Man Set To Be First Black African In Space Killed In Motorbike Accident

In this file picture taken on January 9, 2014, Mandla Maseko speaks to a journalist in front of two NASA spacesuits in Mabopane, north of Pretoria. PHOTO: ALEXANDER JOE / AFP

 

A South African man who won the chance to be the first black African in space has died in a motorbike crash before turning his dream into reality, his family announced on Sunday. 

Mandla Maseko, a part-time DJ, and candidate officer with the South African Air Force, was nicknamed “Afronaut” after landing a coveted seat to fly 103-kilometers (64 miles) into space in 2013 in a competition organised by a US-based space academy.

He died in a motorcycle accident on Saturday, according to a family statement cited by local media.

The 30-year-old had beaten a million other entrants from 75 countries to be selected as one of 23 people who would travel on an hour-long sub-orbital trip on the Lynx Mark II spaceship.

Born to a school cleaner and auto tool maker in Soshanguve township near Pretoria, his win was a source of national pride and had neighbours high-fiving him for putting South Africa’s townships on the “galactic map”.

He spent a week at the Kennedy Space Academy in Florida where he skydived and undertook air combat and G-force training.

While there he met and posed for pictures with US astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who was the second man ever to set foot on the moon after Neil Armstrong as part of the 1969 Apollo 11 space mission.

He had been originally scheduled to fly in 2015 but no firm plans for his trip had been made public at the time of his death.

AFP

Dangote’s Worth Drops By 32%

Dangote's Worth Drops By 32%Nigerian born Africa’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote, has lost 32% of his wealth.

Bloomberg reports that the president of the Dangote Group, lost 4.9 billion dollars in June, representing one-third of his wealth.

The decline resulted from the effect of falling oil prices and the devaluation of the naira, dragging the magnate’s ranking to 112 on world’s billionaires’ list.

With a total value of 10.4 billion dollars, Mr Dangote was the world’s 46th-richest person as at June 2016.

Aliko Dangote was also recently named as the second most powerful person on the African continent.

In the latest edition of its 74 world most powerful people, Forbes Magazine named billionaire Dangote along with 70 others including Russian President, Vladimir Putin; US President-Elect, Donald Trump; and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

Mr Dangote is listed as number 71 ahead of Trump, and the 68th most powerful in the world for this year.

The business mogul has constantly featured on the list since 2013 when he was listed as the only black African among 100 most powerful persons on the planet.

As of 2013, Dangote was the only African listed among the most powerful people in the world before the Egyptian president, Abdel El-Sisi recently featured on the list.

Aliko Dangote Among Forbes World’s Most Powerful

Dangote Among Forbes World’s Most PowerfulAfrica’s richest man and Nigerian-born head of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has been named as the second most powerful person on the continent.

In the latest edition of its 74 world most powerful people, Forbes Magazine named billionaire Dangote along with 70 others including Russian President, Vladimir Putin; US President-Elect, Donald Trump; and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

Mr Dangote is listed as number 71 ahead of Trump, and the 68th most powerful in the world for this year.

The business mogul has constantly featured on the list since 2013 when he was listed as the only black African among 100 most powerful persons on the planet.

As of 2013, Dangote was the only African listed among the most powerful people in the world before the Egyptian president, Abdel El-Sisi recently featured on the list.

 

Network Africa: Diary Of Crisis And Steps Towards Political Solution

This edition of Network Africa is all about defection, crisis, steps towards political solution and paying respects to victims of the holocaust.

In Nigeria, the leader of the opposition, All Progressives Congress and former Governor Of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, has defected to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

The former presidential candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, in the 2011 elections was also a founding member of the APC.

We also look at what’s happening in South Sudan where former vice president, who is also the rebel leader, Riek Machar, says the treason charges laid up against him and his allies are simply baseless.

Meanwhile, the United Nations is of the opinion that if the least bit of calm is to be restored to the Central African Republic, that would come at the price of 10 000 troops. About a million people have fled their homes during months of religious violence, after rebels seized power last March.

In Egypt, 20 journalists are facing charges. 16 are Egyptians accused of belonging to a “terrorist organisation” and 4 are foreigners accused of assisting it – 2 Britons, a Dutch national and an Australian. We seek what journalists have to say about press freedom being in jeopardy in Egypt.

We go to Libya, where the Acting Interior Minister, Al-Sidik Abdul-Karim, has escaped an assassination attempt in the capital, Tripoli. We also stopped by at Malawi where the first two out of 70 defendants are appearing in court over the up to 100 million dollars which was allegedly stolen from government funds in the biggest corruption scandal in Malawian history.

Finally, we bring news from Yemen, where the French authorities have charged Yemenia Airways with manslaughter over a 2009 crash, off the Comoros Islands that killed 152 people.

Despite all the challenges crisis facing Africa, there’s still hope, as 25 year-old Mandla Maseko, has won a competition organised by US-based space academy and he has won a return ticket to outer space, making him  the first black African to make the trip.

Network Africa attended an event in Lagos; to mark January 27, a highly symbolic day which the United Nations sets aside annually to remember the 6 million Jewish lives which were lost in the space of a decade during the holocaust.

Enjoy this edition of Network Africa.