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Oct 7, 2013

South African parties tussle over road toll in economic hub

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 7 (Reuters) – South Africa’s main
political parties have clashed over unpopular road tolls that
analysts say could boost the chance of an election upset in the
country’s economic hub against the ruling African National
Congress (ANC).

The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has erected
huge banners on the road from Johannesburg to Pretoria with the
slogan: “E-tolls. Proudly brought to you by the ANC” – seizing
on the charges particularly hated by middle class voters.

Sep 3, 2013

South Africa’s Zuma appeals to gold firms, unions to avoid strike

PRETORIA, Sept 3 (Reuters) – South African President Jacob
Zuma on Tuesday appealed to unions and companies in the gold
industry to avoid an imminent strike that could seriously damage
Africa’s largest economy, force mine closures and cost thousands
of jobs.

Gold miners were set to strike for higher pay from Tuesday,
after talks between unions and companies broke down last week.

Sep 1, 2013

South Africa’s Mandela back home after long hospital stay

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Anti-apartheid leader and former South African President Nelson Mandela returned to his Johannesburg home on Sunday where he will continue to receive intensive treatment and care after spending three months in hospital with a lung ailment.

Mandela, 95, had spent 87 days in a Pretoria hospital after he was rushed there in early June suffering from a recurring infection in the lungs – a legacy from his time in jail under apartheid – that has dogged him for years.

Aug 19, 2013

Pistorius weeps in court as murder trial set for March 2014

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South African Olympic and Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius, accused of murdering his model girlfriend, prayed and wiped away tears in a court hearing on Monday which set a March 3, 2014 start date for his trial.

Double-amputee Pistorius, 26 and known as “Blade Runner” for the prostheses he wears in competition, bowed his head and held hands in prayer with his brother Carl and sister Aimee before the brief hearing in a Pretoria court.

Aug 15, 2013

Analysis: On ‘massacre’ anniversary, South Africa mines still volatile

MARIKANA, South Africa (Reuters) – A year after South Africa’s bloodiest post-apartheid labor incident awoke the world to the potential for unrest in the country’s mines, the industry still suffers from worker poverty, pay disputes, shrinking profits and a violent union feud.

At Lonmin’s Marikana mine where 34 striking platinum workers were shot dead by police on August 16, 2012 in killings that shocked South Africa and the world, memorial services are planned for Friday by politicians, unions and civic leaders.

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 18, 2013

Zimbabwe election ‘not looking good’, South Africa says

PRETORIA (Reuters) – A top South African diplomat said on Thursday that preparations for an election in Zimbabwe at the end of the month were “not looking good”, unusually strong criticism of President Robert Mugabe from his powerful neighbor.

Lindiwe Zulu, President Jacob Zuma’s special adviser on Zimbabwe, said Zuma had called Mugabe to tell him he was not pleased with the run-up to the poll on July 31, a date fixed by Mugabe after a Constitutional Court ruling but criticized by Mugabe’s opponents and South Africa’s government as too soon.

Jul 18, 2013

‘Steadily improving’ Mandela celebrates 95th birthday

PRETORIA (Reuters) – Anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela is “steadily improving”, South Africa’s government said on Thursday as the former president celebrated his 95th birthday in hospital amid tributes from around the country and the world.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, globally admired as a symbol of struggle against injustice and of racial reconciliation, has been under treatment since June 8 for a recurring lung infection that has led to four hospital stays in the past six months.

Jul 9, 2013

South Africa’s Zuma ousts rival Sexwale in cabinet reshuffle

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South African President Jacob Zuma replaced Tokyo Sexwale as housing minister in a cabinet shake-up on Tuesday, removing the anti-apartheid stalwart who has criticized his rival’s stewardship of Africa’s biggest economy.

In a reshuffle less than a year before Zuma seeks re-election to another five-year term, embattled communications minister Dina Pule was also ousted, along with the minister of traditional affairs, Richard Baloyi.

Jun 29, 2013

South Africa’s Mandela ‘improving’ as Obama flies in

PRETORIA/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s ailing anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela is doing much better in hospital, his ex-wife Winnie said on Friday, as U.S. President Barack Obama arrived for a visit that will pay homage to a man he calls his “personal hero”.

The faltering health of the first black president of South Africa, a revered symbol of racial reconciliation, has drawn world attention since the 94-year-old was rushed to hospital with a recurring lung infection nearly three weeks ago.