Ed's Feed
Nov 21, 2014

Zimbabwe calls South African report on its 2002 election ‘rubbish’

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A senior Zimbabwean minister on Friday slammed a report by two South African judges that said Zimbabwe’s 2002 elections, won by long-time President Robert Mugabe, were not free and fair.

At the time of the vote, then South African president Thabo Mbeki glossed over observer reports of irregularities, including violence and intimidation, to declare it reflected the legitimate will of the Zimbabwean people.

Nov 14, 2014

Land-grab calls expose South Africa’s broken promises

NELLMAPIUS South Africa (Reuters) – To the squatters marking it up this week with sticks, rocks and strips of plastic, ‘Malema Valley’ is a little slice of South Africa they want to call home.

To many others, including the government, the derelict land on Pretoria’s outskirts handed out by supporters of opposition firebrand Julius Malema is the thin end of a land-grab wedge that could ultimately derail Africa’s most advanced economy.

Nov 5, 2014

Shell pushes South Africa to end four-year shale gas licence delay

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) pushed South Africa on Wednesday to decide on its application, now nearly four years old, to explore for shale gas in the Karoo, a pristine semi-desert that may contain some of the world’s largest reserves.

Shell’s application in early 2011 for an exploration licence in the Karoo, which the U.S. Energy Information Administration says may hold up to 390 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of technically recoverable reserves, caused an uproar from farmers and green groups, and an 18-month moratorium on the issuing of permits.

Oct 30, 2014

Die at home and cut the health cover-ups, Africans urge leaders

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – When dying Zambian president Michael Sata flew to London last week he was following a long line of African leaders who have sought emergency — and secret — medical treatment in foreign hospitals most of their citizens can only dream of.

With Ebola exposing the poor state of the continent’s healthcare systems, and mobile phones and social media undermining official attempts to control and suppress information, many Africans were unimpressed.

Oct 23, 2014

Pistorius shoves race, crime and punishment in South Africa’s face

PRETORIA (Reuters) – As Oscar Pistorius spent his first day behind bars this week, a suspected child rapist and murderer went on trial at the same Pretoria court in a case that has also provoked fierce debate about crime and punishment in post-apartheid South Africa.

Although the two defendants, one wealthy and white, the other poor and black, are from opposite ends of a still-divided society, both cases have revealed an alarming lack of faith in the justice system of the “Rainbow Nation”.

Oct 15, 2014

S.Africa’s Zuma outlines ambitious oil exploration plans

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 15 (Reuters) – South African President
Jacob Zuma outlined ambitious plans on Wednesday for oil and gas
exploration in coastal waters that he said could contain as much
as 9 billion barrels of crude and vast quantities of natural
gas.

In a speech to senior South African and Malaysian officials
in the port city of Durban, Zuma said the government wanted 30
exploration wells drilled in the next 10 years.

Sep 12, 2014

‘Dolus eventualis’, the legal Latin on South Africa’s lips

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – It is a little-known legal concept with a Latin name, and in the last 24 hours South Africans and millions more around the world glued to the Oscar Pistorius verdict have been feverishly trying to get their heads around it: ‘Dolus eventualis’.

The state had accused the double-amputee Olympic and Paralympic track star of the cold-blooded murder of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day last year.

Sep 12, 2014

Pistorius’s next battle to avoid notorious C-Max jail

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – After his conviction on Friday for the negligent killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year, Olympic track star Oscar Pistorius’s next battle will be to stay outside the walls of the notorious Pretoria Central Prison, or C-Max.

The prison, a forbidding brick and steel edifice with a reputation as the toughest in South Africa, is just a stone’s throw from the High Court where Pistorius’s six-month trial ended with not guilty verdicts on murder charges that carried certain jail terms.

Sep 10, 2014

Judgment day for Oscar Pistorius

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – After 41 days of tears, anguish and at times gruesome testimony in the Pretoria High Court, Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee who became one of the biggest names in athletics, will learn this week whether he will spend the next 25 years behind bars.

In a fitting reminder of how South Africa has changed in the 20 years since apartheid, the fate of Pistorius, a wealthy white man from privileged roots, rests in the hands of a 66-year-old black woman from Soweto, Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Sep 10, 2014

Oscar Pistorius verdict hangs on ‘possible improbabilities’

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Eighteen months ago, when he granted Oscar Pistorius bail after the killing of his girlfriend, South African magistrate Desmond Nair noted a number of “improbabilities” in the Olympic and Paralympic star’s account of the shooting.

After 41 days of testimony and drama in the Pretoria High Court, Pistorius’s freedom hangs on whether the prosecution has made its case well enough to convince judge Thokozile Masipa that such improbabilities cannot be “reasonably possibly true”.