Ed's Feed
Mar 20, 2015

What now for junk-rated “dinosaur” Eskom? South Africa asks

JOHANNESBURG, March 20 (Reuters) – In the dying days of
apartheid, the head of South Africa’s power utility, the central
pillar of the white-run economy, sat down with Nelson Mandela
and asked him a simple question: when you take office, what are
you going to do with Eskom?

The answer from South Africa’s future president was equally
simple: nothing, as long as you continue to produce cheap
electricity and connect more black South Africans to the grid.

Mar 12, 2015

Nigeria drafts in foreign mercenaries to take on Boko Haram

JOHANNESBURG/DAKAR (Reuters) – Nigeria has brought in hundreds of mercenaries from South Africa and the former Soviet Union to give its offensive against Boko Haram a shot in the arm before a March 28 election, according to regional security, defense and diplomatic sources.

Rumors about the use of foreign “soldiers of fortune” against the Islamist militant group gained substance this month when pictures surfaced on Twitter showing armored vehicles rumbling along a street in what was said to be Maiduguri, the regional capital of Nigeria’s Boko Haram-hit northeast.

Feb 24, 2015

South African spooks red-faced from latest spy data leak

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 24 (Reuters) – A mass leak of South
African espionage secrets will cause many foreign agencies to
think twice before sharing information with Pretoria, hampering
its efforts to walk a delicate diplomatic tightrope between East
and West, experts said on Tuesday.

Britain’s Guardian paper and Gulf TV channel Al Jazeera said
they had obtained hundreds of dossiers, files and cables from
the world’s top spy agencies to and from South Africa, dubbing
it “one of the biggest spy leaks in recent times”.

Jan 27, 2015

Nigeria’s banks flex muscles in tussle for control of naira

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Wrapping up a monetary
policy speech last week, Nigerian central bank governor Godwin
Emefiele declared that the naira, which has crumpled
to 190 to the dollar with the drop in oil prices, was
“appropriately priced”.

However, when currency dealers in Lagos and other financial
centres in Africa and Europe got to work the next morning and
turned on their computers, many were surprised to find the naira
wasn’t priced at all, let alone “appropriately”.

Dec 17, 2014

Exclusive: Amplats gets $385 million offer for Bokoni mine stake – sources

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Anglo American Platinum, the world’s top platinum miner, has received a 4.5 billion rand ($385 million) offer for its 49 percent stake in the Bokoni mine in northeast South Africa, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

South African platinum mining houses are on a restructuring drive that includes selling off under-performing and labor-intensive shafts following a five-month strike this year that dashed hopes of making them profitable.

Dec 9, 2014

With or without Mugabe, Zimbabwe still hostage to nationalism

HARARE (Reuters) – When veteran Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe sacked his vice-president in front of 12,000 baying party members last week, Emmerson Mnangagwa sat quietly in the crowd, a green baseball cap pulled low over his eyes.

The man who stood to gain most from the departure of Joice Mujuru betrayed nothing by his face and gentle clapping — a survival tactic honed during five decades of service from teenage guerilla to minister of defense, finance and justice for the mercurial now 90-year-old Mugabe.

Dec 9, 2014

Analysis – With or without Mugabe, Zimbabwe still hostage to nationalism

HARARE (Reuters) – When veteran Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe sacked his vice-president in front of 12,000 baying party members last week, Emmerson Mnangagwa sat quietly in the crowd, a green baseball cap pulled low over his eyes.

The man who stood to gain most from the departure of Joice Mujuru betrayed nothing by his face and gentle clapping — a survival tactic honed during five decades of service from teenage guerrilla to minister of defence, finance and justice for the mercurial now 90-year-old Mugabe.

Dec 6, 2014

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe promotes wife but leaves successor vacuum

HARARE (Reuters) – Ninety-year-old Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe promoted his wife to the top ranks of his ZANU-PF party on Saturday but delayed filling vacant senior posts, prolonging anxiety over his lack of successor.

Africa’s oldest head of state and the only leader Zimbabwe has known since independence from Britain in 1980 was elected unopposed at the five-yearly ZANU-PF meeting, putting him on track to contest the 2018 presidential elections, when he will be 94.

Dec 4, 2014

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe purges ‘treacherous’ deputy once seen as successor

HARARE (Reuters) – Ninety-year-old Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe purged the deputy seen just months ago as his most likely successor, denouncing her before party loyalists as leader of a “treacherous cabal” bent on removing him from power.

In a thunderous speech to 12,000 cadres of his ZANU-PF party, Mugabe threatened to turn the law on Vice President Joice Mujuru, whose status as presumed successor for Africa’s oldest head of state has evaporated in the past three months since she became the target of attacks in state media.

Nov 27, 2014

Falling oil prices deal bigger economic blow to Africa than Ebola

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Plunging world oil prices
have dealt a blow to Africa far greater – in purely economic
terms – than Ebola, setting back investment in exploration and
plans to industrialise.

The highest profile victim so far has been Africa’s top
producer, Nigeria, which was forced to devalue its naira
currency by 8 percent this week after the central bank admitted
dwindling reserves were making it hard to defend it.