Friday 19 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
South African deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was narrowly elected head of the ruling ANC party Monday, winning a bruising race that exposed deep rifts within the organisation that led the fight against apartheid. Thousands of raucous Ramaphosa supporters sang and chanted in the conference hall as rival backers of defeated candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma appeared dejected. Ramaphosa won 2,440 votes to Dlamini-Zuma's 2,261. "We declare comrade Cyril Ramaphosa the new president of the African National Congress," an official told party delegates in Johannesburg. The victory puts Ramaphosa in line to succeed President Jacob Zuma, whose reign has been plagued by corruption scandals, economic slowdown and growing anger...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/19/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected leader of the African National Congress on Monday in a close-run vote that will set the direction for the country and the scandal-plagued party that has ruled since the end of apartheid. As ANC leader, Ramaphosa, a 65-year-old union leader who became a businessman and is now one of South Africa’s richest people, is likely to become the country’s next president after elections in 2019. He has promised to fight rampant corruption and revitalize the economy, a message hailed by foreign investors. Jacob Zuma’s presidency, tainted by corruption and scandal, has badly tarnished the ANC’s image both at home and abroad.
(Reuters (Eng) 12/19/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The nearly man of South African politics, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, took a big step towards the top job on Monday when he was elected by a whisker as head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). Ramaphosa’s ability has been apparent for decades. Whenever Nelson Mandela needed a breakthrough in talks to end apartheid, he turned to the then-trade union leader with a reputation as a tenacious negotiator. Using skills honed in pay disputes with mining bosses, Ramaphosa steered those talks to a successful conclusion, allowing Mandela to sweep to power in 1994 as head of the victorious ANC after South Africa’s first democratic vote. Mandela wanted Ramaphosa to be his heir but was pressured into...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
Cyril Ramaphosa's long and eventful career has taken him from trade union activist to multi-millionaire and now to within touching distance of the South African presidency. After South Africa dismantled apartheid, Ramaphosa saw his hopes for the country's top job dashed. True to his pragmatic character, he opted instead for life in business -- a move that brought him spectacular wealth. But his election on Monday as head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) brings him to the brink of realising his dream. It puts him in line to succeed President Jacob Zuma, due to step down before elections in 2019. It was after Ramaphosa failed to clinch the ANC nomination to succeed president Nelson Mandela in 1999 that...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
Former Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has filed papers to South Africa's Constitutional Court appealing against his 13-year jail term for shooting dead his girlfriend, a lawyer for the victim's family said Tuesday. A court last month increased Pistorius's sentence for murdering Reeva Steenkamp to 13 years in the latest stage of a long court battle since his trial in 2014. Pistorius shot dead Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet, later saying that he thought she was an intruder. "We respect the law. It is Oscar Pistorius's constitutional right to appeal his sentence. The law must take its course," Tania Koen, a lawyer for the...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
Convicted Dutch arms dealer Guus Kouwenhoven who supplied arms that fuelled Liberia's bloody civil war was on Tuesday released by a South African court on bail of $78,000, local media reported. Kouwenhoven, 75, was arrested at his Cape Town mansion in early December after Dutch prosecutors requested his extradition to serve a 19 year sentence for his role in the west African country's conflict. He was reportedly granted bail "under strict conditions" that include reporting to a police station every two hours during the week. "He has also been placed under house arrest (on weekends) and his passport is to be handed in," the News24 site reported. Kouwenhoven was found guilty in absentia by a Dutch court in April of...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/19/17)
After a bruising battle that engaged ordinary South Africans in a manner reminiscent of the heady combination of fear and hope that galvanized the country after Nelson Mandela was released from 27 years of incarceration in 1990, his ruling African National Congress has chosen a new leader to try to lift the country’s veil of sleaze. Cyril Ramaphosa, at present serving as a deputy to the controversial and widely despised President Jacob Zuma, is now the shoo-in as the party’s candidate to become South Africa’s next president in 2019, should the ANC win that general election. Publicly embraced as the anti-corruption savior of a country deeply divided by the sleaze of Zuma’s two-term administration, Ramaphosa’s victory finally dashes Zuma’s hopes...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
Vote counting began Monday after thousands of delegates from South Africa's ruling ANC party cast ballots to choose their next leader, in an election seen as a decisive moment in the country's post-apartheid history. There are only two candidates in the hotly-contested race: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a wealthy businessman, and former minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is President Jacob Zuma's ex-wife. Whoever wins will be well-placed to be South Africa's next president in the 2019 general election. Voting started soon after midnight on Sunday...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
Thousands of delegates from South Africa's ruling ANC party cast secret ballots Monday to choose their next leader after repeated delays to a vote seen as a decisive moment in the country's post-apartheid history. The only two candidates in the tight race are Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a wealthy businessman, and former minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is President Jacob Zuma's ex-wife. The winner will be well-placed to be the country's next president in the 2019 general election. Voting started soon after midnight on Sunday and continued through Monday morning after repeated delays due to disputes over which delegates were qualified to vote, with hundreds of attendees...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
South Africa's ANC party, the celebrated political force that led the struggle against apartheid rule and ushered in democracy, has begun electing a new leader -- but it faces a perilous future. The risk of losing power at the 2019 general elections has loomed large over its party conference where the new party chief will be chosen in the coming days. Here are four ways the once unassailable African National Congress (ANC) could be ousted from office. - Party break-up - If Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma wins the conference vote, vanquishing front-runner and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ramaphosa could lead his supporters out of the party.
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with his wife and four children after spending four years at a camp in Chad, telling AFP: "Now we've no other family. Now you are our family." The new refugees -- also hailing from Sudan --...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/17)
Thousands of delegates from South Africa's ANC party gathered Saturday for a five-day meeting to elect their new leader in a divisive race seen as a pivotal moment in the country's post-apartheid history. The winner will be well placed to be the next president, but the ANC has lost much popularity since Nelson Mandela led it to power in the euphoric 1994 election that marked the end of white-minority rule. Soaring unemployment and government corruption have fuelled frustration among millions of poor black South Africans who face dire housing, inadequate education and continuing racial inequality.
(AFP (eng) 12/16/17)
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is within touching distance of South Africa's top job, previously had his presidential hopes dashed and opted for life in business that brought him spectacular wealth. After failing to clinch the ANC nomination to succeed president Nelson Mandela in 1999, the veteran trade unionist swapped politics for a lucrative foray into business that made him one of the wealthiest people in Africa. His failure came as a surprise to many as he was seen as Mandela's preferred candidate -- with Mandela describing Ramaphosa as one of the most gifted leaders of the "new generation".
(AFP (eng) 12/16/17)
Seven candidates are battling to succeed President Jacob Zuma as the leader of the African National Congress at the party's conference starting Saturday. Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa and ex-African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are the frontrunners in a divisive race. Here are portraits of five other candidates who could emerge as key players in the struggle for control of the legendary party. Zweli Mkhize, the strategist The 61-year-old treasurer of the ANC is a shrewd and well connected party insider. While practising as a medical doctor, he was forced into exile in the 1980s after disobeying apartheid regulations at a hospital in his home province of KwaZulu Natal. He went on to live in Swaziland and Zimbabwe before returning home...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma on Saturday promised free higher education for most students, hours before the start of an ANC party conference to choose his successor as party chief. Education fees have been one of the most contentious subjects during Zuma's presidency, with violent demonstrations erupting at campuses across the country by students demanding free education. Zuma will step down as African National Congress party head at the five-day meeting starting outside Johannesburg, but he will remain as national president ahead of elections in 2019.
(AFP (eng) 12/16/17)
More than 5,200 delegates will head to South Africa's ruling African National Congress elective conference from December 16 to 20 to pick a new leader to replace President Jacob Zuma. The gathering is the fruit of many months of planning for the complex process of selecting the storied party's new president, who will likely go on to contest presidential elections in 2019. The secrecy around the preparations and the numerous closed sessions have led some to raise fears that the outcome could be contested. - Who decides? - The electoral conference of the ANC is made up of 5,240 voting members of which 4,731 -- roughly 90 percent -- are drawn from the party's regional branches in the country's nine...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/17)
A coming-of-age film which explores the taboos around gay love and sex has won plaudits and awards abroad, and is now in the running for an Oscar. But back home in South Africa, the movie is under fire for lifting the veil on secret initiation rites practised by one of the country's largest ethnic groups. The trailer alone led to its stars receiving death threats, and opponents have fought to stop it from being screened in local cinemas. "The Wound" delves into the world of ritual initiations in the country's Xhosa community, following the experiences of an initiate and two older men who all experience same-sex attraction. Acclaimed by critics, the film was last week short-listed for the "best foreign...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
The African National Congress was lauded for its moral authority in the fight against apartheid in South Africa, but many veterans of that era are deeply disillusioned by the party's actions today. As delegates prepare to elect a new leader to succeed Jacob Zuma, the ANC faces falling public support, a reputation for corruption and the threat of a damaging split between rival factions. The celebrated activists who stood alongside ANC leader Nelson Mandela in the struggle against white-minority rule say the party bears little semblance to its storied glory days, given its current reputation for putting personal interests above national needs. "I am not proud of being an ANC member that is led by this lot. I am proud...
(APA 12/15/17)
South Africa has described 2017 as an eventful year in which government made a lot of progress in fighting poverty, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday. According to the president, his government had fought the “stubborn legacy of apartheid and colonialism” in these efforts in the past year. “A lot of progress has been made in the extension of basic services to the people. Many more South Africans now have access to housing‚ water and electricity. “We have also further expanded access to education and healthcare‚ while laying the foundation for greater growth through our massive infrastructure rollout‚” he said. Despite the progress‚ he added‚ the levels of poverty were still on the rise. Zuma said: “Statistics South Africa informs...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
South African businessman Christo Wiese has resigned as chairman of retail giant Steinhoff following an accounting scandal that has engulfed the firm, the company said Friday. Steinhoff said Wiese had quit to avoid conflicts of interest as a probe into the company's finances was underway in Germany. Last week Steinhoff revealed it was under criminal and tax investigations over suspicions of accounting irregularities, with a reported six billion euro (seven billion dollar) hole in its accounts. The news sent the stocks of the Frankfurt-listed firm tumbling more than 80 percent, with South African authorities, where the company has a secondary listing, calling for action against the company. Steinhoff's African businesses include a range of credit-based household goods retailers and the...

Pages