South Africans Stage Anti-foreigners March

Memelodi residents stage anti-foreigners march in Pretoria, South AfricaThe much talked about anti-foreigners protest has taken place in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital.

The concerned Mamelodi residents who organised the march presented a Memorandum of Grievances and Demands to the Departments of Labour and Home Affairs.

South Africans stage anti-foreigners protest at the Department of Home Affairs

They expressed worry over criminal foreign nationals who they claimed were abusing the country’s hospitality by engaging their children in prostitution and drugs among other ills.

There were also parallel marches, some of which turned violent.

Meanwhile, about 156 people were arrested on Friday for various crimes during the anti-foreigners march.

The South Africa National Police Chief, Khomotso Phahlane, said the suspects were arrested for random acts of violence, looting and destruction of property.

At one of the locations where the march took place, the crowd became unruly with both sides shouting at one another, prompting the police to disperse the angry mobs.

Police disperse angry protesters
Police disperse angry protesters at one of the locations

Many shops were shattered in Marabastad, an area where many foreign nationals have their stores.

The protest follows the looting of at least 20 small businesses believed to be operated by Nigerian and Pakistani immigrants in an area in west Pretoria.

Xenophobia: Nigerian High Commissioner Calls For Calm

martins-cobhamThe Acting Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Martins Cobham, has been meeting with Nigerians living in Sunnyside, Pretoria and the area that recorded some violent scenes earlier on Friday.

This follows a meeting with diplomats on the latest developments involving foreign national and locals.

Ambassador Cobham spoke to Channels Television on how both countries are working together to calm the situation.

He urged Nigerians to remain peaceful and abstain from activities that may come in form of reprisal attacks.

“I want to empathise with them, the mission remains their last abode.

“We are here to ensure that their welfare is taken care of and we want to urge them to remain calm and keep the peace.

“We want to work as usual with the authorities and stop these attacks which does not bid well for our two countries and indeed Africa,” he said.

Meanwhile, the much talked about anti-foreigners protest by South Africans held on Friday in Pretoria.

South Africans stage anti-foreigners protest at the Department of Home Affairs

The concerned Mamelodi residents who organised the march presented a Memorandum of Grievances and Demands to the departments of Labour and Home Affairs.

They expressed worry over criminal foreign nationals who they claimed were abusing South Africa’s hospitality by engaging their children in prostitution and drugs among other ills.

South Africans Attack Foreign Nationals In Pretoria

South Africans Attack Foreign Nationals In PretoriaSome Nigerians and other foreign nationals in South Africa’s Pretoria West, are counting their losses after Saturday’s arson and looting attacks by local community members.

Several houses alleged to be drug dens and brothels were burnt down over the weekend, despite calls by the authorities, for calm, following similar incidents in Rossetenville, south of Johannesburg, earlier.

The police insists this is not a xenophobic attack and spokesperson, Captain Augustinah Selepe, has stated that only one 34 year old woman has so far been arrested in connection with the violence.

While investigations continue, some foreign nationals in the area say they are living in fear for their lives.

Speaking to Channels Televisionon on Sunday, the Chairman of the African Diaspora Forum, Marc Gbaffuor, condemned the attacks calling on the government to do more to avoid a repeat of the xenophobic attacks of April 2015.

Tennis: Nigerian Players In Opening Day Wins At AJC Qualifiers

Nigerian players at Tennis AJC tournament win bigTeam Nigeria began its title defense quest at the 2017 International Tennis Federation/CAT African Junior Championship West and Central Africa qualifiers on an impressive note, with most of its players securing victories in their opening games on Wednesday.

At the tournament taking place in Lome, Togo, Wilson Igbinovia recorded the first victory for Nigeria by beating Maiga Quattara of Burkina Baso 6-1, 6-2 in the boy’s 16 and under category.

It was a dream championship debut for the 13-year-old, who was the surprise element in the Nigerian team after playing his way to the team during the campaign in Ado-Ekiti.

But while Igbinova had it easy, Michael Osewa was made to work hard before beating Haya Koune of Côte d’Ivoire 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Osewa starts slowly, and that was the case, as he battled from a set down to win four of his five matches at the last AJC in Pretoria in South Africa where he lost to Damien Laporte of the Seychelles in the final.

“It was a very difficult and tough match. The Ivorian opponent was playing with so much power in the first set and Osewa Kust don’t know how to contain him. However, he took control of the game in the second match which he won convincingly. The same thing happened in the final set,” Nigeria’s coach, Mohammed Ubale, said after the match.

In the girls’ 16 and under category, Omolade Aderemi also triumphed over Dami Kouche of Togo 6-1, 6-0 while Michael Ayoola defeated Umar Fouma of Mali 6-3, 6-2 in the boys’ category. Nigeria’s fine run was somehow dented as Toyin Asogba fell 6-0, 6-3 to Kpadonu of Togo in the girls’ 16 and under.

Nigeria’s Oyinlomo Quadri will be in action on Thursday, as she hopes to defend the girls’ 14 and under title she won in Abuja last year.

The tournament, which is open to 15 countries, serves as qualifiers for the African Junior Championship scheduled for March in Pretoria, South Africa.

Ruling ANC, Zuma Face Test In South Africa Polls

Jacob-Zuma-ANCThe people of South Africa have trooped out in large numbers to vote in local elections perceived as a test for President Jacob Zuma and the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

There was heavy security presence at the polls after a number of ANC local councilors were shot dead.

The tragedy is assumed to be the outcome of a hidden crisis in the final weeks of the campaigns.

The election reveals that the ANC, who has been ruling since 1994, might lose dominance in three major cities of Pretoria, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg.

President Zuma has had to weather the scandal, after being ordered to refund taxpayers’ money spent on his private home.

Some senior officials of the party have asked the South African President to step aside, as a result of the scandal and the weak economy.

South Africa Elections: Zuma And ANC Face Test

zumaPresident Jacob Zuma and the ruling African National Congress’s popularity will be put to test as South Africans go to the polls for local elections.

The ANC has dominated the political landscape of South Africa since the first all-race elections in 1994, but Mr Zuma has had to weather scandal, after being ordered to repay taxpayers’ money spent on his private home.

Opinion polls see a close race in the capital Pretoria, economic-hub Johannesburg and other key cities, alongside the symbolic Nelson Mandela Bay municipality named after the anti-apartheid icon.

“I’m voting because I want access to electricity, water and other services. Unemployment is rife and I think voting will help change that,” William Mahlangu, 58, a pensioner, at a polling station in Pretoria told Reuters.

The ANC, at one point the main anti-apartheid party, is under pressure from two parties – the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters, who are competing in their first local elections under firebrand leader, Julius Malema.

Bill Gates Commends African Youths Innovation

Bill GatesPhilanthropist and Founder of Microsoft, Mr Bill Gates, says the power of the youths in Africa should be harnessed and their ability to drive innovation must be encouraged and given an opportunity to thrive.

He was the keynote speaker at the 14th Annual Nelson Mandela Foundation Lecture in Pretoria, South Africa, where he acknowledged some young Africans who have created groundbreaking innovations.

Mr Gates identified economic, social and health challenges prevailing in the continent as some of the factors that could hinder their development and that of the future of Africa.

He emphasized the need for African leaders to multiply the talents for innovation by the whole of Africa’s growing population, and that depends on whether all of Africa’s young people are given the opportunity to thrive.

“Nelson Mandela said poverty is not natural, it is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.

“We are the human beings that must take action and we have to decide now because this unique moment won’t last.

“We must clear away the obstacles that are standing in young people’s way so that they can seize all their potential.

“If young people are sick and malnourished, their bodies and brains will never fully develop. If they are not educated well, their minds will lie dormant. If they do not have access to economic opportunities, they will not be able to achieve their goals,” he said.

“Blade Runner” Pistorius Faces Sentencing For Murdering Girlfriend

PistoriusParalympics gold medalist, Oscar Pistorius , who murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, appeared in court on Monday in Pretoria, South Africa.

Pistorius , known as “Blade Runner” for the carbon-fibre prosthetic blades he used to race, faces a minimum 15-year jail sentence and cannot appeal after the country’s top court ruled in March that he had exhausted all his legal options.

The 29-year old, whose lower legs were amputated when he was a baby, initially received a five-year sentence for culpable homicide, South Africa’s equivalent of manslaughter.

The conviction was later changed to murder after an appeal heard by the Supreme Court. Pistorius, who appeared distraught will know his fate at the end of the week.

A Psychologist called by the gold medalist, Professor Jonathan Scholtz, certified that presently Pistorius was in no position to testify.

Scholtz told the court Pistorius had suffered financially and found asking others for assistance humiliating.

He explained Pistorius’ lost millions of dollars in endorsements and sponsorships after reaching the pinnacle of his fame in London 2012 when he became the first double amputee to run in the Olympics, reaching the 400-metres semi-finals.

The blade runner had enrolled in a correspondence course for a degree at the London School of Economics and had been offered a job with a charity working with children in Africa, Scholtz added.

Outside the court, a group of people held up placards backing the athlete, one of them with the message: “Worldwide supporters of Oscar Pistorius”.

Igbos In South Africa Protest Alleged Killing By Herdsmen

Igobs-South Africa-HerdsmenA group of Nigerians under the aegis of the Ohaneze Ndigbo in South Africa on Monday protested the alleged killing of Igbos by herdsmen.

The Ohaneze Ndigbo staged the protest at the Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital to condemn what they described as the ‘wanton killing of the Igbos by cattle herdsmen’.

The initial request for a group sit-down protest inside the premises of the High Commission was declined, as they consequently selected some representatives who were later granted entry.

While one of the protesters condemned the act, the Secretary General of the Ohaneze Ndigbo in South Africa, Chiedozie Ejimadu, criticised the free use of arms by herdsmen.

Mr Ejimadu also disapproved the bill seeking to earmark a specific piece of land in all states in Nigeria for grazing, insisting that herdsmen should purchase their lands for grazing.

They handed over a Memorandum of Protest to the Acting High Commissioner, Ambassador Martins Cobham, for onward transmission to President Muhammadu Buhari.

In his response, Ambassador Cobham assured the aggrieved Igbos that the Memorandum of Protest would be conveyed to President Buhari as soon as possible.

Nigeria Set For African Junior Tennis Championship

NigeriaTeam Nigeria will on Friday, March 4 conclude a 20-day training camp in Abuja for the 2016 ITF/CAT African Junior Championships scheduled for March 9 – 18 in Pretoria, South Africa.

A seven-man team comprising six players and a coach will leave for South Africa on Saturday.

Team Nigeria players at the tournament, which would feature at least 160 players from more than 30 African countries are Christopher Bulus, Christopher Itodo (boys 16 and under), Gabriel Friday, Michael Osewa (boys 14 and under), Angel McLeod (girls 16 and under) and Marylove Edwards (girls 14 and under).

Edwards, 11, made her international debut at the qualifiers in Abuja where she won a silver in the singles and gold medal in the doubles.

The six players have been training at the National Tennis Centre, Abuja under the supervision of Coach Mohammed Ubale.

They will be joining their compatriots, Oyinlomo Barakat Quadri and Adetayo Adetunji, who are already in Pretoria.

Quadri, who is on a scholarship to the ITF High Performance Centre in Casabalanca, Morocco arrived with the ITF team on Wednesday while Adetunji, who is based in Johannesburg, had already made the 56.3km journey to the venue.

They would be competing in the girls 14 and under as well as 16 and under respectively.

Coach Ubale said that the team changed its plan to travel next week Monday in order to acclimatise due to the high altitude of the venue.

“All things being equal, we will be opening another camp in Pretoria immediately on our arrival as the Nigeria Tennis Federation has already worked that out weeks before now.

“We do not want to take chances because the altitude in Pretoria is much different to what we are used to here. It is the same reason that the ITF team sets up a camp which will be for like five days, so that they can master the change in atmosphere,” Ubale said.

Nigeria are the champions of the regional qualifiers held in Abuja in January and will be leading 10 other countries from the West and Central African region to the championship which will take place at the University of Pretoria.

Angola Hold Eagles To 1-1 Draw In Pretoria

EaglesAngola’s Palancas Negras held Nigeria’s Super Eagles B to a 1-1 draw in a pre-African Nations Championship friendly in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Midfield Marshal Paul Onobi was an early substitute as he sustained a knock in the 35th minute and was replaced by Usman Mohammed.

The Negras, who were silver medallists at the second African Nations Championship in Sudan five years ago, tried to pile pressure on the Eagles in the second half, but five substitutions made by Coach Sunday Oliseh kept them checked as the Eagles made remarkable progress.

Nigeria took the lead in the 84th minute when Ibrahim Attah Salau was brought down in the Angolan box, with midfielder Bartholomew Ibenegbu making no mistake from the spot.

Angola equalised from a corner kick with only two minutes left in the game.

The Super Eagles will play another friendly against Cote d’Ivoire in Pretoria on Monday.

The Nigeria delegation is expected to arrive in Kigali on January 15, three days to the Eagles’ first match of the 4th African Nations Championship against Niger Republic.

Super Eagles Arrive South Africa For CHAN 2016

super eagles- oliseh-nigeria-ObafemiNigeria’s Super Eagles have arrived in South Africa as the final phase of preparation for the 2016 African Nations Championships (CHAN) in Rwanda begins.

The crew consisting of the technical and backroom staff, who made the journey from Nigeria, have landed safely.

Coach Sunday Oliseh, who was not a part of the team’s camp in Abuja due to health reasons, is also with the team, having arrived earlier.

He will be in charge of a 10-day training camp in Pretoria where the team will play two friendly matches against Angola and Cote d’Ivoire on January 6 and 11.

The tournament is scheduled for January 16 till February 7 in Rwanda.