Ed's Feed
Dec 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela has died: President Zuma

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Former South African President Nelson Mandela died peacefully at his Johannesburg home on Thursday after a prolonged lung infection, President Jacob Zuma said.

Mandela, the country’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon, emerged from 27 years in apartheid prisons to help guide South Africa through bloodshed and turmoil to democracy.

Dec 5, 2013

Mandela’s legacy: peace, but poverty for many blacks

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – In the 10 years after he withdrew from public life, Nelson Mandela divided his time between a mansion in one of Johannesburg’s wealthiest suburbs and his ancestral home in Qunu, a village in South Africa’s impoverished eastern Cape.

The contrast could not have been starker.

In one, his neighbors were cast in the image of the white “Rand Lords”, the mining magnates and bankers who built the sprawling city – and Africa’s biggest economy – from the vast gold reserves in the rock beneath their feet.

Dec 5, 2013

Anti-graft official slams S. Africa minister for “reckless” contract

PRETORIA, Dec 5 (Reuters) – South Africa’s top corruption
watchdog called on Thursday for President Jacob Zuma to punish
his agriculture minister over “improper” handling of a fisheries
patrol contract, the latest scandal to hit his cabinet six
months before an election.

In scathing criticism, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela
accused Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina
Joematt-Pettersson of reckless conduct that led to a waste of
state money and an increase in illegal fishing.

Nov 29, 2013

‘Security’ swimming pool lands South Africa’s Zuma in hot water

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s top anti-corruption watchdog says President Jacob Zuma should repay some of a $21 million publicly funded “security upgrade” to his private home that included a swimming pool and cattle enclosure, a newspaper said on Friday.

The Mail and Guardian weekly said a provisional report by the Public Protector entitled ‘Opulence on a Grand Scale’ found Zuma had derived “substantial” personal gain from the improvements to his private compound at Nkandla in the rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal province.

Nov 29, 2013

South Africans warm to Mandela movie, critics unimpressed

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ won rave reviews from South Africans who flocked to its opening night but critics were unimpressed, with one describing the latest biopic about the anti-apartheid leader as overly reverential ANC propaganda.

With South Africa’s first black president now 95 and in poor health, cinema-goers were in emotional mood at Thursday’s first airing of the 150-minute epic, which stars British actors Idris Elba as Mandela and Naomie Harris as his wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Nov 27, 2013

Turkcell sues MTN in South Africa for $4.2 billion in Iran damages

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Turkish mobile phone company Turkcell has taken to a South African court with its $4.2 billion lawsuit against rival MTN Group, alleging it was the victim of corruption and bribery that caused it to lose a contract in Iran.

Turkcell originally pursued the case against Johannesburg-based MTN in the United States but dropped it in May after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a separate case made clear that U.S. courts would not have jurisdiction in a claim involving two foreign firms in an overseas dispute.

Nov 27, 2013

School exam question about baby rape angers South Africans

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African school exam that asked drama students how they would stage a scene about the rape of a baby was condemned on Wednesday as a crass attempt to address some of the world’s worst levels of sexual violence.

In the nationwide exam sat this week, thousands of students aged around 17 were posed questions about the critically acclaimed play “Tshepang”, based on the real-life 2001 rape of an infant by her mother’s boyfriend.

Nov 18, 2013

Ex-Mandela colleagues aim to complete “Long Walk to Freedom” sequel

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Former colleagues of Nelson
Mandela are working to complete a book that South Africa’s first
black president began writing shortly before he left office as a
sequel to his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom”, his
archivist said on Monday.

In the first draft of “The Presidential Years”, dated Oct.
16, 1998 and seen by Reuters at the Nelson Mandela Foundation
archives, the anti-apartheid hero writes of the hopes, fears and
fragilities of liberation movements the world over.

Nov 15, 2013

Some see window-dressing in S. Africa data changes

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Surprise tweaks to South
Africa’s trade and budget numbers in the last month have
sprinkled hope on a grim economic outlook but also sparked
accusations of window-dressing by Pretoria to appease the
ratings agencies breathing down its neck.

After making changes that produced an unexpected drop last
month in the budget deficit to 4.2 percent of GDP, the Treasury
revealed late on Thursday it would be including small neighbours
Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland in monthly trade
figures, a measure that should trim the trade deficit.

Nov 8, 2013

Radical reds upset South Africa’s political color balance

BEKKERSDAL, South Africa (Reuters) – Color has always been central to South African politics, but now, nearly 20 years after the end of apartheid, the tint of your T-shirt matters as much as that of your skin.

While the yellow, green and black of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) remains dominant, it is the bright red of an ultra-leftist party founded by expelled ANC youth leader Julius Malema that is making the big splash.