Tokyo Banking Correspondent
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Apr 20, 2014

South Africa’s ‘spaza’ shops suffer as big retail rolls in

SOWETO, South Africa (Reuters) – In this corner of South Africa’s black township of Soweto, the biggest building used to be the Catholic church. Now it’s been overshadowed by a shopping center and business has only gotten worse for Grace, a 68-year-old shopowner.

Like many proprietors of “spaza” shops – the informal stores that dot township corners – Grace barely manages to keep afloat as more of her neighbors head to the mall.

Apr 11, 2014

CEO of Wal-Mart’s South African unit Massmart to step down

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The chief executive of South Africa’s Massmart (MSMJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will step down this year, the company said on Friday, after overseeing seven years of steady growth and engineering the sale of a majority stake to U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Grant Pattison will be replaced by his deputy, Chief Operating Officer Guy Hayward, from June 1, the discount retailer said in a statement. He will remain on the board as a non-executive director until the end of December.

Apr 8, 2014

Pistorius breaks down sobbing, trial adjourned for a day

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius broke down and sobbed in the witness stand on Tuesday as he described the moments when he shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, thinking she was an intruder hiding in the toilet.

The double amputee, who is accused of murdering 29-year-old law graduate and model Steenkamp, told a Pretoria court how he heard a window sliding open in his bathroom in the middle of the night on Valentine’s Day last year. He said he was convinced an intruder was breaking in and that he needed to arm himself.

Apr 8, 2014

Pistorius: ‘I was overcome with fear’ before shooting

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius told a court on Tuesday he was “overcome with fear” about a burglar in the moments before he shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day last year.

Pistorius, accused of murdering Steenkamp, a 29-year-old law graduate and model, recounted how he heard a window sliding open in his bathroom in the middle of the night, convincing him an intruder was breaking in and that he needed to arm himself.

Apr 7, 2014

“I’m scared to sleep”, tearful Pistorius tells court

PRETORIA (Reuters) – His voice trembling with emotion, Oscar Pistorius took the witness stand in his own defence on Monday, saying the Valentine’s Day shooting of his girlfriend last year had left him sleepless, terrified and plagued by nightmares.

The disabled South African track star, on trial for murder, apologised to the mother of model Reeva Steenkamp, saying he had fired four times through a toilet door at his luxury Pretoria home in the belief he was defending her from an intruder.

Apr 7, 2014

Pistorius retches during graphic forensic testimony

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South African track star Oscar Pistorius wept and retched into a bucket in court on Monday during graphic forensic testimony about the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, whom he is accused of murdering on Valentine’s Day last year.

As the first defense witness, forensic pathologist Jannie Botha, described the multiple bullet wounds sustained by Steenkamp, the 27-year-old Paralympic and Olympic sprinter sat in the dock with his head buried in his hands.

Apr 3, 2014

South Africa’s Adcock names industry newcomer as CEO

JOHANNESBURG, April 3 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Adcock
Ingram named an industry newcomer and veteran executive
from its biggest shareholder as its new chief executive on
Thursday, an appointment aimed at turning around the fortunes of
the country’s No.2 drugmaker.

The appointment of Kevin Wakeford followed the widely
expected resignation of Jonathan Louw this week, whose
leadership of the struggling firm had been criticised by top
shareholder Bidvest Group.

Mar 25, 2014

Director of South African tech firm charged with attempted police bribe

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – An executive director of South Africa’s Pinnacle Holdings has been charged with offering a $460,000 bribe to a senior police official in an attempt to win an equipment deal for the technology company, police said on Tuesday.

Takalani Tshivhase allegedly offered the 5 million rand bribe to a lieutenant general in the South African Police Service (SAPS) to secure a multi-million rand contract for devices used in police investigations, SAPS said.

Mar 20, 2014

South Africa opposition files graft charges against Zuma over home upgrade

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s main opposition party laid criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma on Thursday, accusing him of “flagrant abuse” of public money over $23 million in upgrades to his home that included a swimming pool and a cattle enclosure.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) filed eight charges of corruption against Zuma at a police station near his Nkandla homestead, a party spokeswoman said.

Mar 10, 2014

South Africa’s rattletrap taxis move millions – and an economy

SOWETO, South Africa, March 10 (Reuters) – Zakes Hadebe’s
minibus taxi has nearly half a million kilometres on the clock,
a broken speedometer and a fuel gauge he struggles to keep just
above empty.

Yet by 8 a.m. on a recent Friday, Hadebe and his rattling
Toyota had already overcome rain, traffic and an ever-rising
petrol price to ferry nearly 40 commuters from South Africa’s
black township of Soweto to nearby Johannesburg.

    • About David

      "David Dolan covers banks, consumer lenders and financial regulation in the world's second-largest economy. Before that, he covered Tokyo's stock market for Reuters and also did reporting stints on Capitol Hill and Chicago's City Hall. He was born in Ireland and grew up in Chicago."
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