Bureau Chief, Southern Africa
Marius's Feed
Dec 9, 2013

Invisible in prison, Mandela was kept in spotlight by music

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – For nearly three decades, very few people except prison guards and fellow inmates knew what Nelson Mandela looked like.

But his imprisonment and the fight against the apartheid government in South Africa was kept on the world stage by music – from ska and reggae songs to jazz – with one common message:

Dec 5, 2013

Searching for Mandela, from Robben Island to release

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – One summer day in 1979 I broke several apartheid laws as a teenager, searching for a glimpse of Nelson Mandela on South Africa’s notorious Robben Island prison.

My businessman father managed to secure an invitation to the island through one of his employees, a rare chance to see the secluded jail where the white minority government imprisoned Mandela and scores of other anti-apartheid leaders for decades.

Dec 5, 2013

Witness: Searching for Mandela, from Robben Island to release

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – One summer day in 1979 I broke several apartheid laws as a teenager, searching for a glimpse of Nelson Mandela on South Africa’s notorious Robben Island prison.

My businessman father managed to secure an invitation to the island through one of his employees, a rare chance to see the secluded jail where the white minority government imprisoned Mandela and scores of other anti-apartheid leaders for decades.

Feb 4, 2012

Fallen firebrand Malema ignited S.African politics

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 4 (Reuters) – In less than four
years, ANC youth leader Julius Malema turned himself into an
outspoken irritant for South Africa’s ruling party as he
regularly and pointedly reminded its leaders how they had failed
the country’s poor majority.

On Saturday, after an African National Congress appeals
panel upheld his suspension for bringing Africa’s oldest
liberation movement into disrepute, the banishment of the
youthful rebel from party ranks seemed complete.

Dec 13, 2011

Analysis – “Zumafication” tests South African justice system

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – More than any previous South African leader, President Jacob Zuma has personally experienced the country’s justice system in action both before and after the end of apartheid.

Jailed for a decade on Robben Island Prison under apartheid, and then found not guilty on rape charges and escaping a corruption prosecution in post-apartheid South Africa, Zuma has had his fair share of days in court.

Nov 22, 2011

Insight: Oppenheimers consign diamonds to the past

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON (Reuters) – There is nothing intrinsically valuable about diamonds. The fact that we think of them as precious is mostly thanks to South Africa’s Oppenheimer dynasty. It is they who, with a bit of help from an American advertising man, sprinkled the rocks with romance and convinced the world that diamonds are forever.

Which is exactly why the family’s exit from the diamond industry is all the more surprising. Africa’s second-richest family, after Nigerian food and cement tycoon Aliko Dangote, sold their 40 percent stake in De Beers to Anglo American this month for $5.1 billion.

Nov 22, 2011

Oppenheimers consign diamonds to the past

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON, Nov 22 (Reuters) – There is nothing
intrinsically valuable about diamonds. The fact that we think of
them as precious is mostly thanks to South Africa’s Oppenheimer
dynasty. It is they who, with a bit of help from an American
advertising man, sprinkled the rocks with romance and convinced
the world that diamonds are forever.

Which is exactly why the family’s exit from the diamond
industry is all the more surprising. Africa’s second-richest
family, after Nigerian food and cement tycoon Aliko Dangote,
sold their 40 percent stake in De Beers to Anglo
American this month for $5.1 billion.

Nov 10, 2011

Analysis: South Africa’s Zuma clears the Malema obstacle

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – President Jacob Zuma may be closer to a second term in office after the ruling ANC banished his firebrand foe Julius Malema from the party, but the decision could also backfire and spark violent protests from South Africa’s disenchanted poor.

Malema, president of the ANC’s militant youth wing, was the biggest obstacle to Zuma winning the party endorsement in December next year to lead the ANC — and by implication the country — for another five years.

Nov 10, 2011

South Africa’s ANC suspends Malema for five years

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s ruling ANC kicked out its firebrand Youth League leader, Julius Malema, from the party for five years on Thursday after finding him guilty of dividing and bringing the 99-year-old liberation movement into disrepute.

The decision to send him into the political wilderness dealt a major blow to the career of Malema, whose push to nationalize mines in the world’s biggest platinum producer has unnerved investors.

Nov 10, 2011

South Africa’s Malema: thorn in the ANC’s side

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – In less than four years, firebrand ANC youth leader Julius Malema has become one of the most influential and controversial faces of South Africa’s ruling party as he pushes the demands of the forgotten poor to the top of the political agenda.

But on Thursday, Malema was suspended by the African National Congress for five years — putting his public political career on ice although it will probably not prevent him from wielding influence behind the scenes.