South African Poultry Group Seeks To Suspend U.S. Import Quota

 

The South African Poultry Association (SAPA) has filed a legal action to force the government to suspend a quota that excluded imports of U.S. poultry from South Africa’s anti-dumping tariff, a senior official with the association said on Tuesday.

The decision by SAPA was a response to the Trump administration’s decision to include South Africa among countries subject to U.S. tariffs on their aluminium and steel exports.

“We’ve pulled the trigger,” Marthinus Stander, chairman of SAPA’s broiler organisation, told Reuters, referring to the legal action the association had threatened for more than a month.

SAPA argues tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium imports imposed by Washington earlier this year violated the 2015 quota agreement.

That deal – agreed as part of the renewal of South Africa’s benefits under the United States’ flagship trade legislation for Africa, AGOA – allowed U.S. producers to export 65,000 tonnes of so-called “bone-in” poultry to the South African market.

South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies acknowledged that the government had received the court papers but declined to comment further.

Hundreds Of South African Gold Miners Treated For Smoke Inhalation

Hundreds of South African gold mine workers were rescued and over 100 treated for smoke inhalation after an underground fire, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Thursday.

Safety is a huge issue in South Africa’s dangerous deep-level mines and a focus for investors. A spate of deaths at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold operations, including a seismic event that killed seven miners in early May, has highlighted the risks.

In the latest incident, more than 600 miners were initially trapped after a fire broke out at a mine east of Johannesburg operated by unlisted Gold One, NUM said.

This comes almost two weeks after five miners died in an underground fire at a South African copper mine operated by unlisted Palabora Mining Company in Limpopo.

Company officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

“As the NUM, we vehemently condemn this kind of incident as it is becoming a trend,” the union said in a statement.

Johnson Banned For Six Months Over Failed Doping Test

Ashley Johnson has been given a six-month ban for a failed drugs test ( GETTY IMAGES )

 

Former South African rugby international Ashley Johnson said he was horrified to discover he had taken a banned substance, after receiving a six-month ban on Thursday.

The 32-year-old Wasps star — capped three times by the Springboks — had the ban backdated to February 7, making him eligible to play again from August 6 2018, as the independent panel deemed he had not acted with intent.

Johnson, who can play at either hooker or in the back row and has been with Wasps since 2012, can resume training immediately.

“Johnson tested positive for the presence of a specified substance, hydrochlorothiazide (S5 Diuretics and Masking Agents), following an out-of-competition test at the Premiership club,” read the panel’s findings.

“The South African’s urine sample returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) after being tested on 7 February 2018.

“The 32-year-old claimed the AAF was the result of mistakenly consuming his wife’s dietary supplement – a fat burner called “The Secret” – which she purchased from South Africa.

“The product was tested by both the player and the RFU for hydrochlorothiazide, which was not listed in the product’s ingredients, and on both occasions, it returned a positive result.

“The independent panel accepted that the prohibited substance was not ingested intentionally.”

Stephen Watkins, the Anti-Doping and Illicit Drugs Programme Manager for the Rugby Football Union (RFU), said Johnson should have been more responsible about finding out what the ingredients were in the product.

“Ashley Johnson was careless in his failure to acknowledge his responsibilities as a rugby player and ensure he was dutiful in checking what he consumed,” he said.

“The risk of contamination in supplements is significant to all players and therefore we advise that there is no guarantee that a supplement is free from prohibited substances.”

Johnson, who signed a contract extension with Wasps last November, said this would make him be far more attentive in the future.

“I was horrified when I got the test results and once we tracked back and worked out I had inadvertently taken the wrong tablet,” said Johnson.

“I completely accept that I am responsible for everything in my body. Drug use is not something I would ever condone, and from now on I will be extra vigilant at all times.”

AFP

South African President To Visit Buhari, Discuss Global Issues

This combination photo shows President Muhammadu Buhari and South Africa’s new President, Cyril Ramaphosa

 

 

The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, will be visiting Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, to discuss bilateral and global issues among the two countries.

President Ramaphosa who has been invited by President Buhari is expected in the country from July 10-11, 2018.

During his visit, he will be participating in the 2018 Annual Meeting and 25th Anniversary Celebrations of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

As the continent’s two largest economies, South Africa and Nigeria enjoy good political, economic and social relations formally established in 1994, immediately after South Africa’s first democratic elections.

While in Nigeria, it is expected that the two Presidents will discuss a wide range of bilateral, continental and global issues of common concern. Peace, stability and continental integration will feature prominently in their discussions.

Formal relations between South Africa and Nigeria have been conducted through the Bi-National Commission (BNC), established in 1999 as a structured bilateral mechanism to promote political, economic, social, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation between the two countries.

The BNC has over the years deepened and solidified the relations between the two countries, and laid the foundation for increased bilateral political and economic cooperation.

Bilateral cooperation has been enhanced over the years to the extent that there are thirty-four (34) signed bilateral agreements between the two countries which cover various areas such as arts and culture, education, agriculture, trade and investment, mining, defence, policing, immigration, taxation, science and technology, health, tourism, environment and energy amongst others.

South Africa and Nigeria also enjoy strong economic cooperation demonstrated by the increasing trade and investment flows between the two sister Republics.

For example, South Africa exported goods valued at R6, 4 billion in 2016 while Nigerian exports to South Africa totalled R30, 4 billion. In 2017, South African exports were valued at R5, 7 billion against R22, 8 billion imports from Nigeria. Nigeria enjoys a huge trade deficit due to the increasing South African importation of petroleum products.

There are over 120 South African companies currently doing business in Nigeria in various sectors, mainly in telecommunications, banking, retail, hospitality, mining, tourism, agriculture and construction and tourism. Some of the South African companies that have invested in Nigeria include MTN, Multichoice, Stanbic Bank, Shoprite Checkers, South African Airways, Sasol and Bon Hotels, to mention a few.

President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the Ministers of Defence & Military Veterans; Energy, Police and Deputy Minister of Trade & Industry.

South African Power Supply Hit By Protests At Eskom Plants

 

South Africa’s cash-strapped state utility Eskom said some of its power stations were operating below full capacity on Wednesday after union members blocked some staff from entering around 10 plants because of a wage dispute.

Two labour unions, angered by Eskom’s failure to raise salaries as it embarks on a cost-cutting drive, have warned that thousands of their members will march to Eskom’s headquarters on Thursday to keep up the pressure in the wage talks.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has made stabilising state-owned firms such as Eskom a priority since he replaced scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma in February, in an acknowledgement of the threat they pose to the country’s strained public finances.

Eskom, which produces more than 90 percent of South Africa’s power, has so far refused to cede to demands by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) to raise salaries by 15 percent.

A third union, Solidarity, is also unhappy with Eskom’s decision to keep salaries flat but did not protest on Wednesday.

“We have activated our contingency plans. All power stations are operating, some of them not at full strength,” Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe told a news conference.

He added that a dispute-resolution body would try to broker a wage deal between Eskom and the disgruntled unions.

Thava Govender, an Eskom executive responsible for generation, said shift workers had been intimidated as they arrived for work on Wednesday and that around 10 power plants were operating with reduced operating and maintenance staff.

Govender said Eskom was not able to quantify how severely power supplies had been affected but that it would become clear when demand peaked later in the day.

Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said police were at several power stations to protect staff and Eskom equipment.

Power supplies could also be affected on Thursday as NUM energy coordinator Paris Mashego said unions could bring more than 20,000 out of a total of 47,000 Eskom employees to a picket at the utility’s headquarters in Johannesburg.

Eskom narrowly avoided a liquidity crunch early this year and was embroiled in corruption scandals involving the Gupta family, friends of former president Zuma.

Zuma and the Guptas have denied wrongdoing but their relationship will be the focus of a government corruption inquiry that is due to start in August.

Ramaphosa oversaw the appointment of Eskom’s Hadebe on an interim basis in January in a bid to clean up governance and set the firm on a firmer financial footing. Hadebe’s appointment was made permanent last month.

South African Legend Partners Nigeria Cricket Federation

The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) has secured the services of South African Cricket legend, Makhaya Ntini.

Ntini will work as the Technical Consultant to the Nigerian national team ahead of the upcoming International Cricket Council sub-regional T20 qualifier and African Cricket Association (ACA) Tournament.

Vice-President of NCF and Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the T20 qualifier, Uyi Akpata, confirmed that the coming of Ntini would give the NCF technical bench a depth that is necessary to compliment the effort of the coaching crew ahead of busy schedules in the coming months.

“We have a number of things going well for Cricket nowand the inclusion of Ntini to our technical team would be a big boost to those developments.

A good outing at ICC sub-regional T20 qualifier that we are hosting from April 14th to 21stis also a key deliverable that his coming will help our team with,” he said.

Ntini, a former South African fast bowler, and a former Zambian coach in reaction said he is happy to work with the Nigeria Cricket Federation to realise their vision.

“I want to appreciate the Nigerian Cricket Federation whoinvited me and based on what I have seen in the last few days, I am impressed with the talents I met on ground.”

Ntini will also be expected to run a two-day Fast Bowling Academy for young fast bowling talents in Nigeria.

Coach of the national team, Uthe Ogbimi, appreciated the NCF for bringing in Makhaya Ntini, who was the first black player to play for the South African national cricket team.

According to him this will not only enhance the performance of the national team players but also help develop the game at the grassroot level.

“April is a very crucial month for us as host of the International Cricket Council sub-regional T20 qualifiers and ACA T20 Tournament. We have made a pledge to give our best and then come out tops at the two tournaments Nigeria will be hosting,” he said.

The Nigerian Cricket Federation (NCF) under the leadership of Professor Yahaya Adam Ukwenya have a major objective to return the National Team to global reckoning when it was inaugurated a year ago.

“We had a roadmap when we came on Board and we are keeping strictly to the developmental plans we have outlined. We are most grateful to the ICC and the ACA for granting us hosting rights for 2 international tournaments, back-to-back. With their support and that of our growing number of corporate sponsors, we are confident of a brighter future for Nigerian cricket,” he said.

Court Adjourns Corruption Case Against Zuma Till June

Police Raid House Of Zuma's Allies In Graft Probe

The graft case against South African former president Jacob Zuma was on Friday postponed.

The case was postponed to June 8 after a brief 15-minute hearing at the Durban High Court.

“This matter is adjourned until June 8,” judge Themba Sishi said after being addressed by lawyers from both sides who confirmed that Zuma would appeal against the decision to prosecute him.

Zuma appeared in court Friday on corruption charges of over a multi-billion dollar 1990s arms deal, with the judge adjourning the case after a 15-minute hearing.

Zuma, 75, smiled broadly and gave a thumbs-up as he walked into the Durban High Court building to take his seat in the dock just seven weeks after he was forced to resign from office.

Several hundred vocal Zuma supporters rallied outside to protest against his prosecution, which could see him sent to jail if he is found guilty on 16 charges of corruption, money laundering and fraud.

“He might have made his own mistakes, but we say allow the old man to retire in peace. It is a conspiracy, it’s politically motivated,” pro-Zuma business manager Sphelele Ngwane, 29, told AFP.

On Thursday night more than 100 ardent backers rallied in Albert park in a gritty suburb of Durban to protest his innocence and demand a halt to the prosecution.

“There is an unfairness in the judiciary,” warned bishop Timothy Ngcobo, one of the organisers of Thursday’s gathering.

The protesters sang liberation-era songs including “Umshini Wam”, meaning “Bring me my machine gun”, which Zuma often sang at ANC rallies and gatherings.

Scandal-tainted office term

Police mounted a large security operation outside the court, but the occasion remained peaceful early on Friday.

Zuma is accused of taking bribes from French arms maker Thales over a contract worth several billion dollars (euros) during his time as a provincial economy minister and then deputy ANC president.

Thales, which supplied naval vessels as part of the deal, also faces charges with corruption and a company representative appeared in court alongside Zuma.

Zuma is accused of illicitly pocketing a total of 4,072,499.85 rand — 280,000 euros at today’s exchange rates — from 783 payments handled by Schabir Shaik, a businessman who acted as his financial adviser.

Zuma, who came to power as president shortly after the charges were first dropped in 2009, has always denied any wrongdoing.

Shaik was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2005 based on the same accusations, but a much-criticised 2016 inquiry absolved Zuma of any blame.

Zuma claimed that the inquiry proved that “not a single iota of evidence (shows) that any of the money received by any of the consultants was paid to any officials”.

Last month, prosecutions chief Shaun Abrahams — dubbed “Shaun the Sheep” for his loyalty to Zuma during his presidency — ordered that Zuma be charged with fraud, corruption and money laundering.

The ANC forced Zuma from office in February largely due to his mounting legal challenges and multiple corruption scandals, and it has distanced itself from its former leader.

Zuma’s successor Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to crack down on government corruption, which he has admitted is a serious problem.

Campaign groups are hoping that the case could set a benchmark for allegedly corrupt leaders to face prosecutions, which are a rarity on the African continent.

AFP

Six South African Miners Killed In Bus Attack

 

Six miners were killed in South Africa’s northern province of Limpopo when a suspected petrol bomb was thrown into their bus, police said Tuesday, adding no motive was known for the attack.

“The bus immediately caught fire, instantly killing six people on board and injuring several others,” police said in a statement.

The bus was carrying night-shift workers to a platinum mine on Monday evening when it was attacked outside the town of Burgersfort.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) called for police to investigate and arrest those responsible, saying there had been a number of recent violent incidents in the area.

“The bus was carrying 39 workers who were going to work at Modikwa Platinum Mine when it was petrol-bombed,” NUM official Phillip Mankge said.

“Six workers were burned beyond recognition and the other workers had to escape through windows.

“We also do not know what is the motive of the attack on those innocent workers who were going to work.”

Winnie Mandela: South Africa’s Flawed Heroine

Winnie Mandela: South Africa's Flawed Heroine
(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 16, 2017, the former wife of the late South African President Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, waves as she attends the 54th ANC National Conference at the NASREC Expo Centre in Johannesburg. MUJAHID SAFODIEN / AFP

 

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s marriage to Nelson Mandela and her anti-apartheid activism ensured many South Africans saw her as “the mother of the nation”, but her past was littered with dark controversies.

Born Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela, and always known simply as “Winnie”, she was married to Nelson for 38 years — one of the most storied romances of modern history.

Most of their marriage was spent apart, with Nelson imprisoned for 27 years, leaving her to raise their two daughters alone and to keep alive his political dream under the repressive white-minority regime.

In 1990 the world watched when Nelson Mandela finally walked out of prison — hand in hand with Winnie.

But they separated just two years later and divorced in 1996 after a legal wrangle that revealed her affair with a young bodyguard.

With or without Nelson, Winnie built her own role as a tough, glamourous and outspoken black activist with a loyal grassroots following in the segregated townships.

“From every situation I have found myself in, you can read the political heat in the country,” she said in a biography.

Winnie was born September 26, 1936, in the village of Mbongweni in what is now Eastern Cape.

She completed university, a rarity for black women at the time, and became the first qualified social worker at Johannesburg’s Baragwanath Hospital.

It was her political awakening, especially her research work in Alexandra township on infant mortality, which found 10 deaths in every 1,000 births.

“I started to realise the abject poverty under which most people were forced to live, the appalling conditions created by the inequalities of the system,” she said.

– Hounded by police –

Nelson Mandela, who was then married to his first wife, met Winnie at a bus stop in Soweto when she was 22.

They wed in June 1958, but he soon went underground, pursued by the apartheid authorities.

In October that year, Winnie was arrested for the first time at a protest by women against the pass system that restricted movements of black people in white-designated areas.

After Nelson was sentenced to life in prison in 1964, Winnie was also in and out of jail as the police hounded her in a bid to demoralise him.

Government security forces tortured her, tried locking her up, confined her to Johannesburg’s Soweto township, and then banished her to the desolate town of Brandfort, where her house was bombed twice.

She was allowed to visit her husband in prison rarely, and they were always divided by a glass screen.

– Linked to ‘necklacing’ –

Throughout the height of apartheid, Winnie remained at the forefront of the struggle, urging students in the Soweto uprising in 1976 to “fight to the bitter end”.

But in the 1980s, the militant-martyr began to be seen as a liability for Mandela and the liberation movement.

She had surrounded herself with a band of vigilante bodyguards called the Mandela United Football Club, who earned a terrifying reputation for violence.

Winnie was widely linked to “necklacing”, when suspected traitors were burnt alive by a petrol-soaked car tyre being put over their head and set alight.

Her notoriety was reinforced by a speech in 1986 when she declared that “with our boxes of matches and our necklaces we shall liberate this country.”

– ‘Something went horribly wrong’ –

In 1991, Winnie was convicted of kidnapping and assault over the killing of Stompie Moeketsi, a 14-year-old boy.

Moeketsi, who was accused being an informer, was murdered by her bodyguards in 1989.

Her jail sentence was reduced to a fine, and she denied involvement in any murders when she appeared before Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings.

“She was a tremendous stalwart of our struggle, and icon of liberation — something went wrong, horribly, badly wrong,” Tutu said as damning testimony implicated her.

She served as a deputy minister in President Mandela’s government, but was sacked for insubordination and eased out of the top ranks of the ruling party.

After a 2003 conviction for fraud, she later rehabilitated her political career winning a seat in parliament in 2009 elections.

But her bitterness emerged in 2010 newspaper interview, saying: “Mandela let us down. He agreed to a bad deal for the blacks.”

She also called Tutu a “cretin” and the reconciliation process a “charade”, though she later claimed the quotes were never meant to be published

Despite it all, she was a regular visitor travelling from Soweto — where she still lived — to Mandela’s bedside in his final months, and she said she was present when he died.

He did not leave her anything in his will.

At her lavish 80th birthday party in Cape Town, Madikizela-Mandela wore a sparkling white dress and beamed with pleasure as she was lauded by guests that included senior politicians from rival parties.

“Mama Winnie has lived a rich and eventful life, whose victories and setbacks have traced the progress of the struggle of our people for freedom,” then vice president Cyril Ramaphosa, who is now president, told guests.

AFP

South African Jazz Legend Hugh Masekela Dies

South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela died on Tuesday aged 78, his family announced, triggering an outpouring of tributes to his music, his long career and his anti-apartheid activism.

“After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg,” Masekela’s family said in a statement.

It hailed his “activist contribution” to music, which it said, “was contained in the minds and memory of millions.”

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said that “the nation has lost a one-of-a-kind musician.”

“He uplifted the soul of our nation through his timeless music.”

Masekela fled apartheid South Africa in the early 1960s and did not return for three decades until after the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990.

Among his greatest hits were the anthem “Bring Him Back Home”, demanding Mandela’s freedom from jail, and “Grazing in the Grass”.

Keeping up his international touring schedule into his 70s with energetic shows, his concerts at home often exploded into sing-alongs.

A teenaged Masekela was handed his first trumpet — and later a Louis Armstrong hand-me-down — through anti-apartheid activist priest Father Trevor Huddlestone.

“I took to it like a fish to water. I was a natural,” he recalled.

AFP

Zuma Admits S.Africans ‘Not Happy’ With Ruling ANC Party

Jacob Zuma

South African President Jacob Zuma admitted Saturday that voters were “not happy” with the ruling ANC party as it began a five-day conference to elect his successor as party leader.

Zuma said in his keynote conference address that the African National Congress’s poor local election results last year “were a stark reminder that our people are not happy with the state of the ANC”.

Zuma, who has led the ANC since 2007, detailed problems afflicting the party, which has lost much popularity since Nelson Mandela led it to victory in the 1994 election that ended decades of white-minority rule.

“Petty squabbling that takes us nowhere needs to take back seat, our people are frustrated when we spend more time fighting among ourselves instead of solving the daily challenges they experience,” he said.

“Factionalism has become the biggest threat to our movement.”

Zuma, whose reign has been marred by graft scandals, will step down as ANC chief at the conference but will remain head of state until general elections in 2019.

The two front-runners for the party leadership are his ex-wife and former African Union Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a wealthy businessman.

The battle could split the ANC and the conference looks set to be acrimonious.

AFP

South African Policemen Arraigned For Allegedly Robbing Nigerian Man

Another Nigerian Killed In South Africa

 

Five South African policemen have appeared in court on Friday for allegedly robbing a Nigerian man of the sum of 61,000 US Dollars.

Four of the accused have since been dismissed from the police service over the incident and are also currently being prosecuted following an investigation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

The five former policemen were accused of robbing the Nigerian man who deals in electronics on July 16, 2015.

During the hearing in court, a set of DVDs were distributed to the lawyers of the five accused police officers, to which they complained of being ambushed by the prosecution.

READ ALSO: Another Nigerian Killed In South Africa

An eyewitness said an unverified but large amount of money and a pack of sim card were taken from the Nigerian man.

The 42-year-old Nigerian claims he had concluded a forex transaction prior to a business trip when he was arrested by the policemen, taken back to his hotel room where his money was allegedly confiscated but not recorded at the Pretoria police station where he was detained for a night.

He said in court that he hopes for justice as he has done nothing wrong.

The case was adjourned to November 13th, 2017 to allow the counsel to the accused person view the CCTV footage presented by the prosecution in court and allow the current witness, the General Manager of the hotel in which the incident allegedly took place, to be cross-examined.