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Sep 20, 2013

Swazis vote in an election bound to keep king on top

NKHABA, Swaziland (Reuters) – For most Swazis, polling day serves only as a galling reminder of the entrenched poverty, inequality and suppression of human rights in a country run as King Mswati III’s personal fiefdom.

Voters chose on Friday from a slate of royal supporters in an election virtually devoid of campaign posters and completely lacking in political parties, which are banned so as not to upset the workings of Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

Sep 10, 2013

South African transport workers end walkout, strike threat wanes

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Striking South African airline workers returned to work this week and promised to pursue wage talks in a further sign of waning union militancy amid job fears that have eased the strike threat to Africa’s biggest economy.

With the unemployment rate stuck at about 25 percent for years and poverty gripping millions, many South Africans have said they are more concerned with securing a paycheque for themselves than heeding the strike calls of union bosses.

Aug 26, 2013

South African construction, airport workers widen wave of strikes

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African construction and airport workers went on strike for higher wages on Monday, extending a series of industrial action threatening to slow growth in Africa’s largest economy.

The labor unrest poses a risk for President Jacob Zuma’s African National Congress as it heads into elections next year facing increasing criticism that it has not done enough to help the millions of unemployed and working poor almost 20 years after the end of white-minority apartheid rule.

Aug 13, 2013

South African police complete probe in Pistorius murder case

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African police have completed their murder investigation into global track and field star Oscar Pistorius, who will appear in court next week to receive detailed charges for the Valentine’s Day shooting of his girlfriend.

The double-amputee, known as “Blade Runner” for the prostheses he wears in competition, is due in court on August 19 for a hearing that will likely be brief and procedural. He was released on bail in February after being charged with murder.

Jul 30, 2013

Worker shot dead near Lonmin’s South Africa mine: police

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A 49-year-old worker was shot dead at the weekend near Lonmin’s Marikana mine in South Africa, stirring worries of new labor tension in the troubled platinum mining belt that has been racked by a violent union dispute over the last year.

Police said on Tuesday the shooting took place on Sunday but could not immediately confirm whether it was related to the union turf war, in which more than 50 people have been killed.

Jul 29, 2013

South Africa’s mining group presses union into mediation

JOHANNESBURG, July 29 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Chamber of
Mines has declared a dispute with labour group AMCU in gold
negotiations, a move aimed at placing wage talks for the entire
sector before a government-affiliated mediator, it said on

“AMCU has rejected the gold producers’ revised offer of a 5
percent increase in wages and benefits. The producers have
indicated that they cannot accede to AMCU’s demands, in respect
of which AMCU has not moved at all in respect of its demands,”
the chamber said in a statement on behalf of gold producers.

Jul 24, 2013

South Africa wants Zimbabwe vote to reflect people’s will: Motlanthe

PRETORIA (Reuters) – With a big vested interest in the stability of Zimbabwe, South Africa is keen that next week’s election in its northern neighbor should fairly reflect the people’s wishes, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Wednesday.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees fled into South Africa after violence in the last election, in 2008, landing it with an expensive humanitarian crisis. But since it helped to broker a unity government, the economy has been recovering, creating opportunities for South African business.

Jul 23, 2013

Banned South African film on sexual abuse creates buzz

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A low-budget movie no one in South Africa is allowed to see has become the most talked-about film of the year.

For the first time since apartheid ended in 1994, regulators banned a local feature film, saying the movie “Of Good Report” contained child pornography. This halted its screening this month at the Durban International Film Festival.

Jul 3, 2013

South Africa looks to sell some of $1 billion rhino horn stockpile

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South Africa is seeking permission for a one-off sale of some of its $1 billion stockpile of rhino horn to finance conservation and potentially flood a thriving black market, its environment minister said on Wednesday.

However, conservation groups fear the plan could end up increasing demand in major markets such as Vietnam, where the horn is sought after for use in traditional medicine, as well as enriching black marketeers.

Jun 26, 2013

Tributes for ‘pillar of peace’ Mandela pile up at hospital

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South Africans have been coming in their hundreds to offer notes, flowers and prayers for Nelson Mandela at a wall surrounding a Pretoria hospital where the 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero remains in a critical condition.

Well-wishers’ messages, bouquets and stuffed animals have piled up at the guarded boundary around the compound where doctors are treating the former South African president for a recurrent lung infection.