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Nov 9, 2012

South African court gives Thai rhino poacher record sentence

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African court gave a Thai man a record 40-year jail sentence on Friday for an elaborate fraud to ship poached rhinoceros horns to Asia after the animals were killed in fake “hunts”.

Chumlong Lemtongthai took advantage of the fact it is legal for foreigners to hunt rhinos in South Africa and ship horns overseas as personal trophies.

Nov 6, 2012

Photos suggest South African police planted weapons on dead miners

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Photographs suggesting that South African police planted weapons on the bodies of workers shot dead by police at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine have been shown to an inquiry into the bloodiest security incident since apartheid.

In police photographs taken shortly after the killings on August 16, at least two dead workers are seen without weapons by their sides. In photos taken later in the day, weapons including spears and a machete are on the ground near the corpses.

Nov 5, 2012

Thai man pleads guilty to South African rhino smuggling

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A Thai man pleaded guilty on Monday to smuggling rhino horn from South Africa, in a case in which prostitutes posing as big game hunters were used to conceal an international trafficking ring.

Chumlong Lemtongthai is likely to be jailed for more than 10 years under a plea deal that investigators said sealed one of the most important prosecutions in their fight to protect rhinos, whose horns are worth more than gold in parts of Southeast Asia.

Oct 30, 2012

South Africa’s Zuma rides out strikes, on re-election path

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A storm of violent wildcat strikes in South Africa’s mines has eased, leaving President Jacob Zuma battered but defiant, and buoying his chances of heading off rivals to win a party leadership election in December.

With most strikers in gold and platinum mines returning to work after threats of dismissal and some sweeteners on pay, the 70-year-old head of state appears to be weathering the biggest threat so far to his plans to stay on as leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

Oct 28, 2012

South Africa’s Zuma drops suit over rape cartoon

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African President Jacob Zuma intends to drop a four-year-old lawsuit claiming nearly $600,000 in damages from a cartoonist who depicted him poised to rape “Lady Justice”, his office said on Sunday.

The Sunday Times, named as a defendant in the case, also said it had reached agreement with Zuma’s lawyers for the suit and all claims to be ended.

Oct 28, 2012

S.Africa’s Zuma drops suit over rape cartoon – paper

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 28 (Reuters) – South African President
Jacob Zuma intends to drop a four-year-old lawsuit claiming
nearly $600,000 in damages from a cartoonist who depicted him
poised to rape “Lady Justice”, a newspaper said on Sunday.

The Sunday Times, named as a defendant in the case, said it
had reached an agreement with Zuma’s lawyers for the suit and
all claims to be dropped, including the demand for monetary
damages and an apology.

Oct 27, 2012

South African mine strikes wind down with Amplats deal

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Workers have reached a deal with Anglo American Platinum to reinstate 12,000 miners sacked for an illegal strike, which could end the last big industrial action rocking South Africa’s mining sector.

Months of often violent wildcat strikes have cut production in the platinum and gold sectors, raising concerns about slowing economic growth as well as awkward questions about President Jacob Zuma’s management of the most damaging labor strife since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Oct 27, 2012

South African mine strikes ease with deal at Amplats

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Striking workers have reached a deal with platinum giant Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) to reinstate 12,000 miners sacked for an illegal strike, which could end the last major industrial action rocking South Africa’s mining sector.

Months of often violent wildcat strikes have cut production in the platinum and gold sectors, raising concerns about slowing economic growth as well as awkward questions about President Jacob Zuma’s management of the most damaging labor strife since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Oct 24, 2012

South Africa labor hero urged crackdown on “criminal” strike

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African millionaire businessman and one-time anti-apartheid hero Cyril Ramaphosa urged ministers to crack down on a violent platinum miners’ strike the day before 34 miners were killed by police, according to emails revealed this week.

The emails cited on Tuesday by a lawyer for miners arrested over the August 16 “Marikana Massacre” are the latest evidence of a reversal of historical roles for the 59-year-old, who himself led a historic miners’ pay strike under apartheid in 1987.

Oct 22, 2012

S.Africa police shot striking miners in back, lawyers say

RUSTENBURG, South Africa, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Police in South
Africa shot at least a dozen striking miners in the back during
the so-called “Marikana Massacre” in August, lawyers said on
Monday, undermining arguments that officers acted in self
defence when they killed 34 people.

Lawyers for the victims also told a South African
investigation panel hearing opening statements on the Aug. 16
shooting at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine that
no police officers appear to have been injured in what was the
deadliest security incident since the end of apartheid.