Deputy Bureau Chief, Southern Africa
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Apr 15, 2014

Dissident ANC veterans urge voters to spoil South African ballots

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Dissident veterans in South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) urged voters on Tuesday to spoil their ballots at a national election next month, in a protest against corruption intended as a wake-up call to the ruling party.

Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and ex-deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge said their “Sidikiwe! Vukani! (We’ve had enough! Wake up!) Vote No!” campaign was a warning shot at President Jacob Zuma and his ANC leadership.

Apr 10, 2014

Pistorius forced to look at ‘exploded’ head of girlfriend

PRETORIA (Reuters) – A South African prosecutor forced Oscar Pistorius on Wednesday to look at a forensic photograph that showed the head of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after it was blown open by a hollow-point bullet fired by the Olympic and Paralympic track star.

In a dramatic opening to his cross-examination of Pistorius, prosecutor Gerrie Nel made him admit he had killed Steenkamp then later confronted him with the photograph showing the side and back of her skull, her hair matted with blood and brains.

Apr 9, 2014

‘I took Reeva’s life,’ Pistorius tells South African court

PRETORIA (Reuters) – Oscar Pistorius told a South African court on Wednesday that his girlfriend died in his arms, blood pouring from her body, as he tried to revive her after shooting her by mistake.

Facing questioning from prosecutor Gerrie Nel for the first time in his murder trial, Pistorius admitted killing Reeva Steenkamp at his home on February 14 last year but said “I made a mistake”.

Apr 9, 2014

South African prosecutor starts Pistorius cross-examination

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South African state prosecutors started cross-examining Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius on Wednesday, vowing to “get to the truth” surrounding the killing of Pistorius’ girlfriend on Valentine’s day last year.

“You killed Reeva Steenkamp, didn’t you?” prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked bluntly at the start of questioning, to which Pistorius, who is accused of murder, responded that he had made a mistake.

Mar 31, 2014

South Africa’s Zuma denies wrongdoing over $23 million home upgrade

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African President Jacob Zuma has denied any wrongdoing over a $23 million state-funded security upgrade to his private home, in his first public response to allegations he had benefited unduly from the “excessive” spending.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, South Africa’s top anti-corruption watchdog, accused Zuma this month of conduct “inconsistent with his office” and said he should pay for some of the renovations at his Nkandla home that included a chicken run and a swimming pool.

Mar 12, 2014

Nigerian president orders state energy firm audit after graft allegation

ABUJA, March 12 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s president has
authorised a forensic audit of the national energy company, the
presidency said on Wednesday, after weeks of public uproar over
an alleged $20 billion in missing state revenues.

Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi wrote a letter last
September to President Goodluck Jonathan saying almost $50
billion in revenues from oil exports from January 2012 to July
2013 had not been remitted to the federation account, in a clear
violation of the law.

Mar 11, 2014

Nigeria’s Seplat plans IPO to pay for more oil assets

LONDON/ABUJA, March 11 (Reuters) – Nigerian oil company
Seplat plans to raise at least $500 million by selling shares on
the London and Lagos stock exchanges to pay down debt and snap
up assets being sold by energy majors in Africa’s largest oil
producing nation, the company said.

Seplat, in which France’s Maurel & Prom and
Swiss-based trader Mercuria both hold minority stakes, is among
consortia short-listed to bid for some $3 billion in assets
being sold by Shell and others, sources said.

Mar 7, 2014

Nigeria’s economic growth to quicken, inflation to ease this year: IMF

ABUJA (Reuters) – Economic growth in Nigeria will accelerate this year, driven by sectors outside its dominant energy industry, while inflation will continue its downward path, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday.

Africa’s second-largest economy is set to grow 7.3 percent this year, up from 6.4 percent in 2013, the IMF said, a more optimistic outlook than Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s projection for 6.75 percent growth.

Mar 6, 2014

Nigeria’s APC pledges to fight graft at debut summit

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s main opposition party slammed President Goodluck Jonathan’s record on corruption on Thursday, calling on Africa’s most populous nation to end the governing party’s 15-year rule at an election next year.

The All Progressives Congress (APC), holding its first national conference since being formed by four opposition parties 11 months ago, pledged to fight corruption, create jobs and curb unrest if it wins the presidential vote next February.

Mar 4, 2014

Nigerian army losing grip on northeast as Islamists rampage

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s military is losing control of swathes of the largely Muslim northeast to radical Islamist insurgents who are killing civilians almost daily, and the run-up to elections next year risks aggravating the violence further.

Islamist sect Boko Haram has killed thousands since it launched an uprising in 2009 in a bid to carve out an Islamic state in the West African country of 170 million people, divided roughly equally between Christians and Muslims.

    • About Joe

      "Joe is Reuters deputy bureau chief for southern Africa, covering ten countries in the region out of Johannesburg. Joe has previously been based in Abuja, Nigeria and London."
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