News SA 2013

Oct 31.  2 months and no news update on Nelson Mandela (see Sep 01).  What is really going on?
Oct 31.  Whoonga is ravaging South Africa’s impoverished townships.
Oct 31.  Reported crime is lowest in 15 years in South Africa.
Oct 31.  Corruption and unequal distribution of wealth/opportunity hold promise for future troubles.
Oct 30.  South Africa signs Grand Inga power project treaty with Congo.
Oct 30.  Kruger Park becoming a memorial park?
Oct 25.  Clashes break out in Johannesburg township.  Watch out!  There are too many people living underprivileged lives in the townships, and too many unemployed youth.
Oct 21.  Money, power and political killings in South Africa.
Oct 20.  Robben Island Prison.
Oct 18.  Rape and child rape in South Africa.
Oct 10.  Red October protests alleged oppression of white South Africans.
Oct 09.  Illegal gold mining under the streets of Johannesburg.
Oct 07.  The Hadeda ibis and the Parktown prawn, read about them here.
Sep 19.  Where violence occurs in South Africa.  Click here for more crime statistics.  But are the statistics manipulated as alleged in this article?
Sep 18.  The number of strikes hits a 5 year high.
Sep 18.  An intriguing story of how the courts in South Africa have awarded a Zimbabwe property in Cape Town to farmers dispossessed by Mugabe’s land confiscation.
Sep 10.  A week and no significant Mandela update.  What’s going on?  Meanwhile, some strikes are over; auto workers, transport workers, one gold mining union while other strikes begin or are threatened; auto component builders, mechanics, petrol attendants.
Sep 01.  Nelson Mandela has returned home to Houghton in Johannesburg.  His condition is described as “critical and sometimes unstable.”
Aug 31.  Another weekend, another Nelson Mandela update that he is “critical but stable“.  What aren’t we being told?
Aug 31.  Burning tyre road barricades in protest over inadequate public services, poor living standards.
Aug 27.  Labour unrest spreads further; petrol stations and car dealership workers announce strikes.
Aug 25.  National Union of Mineworkers provides 7 day ultimatum or strike.
Aug 24.  Mandela showing “great resilience” but continues in critical condition.
Aug 23.  South Africa contributes 1345 troops to UN brigade to fight in Congo.
Aug 22.  Landmark deal for aboriginal rights; traditional knowledge.
Aug 22.  Labour unrest spreads; car manufacturers in strike; gold, airline workers and construction strikes loom.
Aug 22.  Reports of police brutality tripled in last decade.
Aug 19.  South African government supports Mugabe’s election win.
Aug 16.  1 year anniversary of Marikana mine massacre.  South African government does not attend memorial service at Marikana.
Aug 15.  1500 South African police have serious convictions: all still working.
Aug 14.  Mining wage negotiations proceeding slowly.  Chamber of Mines offers 5.5%.  Unions seek 60%.  Union representative murdered.
Aug 11.  Mandela still in critical condition but said to be improving.  Mandela has been in hospital in critical condition since June 8.  Every week or so we are told that his condition is improving.  That’s a long time of improvement while remaining in critical condition. The whole story is not being told.
Aug 09.  South Africa: The Meaning of Women’s Day
Aug 06.  28,000 Zimbabweans deported from South Africa in first half of year.
Aug 06.  This article on the possible purchase of the MalaMala game reserve near Kruger Park highlights the difficulty and controversy over land claims and redistribution.  References continue to be made to the Zimbabwe example of land confiscation.
Aug 05.  South Africa forecast to be short on coal by 2015.  Watch this, it suggests future declines in power generation which would affect the mining industry, other economic activities, lead to coal imports and development of additional nuclear power plants which would only be a longer term fix as they cannot be built in time.
Aug 04.  Iran and South Africa discuss strengthening of mutual cooperation.
Aug 02.  Shantytown and mortgages, post apartheid failure?
Aug 01.  The South African Air Force SAAF is falling apart.
Aug 01.  Unemployment worsens.

Jul 29.  South Africa’s farms – very violent?
Jul 28.  A New York Times debate on the future of South Africa.
Jul 28.  Minister refuses to release report on foot and mouth disease outbreak.
Jul 28.  Ritual circumcision to enter manhood, gone wrong.
Jul 26.  Watch this one!  Julius Malema of the EFF Economic Freedom Fighters has suggested that agricultural land should be seized by the state without compensation and that mines, banks and strategic sectors should be nationalized without compensation.   Pay attention to the EFF Manifesto.  Malema is the expelled former leader of the ANC Youth League.    It’s not clear if this is just pre-election rhetoric nor how the general population may respond to it.  However, the promise of something for no personal pain is always attractive.  Unemployment rates are presently in the range of 25% – 37%.
Jul 24.  This could affect mining.  South African mine workers will file claims against Anglo American for gold mining dust related lung diseases.
Jul 24.  South Africa to provide humanitarian food aid to Lesotho which is suffering from a food shortage crisis.
Jul 20.  How about half a million tonnes of toxic asbestos waste proposed to be deposited in the northern Cape?
Jul 11.  South Africa’s gold mine crisis.
Jun 22.  $30 million reno for Zuma’s retirement home, while the guy across the street has no electricity!
Jun 18.  South Africa risks losing 145,500 mining jobs by 2015.  Really? Or is this just industry hype going into wage negotiations this month?
Jun 13.  The 100 year anniversary of the notorious Native Land Act of 1913 arrives next Wednesday June 19.  Land reform has made slow progress since the end of apartheid.  Watch for news about the new Campaign for Agrarian Transformation and Land Redistribution in South Africa which is a bilateral initiative of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA and the Food and Allied Workers Union.
Jun 07.  Nelson Mandela returns to hospital in Pretoria in serious stable condition.
Jun 07.  Are wildcat strikes spreading in South Africa – mining and others?
Jun 02.  Xenophobia.  Nigerians also being attacked in South Africa.
Jun 01.  South Africa safaris near Capetown.  White lions and whales.

May 31.  An essay on xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
May 31.  “If you are not an Afrikaaner, you cannot live here.
May 30.  15 Somali owned shops looted near Port Elizabeth.  Is this spreading?
May 28.  Xenophobia undercurrents in townships near Johannesburg South Africa.  2 Zimbabweans killed at squatter camp.  Meanwhile, SA is turning Zimbabweans away at the border.  All of these 3 news stories popped up on the same day.  What’s changed?
May 25.  Allegations that Zuma misled parliament about troop deployment in the Central African Republic, and it looks like SA already has attack helicopters in the DRC!
May 25.  Google may build wireless networks across sub-Saharan Africa.  Now, that could be a social and political game changer!
May 24.  South Africa has pledged a battalion to the proposed UN intervention force for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Will SA be south/central Africa’s policeman?
May 24.  Khoisan people demand recognition.  In the post apartheid world of SA, persons of indigenous bushmen heritage are classified as coloureds.  Consequently they have fewer rights and opportunities than blacks.  Racial discrimination continues.
May 23.  Jacob Zuma implicated in Guptagate wedding party arrangements.
May 22.  South African UN MONUSCO peace keepers turn refugees away from base near Goma, Congo – Kinshasa as fighting intensifies.  Contrast this with Romeo Dallaire’s actions with next to no resources in Rwanda 1994.
May 21.  Now it begins.  Rubber bullets fired at striking South Africa mine workers.
May 20.  Nelson Mandela’s daughters are reported suing him for rights to his artworks and control of his money.  Seriously?
May 20.  Look below the surface.  Working class white people living in squatter camps in South Africa.  No future, no way to get out.
May 19.  Labour conflict appears inevitable.  Consider that one mining union has indicated it will seek wage increases of 60%.  Meanwhile, commodity prices especially for gold have recently plummeted.  Many SA mines are now losing money due to global prices, prior wage increases above inflation and increased energy costs.  Amplats will be closing down some mining operations.  One problem is that union posturing in advance of wage negotiations may create unrealistic expectations in the workforce that will boil up as anger when negotiations stall as they always do at the beginning of this type of process.
May 17.  Deporting Zimbabwean people from South Africa is costly, ineffective and Zimbabwe does not want their people returned.
May 17.  23 dead in youth/manhood initiation rites.
May 16.  A South African university in KwaZulu-Natal will make Zulu language classes mandatory for 1st yr. university students commencing next year.
May 15.  Lonmin platinum miners stage wildcat strike – concern for renewed violence.  Update May 17 – new unions and worker committees threaten South African economy.
May 14.  Union officials / witnesses being assassinated in Marikana.
May 12.  Amplats scales back prospective job losses from 14,000 to 6,000.  Union vows to fight.
May 11.  South African “black diamonds” vs Gr. Britain reduces aid to SA.
May 10.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he will not vote for the ANC.  They have lost their way.
May 08.  Do you know about Orania, a whites only town on the Orange River in Northern Cape?
May 05.  Today in the news, South Africa Airlines is in serious financial trouble, having to borrow $170 mln Rnd to keep flying, and the unemployment rate has gone up to 25.2%.
May 04.  War declared on rhino poachers.
May 04.  Guptagate.
May 03.  Corruption rampant in SA government.
May 01.  Zuma’s friends fly in wedding guests to a restricted military base.  Special treatment?  May 03, racism controversy.  May 04 under investigation.
May 01.  Britain will stop providing £19M aid to South Africa in 2015.  South Africa government claims this was a surprise, but Britain says they were consulted.

Apr. 29.  Showing signs of promise, the South African black middle class has more than doubled in the last 8 years and is now greater in number than the white middle class.
Apr. 28.  Further mining strife looms on the horizon as gold, coal and platinum wage agreements expire at the end of June.
Apr. 22.  The transportation sector strike will start to involve tourist buses as of Apr. 22.  Note that this includes Springbok Atlas buses which we used for our guided tour.
Apr. 21.  Former Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga discusses the effectiveness of trade 
embargoes in the 80’s, with specific reference to Margaret Thatcher. 
Apr. 19.  The donation of military helicopters to Zimbabwe has been blocked by the court again.
Apr. 18.  Petra Diamonds’ Culliden mine finds large rare blue diamond.
Apr. 18.  
South Africa commits 1345 troops to 1st ever UN “intervention brigade” deployed to Congo DR to fight rebels.  SA also has 850 soldiers in Darfur, Sudan.
Apr. 17.  Mandela family members cashing in on his name.
Apr. 17.  South Africa inflation high at 5.9%, may encourage “stagflation”.
Apr. 15.  Do South African police still routinely use torture?
Apr. 15.  An elephant overturned a tourist’s vehicle in Kruger Park today, injuring the driver and a passenger.  See the photo – not much left of the vehicle!  The next day an elephant handler was killed at an elephant sanctuary west of Pretoria.

Apr. 12.  Perhaps an answer to SA’s troop deployment, formerly into CAR and now additional attack force troops to the DR Congo.  It seems that senior ANC persons had investments in CAR that might need protection.  As for the Congo, the South African troops will be deployed Zuma’s nephew Khulubuse Zuma has business interests.
Apr. 08.  SA is withdrawing its troops from the Central Africa Republic as the rebels now control the country, but is planning to deploy additional troops into the DR Congo.  They have about 1000 troops there already and will send in more as part of an “UN attack force” with Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique.  The existing 20,000 UN peace keeping troops in DR Congo did little last year to prevent rebels from taking Goma.  Since when did the UN begin fielding “attack forces”?  How extensive is SA military presence in Africa?

Mar. 27.  Are both government troops and Seleka rebels shooting at SA troops?  South African sends reinforcements to Uganda neighboring the Central African Republic.
Mar. 26.  Why are South African troops stationed in the Central African Republic?
Mar. 26.  South African environmental affairs minister suggests rhino horn trade should be legalized as current protection measures are failing.
Mar. 25.  13 South African soldiers dead, 27 wounded, 1 missing in fighting with rebels in the Central African Republic.
Mar. 24.  “…dancing close to the door” is how one party describes investors engaged in South African.  Noteworthy is the source of this article – the Bangkok Post.  It appears that South Africa may be on the cusp of spiraling inflation as the rand devalues.
Mar. 24.  Central African Republic, rebels have fought their way into the capital.  Why am I paying attention?  Because in so doing, they have killed at least 6 South African soldiers.  South Africa has 400 soldiers deployed here, who appear to be fighting alongside  Bozize’s army.  France also has troops stationed in this former colony, and 1200 citizens.
Mar. 23.  “South Africa’s unfinished revolution“, an essay.
Mar. 23.  Rhino killing – smuggling increased 50% in 5 yrs.
Mar. 21.  Today is Human Rights Day in South Africa which commemorates Mar. 21, 1960 when Johannesburg police killed pass law protesters at Sharpeville Station.  This was one of 2 major turning points against the apartheid regime, the other being the killing of students in Soweto beginning June 16, 1976 and the famous Hector Pieterson photograph.
Mar. 19.  South Africa’s Hell on Earth – violence against women, HIV, crime rates.
Mar. 16.  Dance and shebeens in the townships; Via Katlehong dancers.
Mar. 14.  Over 25% of schoolgirls are HIV positive.
Mar. 12.  South Africa’s ANC pledges assistance to Mugabe’s Zanu-PF in upcoming elections.  So, they clearly favour the president over the prime minister…
Mar. 12.  Was a South African diplomat wandering naked in Shanghai?  You just can’t make this stuff up.
Mar. 12.  The controversy surrounding Winnie Mandela just doesn’t go away.
Mar. 11.  Is South Africa inherently violent?  The country has never addressed the residual apartheid inequality in distribution of wealth and property.  Meanwhile, Zuma says he is looking forward to working with newly elected Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta who was indicted in 2011 by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges that he helped orchestrate a post-election bloodbath in 2007.
Mar. 08.  South Africa is an angry nation on the brink, warns Nelson Mandela’s wife.
Mar. 07.  UFO sightings off South Africa increase.  District 9 anybody?
Mar. 07.  Zuma says South Africa is not violent in spite of a report from BBC News, and then the article provides a list with links that pretty much proves it is.
Mar. 06.  Where is the rule of law when the Court orders the release of a report about the last Zimbabwe election, and the President refuses? Inconvenient justice, denied.
Mar. 05.  South Africa is running out of rape kits.
Mar. 05.  Mining unrest continues at Lonmin where 34 miners were killed last Aug.
Mar. 03.  It’s not all doom and gloom, Mandela wine launched in US.
Mar. xx.  “Pistorius and South Africa’s Culture of Violence“.

Feb. 28.  “What’s gone wrong in South Africa?” , letter from a reader.
Feb. 28.  Death of a Mozambique man handcuffed behind a police van, as it drove away.  Perhaps more distressing is a 2012 report from Amnesty International.
Feb. 27.  Thieves steal dreadlocks, report from Johannesburg.
Feb. 26.  Water buffalo, donkey and goat found in South African meat products.
Feb. 09.  This was a outrageously brutal story of rape which is common in South Africa.


2 thoughts on “News SA 2013

  1. Pingback: Hello Africa! | Unjani… how are you?

  2. Pingback: 1023, done | Unjani… how are you?


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