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Mar 12, 2013

Winnie Mandela may face inquiry after apartheid-era activists exhumed

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African authorities may launch a murder inquiry involving Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of former president Nelson Mandela, after police exhumed the remains on Tuesday of two anti-apartheid activists who disappeared 24 years ago.

Corlett “Lolo” Sono, 21, and 19-year-old Siboniso Anthony Shabalala, were among about 21,000 people killed in political violence during apartheid by agents of the white-minority regime or by fellow activists within black liberation groups.

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 22, 2013

S.Africa’s Pistorius goes free on $113,000 bail

PRETORIA, Feb 22 (Reuters) – A South African court granted bail on Friday to Oscar Pistorius, charged with the murder of his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, after his lawyers successfully argued the “Blade Runner” was too famous to flee justice.

The decision by Magistrate Desmond Nair drew cheers from the Paralympics star’s family and supporters. Pistorius himself was unmoved, in marked contrast to the week-long hearing, when he repeatedly broke down in tears.

Feb 22, 2013

Pistorius bail decision expected as hearing resumes

PRETORIA (Reuters) – A South African judge is likely to decide on Friday whether to grant bail to “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, with prosecutors arguing he is a cold-blooded killer and his lawyers saying he is far too famous to pose any sort of flight risk.

Pistorius’ defense team say the athlete shot dead girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29, in a tragic mistake at his home in the early hours of February14 – Valentine’s Day – and deserves bail to prepare for a case that has drawn worldwide attention.

Feb 21, 2013

Pistorius detective facing attempted murder charges

PRETORIA (Reuters) – The lead detective in athlete Oscar Pistorius’ murder case is himself facing attempted murder charges for opening fire on a minibus containing seven people in 2011, South African police said on Thursday.

Hilton Botha, who took the stand against Pistorius at the Paralympic and Olympic track star’s bail hearing this week, is due to appear in court in May, police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila said.

Feb 20, 2013

Witness heard “non-stop shouting” from Pistorius home

PRETORIA, Feb 20 (Reuters) – A witness heard “non-stop shouting” coming from the home of Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius shortly before his girlfriend was shot dead, the lead detective in the murder investigation said on Wednesday.

Warrant officer Hilton Botha, a detective with 24 years on the force, also told the Pretoria magistrates court that Pistorius’ girlfriend, model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp, was hit by three bullets, in the head, elbow and hip.

Feb 19, 2013

Pistorius in court for murder bail hearing

PRETORIA (Reuters) – “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius put on his artificial legs and walked across his bedroom before firing four handgun rounds into the locked bathroom door, killing his cowering girlfriend in cold blood, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Reeva Steenkamp, a law graduate and model, died after being hit by three rounds, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said.

Feb 19, 2013

Pistorius shot girlfriend through door-prosecutor

PRETORIA, Feb 19 (Reuters) – “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius put on his artificial legs and walked across his bedroom before firing four handgun rounds into the locked bathroom door, killing his cowering girlfriend in cold blood, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Reeva Steenkamp, a law graduate and model, died after being hit by three rounds, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said.

Feb 7, 2013

South Africa charges Congo rebels with planning coup

PRETORIA (Reuters) – Nineteen Congolese rebels, including a naturalized U.S. citizen, were charged in a South African court on Thursday with plotting a coup against the government in Kinshasa which they planned to finance, if successful, through mineral concessions.

The group, who appeared in court in Pretoria, were led by U.S.-Congolese citizen James Kazongo and had been under surveillance by an elite South African police unit for months before their arrest this week, prosecutor Shaun Abrahams said.

Dec 21, 2012

South Africa’s soothing Ramaphosa leads ANC charm offensive

BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (Reuters) – South Africa’s ruling ANC put its new No. 2 Cyril Ramaphosa at the head of a charm offensive on Friday as it sought to reassure both investors and a restless public it would tackle economic inequality without recourse to wholescale nationalization.

Days after his appointment as party deputy to President Jacob Zuma, who was re-elected ANC chief this week, the anti-apartheid hero and businessman laid out the party’s strategic priorities.