000) that he allegedly received in connection with arms deals before he became president. "A decision has been made," but the announcement will be pronounced after 14 days, Luvuyo Mfaku, spokesman for the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA), told AFP. After the two weeks, "the national director will inform the former president in writing and the parties that are involved" before going public, he said. The charges were first brought against Zuma in 2005 but dropped by...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/18)
Zambian Justin Shonga scored a brilliant goal Sunday as Orlando Pirates beat Chippa United 4-2 and became the leading challengers to South African Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. The away victory for the Soweto Buccaneers after a thriller in eastern coastal city Port Elizabeth lifted them to 36 points, four less than the pacesetters with eight rounds remaining. With Pirates holding on to a 3-2 lead deep into stoppage time, Shonga unleashed an angled shot from the edge of the box that flew across goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo and into the far corner. Shonga also scored the second goal for the former African champions, pushing the ball into the net from close range after a lengthy goalmouth scramble. Serb coach Milutin "Micho"...
(AFP (eng) 02/24/18)
Seven suspects accused of killing five South African policemen were shot dead by officers late on Friday in a bloody gunfight outside a church, according to investigators. The shoot-out erupted when police hunted down the armed gang that is alleged to have stormed a police station in Eastern Cape province and killed five officers and a retired soldier on Wednesday. "The group which uses a church as a hiding place was cornered inside the church premises," the Hawks police investigative unit said in a statement. "A gun battle between suspects and police ensued which left seven suspects dead and a task force member injured in the legs."
(AFP (eng) 02/23/18)
South Africa's top court on Friday reinstated a 24 year prison sentence for a Nigerian oil militant convicted of a series of terror attacks in his home country eight years ago. Henry Okah was jailed in 2013 for masterminding a number of attacks, including twin bombings which killed 12 people in the Nigerian capital Abuja during independence day celebrations in 2010. Okah's appeal was first heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2014, which overturned four of his 13 terror convictions and reduced his sentence to 20 years, but the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg overruled the decision. "The appeal against his entire conviction... is dismissed," the Constitutional Court said in its ruling
(AFP (eng) 02/23/18)
A former South African soldier was sentenced to death in South Sudan on Friday for attempting to overthrow the government. Ex-colonel William Endley, 55, was "sentenced to death by hanging" for espionage and conspiring to overthrow the government, said judge Lado Eriminio Sekwat at a court in the capital Juba. Endley, who can appeal the ruling, was also sentenced to nine years and four months in prison for other related crimes, which must be served before his execution. The South African was hired in 2016 to advise former vice president and rebel leader Riek Machar on the planned integration of rebel forces into the national army under the then peace deal. Weeks after the peace agreement collapsed during days of...
(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 operating officer George van der...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/22/18)
CAPE TOWN/LONDON (Reuters) - South African bonds stayed in demand on Thursday as markets priced in expectations that government efforts to reduce the country’s large debt pile will enable it hang on to its last investment grade rating in a Moody’s review due soon. In a budget announced on Wednesday, Africa’s most industrialized economy took the politically risky step of raising value added tax, a move likely to prove less popular with voters than with foreign investors. Raising VAT for the first time in 25 years, along with a commitment to cutting debt, further burnished the market credentials of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was elected a week ago. S&P Global said the VAT measure was a welcome step. “It is...
(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 unknown. The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) said 915 cases of listeriosis had been confirmed since January 1 2017, leading to 172 deaths. The new toll was a sharp jump on the 61 deaths confirmed by early last month...
(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 unknown. “The NICD is optimistic that the source of this outbreak will be found, and urges members of the public not to panic unnecessarily,” government said in a statement, saying authorities were trying to find the source of the outbreak...
(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 police station," Naidoo told AFP. "Five of the six were on-duty police officers. Three police officers were killed at the police station when robbers attacked the station and randomly opened fire on the members." Naidoo said the robbers made off...
(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 but hopeful budget" as he announced Value Added Tax (VAT) on sales would rise by 1 percentage point to 15 percent. The new rate is the first hike since the end of white-minority rule in 1994. "We have not adjusted...
(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 said he would also have liked to bowl in view of the weather conditions but said India would be looking to post a good total. "Their batting line-up didn't pull it off in the last game so we will be...
(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 reluctantly resigned as president last week after a nine-year tenure plagued by corruption allegations and economic stagnation. “We started at the time when the economy was not doing so well,” Madlala, a chemical engineer who previously worked at Heineken, told...

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