Thursday 17 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
South Africa on Wednesday marks five years since the Marikana massacre when police shot dead 34 striking mineworkers, with commemorations focused on the lack of prosecutions over the killings. The 34 miners were gunned down after police were deployed to break up a wildcat strike that had turned violent at the Lonmin-owned Marikana platinum mine, northwest of Johannesburg, in August 2012. It was the worst police violence in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. On Wednesday, family members, miners, trade unionists, activists and politicians will gather at the site of the massacre to honour the dead and call for criminal prosecutions and improved compensation. An official inquiry established by President Jacob Zuma...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
South Africa's public prosecution service, which is investigating alleged corruption in the awarding of government contracts, has denied reports that it will not accept leaked emails as evidence against President Jacob Zuma's allies. The allegations of influence-peddling in the so-called "State Capture" affair are deepening a divide in the ruling ANC party as factions jostle for control before a conference in December where Zuma's successor as party leader will be chosen. In June, media began reporting on more than 100,000 documents and emails leaked from inside the business empire of the Gupta family
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
South African hostage Stephen McGown, who was held by Al-Qaeda in Mali for nearly six years, said Thursday he had been well treated but was distraught to have not be freed before his mother died. Speaking just 10 days after being released, he said he had converted to Islam in the Sahara desert, and added that he was determined to be positive after his ordeal. McGown, 42, sat next to his wife Catherine as he spoke for an hour to...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
A South African deputy minister appeared in court Thursday on assault charges for allegedly kicking and punching two women at a nightclub in northern Johannesburg at the weekend. Higher education deputy minister Mduduzi Manana "appeared in court after handing himself to the police this morning," Police Minister Fikile Mbalula told reporters. Manana faces two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm over the incident at around 4:00am on Sunday at the upmarket Cubana club in Johannesburg's Fourways district. He was granted bail of 5,000 zar ($375). Manana has apologised for the "shameful incident"...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
For one South African mother, cannabis was an illegal drug to warn her son about when he became a teenager: today, she uses it to treat his rare medical condition. Now the ban on using the drug is being challenged in the High Court, raising the possibility that it could effectively be decriminalised. "When I first heard of medical cannabis, I thought they were smoking it because they wanted to get high," said Susanne, who asked for her real name...
(The Independent 08/08/17)
'That shameful incident should not have happened,' says politician. South Africa’s Deputy Education Minister has been accused of assaulting a woman during an argument at a nightclub. Mduduzi Manana has since apologised for the “shameful incident” which took place in northern Johannesburg over the weekend and said he is prepared to bear the brunt of the full force of the law. Mr Manana said that even though he was provoked he should have exercised “restraint”. Sexual violence is a massive...
(AFP (eng) 08/03/17)
Jailed Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was taken to hospital Thursday for overnight observation, an official said, as local media reported he was suffering chest pains. Pistorius, 30, is serving a six-year jail term for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, in his Pretoria house in 2013. The "Blade Runner", as he was known, has always maintained that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he fired four high-calibre bullets through a locked toilet cubicle. "This morning...
(AFP (eng) 08/03/17)
A South African held hostage by Al-Qaeda in Mali since 2011 has been freed, the country's foreign minister said on Thursday. "Our fellow South African Stephen McGown was released on 29 July 2017," Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told reporters. McGown, 42, was abducted in Timbuktu in northern Mali in November 2011 along with Swede Johan Gustafsson and Dutchman Sjaak Rijke by a group of armed men while on the terrace of their hotel. Gustafsson was released in June while Rijke was freed in April 2015 by French special forces.
(Voice of America 08/02/17)
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has called an emergency meeting this Wednesday in South Africa of all countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) following an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Aid workers are concerned what this could mean for food security in the region, where a fall armyworm invasion and drought have decimated crops in recent years. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says besides Zimbabwe, the other countries in the region hit by...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
Two white South African farmers on Monday pleaded not guilty to all charges after an online video allegedly showed them pushing a black man into a coffin and threatening to burn him alive. Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson, both 28, stood trial on charges of kidnap, assault and attempted murder over the incident last year at a farm near Middelburg in the eastern province of Mpumalanga. They were arrested after the video, apparently shot on a mobile phone by one...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/31/17)
Two people have been killed and several injured in a stampede at South Africa's FNB Stadium during a soccer match between Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, Johannesburg city officials said on Saturday. "The city has been notified of two fatalities," said Luyanda Mfeka, the spokesman for the office of the mayor of Johannesburg. He said the cause of the stampede, which took place at one of the gates of the stadium that hosted the 2010 World Cup final,...
(Eye Witness News 07/31/17)
It's been reported that Faith Muthambi spent more than R300,000 flying 30 family members and friends to Cape Town. Parliament’s public service and administration committee chairperson Makhosi Khoza says she had no knowledge of the costs allegedly incurred by Minister Faith Muthambi for her budget vote address. It's been reported Muthambi spent more than R300,000 flying 30 family members and friends to Cape Town. Khoza says the committee will be expecting supporting documents to verify the claims. She says in...
(The Citizen 07/31/17)
The police minister said the incident could be linked to cybercrime, as Facebook was used to lure the woman. A Free State woman Princess Mahlangu, 24, who was a victim of a human trafficking scam, has returned safely to South Africa. Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said during a press briefing at OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday that they were “delighted” to welcome her home safely. Mahlangu was one of many from around the world who had entered a supposed...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/29/17)
A top South African school fired a white teacher on Friday it initially declined to sack over a string of racist remarks to pupils, bowing to political and public pressure in the latest race row to stir Nelson Mandela's "rainbow nation." The education department in Gauteng province said in a statement that St. John's College in Johannesburg had sacked Keith Arlow after it had been given a midday deadline to do so by provincial education minister Panyaza Lesufi. The elite...
(AFP (eng) 07/28/17)
A South African mine suspended dozens of women on Friday after they refused to strip as part of measures to stop workers delivering food to illegal miners, their union said. The women who refused the intimate inspection were "assaulted and handcuffed using cable ties as if they are criminals", the National Union of Miners said in a statement that claimed 52 women were suspended. Mine owner Sibanye Gold confirmed that it had suspended a number of female employees for "allegedly...
(Bloomberg 07/27/17)
The South African Constitution’s Bill of Rights says that everyone has the right to have access to health care services. Yet more than 80 percent of the nation’s population has no medical insurance and depend on a public health system with too few doctors and dilapidated facilities, resulting in treatment delays. So the government proposed a National Health Insurance plan in 2009 that would cover all its citizens. But the policy blueprint has taken years to move forward to the...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
South African police Wednesday arrested a 24-year-old woman with 20 kilogrammes of rhino horn before boarding a flight bound for Hong Kong, a spokesman said. The woman whose nationality has not been revealed, was detained at Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport while in transit from the Zambian capital Lusaka. Police said a luggage scanner revealed her suitcase "contained 11 pieces of rhino horn weighing approximately 20 kilogrammes." She has been charged with contravening laws that protect endangered species. South Africa...
(The Associated Press 07/25/17)
South Africa's government is moving ahead with draft regulations for a domestic trade in rhino horn, despite critics' concerns that a legal market will spur rhino poaching. The environmental affairs minister, Edna Molewa, said Monday that anyone possessing a rhino horn will need a permit, and that South Africa continues to recognize a ban on the international trade in horn that was imposed in 1977. South Africa is home to most of the world's rhinos. Earlier this year, South Africa's...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
The number of rhinos killed for their horns by poachers in South Africa dipped slightly in the first half of this year, but more than 500 were still slaughtered, the government announced Monday. South Africa is battling a scourge of rhino poaching fuelled by insatiable demand for their horn in Asia. Most of the demand emanates from China and Vietnam, where the horn is coveted as a traditional medicine, an aphrodisiac or as a status symbol. "A total of 529 rhino have been poached since January 2017, compared to 542 in the same period...

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