• South Africa’s Top Anti-Corruption Official Is Facing Death Threats

    09/May/2016 // 319 Viewers

    "She is concerned about her safety and security," a spokesperson says
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    South Africa’s lead anti-corruption official Thuli Madonsela has been warned by an informant that hit men may be targeting her.

    The public protector is known for issuing a 2014 instruction to President Jacob Zuma to repay some of the state funds he spent on private home renovations. South Africa’s top court upheld Madonsela’s demand on Mar. 31, Reuters reports, and ruled that Zuma had breached the constitution by ignoring her earlier request.

    Her spokesperson said Madonsela received a text message alerting her to the alleged death threat on Apr. 1. “She is concerned about her safety and security,” the spokesperson said.

    Madonsela was included in the 2014 Time 100 list for investigating corruption at the highest levels of government. At the time, she was described by the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, as being “among the tiny but growing band of African public servants giving us hope for the future of our continent.” - Reuters

     

     


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  • Breaking News! Renewed fighting forces over 110,000 to flee

    12/Aug/2016 // 927 Viewers

     

    As killings and bombings continue no fewer than 110,000 people have fled to escape the devastating effects of bombs as a result of renewed fighting that broke out since last month in the world's newest nation of South Sudan, the United Nation said on Friday.

    Refugees have been fleeing in droves to the east African nation of Uganda from South Sudan.

    The UN’s refugee agency said it was “extremely worried” about South Sudan’s rapidly escalating displacement crisis, warning that neighbouring countries and humanitarian groups were struggling to cope with the situation.

    Roughly 82,000 of those who have sought refuge across South Sudan’s southern border in 2016 have moved in the last five weeks, the UNHCR said.

    The influx was sparked by renewed fighting between the government forces of President Salva Kiir and those loyal to ex-rebel chief Riek Machar.
    Another 100,000 South Sudanese have fled north this year into Sudan. However, most of that movement occurred earlier in the year and was partly linked to food insecurity.

    Overall, more than 2.5 million people have been driven from their homes since South Sudan’s war erupted in December 2013, including 930,000 who have fled to neighbouring countries, the NHCR said.

    At the same time, Uganda announced on Friday it would not contribute troops to a regional brigade designed to bolster the UN mission in South Sudan, hours before a Security Council vote authorising the deployment.
    A key ally of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, Uganda’s government said it did not want to be seen as interfering in another nation’s affairs by joining the UN protection force due to be deployed in the capital, Juba.

    “Not deploying in South Sudan was voluntary,” Ugandan foreign minister Henry Okello told AFP on Friday.
    “We choose for Uganda not to be part of the deployment so that (those) who accuse the UPDF (Ugandan army) of meddling in the internal affairs of South Sudan have no opportunity to accuse us,” he added. - AFP


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  • Pistorius faces lengthy jail term for lover’s murder

    13/Jun/2016 // 379 Viewers

     

    (AFP)South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius on Monday enters the final stretch of a protracted legal battle that could see him back in jail for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three years ago.

    The double-amputee killed Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, saying he mistook her for an intruder when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.

    In March, Pistorius’s lawyers failed in their legal bid to reverse a Supreme Court of Appeal judgment that upgraded his original conviction from culpable homicide — the equivalent of manslaughter — to murder.

    The original trial judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to pass a new sentence after hearing arguments from both prosecution and defence this week. The prosecution will be pushing for a tougher penalty.

    The 29-year-old “Blade Runner” faces a minimum 15-year jail term for murder, but his sentence could be reduced due to time already spent in prison and mitigating factors, including his disability.

    Legal experts expect Pistorius to take the stand to express remorse.
    “Contriteness is a very important sentencing factor. If someone apologises and shows remorse, that is a strong mitigation factor,” said criminal law expert Martin Hood.

    Britain?s Sunday Telegraph reported that Steenkamp’s father Barry could also take the witness stand to ask the court to impose a lengthy punishment.

    If he does, it will be the first time one of Steenkamp’s parents has testified in the case.

    Pistorius was released from jail last October to live under house arrest at his uncle’s mansion in Pretoria after serving one year of his five-year sentence for culpable homicide.
    – Minimum 15-year jail –

     
    If he is sentenced to more than five years this time around, he will have to serve at least two thirds of the term before he qualifies for parole.

    Analysts estimate that he could be sentenced to between eight and 12 years, but the prosecution is pushing for at least 15.

    “When it is not premeditated and when a person is a first offender, (murder) carries a minimum of 15 years… and we have the responsibility to ensure that the provisions of the law are applied,” said the National Prosecution Authority’s Luvuyo Mfaku.

    Since being convicted of murder, he has been on bail and allowed to leave the house at set times, but not travel further than 20 kilometres (12 miles) without permission.

    The case at the High Court in Pretoria was scheduled to last until Friday, though the sentence could be handed down earlier.

    A lawyer close to the case told AFP on condition of anonymity that it should take three days for both sides to present evidence and “the judge may come back to deliver sentence on Friday.”

    Pistorius has always denied killing Steenkamp in a rage and, during his dramatic seven-month trial in 2014, sobbed in the dock as details of his lover’s death were examined in excruciating detail.

    Pistorius has shunned the media during years of intense coverage since Steenkamp’s killing, but his family have revealed that he has given his first interview, due to air on British broadcaster ITV on Friday.

    The year before he killed Steenkamp, Pistorius became the first double-amputee to race at Olympic level when he appeared at the London 2012 games.

    He has since lost his glittering sports career, lucrative contracts and status as a global role model for the disabled. 


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  • Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni promotes son to 2-star general

    17/May/2016 // 1063 Viewers

     

    Uganda’s long-time president has promoted his son to a two-star general, bolstering speculation that the son’s rise in the army could eventually lead to a political career.

    With the promotion, President Yoweri Museveni’s son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, becomes a major general and remains the top commander of Uganda’s special forces, an elite unit within the regular army that is mainly in charge of protecting the president and top government officials.

    Military spokesman Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said Tuesday that Muhoozi is one of five army officers promoted in changes announced late Monday.

    Many Ugandans believe Muhoozi, 42, is being groomed to eventually succeed Museveni, who has ruled this East African country for 30 years. Museveni has denied that his son will succeed him, saying that Uganda is not a monarchy.


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  • Tanzania to publish names of homosexuals ‘selling their bodies online’

    18/Feb/2017 // 411 Viewers

     

    Hamisi Kigwangalla, Tanzania’s deputy health minister, on Saturday said the government will publish a list of homosexuals allegedly selling sex online.

    The minister, like many politicians nowadays, took to Twitter to announce that the government was investigating “the homosexuality syndicate.”

    Kigwangalla said those involved in the gay sex business would be arrested and prosecuted.

    “I will publish a list of gay people selling their bodies online. Those who think this campaign is a joke are wrong. The government has long arms and it will arrest all those involved quietly,” he wrote.

    “Once arrested they will help us find others.”

    The Tanzanian government had on Thursday announced it was closing down several health centres that were providing AIDS-related services.

    The AIDS clinics were accused of promoting homosexuality by providing services to homosexuals.

    Several Tanzanian men suspected of being gay have been detained and taken to hospital for anal exams to confirm their homosexuality.

    Homosexuality is punishable by 30 years to life imprisonment under Tanzanian law, but the ban does not apply to woman-t0-woman intercourse.

    It is illegal in 38 African countries.


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  • Racism: South African farmers in court for shoving black man into coffin (See photo of man in coffin)

    18/Nov/2016 // 309 Viewers

     

    Middelburg (South Africa) (AFP) - Two white South African farmers briefly appeared in court on Wednesday on assault charges after an online video emerged showing them pushing a black man into a coffin and threatening to burn him alive.

    Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson, both 28, were remanded in custody after their lawyer decided not to apply for bail.

    Magistrate Jongilizwe Dumehleli ordered the pair to return for another hearing on January 25.

    The men face charges of kidnapping and assaulting 27-year-old Victor Mlotshwa over an incident that occurred in August at a farm near the town of Middelburg in the eastern province of Mpumalanga.

    They were arrested on Monday after the video, apparently shot on a mobile phone by one of the two white men involved, went viral last week.

    The 20-second clip shows one of the assailants shoving a black man, clearly in distress, into the wooden coffin and trying to force down the lid.

    "Come, come. We want to throw the petrol on," said one of the men, speaking Afrikaans, according to the News24 website.

    They are also accused of threatening to put a snake in the coffin.

    Mlotshwa told ENCA television he was walking to the town of Middelburg and decided to use a short cut when the two men spotted him.

    "I was in a hurry I had to use some path, a footpath, that was the shortest to go to Middelburg," he said.

    "They accused me of trespassing. Then they beat me up and I had to run away," he said, adding he tried to flee but they caught him.

    "They tied me with cable tie and took me to the nearest farm. They beat me up and forced me into the coffin."

    - 'Drive them to the sea' -

    Political leaders who attended the trial used the event to highlight cases of racially motivated aggression around the country, telling their supporters to act against racism.

    The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition party and the ruling African National Congress held separate rallies outside the court to protest at the alleged assault and racism in South Africa.

    "We will make sure that those who are still racist, especially white people who are still racist, we will drive them to the sea so that they go back to where they come from," ANC's youth league deputy president, Desmond Moela, said during the rally attended by Mlotshwa.

    "They want to torture our people when they are on our land."

    At another rally, the spokesman of the radical EFF Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told party members that it is "impossible" for white South Africans to see blacks as fellow human beings or as equals.

    "This country has a very painful past which still seems to be our present, in which black people continue to be treated like animals," he said.

    "We are still in the same position we were under apartheid."

    - 'Dehumanising and humiliating' -

    Despite its long history of institutionalised racism under the apartheid regime, South Africa does not have legislation that criminalises racism and it remains beset by deep-rooted inequality 22 years after the end of white-minority rule.

    Cases of racism have erupted regularly on social media in recent years.

    A South African estate agent was in June fined for labelling blacks as monkeys littering the beaches in a Facebook post she posted in January.

    In August, a previously whites-only girls school was ordered to suspend allegedly racist hairstyle regulations after black pupils said they had been called monkeys by teachers for wearing banned "afros".

    Victor Mlotshwa -- who was filmed being pushed into a coffin -- listens to evidence at the Middleburg Magistrate Court on November 16, 2016 (AFP Photo/Mujahid Safodien)

    Early this year, the ANC acknowledged the need for a law that criminalises racism, given the country's "painful past".

    The FW de Klerk Foundation said it "unreservedly" condemns the racial incident against Mlotshwa, calling it "dehumanising and humiliating".


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  • Soldier commits suicide

    19/Aug/2016 // 309 Viewers

     

    Police have confirmed the death of a Sir Seretse Khama Barracks soldier, who was last week found hanging from a tree opposite Mogoditshane Senior Secondary School.

    The 20-year-old Sefhare born Private Mompoloki Phaladi’s body was found by a student who informed a passerby and reported to the police.
     
    Phaladi, according to the police, hanged himself using a piece of wire and he did not leave any suicide note.

    Assistant Superintendent Mothusi Merementsi of Mogoditshane police this week confirmed the incident but said the body was still at the mortuary awaiting postmortem.

    He said investigations are still underway to establish what could have led to the suicide.

    Merementsi advised people to share their problems and seek professional advice from relevant people as suicide is not a solution.

    In another incident Ikanyeng Makanye of Kgosing Ward in Gabane has been detained for threatening to kill his girlfriend Keitumetse Moleele and attempting to commit suicide.

    It is reported that the 25-year old Makanye accused Moleele for cheating on him.

    The accused allegedly beat up and threatened to kill the 21 year-old Moleele with a screw driver.

    Makanye then tried to hang himself but failed as the police arrived on time and rescued him. - The Voice


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  • Breaking! Military mourns as 11 officers perish in motoring accident [Photo]

    19/Aug/2016 // 853 Viewers

     


    PARIS, AUGUST 19, 2016: (DGW) It was tears and sorrow as no fewer than eleven military officials were on Friday killed in a motoring accident as a bus transporting them fell down an embankment, the News Agency of Nigeria has reported

    According to a report from Johannesburg a total of  42 South African  military officials were travelling in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in centrally located Free State province when the motoring accident occurred.

    It said that the officers were on their way to a cultural centre inside the park, when the bus driver failed to apply brakes on a bend.

    It reported that all the fatalities were women, while several people were hospitalised in critical condition. - NAN


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  • Mugabe orders arrest, detention of country's Olympic Team members for failure to win medals

    23/Aug/2016 // 809 Viewers

     

    Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe has instructed the Commissioner General of Zimbabwe Police Republic, AugustineChihuri to arrest and detain the whole Zimbabwean Olympic Team members immediately the arrive at the Harare International Airport on Tuesday, August 23.

    Zimbabwe which is one of the countries in the Olympics without a medal presented a team of 31 athletes. The closest any of the athletes came to win a contest was at the 8th position.

    Mr. Mugabe who is incensed with the team’s performance told the Police Chief to arrest all the team members and detain them. “We have wasted the country’s money on these rats we call athletes. If you are not ready to sacrifice and win even copper or brass medals (referring the 4th and 5th positions) as our neighbors Botswana did, then why do you go to waste our money” he said.

    If we needed people to just go to Brazil to sing our national anthem and hoist our flag, we would have sent some of the beautiful girls and handsome guys from University of Zimbabwe to represent us.

    He added that, the money invested in the team to represent the country could have been used to provide amenities and build schools. “This situation is like an impotent man who is married to 5 women, what is the essence? I will make sure we share the cost across board for all of them to pay back to government chest even if it take 10 years recoup, now it turns out to be a soft loan we have given them to go and visit Brazil as tourist, they are useless ‘he concluded.


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  • South Africa tenders unreserved apology to Nigerian Gov't over killing of Nigerians, wishes the injured speedy recovery

    23/Feb/2017 // 3741 Viewers

     

    PARIS, FEBRUARY 23, 2017: (DGW) South Africa has reportedly tendered an unreserved apology to the Nigerian government over the extra-judicial killing of Nigerians and other nationals.

    This apology was extended by President Jacob Zuma through the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni.

    He blamed the unjustifiable attacks on a poor representation of South Africa’s values while adding that his government back home has taken urgent steps to stem the dangerous tide.'
     
    According to him, “We reiterate our view that South Africans are generally not xenophobic. We are deeply saddened by these acts of violence that have taken place against the foreign nationals, especially the Nigerians affected in these communities.

    While expressing regrets for the eruption of violence that targeted Nigerians he said, “The South African government is sorry for the destruction and wishes the injured a speedy recovery.

    “If they were, we would not have such a high number of foreign nationals who have successfully integrated into communities all over the country. No amount of anger or frustration can justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops.”

    He said his country’s Minister of Home Affairs has led a delegation to areas where crisis broke out, and that the police had been directed to provide security.

    “We have dispatched a ministerial delegation to the affected communities in Johannesburg and Pretoria, which is being led by the minister of home affairs, Malusi Gigaba, to address the issues in the area. The South African government is specifically interested in addressing alleged claims of illegal activities of undocumented migrants which have been raised by communities. The police have been directed to work round the clock to protect both foreign nationals and citizens and arrest looters and those committing these acts of violence.


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