Wednesday 26 July 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
Four of South Africa's neighbours have banned poultry imports from the rainbow nation following a serious outbreak of a highly contagious strain of avian influenza. Namibia on Tuesday became the latest country to ban South African chickens -- live and uncooked -- following last week's outbreak of the H5N8 strain of bird flu at two South African poultry farms. Windhoek followed Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique, along with Zambia, which had already halted the imports of certain poultry products from South Africa. Namibia's chief veterinary officer Adrianatus Maseke confirmed in a statement "the suspension of import and 'in-transit' movement...
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
South African prison officials said Monday that they were considering suspending 13 guards after one of the country's high-security jails held an "explicit" strip show for inmates last week. The announcement was made after racy pictures of prisoners in orange uniforms, some bare-chested, standing with scantily dressed women in black corsets and knee-high boots went viral on social media over the weekend. Officials said the pictures were taken during an event on June 21 at the notorious Johannesburg Correctional Centre, more commonly known as "Sun City". "After a preliminary investigation...
(News24 06/27/17)
South Africa has chosen to side with the Democratic Republic of Congo on its investigation into violence in its Kasai province, which has seen hundreds of people killed in the past 10 months and at least 1.3 million displaced. No mention was made in any public statements of this violence during President Joseph Kabila's state visit to South Africa over the weekend, but his delegation was asked to explain it in a closed meeting that was chaired by Kabila and President Jacob Zuma. Kabila's chief advisor, Barnabé Kikaya-bin-Karubi, who was in the meeting, told News24 the Congolese delegation explained that the DRC government was already investigating the violence and it was opposed to an independent investigation as was suggested by...
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
A policeman who was with a South African anti-apartheid activist when he fell from a 10th-storey window in the 1970s could be questioned over the fatal incident, a new inquest into the death heard Monday. Ahmed Timol, a 30-year-old activist, was arrested in Johannesburg on the night of October 22, 1971 and after five days in detention he plunged to his death from the city's police headquarters. Following an investigation by authorities at the time, the anti-apartheid activist was found by a judge to have taken his own life -- but following a long campaign by his family the case has been re-opened. It was revealed in the Johannesburg High Court as the case began on Monday that a police...
(Others 06/27/17)
A small but vocal group of Congolese immigrants protested outside the Sefako Makgatho presidential guesthouse in Pretoria, as President Jacob Zuma hosted the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila. The two leaders were meeting with their respective ministerial teams as part of a binational commission. Protesters, some of whom draped themselves in the light blue DRC flag were left disappointed when Kabila's convoy avoided the protest and used another entrance into the presidential guesthouse. "The man is a coward. He heard there are some people protesting here and decided to avoid this entrance," said one of the protesters who identified himself as Ountsche. Earlier police tried to move the protesters away from the main gate but later...
(AFP (eng) 06/24/17)
The brutal death of anti-apartheid campaigner Ahmed Timol was allowed to go quietly unsolved in the interests of South Africa's democratic reconciliation. But now more than 45 years after he fell from a 10th-floor window at a notorious regime security building and died, Timol's case is being re-examined following a campaign to expose the truth led by his family. Timol, a 30-year-old activist with the then-banned South African Communist Party (SACP), was arrested in Johannesburg on the night of October 22, 1971. After being held in detention for five days, he was declared dead following his plunge...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/24/17)
The South African parliament is planning to challenge in court an anti-graft watchdog's recommendation of constitutional changes to the mandate of the central bank, it said on Friday, highlighting worsening divisions between state institutions. Divisions have also surfaced within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) since President Jacob Zuma sacked his finance minister in March and are likely to keep emerging until the party elects a new leader in December. The central bank and Barclays...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
South Africa reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at a farm in the Free State province, agricultural industry body group AgriSA said on Friday. Poultry producer Astral confirmed that the H5N8 bird flu strain was found on its Villiers farm on the outskirts of the Free State province, it said in a statement. The company said the farm had been quarantined and the site affected would be depleted of all birds. "Astral assures all stakeholders that everything is being done to contain this incident. If this incident is contained to that specific site and/or farm Astral’s contingency plans do ensure continued operations with no impact,” Astral Managing Director, Agriculture, Gary Arnold said. Read more at: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-birdflu-safrica-idUSKBN19E0NE
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
South Africa's highest court on Thursday ruled that lawmakers can cast secret ballots in a no-confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma, who is facing mounting criticism within the ruling ANC. Although no date has been set for such a vote, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said the National Assembly speaker had the authority to order a secret ballot in a case brought by the country's opposition parties. "The speaker of the National Assembly has constitutional power to prescribe that voting in a motion of no-confidence in the President of the Republic of South Africa be conducted by secret ballot," the chief justice said.
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Tributes were paid Tuesday to Joel Joffe, the lawyer who defended Nelson Mandela in the trial that saw the anti-apartheid icon jailed, following his death at the age of 85. Lord Joffe died on Sunday, said Oxfam, the aid agency which he chaired. The Nelson Mandela Foundation said the human rights lawyer died in London. Joffe was a key part of Mandela's defence team in the 1963-4 Rivonia Trial, which saw Mandela given a life sentence for sabotage against the apartheid South African state. After leaving for Britain, he founded a big insurance firm and later became a parliamentarian spearheading the campaign for assisted dying for the terminally ill. Leading British anti-apartheid campaigner Peter Hain said Joffe was an "iconic...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Three teenage boys appeared in court on Monday on rape charges after a video emerged showing a trio of youths sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the South African city of Bloemfontein, the prosecution said. The boys aged 15, 16 and 17 years were arrested after the video was posted on social media last week. It showed two youths in school uniform fondling and trying to forcibly kiss the girl on school premises, local media said. "The three are facing charges of rape," national prosecution authority spokesman in the central Free State province, Phaladi Shuping told AFP. One of the boys is facing an additional charge of distributing pornographic material. They did not enter pleas and are expected to return...
(RFI(EN) 06/19/17)
A court in South Africa this week announced that there would have to be a trial to decide who actually owns a shipment of phosphate from Western Sahara that's been stopped and held in a South African port. Western Sahara's Polisario Front movement stopped the ship last month (May) with a legal complaint, saying the phosphate had been taken from land that Morocco occupies illegally. Read at more: http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20170617-south-africa-trial-decide-fate-western-...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
South Africa buried the "spirit" of one of its first rebel leaders Friday, 200 years after his death in Australia, where his bones were never found. A traditional ritual was performed by indigenous elders to bring Khoi San chief Dawid Stuurman's spirit home, and a coffin symbolically carrying the spirit was buried on Friday in his rural hometown of southern Hankey. Stuurman, the last Khoi San chief, resisted British colonial rule so was jailed at Robben Island from where he escaped three times before being sent to Australia in a convict ship to serve his term. He died in Sydney in 1830 and is believed to have been buried under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But efforts to recover his remains...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
Morocco's OCP group denounced Friday a decision by a South African court to hold a Moroccan ship laden with phosphate mined from the disputed Western Sahara pending a trial. The court said it wanted to determine ownership of the cargo of the boat that is being held at Port Elizabeth. The 34,000-tonne vessel from Western Sahara, which was destined for New Zealand, was last month prevented from departing due to a court motion seeking that the vessel return its cargo. The motion argued that the transportation of goods from disputed Western Sahara is illegal and in violation of international principles. "The court has basically found that the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Polisario Front have established, on a prima...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
War crimes judges will rule next month on whether South Africa flouted international law when it failed to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2015, wanted on charges of genocide in Darfur. The International Criminal Court "convenes a public hearing on 6 July... for the delivery of its decision," the court said in a statement Friday. The tribunal based in The Hague "invites representatives of South Africa and the prosecutor to attend," it added. Pretoria, at an unprecedented hearing in April, disputed accusations by ICC prosecutors that...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
A South African court on Thursday ordered the further detention of a Moroccan vessel laden with phosphate mined from the disputed Western Sahara pending a trial to determine the owner of the cargo. The 34,000-tonne vessel from Western Sahara and destined for New Zealand was last month blocked from sailing off due to a court motion seeking that the vessel return its cargo. The motion argued that transportation of goods from disputed Western Sahara is illegal and in violation of international principles. "The court has basically found that the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Polisario Front have established...
(AFP (eng) 06/15/17)
South Africa adopted a new mining code on Thursday requiring companies to have majority black investors to qualify for new prospecting licences, causing the major miners' stock to tumble. The controversial Mining Charter forces firms seeking mining prospecting rights to have a minimum of 50 percent plus one share owned by black investors while requiring firms with existing mines to have 30 percent black ownership -- up from 26 percent. Companies will have one year to achieve the new 30 percent target. By midday, South African-focussed miners Sibanye Gold shares had shed six percent, platinum giant Anglo American had lost five percent while Kumba Iron Ore also dipped five percent. The country's mining minister Mosebenzi Zwane said the long-awaited regulations...

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