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Apr 11, 2013

Despite armed guards, Africa’s rhinos losing battle to poachers

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, South Africa (Reuters) – Five days after the rhino was gunned down, its carcass had been picked apart by scavengers while the poachers who killed the threatened animal had probably taken its valuable horn over the South African border into Mozambique.

All that was left of its calf was a skull swarming with flies and a few other bones collected by crime scene investigators at South Africa’s flagship Kruger National Park for DNA tests that may one day be used to link the poachers to the stolen horns.

Apr 6, 2013

South Africa’s Mandela leaves hospital after pneumonia

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Former South African president Nelson Mandela left hospital on Saturday after more than a week of treatment of pneumonia that raised global concern about the health of the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader.

“(He) has been discharged from hospital today … following a sustained and gradual improvement in his general condition,” the South African presidency said in a statement.

Mar 29, 2013

South Africa’s Mandela spends second night in hospital

JOHANNESBURG, March 29 (Reuters) – Nelson Mandela spent a
second night in hospital being treated for a lung infection
while the South African government sought to reassure the nation
about the health of its first black president and hero of the
anti-apartheid struggle.

The 94-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate received well
wishes from global figures including U.S. President Barak Obama
after he was admitted to hospital before midnight on Wednesday,
his third stint in hospital in four months.

Mar 27, 2013

China cash for S.Africa port shows continental priority

DURBAN, South Africa, March 27 (Reuters) – China’s decision
to spend billions of dollars this week to revamp South Africa’s
rail lines and a major port show the importance Beijing places
on making sure African minerals reach its fast-growing
industries

China has long invested heavily in Africa to secure
strategic commodities but has faced huge difficulties getting
them to ports in some of the world’s poorest countries, many
still reeling from damage inflicted by decades of civil war.

Mar 21, 2013

South Africa, the tiny BRIC in the wall

JOHANNESBURG, March 21 (Reuters) – The hearty
self-congratulation with which South Africa welcomed its
accession to the BRIC grouping of major emerging countries has
been met with a deafening silence from global investors.

Since Pretoria joined more than two years ago and changed
the group’s name to BRICS, almost all of the major BRIC funds
have maintained zero exposure to South Africa. If there is an
“S” country in their portfolios, it is more likely to be South
Korea or Singapore.

Mar 7, 2013

Apartheid death squad commander Coetzee dies in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Dirk Coetzee, who led an apartheid-era death squad and later sought protection from the resistance movement that brought down South Africa’s white minority government, has died, a hospital said on Thursday.

Coetzee, 57, was a former police captain who blew the lid on his hit squad and fled the country in 1989, unleashing revelations that deepened the global isolation of the apartheid regime.

Mar 4, 2013

Anti-AIDS pill, vaginal gel unsuitable for Africa: study

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Trying to prevent HIV infection through vaginal gels or daily tablets has proven ineffective in the southern African region ravaged by the disease because people failed to use the medicines as required, a study released on Monday said.

A ground breaking study issued in 2010 indicated a vaginal gel containing a prescription drug can sharply reduce HIV infections in women who use it before and after sex, raising the possibility to slow the spread of the disease by giving women a way to protect themselves.

Mar 1, 2013

South African policemen arrested, to face murder charges

PRETORIA (Reuters) – Eight South African policemen have been arrested on suspicion of murder after dragging a man tied to the back of a police truck through a busy Johannesburg street in an incident broadcast around the world, a government watchdog said on Friday.

The video-recorded treatment of the Mozambican taxi driver has further damaged the reputation of the police force in South Africa where more than 1,200 people a year die in police custody.

Feb 28, 2013

Man dragged by South Africa police dies in custody

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African police were caught on video dragging a man hundreds of meters from the back of a pick-up truck, hours before he died in custody, drawing a storm of protest against a force accused of routine brutality.

The 27-year-old Mozambican taxi driver, Mido Macia, was found dead in detention with signs of head injuries and internal bleeding, according to an initial post mortem report released by the country’s police watchdog.

Feb 18, 2013

South Africa’s Ramphele launches new party to challenge ANC

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Respected anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele launched a new political party on Monday to challenge South Africa’s ruling ANC, saying self-interested and corrupt leaders were threatening the continent’s biggest economy.

Invoking the spirit of Nelson Mandela and the optimism that prevailed at South Africa’s first all-race elections in 1994, Ramphele said the dream of the “Rainbow Nation” was dying under the African National Congress (ANC).