| Africatime
Saturday 29 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
South Africa's former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who was dramatically fired by President Jacob Zuma, has warned that the ruling ANC party could lose power in the next election. Gordhan -- widely seen as a bulwark against government corruption in South Africa -- also appeared to back deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma. "I think there are many of us who are extremely worried that if we continue as we are in the African National Congress (ANC), we are likely to lose the 2019 elections," Gordhan told CNN late Thursday. "If we, like any business organisation or political organisation, fail to muster the right leadership, stick by the right kind of values and do...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
South Africans gathered Thursday to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the country's first post-apartheid elections, but the annual Freedom Day celebrations were mixed with demonstrations calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Zuma addressed the main gathering of supporters in his home province of Kwazulu Natal. "This day must be the day on which we are happy to contribute more in building South Africa," he said. "Happy Freedom Day to you all." Speaking in Zulu, Zuma criticized opposition parties, without directly addressing the ongoing political crisis. But tensions were on display. Hundreds of people demonstrated in Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. The protest was organized by the newly formed Freedom Movement. Speakers at the gathering in Pretoria described Zuma as...
(AfricaNews 04/28/17)
A major protest has taken place in South Africa against embattled President Jacob Zuma. Some 2,000 people gathered in Pretoria on Thursday to demand Zuma’s exit on the occasion of the “Freedom Day”, which marked the first free elections in the country’s history in 1994 as well as fall of apartheid. The group, “Freedom Movement”, combining parties and civil society groups hostile to Zuma, gathered in a park in the capital, holding placards that read “Zuma must go “. “Coalition...
(The New York Times 04/28/17)
“Heh, you people, you used to laugh at us. Look at you now. You can’t even buy a bottle of Coke!” It was the early 2000s, during the economic free-fall that had followed Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform program, which began 20 years after the country had won its political independence from Ian Smith’s settler colonial regime. My parents were visiting Zambia from South Africa and in the town of Livingstone met a woman who, upon discovering that they were...
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
South Africa on Thursday marked 23 years since its first post-apartheid election with some protesters calling for President Jacob Zuma to resign after numerous corruption scandals. At his address to commemorate the April 27, 1994 election that brought Nelson Mandela to power, Zuma hailed the end of white-minority rule as "one of the greatest achievements of humankind". "We have achieved political freedom but economic freedom still remains largely elusive... the majority of black people are still economically disempowered," Zuma said at the event in KwaZulu Natal province. Zuma, who came to power in 2009, has faced fierce criticism over government corruption scandals, record unemployment and slowing economic
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken the gloves off in the contest to become the nation’s next leader, delivering a scathing speech criticizing “the rot” and widespread patronage plaguing the ruling African National Congress. Ramaphosa stopped short of openly declaring his candidacy to succeed President Jacob Zuma, 75, in a speech on Sunday, but his address left no doubt that his campaign is now firmly under way. He made several thinly veiled attacks on Zuma, who’s indicated that he’s backing his ex-wife and mother of four of his children, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, for the top post. Dlamini-Zuma, who’s spent the past few weeks traversing the country drumming up support while guarded
(AFP (eng) 04/23/17)
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa called Sunday for an independent probe into suspected corruption in the upper echelons of power. "We must be honest and brave enough to confront state capture," he said, using a term referring to allegations of corruption by President Jacob Zuma and his associates. Tens of thousands of South Africans have staged protests in recent weeks demanding Zuma stand down, and opposition parties, religious groups and civil society activists last week joined forces in a...
(AFP (eng) 04/21/17)
South African opposition parties, religious groups and civil society activists on Thursday launched a new alliance to try to force President Jacob Zuma to step down. Called the Freedom Movement and backed by retired archbishop Desmond Tutu, it plans to hold a mass rally on April 27, the annual holiday marking South Africa's first post-apartheid election in 1994. Zuma's sacking of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan last month fanned years of public anger over government corruption scandals, record unemployment and slowing economic growth.
(AL Jazeera 04/20/17)
The ANC has lost the moral high ground that it used to have after the fall of the apartheid regime. The African National Congress of today is a political organisation as well as the leading force in government. The organisation, the government and the state as a whole are in the midst of multiple crises covering broad areas of economic, social and political life. Gone are the days when the ANC represented hope for a better life, cherished by many,...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/18/17)
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that leaders should listen to protesters who have taken to the streets demanding that President Jacob Zuma resign or be removed after a cabinet reshuffle triggered damaging credit downgrades. Zuma is to step down as head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in December but his second term as president only expires after a general election in 2019. Ramaphosa and Zuma's ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are the leading candidates vying to replace...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/13/17)
South Africa's police minister promised on Thursday to find a new head for the force's "Hawks" investigative team and address its reputation as "a unit with low morals", seeking to draw a line under months of legal and political wrangling. Fikile Mbalula named a new interim chief and said a full-time replacement would be found by the end of the year, a day after calling off his ministry's legal fight to keep the Hawks' last leader in office. The tussle...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Rival South African opposition parties joined forces on Wednesday when tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through the capital Pretoria calling for President Jacob Zuma to resign. The march to Union Buildings, the official seat of government, was organised on Zuma's 75th birthday and came after nationwide rallies against the president last week. Zuma's recent sacking of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan has fanned years of public anger over government corruption scandals, record unemployment and slowing economic growth. Supporters of the radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), and smaller parties mingled
(Reuters (Eng) 04/13/17)
More than 30,000 people marched in South Africa's capital Pretoria on Wednesday calling on President Jacob Zuma to quit, keeping up pressure from the streets on the leader over his handling of the struggling economy. The protesters marched through the city and held a rally at a field outside the Union Buildings, the site of Zuma's offices. Zuma, who turned 75 on Wednesday, has survived previous protests. But the main opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) and other parties behind the...
(AFP (eng) 04/12/17)
Thousands of demonstrators gathered in the South African capital Pretoria on Wednesday for further protests urging President Jacob Zuma to step down. The march to Union Buildings, the official seat of government, was organised by a coalition of opposition parties following nationwide rallies against Zuma last week. Zuma's recent sacking of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan unleashed public anger over government corruption scandals, record unemployment and slowing economic growth. Wednesday's march was led by the radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/12/17)
South Africa's parliament said on Wednesday a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma can only be withdrawn by opposition leader Mmusi Maimane and not the Speaker, responding to requests by the opposition to delay the vote. The Constitutional Court said on Tuesday it would consider whether the no-confidence vote should be taken by secret ballot. Opposition leader Mmusi Maimane then requested the Speaker to delay the vote until the case was determined. (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
South Africa's ex-leader Thabo Mbeki on Tuesday waded into a no-confidence debate against President Jacob Zuma, urging lawmakers to set aside political affiliation during next week's vote. A parliamentary motion of no confidence in the president is due on April 18 following the controversial sacking of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan last month. Zuma has easily survived previous such votes against him, thanks to the majority the ruling African National Congress enjoys in parliament. But in an article that extensively...
(AFP (eng) 04/10/17)
South Africa's sacked finance minister on Sunday warned in a speech disrupted by ANC members that the ruling party risks losing the next general election in 2019 unless it unites. Pravin Gordhan was speaking at a memorial service held in Durban in honour of anti-apartheid icon Ahmed Kathrada. Youth members of the ruling African National Congress booed Gordhan and disrupted his speech with song and dance. President Jacob Zuma fired Gordhan nine days ago, fuelling divisions within the ANC party...
(AFP (eng) 04/08/17)
South Africa on Friday denied flouting international law in 2015 by failing to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for trial by war crimes judges on charges of genocide in Darfur. At an unprecedented hearing at the International Criminal Court, Pretoria disputed accusations it had broken its obligations to the very tribunal it helped found. There "was no duty under international law on South Africa to arrest the serving head of a non-state party such as Mr...
(AFP (eng) 04/07/17)
Thousands marched through major South African cities Friday demanding the resignation of President Jacob Zuma after his sacking of the popular finance minister fuelled widespread public anger. Zuma, who came to power in 2009, has been battered by a series of corruption scandals during his time in office, while the country has suffered record unemployment, slowing growth and stubborn racial inequality. His removal of finance minister Pravin Gordhan last week unleashed a fresh bout of criticism, as Gordhan was seen by many ordinary South Africans as a bulwark against corruption. Large crowds gathered in the capital Pretoria, the economic hub Johannesburg and coastal cities of Durban and Cape

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