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Apr 11, 2014

Prosecutor to Pistorius: Did Reeva scream when you shot her?

PRETORIA (Reuters) – Oscar Pistorius’ three-day cross-examination reached a dramatic climax on Friday when a prosecutor challenged the double-amputee sprinter repeatedly as to why his girlfriend failed to scream when she was shot four times through a toilet door.

In an electric exchange in the Pretoria High Court, Gerrie Nel, one of South Africa’s top attorneys, said it was beyond belief that 29-year-old law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp would have remained silent in the tiny cubicle with an armed Pistorius shouting and screaming in the adjoining bathroom.

Mar 27, 2014

South Africa’s central bank warns rate hikes imminent as repo stays steady for now

JOHANNESBURG, March 27 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Reserve
Bank left interest rates unchanged on Thursday to give the
ailing economy some relief, but hinted strongly at increases
soon to rein in inflation.

The bank had unexpectedly raised its benchmark repo rate for
the first time in nearly six years at its last meeting in
January, to fight inflation pressures stemming from a sharp fall
in the rand during a rout of emerging market currencies.

Feb 14, 2014

Athletics-Pistorius talks of sorrow a year after Steenkamp shooting

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 14 (Reuters) – South African Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius on Friday broke his months-long silence about the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, calling her death at his hands a year ago a “devastating accident”.

Pistorius, who goes on trial on March 3, says he shot Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder at his high-security home last Valentine’s Day. State lawyers say he killed her in cold blood.

Feb 14, 2014

Pistorius talks of sorrow a year after Steenkamp shooting

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius on Friday broke his months-long silence about the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, calling her death at his hands a year ago a “devastating accident”.

Pistorius, who goes on trial on March 3, says he shot Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder at his high-security home last Valentine’s Day. State lawyers say he killed her in cold blood.

Jan 31, 2014

Weak rand shines warmly on South African tourism

CAPE TOWN, Jan 31 (Reuters) – South African policymakers
have watched in horror as the rand has plunged against the
dollar over the last year, bringing inflation and higher
interest rates, but the tourism industry is happily raking in
the extra dollars.

With most sectors struggling to grow after a 2009 recession,
tourism has stood out as a rare bright spot, as the weaker rand
makes it cheaper for visitors, mostly from Europe, to come and
soak up the African sun.

Dec 11, 2013

Obama and Castro shake hands, Zuma humiliated at Mandela memorial

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuba’s Raul Castro at a memorial for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a rare gesture between the leaders of two ideological opponents that reflected the anti-apartheid hero’s spirit of reconciliation.

But the peace and harmony did not stretch to South African President Jacob Zuma, whom the crowd at the rain-soaked Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg booed and jeered as he prepared to give his closing address.

Dec 10, 2013

World pays homage to Mandela in mass memorial service

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – World leaders, from U.S. President Barack Obama to Cuba’s Raul Castro, will pay homage to Nelson Mandela at a mass memorial in South Africa on Tuesday that will recall his gift for bringing enemies together across political and racial divides.

Obama and Castro, whose countries maintain an ideological enmity lasting more than 50 years, are among the designated orators at a Johannesburg soccer stadium where 23 years earlier Mandela – freshly freed from apartheid jail – was hailed by cheering supporters as the hope for a new South Africa.

Dec 7, 2013

No tears but grudging respect for Mandela in white Afrikaner enclave

ORANIA, South Africa (Reuters) – While the death of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela triggered an outpouring of shared sorrow across South Africa’s sometimes tense racial divide, eyes stayed dry in a white Afrikaner enclave in the heart of the country.

But even in Orania, where a small community of Afrikaners has closed itself off, intent on preserving its culture and language at all cost, the global icon who preached a contrasting ideology of racial integration commands respect.

Nov 26, 2013

South Africa posts slowest economic growth since 2009 as strikes hit output

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 26 (Reuters) – South Africa’s economy grew
in the third quarter at its slowest pace since a 2009 recession,
dragged down by a contraction in manufacturing after weeks of
strikes in the automotive sector.

The data backs the argument for further easing of already
historically loose monetary policy although price pressures
emanating from a sharply weaker rand leave the Reserve Bank
little room to manoeuvre.

Nov 21, 2013

South Africa holds rates, weaker rand could fuel inflation

PRETORIA, Nov 21 (Reuters) – South Africa’s central bank
left its repo rate unchanged as expected on Thursday, citing the
inflation risk from a weaker rand when the U.S. Federal Reserve
starts cutting back stimulus, reducing dollar flows into
emerging markets.

Governor Gill Marcus said the deterioration in the domestic
growth outlook posed a policy dilemma, but with inflation
“uncomfortably close” to the upper end of a 3-6 percent target
range, there was no room for further monetary easing.