Deputy Bureau Chief, Southern Africa
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Jul 31, 2014

Mountain bikers eye $1 mln in ‘toughest race on earth’

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Mountain bikers tempted by the $1 million in prize money up for grabs in a new South African endurance race are given a warning before they sign up: “This could change your life, or end it”.

Teams of two will have to come up with a $10,000 entrance fee to race on Dec. 3 in The Munga – a grueling unassisted 1,000-km (620-mile) ride across South Africa’s semi-arid Karoo desert region at the height of summer.

Jul 29, 2014

South Africa’s ANC prefers local buyer for Amplats mines

JOHANNESBURG, July 29 (Reuters) – South Africa’s ruling
African National Congress (ANC) would like a local company to
buy mines being sold by Anglo American Platinum but it
will not try and influence the deal, the party said on Tuesday.

The world’s biggest platinum producer, a unit of Anglo
American, said last week it would sell a swathe of its
most labour-intensive South African mines after a five-month
strike hit its revenues and as it follows a long-term pivot to
mechanised operations.

Jun 24, 2014

New labour threat looms after South Africa’s longest strike ends

JOHANNESBURG, June 24 (Reuters) – The end of South Africa’s
longest strike will provide respite for its troubled platinum
sector, but the stranglehold unions have over a flatlining
economy has not loosened and more industrial action is looming.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU)
signed a wage deal on Tuesday with Lonmin ,
Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum to
end a five-month stoppage that dragged Africa’s most developed
economy into contraction.

May 29, 2014

Special Report: The rifts behind Nigeria’s mass kidnap

CHIBOK/ABUJA (Reuters) – When local people warned that hundreds of Islamist militants were heading towards his remote town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria, Danuma Mphur hurried to summon help.

As chairman of the Parent Teachers Association at the town’s school, Mphur feared for the safety of children who were staying there to take exams. The 15 Nigerian soldiers in Chibok were no match for the forces of Boko Haram, a militant group waging a campaign to create an Islamic state in the region. Reinforcements were needed, fast. Mphur says he called the police and the local government chairman.

May 28, 2014

South African court to decide fate of girls ‘swapped at birth’

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African court will rule on the future of two four-year-old girls who were accidentally switched the day they were born and have been raised by each other’s biological mother, officials involved in the case said on Wednesday.

One of the mothers wants to get her biological daughter back, while the other prefers to keep the girl she has raised.

May 15, 2014

Hunt for abducted Nigerian girls ‘unlikely to have happy ending’

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s hunt for more than 200 abducted schoolgirls is not all that it seems. In public, an international operation is gathering pace while behind the scenes, officials say it is unlikely to deliver the success that global opinion demands.

The United States and Britain are helping Nigerian forces in the effort to liberate the girls taken from their school in Borno state a month ago by Boko Haram Islamist militants.

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.

    • 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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