Monday 20 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma sacked a vocal critic from his cabinet on Tuesday, a move set to deepen tensions before the ANC chooses a new party leader in December. In his second reshuffle this year, Zuma dropped higher education minister Blade Nzimande, a veteran member of the South African Communist Party, which is a key political ally within the ruling ANC alliance. The SACP hit back at the "authoritarianism" of Zuma, who the SACP has repeatedly called to resign over corruption scandals. "This is an act of provocation," the party's deputy secretary general Solly Mapaila told reporters.
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Abuja (Nigeria) - The former South African President, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, has urged African leaders to emulate Obasanjo in preserving African heritage. Speaking during his visit to the Presidential Library (OOPL) of Nigerian former leader Olusegu Obasanjo in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital in south-western Nigeria, Mbeki challenged other ex-African leaders to replicate same in their countries. Mbeki, who served as the second post-apartheid President of South Africa from 14 June 1999 to 24 September 2008, was accompanied by Mr. Darkey Africa, the Consul General of South Africa in Nigeria, was conducted round the various departments of the library complex.
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/17)
South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal ruled on Friday that President Jacob Zuma can face prosecution on almost 800 charges of corruption relating to a 1990s arms deal. Zuma had lodged a challenge at the court in Bloemfontein after a lower court decided in 2016 to reinstate charges that were previously dropped by prosecutors. The National Prosecuting Authority must now decide whether to pursue a prosecution. "The reasons for discontinuing the prosecution... do not bear scrutiny," said Supreme Court judge Eric Leach, delivering a ruling that the presidency described as "disappointing". The opposition Democratic Alliance party has fought since 2009 to reactivate 783 charges relating to controversial post-apartheid military contracts that have dogged Zuma for much of his time in...
(APA 10/13/17)
APA-Pretoria (South Africa) - South Africa's Supreme Court has upheld a lower court's ruling that a 2009 decision by state prosecutors to drop the charges against President Jacob Zuma was wrong, a development that paves the way for his prosecution over a litany of corruption charges relating to a 1990s arms deal. Zuma had appealed against a ruling handed last year by the High Court to reinstate charges relating to a 1999 case against him that had previously been dropped. The charges of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering had been set aside in 2009, enabling Zuma to become president. They related to Zuma's relationship with businessman Shabir Shaik. The businessman was convicted in 2005 of soliciting bribes from a...
(AFP (eng) 10/12/17)
A South African court will rule Thursday on whether the suspicious 1971 death of an apartheid-era activist in custody was suicide, as police officers claimed, or actually a regime killing. For many, the case -- the culmination of a relentless campaign by the activist's family -- has brought back raw memories of apartheid. Ahmed Timol, a 29-year-old campaigner against white-minority rule, was arrested in Johannesburg and after five days in detention he died after plummeting from the city's police headquarters. Officers at the time said he took his own life -- a verdict endorsed by an inquest.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/12/17)
ESTCOURT, South Africa (Reuters) - Police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to break up crowds hurling insults at a group of men accused of cannibalism in a South African farming town. More than 500 people gathered outside the magistrates court in eastern Kwa-Zulu Natal province on Thursday as the men sat inside, hiding their faces with their hooded tops and their hands. Authorities originally charged seven men after police said one of them had walked into a police station in August with a human leg and a hand. Police spokeswoman Col. Thembeka Mbele told Reuters on Thursday he had confessed that he was tired of eating human flesh. The court acquitted three of the men on Thursday on charges...
(APA 10/12/17)
APA-Johannesburg (South Africa) - The South African city of Johannesburg has emerged as Africa’s most popular destination in 2016‚ followed by Cape Town‚ according to the annual Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index on Thursday. According to the survey, the commercial city of Johannesburg welcomed 4.57 million international overnight visitors in 2016 – a 24 percent increase on the previous year’s 3.69 million visitors. Another African city, Cape Town, rose from third place in 2015 to become the second most popular African destination city in 2016 with 1.52 million visitors, it added. Third was Nigeria’s commercial city of Lagos (1.04 million)‚ followed by Morocco’s Casablanca (961 694)‚ and Egypt’s Cairo (820 959) rounding out the top five African cities‚ while the...
(The Associated Press 10/12/17)
An anti-apartheid activist who died in 1971 was tortured and killed by South African police, a court said Thursday, a landmark decision that raised hopes that dozens of similar cases would be investigated. The inquest into Ahmed Timol’s death had riveted South Africans as legal experts said it could set a precedent for examining similar deaths. “It is sad that it took so long,” Nobel Peace Prize winner and former archbishop Desmond Tutu said in a statement read out by Timol’s family, local media reported. The court found that Timol did not kill himself by jumping from a 10th-floor window, as authorities said at the time. An inquest found that the South African Communist Party member was murdered after his...
(APA 10/12/17)
APA-Johannesburg (South Africa) - The Competition Commission of South Africa has taken the South African Football Intermediaries Association (Safia) and 36 members of the body representing soccer agents to a tribunal in relation to alleged price-fixing in the sport. The commission referred the agents to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution following an investigation into their activities found that they were overcharging their clients by seven percent in defiance of a Fifa recommendation to charge only three percent. The body said that its investigation had indeed revealed that, among other things, “Safia and its members agreed to charge soccer players and coaches a standard 10 percent commission fee when negotiating and concluding new contracts‚ transfer contracts‚ and renewal contracts with football...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
South Africa and Chad on Sunday signed an agreement that will see the re-introduction next year of critically endangered black rhino to the central African country, decades after it was last seen there. Environment ministers from the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding "which will allow for the translocation of six black rhino from South Africa to Chad," said a government statement. The last time a rhino was spotted in Chad was in 1972, according to official documents Chad submitted to South Africa. The animals should be airlifted to Chad's Zakouma National Park "sometime next year. We are looking at around March, April or May" environmental affairs ministry spokesman Albi Modise told AFP. Black rhino are officially listed as...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(The Associated Press 10/10/17)
South Africa plans to send six black rhinos to a national park in Chad next year, restoring a critically endangered species that was last seen in the landlocked African country in the late 1980s. The non-profit group African Parks said Tuesday that the rhinos will go to Chad’s Zakouma National Park, which lies south of the Sahara desert and north of Central African rainforests. The group, which manages Zakouma and 10 other conservation areas in Africa, describes the Chad-bound rhinos as a “founder population,” reflecting hopes that rhino numbers will increase there. The environment ministers of South Africa and Chad on Sunday signed an agreement providing for the rhino transfer. African Parks earlier this year relocated 18 black rhinos to...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA-Pretoria (South Africa) - South Africa’s central bank on Monday refuted claims that it has instructed banks on what steps they should take against auditing firm KPMG, which has fallen from grace for its close working relations with the controversial Gupta family, APA has learnt. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said it “has not instructed banks on what steps they should or could not take with regards to their contracts with KPMG.” “As stated by SARB Governor Lesetja Kganyago in a statement issued at the Monetary Policy...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA-Pretoria (South Africa) - South Africa’s main power utility Eskom on Monday expressed concern at media reports on its newly-appointed interim group chief executive Sean Maritz, only days after his appointment. “We have noted with concern recent media reports with unsubstantiated allegations against Mr Maritz. We plead that he be given a chance to lead Eskom,” the power utility said. The media reports come after Eskom’s announcement on Friday that it had appointed Maritz to the top post. The Eskom Board announced that it has decided to rotate the current executives for this role to “ensure exposure” to the senior management. Maritz was the utility’s Chief Information Officer and Group Executive for Information...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA-Mbabane (Swaziland) - Swaziland has decreased the maximum amount of maize meal that individuals can purchase from South Africa from 100 kilograms to 20 kilograms per household, APA learns here on Monday. This, according of the Ministry of Agriculture, is a result of good maize harvest that the country enjoyed in the 2016/2017 season and also the heavy decline in maize prices realised in regional markets. The amount of maize meal that a household could purchase from neighbouring South Africa had been increased from 20 kg to 100 kg in response to the drought experienced by the country in the 2015 planting season where there was a heavy decline in harvests. During that period the National Maize Corporation (NMC) projected...
(AFP (eng) 10/08/17)
For 40 years he has waited to discover the truth of how his son died at the hands of police during South Africa's apartheid era. Now the reopening of a similar case has given him hope that he may finally learn what really happened. In February 1977, Mabelane heard that a detainee had died in unusual circumstances. "I heard the news report that a detainee jumped from the 10th floor" of Johannesburg police headquarters, he told AFP, his back upright, his head shaven, sporting a white goatee. A few hours later, two policeman were hammering on the door of his modest Soweto home. The victim was his 23-year-old son Matthews, an anti-apartheid activist who had been arrested two weeks earlier...
(Reuters 10/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s finance minister ordered the government pension fund on Friday to investigate possible irregularities at the fund to help ally concerns that politicians are trying to “influence” it. The Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which holds a large chunk of government bonds and stakes in leading South African companies, has come under the public spotlight after reports that the finance ministry had requested 100 billion rand ($7 billion) from the fund to bail out struggling state firms. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has denied making such a request, which drew sharp criticism from opposition parties and civil society. Gigaba said in a statement on Friday he was concerned about the “politicisation” of the PIC and asked its management...
(AFP 10/06/17)
South Africa's new Global T20 league will go ahead, Cricket South Africa pledged on Friday, but it is expected to lose money for the first two seasons. No broadcast deal has yet been signed but CSA vice-president and acting chief executive Thabang Moroe said negotiations were well-advanced. "It is just a matter of agreeing the finer details," he said. Moroe said a deal in the region of US $70-80 million (60 million euros-68 million euros) was being sought, but admitted that CSA was expecting a net loss of about $25 million, while franchise owners would lose about $1.5 million in the first season. Moroe and CSA president Chris Nenzani briefed reporters for the first time since last week's announcement of...

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