South Africa

Cape Town (AFP) South African winemaker Marlize Jacobs looks out across the parched brown earth that sustains her award-winning vines, surveying the effects of the water crisis ravaging Cape Town and surrounding areas. “It’s the strangest thing — I think vines like to suffer. When the berries are shrinking, there’s more concentration of flavours,” she told AFP, describing the impact on her crop of the worst drought in 100 years. The Western Cape region has gone without significant rains for more than three years, forcing South Africa’s second city toRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast flopped at home and fellow former African title winners V Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo also bowed out of the CAF Champions League Sunday. The Abidjan club, winners of the competition in 1998, looked set to succeed in a last-32 tie against Zesco United of Zambia after building a 1-0 lead on the road last week. In a dream start to the return match, ASEC doubled their overall advantage when Gbagnon Badie converted a penalty after just seven minutes. ButRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) A South African supermarket chain has withdrawn a third brand of sausages after the world’s worst listeria outbreak which has claimed at least 183 lives since January last year. Shoprite said it would no longer be selling farmer’s Deli sausages as a precautionary measure as “the presence of Listeria monocytogenes was identified in an initial testing of a single batch of red Viennas.” It said more tests were needed to confirm “harmful levels of Listeria bacteria. “The results of the further testing will take another five working days.Read More
Pretoria (AFP) Former South African president Jacob Zuma will face prosecution on corruption charges that haunted much of his term in office, the country’s chief prosecutor said Friday. Zuma is accused of taking kickbacks from the $5 billion purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and other arms, manufactured by five European firms, including British military equipment maker BAE Systems and French company Thales. National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku confirmed to AFP that Thales would also face prosecution, alongside Zuma. Thales declined to make any immediate comment. “After considerationRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) Botswana’s President Ian Khama on Friday accused the US government of encouraging elephant poaching following its recent decision to reverse a ban on imports of sport-hunted trophies. Khama was speaking at an African elephant conservation conference in Botswana. “I want to take this moment to condemn in the strongest possible terms, the decision taken by… the (Donald) Trump administration who on the 1st of March this year… issued a memorandum that with immediate effect, the US government would consider issuing permits for certain elephant trophies from six AfricanRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) Nine police officers appeared in a South African court Thursday over the deaths of three miners in the days before the 2012 Marikana massacre, when 34 striking workers were shot dead. They are the first officers to be in court over the traumatic events of nearly six years ago, when police broke up a wildcat strike that had turned violent at the Marikana platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg. The officers, who were granted bail by the court in Rustenburg, face charges of murder, attempted murder and subverting theRead More
Bloemfontein (South Africa) (AFP) A Danish gun shop owner in South Africa initially accused of storing women’s genitals in a freezer was handed two life sentences Thursday for raping a child and conspiracy to murder. Peter Frederiksen, 65, was found guilty of 36 offences in the Free State High Court on November 6, including production of child pornography. On Thursday, a judge told him he would be removed “permanently” from society. He received the life sentences for the rape of the child and the murder of his wife, plus otherRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) South Africa summoned Australia’s envoy to Pretoria Thursday to explain comments by a Canberra minister who suggested “persecuted” white farmers in the country should be offered fast-tracked humanitarian visas. Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who has drawn criticism for cracking down on asylum seekers from Asia and the Middle East, said white farmers could be admitted as refugees. Dutton made the offer in response to Pretoria’s vow to enact land “expropriation without compensation” to redress land confiscations of the colonial and apartheid era. According to police, 74Read More
Johannesburg (AFP) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who came to power last month, vowed on Wednesday to “escalate the pace” of redistributing land from wealthy whites to poorer blacks. Land ownership is a sensitive subject in South Africa, 24 years after the end of apartheid rule, and Ramaphosa warned the issue would “implode” unless it was addressed quickly. “We must — given the history we have had — work with urgency to significantly and sustainably escalate the pace of land reform,” Ramaphosa told parliament. “If we do not do so,Read More
Muldersdrift (South Africa) (AFP) Exiled Congolese opposition leader Moise Katumbi launched a campaign Monday to be elected president in polls scheduled for December, unveiling his new “Together for Change” party in South Africa. “We will fight the battle to take power — and we will win,” said Katumbi at a meeting of several hundred supporters at a hotel outside Johannesburg. “This fight and the successful transfer of power are national issues… so we have decided to establish a political movement known as ‘Together for Change’.” Democratic Republic of Congo’s electionRead More