Category Archives: South Africa

Trump declines talks with Ramaphosa amid farm murders

At margins of the United Nations General Assembly President Donald Trump declined bilateral talks with South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa.

Reportedly US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will have a meeting with International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu to clarify the  situation in South Africa upon request of the US President, who expressed concerns with ongoing brutal murders of farmers.

In a tweet a month ago President Trump asked Secretary Pompeo to clarify the situation at “land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large-scale killing of farmers”. Sisulu admitted at the time to being “taken aback” by Trump‘s tweet, which followed a report on Fox News claiming that the South African government had started with “racist” farm seizures against white farmers.

The concerns are aggravated by repeated calls for violence articulated by Marxist politician Julius Maleman, who calls his followers to expropriate land from white farmers. At public gatherings Malema repeatedly sings  “kill the farmer” song, which is the “hate speech” in form and in essence.

The issue has become chronic problem, but in denial of obvious ANC ruling party did not adopt a strategy to stop farm murders, proposed by Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota.

Mandela statue inauguration in UN premises in New York

“We trust that this statue will remain a constant reminder to the international community of the dedication of Nelson Mandela to the mission of the United Nations and a constant affirmation of South Africa’s commitment to contribute to a better world for all,”said South Africa President  Cyril Ramaphosa at the ceremony of unveiling of the Mandela statue in the UN premises in New York.

South Africans have been humbled by the the enthusiasm with which the international community has embraced the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Mandela, Ramaphosa continued.

The people of our country, united in their diversity, revere Nelson Mandela as the founding father of our democratic nation – whose life, sacrifices and extraordinary contribution to freedom continues to inspire successive generations,” South Africa President underlined.

Russia assisting Africa energy projects

The African continent is in vital need of energy investments, and Russia could become one of its key partners, according to President Vladimir Putin attending #BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. “I would especially like to underline that Russia is planning to step up its assistance in development of national energy in African states,” said the Russian president during the BRICS-Africa Outreach panel.

According to Putin, Russia is in talks with Angola, Mozambique and Gabon on implementing promising oil and gas projects. “In the field of nuclear energy, where Russia is the technological leader, we offer African partners to build an industry from scratch,” the Russian president said. These projects are crucial for Africa since about 600 million people on the continent live without electricity.

Energy is not the only sphere where Russia and Africa could cooperate, according to Putin. “Russian business shows interest in working with African partners in a wide range of areas, including agriculture, healthcare, the development of mass communications, geology and subsoil use,” Putin said.

President Putin mentioned Angola, where Alrosa company is interested in mining diamonds, a joint venture between Russia and Burundi on the production of lighting products for exports to East Africa, and agriculture projects in Senegal.

South Africa advances exports of lion’s skeletons

The export of lion skeletons is fuelling the business of these criminal enterprises and South Africa should be held to account for encouraging them, conservationists say. The issue came to public attention after the decision of South Africa officials to double quota of exports of skeletons of lions in captivity.

Dr Paul Funston, the senior director of the lion programme at Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organisation, believes South Africa’s contentious lion bone trade came to a point to start endangering the continent’s dwindling wild lion populations.

I can’t understand why the government is being so stupid and ignorant by making decisions and supporting an industry that is clearly not supported by the world one that is having a massive knock-on effect on the poaching of wild lions in other African countries” – Funston said.

Funston was reacting to the announcement this week by Environment Minister Edna Molewa that she had approved an annual export quota of 1500 captive-bred lion skeletons – nearly doubling last year’s 800-skeleton quota.

What we’re seeing now in many other African countries is that they poach the lions and just cut the face and feet off for the teeth and claws as trinkets,”  the conservationists regrets. Conservation organisations like Panthera have maintained there is significant evidence that South Africa’s legal trade in lion bones is accelerating the massacre of wild lions for their parts in neighbouring countries and increasing demand for wild lion parts in Asia, where they are used as a substitute for tiger bone wine and other products.

Moët & Chandon championship for best sommelier in South Africa

The intense search of  for South Africa’s most talented sommelier started to select the top professional who will represent the nation at the 2019 Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) Best Sommelier championships in Belgium. The winner  will receive the title of  Moët & Chandon Best Sommelier South Africa 2018.

A sommelier is a wine specialist in a range of operations from wine and food pairing, wine serving to being the ultimate wine guide.

The South African Sommelier Association (SASA) is looking for a person to meet the criteria of an exception skill, knowledge and experience. The most required qualities are sophistication and audacity.

The competition intends to search for new talents and support creativity in local communities.

The winner will receive a sponsored place in the ASI Best Sommelier of the World championships in Belgium in 2019 along with a voyage to visit the Moët & Chandon Maison in France.

Champagne cascade

Zuma son detained in Johannesburg airport

Duduzane Zuma, the son of former South African president Jacob Zuma, was briefly detained at Johannesburg main airport on Thursday relating to a corruption case, his lawyer said on Friday, July 6.

Duduzane Zuma, who was returning to South Africa to attend his brother’s funeral, is due at Randburg Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg next week to face separate charges of culpable homicide over a fatal 2014 car crash.

Zuma’s Porsche 911 sports car ploughed into a minivan taxi in Johannesburg, killing one woman and seriously injuring another who later died in hospital.

Zuma, who has previously said his car hit a puddle of water, will be contesting the charges.

His detainment at OR Tambo airport was in connection with a filed in Rosebank Johannesburg in 2016 corruption case, his lawyer Rudi Krause confirmed, adding that he didn’t have any other details.

Sibuya: lions ‘execute’ rhino poachers

A ranger with guests at the Sibuya Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape on a safari drive on Tuesday afternoon discovered human remains close to a pride of lions.

We suspect two were killed, possibly three,” Sibuya owner Nick Fox said.

An axe and three pairs of shoes and gloves were found later when police and an anti-poaching unit arrived. The lions had been heard making a commotion in the early morning hours.

 

We thought they must have been rhino poachers but the axe confirmed it,” Fox said. “They use the rifle to shoot the animal and the axe to remove the horn.”

South Africa is home the biggest population of the world’s rhinos, whose numbers has been depleted by poaching for buyers in Vietnam and China where rhino horn is coveted as an ingredient in traditional medicine as an ‘effective remedy’ from impotence and prostate cancer.

More than 1,000 rhinos were killed in South Africa last year.

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