South Africa

Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) Thousands of mourners flocked Wednesday to the heart of South Africa’s sprawling Soweto township, a centre of anti-apartheid resistance, to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela’s former wife and struggle hero Winnie Mandela. Her grandson Bambatha Mandela described Winnie, who died on April 2 after a long illness, as “an extraordinary woman, a mother, a soldier, a fighter”. “Even at 81 (she) was one person I thought would live forever,” he said in an emotional tribute. “I had the privilege of being the first grandchild they couldRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) South Africa’s highest court has rejected Oscar Pistorius’s request to appeal against his 13-year jail term, ending the long legal battle over his killing of his girlfriend in 2013. The former Paralympic athlete, 31, had asked the Constitutional Court to review the jail term, which was increased to 13 years in November. But the court ruling released on Monday said that “the application for leave to appeal is dismissed” as it was not a constitutional matter. The ruling was dated March 28. Pistorius shot dead Reeva Steenkamp inRead More
Pretoria (AFP) Mmusi Maimane, the leader of South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance party, was re-elected on Sunday as the party kicked-off campaigning for elections due by 2019. The party which has the second largest number of parliamentarians is confronting the resurgent popularity of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party since President Cyril Ramaphosa took office — dubbed “Ramaphoria”. “We have reaffirmed that our purpose as Democrats is not to fight for a better behaved ANC, but for an entirely new government for South Africa, led by us andRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) Winger Madosh Tambwe scored a record-equalling four tries in a Super Rugby match as the Golden Lions crushed Western Stormers 52-31 in Johannesburg Saturday. The 20-year-old born in the Democratic Republic of Congo — a country that does not have a national rugby team — matched the feats of 15 other players since 1996. He took just 54 seconds to score before a 22,000 crowd, completed his hat-trick within 13 minutes and added a fourth try 12 minutes into the second half of the South African derby. Earlier,Read More
Durban (South Africa) (AFP) Former South African president Jacob Zuma came out fighting on Friday after appearing in court to face corruption charges over a suspect multi-billion dollar 1990s arms deal. Zuma was composed in the dock wearing a dark suit, white shirt and red tie as about 1,000 cheering supporters rallied outside to protest against the prosecution that has deepened political divisions. The ex-president, who was forced to resign just seven weeks ago, has been charged with 16 counts of graft stemming from an arms contract dating back toRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) Here is a timeline of major events in the corruption charges against South African former president Jacob Zuma: – Red flag – – November 1998: The cabinet approves an arms deal at a price tag of $2.5 billion. On the same day Zuma, then a provincial minister, meets with his personal financial advisor Schabir Shaik and an official from French arms dealer Thomson-CSF. The auditor-general soon raises a red flag over the deal as “high-risk”. – June 1999: Thabo Mbeki is elected president of South Africa with JacobRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) Former South African president Jacob Zuma is to appear in court Friday on 16 corruption charges over a suspect arms deal that dogged much of his rule before he was ousted in February. Zuma will attend the brief preliminary hearing at the Durban High Court in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, ahead of a trial that could send him to jail. Crowds of Zuma’s loyal supporters and political opponents are expected to rally outside the court, where a large police presence is planned to prevent clashes. Andrew Feinstein,Read More
Pretoria (AFP) Shadowy figures, arms deals and allegations of corruption all feature in the thriller-like story behind the prosecution of South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma which begins in Durban on Friday. One of the tale’s most intriguing characters is Ajay Sooklal, formerly a lawyer for French defence manufacturer Thales who was at the heart of the weapons sale that has landed Zuma in court. The former president is accused of taking bribes worth more than four million rand (280,000 euros) to favour Thales, which has been indicted alongside ZumaRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) South Africa on Tuesday paid emotional tributes to Winnie Mandela, who died aged 81, as politicians hailed her as an inspirational anti-apartheid campaigner and defended her often controversial record. The former wife of Nelson Mandela died in a Johannesburg hospital on Monday, mourned by many who praised her as one of the most charismatic and energetic activists who fought white-minority rule. Her convictions for kidnapping and fraud, and her reputation for overseeing brutal gang violence in black townships, were largely brushed aside by eulogies of her bravery, independenceRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) Winnie Mandela, the former wife of South African anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, died on Monday aged 81, triggering an outpouring of tributes to one of the country’s defining and most divisive figures. The firebrand activist died in a Johannesburg hospital, her family said, adding that she had “fought valiantly against the Apartheid state” and that she was known “far and wide as the Mother of the Nation”. Winnie Mandela, who was married to Nelson Mandela for 38 years, played a high-profile role in the struggle to end white-minorityRead More