HARARE (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad flew into Zimbabwe on Thursday for a two-day visit condemned by President Robert Mugabe’s opponents as a meeting of despots which could further isolate Harare.
Ahmadinejad, whose government is pursuing a nuclear programme despite threats of more United Nations sanctions, was invited by Mugabe to open Zimbabwe’s annual trade fair.
JOHANNESBURG, March 21 (Reuters) – Violent South African protests over housing, jobs and lack of basic services had to end, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Sunday, as the country marked the 50th anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre.
For the past two months, protests in poor black townships and shantytowns have become an almost daily occurrence with police using water canons and rubber bullets to disperse protesters armed with rocks and stones.
Motlanthe, speaking at the commemoration of the killing of 69 people at Sharpeville black township a half century ago which thrust apartheid onto the world stage, said a lesson could be learned from those protesters who did not burn libraries and loot public facilities.
"They marched peacefully to the police stations to hand over their pass books — the badges of slavery. Therefore, in a democratic era, I urge you to use democratic institutions available to us to voice our grievances and demands," Motlanthe said.
The massacre of 69 people, many shot in the back by apartheid-era police on March 21, 1960, came after a protest against laws forcing blacks to carry pass books, or identity documents, at all times.
The killing was seen as a turning point in the struggle against apartheid as the African National Congress abandoned non-violent protests and launched an armed struggle against the white-minority government.
Analysts say the protests by poor and unemployed South Africans, many still living in shacks almost 16 years after apartheid ended, could intensify ahead of the soccer World Cup being held in Africa for the first time from June 11-July 11.
The government hopes the World Cup will inject billions of rands into South Africa’s economy after vast amounts have been spent on upgrading infrastructure and building new stadiums.
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analysts estimate that the World Cup could see about $1.1 billion flowing into the economy.
Motlanthe reiterated that the government aimed to improve the lives of millions of poor South Africans.
"We state that our democratic government undertakes to never ignore the plight of the poor, those without shelter, those without means to an education and those suffering from abuse and neglect," Motlanthe said.
President Jacob Zuma, who promised to improve the lives of the poor while campaigning for election last April, is facing an uphill battle to deliver on those promises soon after South Africa emerged from its first recession in 17 years. (Editing by Janet Lawrence)
JOHANNESBURG, March 1 (Reuters) – Phuthuma Nhleko, Chief
Executive Officer of South African mobile phone group MTN
<MTNJ.J>, will step down as CEO and group president in March
2011, the group said on Monday.
Nhleko, one of South Africa’s best-known black businessmen
who has been MTN’s CEO since 2002, said in a statement that he
will continue to deliver on MTN strategic priorities and ensure
a thorough handover to his successor until his departure.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – There was one prerequisite for journalists reporting on Nelson Mandela in the heady and chaotic days after his release from 27 years in South African jails.
A fast car.
From the day Mandela was released from a prison farm near Cape Town on February 11, 1990, the convoys ferrying him around the country travelled at breakneck speed — making it exceedingly difficult, and almost always illegal, to keep up.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Twenty years after Nelson Mandela was freed from prison, South Africa is a vibrant democracy but the millions still living in poverty are now looking for leadership that can tackle its economic problems.
Mandela’s release on February 11, 1990, after 27 years in apartheid-era jails, set in motion the country’s transformation to democracy which culminated in historic all-race elections in 1994 and his inauguration as the country’s first black leader.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African Afrikaans rap group has taken the Internet by storm with explicit in-your-face lyrics, provocative performances and using cyberspace to promote their music.
A website set up by the group, Die Antwoord (The Answer), received millions of visits in the past four days, crashing the server it was hosted on after the group featured on blogs www.boingboing.net and www.dlisted.com
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Nike Inc, the top global athletic apparel and footwear maker, expects the absence of world number one golfer Tiger Woods to have a short-term impact on its golf business.
Nike Brand President Charlie Denson said on Thursday the absence of Woods, who has been in hiding since admitting he had cheated on his wife last month, would hurt business.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Years of security planning for the World Cup in South Africa mean there is little chance of a surprise attack similar to the one on Togo’s soccer team at the African championship in Angola, police and analysts say.
The roadside ambush in a restive region, which killed two of Togo’s soccer delegation, inevitably brought questions over security at the world’s biggest single-sport event, on a continent all too often tarnished by images of chaos.
JOHANNESBURG, Nov 20 (Reuters) – South Africa’s powerful
COSATU trade union federation meets next week to take stock of
its relations with the ruling ANC and progress made in economic
restructuring to benefit the country’s poor.
COSATU, which says it has over two million members across
the country, aims to convince President Jacob Zuma to change
economic policies to improve the lives of millions of workers.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has agreed that South African runner Caster Semenya will keep her 800 meters world title, the country’s sports ministry said Thursday.
The 18-year-old Semenya, who stormed to victory in August’s world championships in Berlin, underwent gender verification tests this summer in South Africa and Germany and a panel of experts has been studying the results for the IAAF.