Category Archives: South Africa

Lesotho PM «dignified retirement» 

Government of the Kigndom of Lesotho has agreed that Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, who is accused of murdering his estranged wife, will resign without any further delay.

The deal brokered with the help of South African mediators is said to promise the Prime minister a “dignified and secure” exit from office.

Thabane has been under pressure to resign over persistent suspicions he was involved in the assassination in 2017, and his new wife has been charged. Both deny any involvement in the brutal murder. Gunmen shot and killed Mr Thabane’s then-wife Lipolelo Thabane on 14 June 2017. Officials charged Mr Thabane’s current wife Maesaiah with the murder this year, and also named Mr Thabane as a suspect – although he has not yet been formally charged.

It is not yet clear if he will agree to stand down immediately, as the deal indicates.

Zuma arrest warrant issued

A South African court has issued an arrest warrant for the former president Jacob Zuma after he failed to appear at hearing on the grounds of a medical treatment.

Zuma’s lawyer, Daniel Mantsha, presented a document from a “military hospital” to excuse his client absence, but the judge questioned whether the note was valid or even written by a doctor. Prosecutors said it was a criminal offence not to fully explain an absence on medical grounds. Jacob Zuma face charges in a corruption case that he has been avoiding for months, most recently by referring to health issues, preventing him to stand a trial.

“Zuma’s absence is disappointing … we want Mr Mantsha to tell us what the illness is and why Zuma can’t be here. It is a criminal offence for the accused not to be present if he has been warned in court,” said Billy Downer, representing South African the state.

According to former President lawyers, he had two operations in early January before going abroad. However the judge questioned the authenticity of a letter from a “military hospital” in the administrative capital, Pretoria, explaining Mr. Zuma’s absence.

Kendell Geers ventures African mask philosophy

South African conceptual artist Kendell Geers presents African masks in unconventional way to evoke re-evaluation of cultural heritage of the continent, shifting from outdated perception of  “fetish” to artefact, and further to reading the profound philosophical meaning of the ritual objects.

Concluding the exhibition IncarNations (BOZAR, Brussels)  debates took place on contemporary vision of African cultural heritage, and imminent need to shift away from the Colonial era patterns of exoticism to genuine understanding of meaning of African culture. Passionate proponent of African art,  Kendell Geers calls for abandoning Eurocentric system of assessment of cultural heritage, and regarding historic artefacts with African eyes.

Kendell Geers presentations of African masterpieces stretches beyond Africa, pointing to their universal spiritual strength, fearlessly confronting the most sensitive issues of Colonial past, and problems of the present dialogues between East, West and Africa to ensure transformations leading to engagements, empowering Africans, and reconstructing their rich cultural heritage.

The artist reflects upon dramatic history of colonisation of Africa, suggesting “negative” overpowers “positive” in synergy of two continents, until Europeans keep their prejudices and fantasies, and desires rooted in the bygone era.

 

The exhibition IncarNations created by the artist Kendell Geers in co-operation with the Congolese art collector Sindika Dokolo has challenged a traditional outlook on African culture, proposing Afrocentric perspective. It took place in Brussels Art Centre BOZAR from 

 

 

South Africa urban violence outbreak

South African police  have arrested dozens of people in Johannesburg on September 2 after rioters looted shops, burned tyres and blocked road junctions – the second outbreak of urban rioting in a week. (Image: Johannesburg).

Police had no answer what exactly had triggered the violence, however it is generally considered that the social context has deteriorated: unemployment at close to 30%, widespread poverty and income disparities have all been blamed for recent outbreaks and attacks on immigrants.

Last week, hundreds of protesters in the administrative capital Pretoria set fire to buildings, looted mostly foreign-owned businesses and clashed with police, who started to fire rubber bullets at the crowds in attempt to stop further devastation.

Taxi drivers issued an alert to commuters asking them to avoid Pretoria downtown.

However, Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said Nigerian shops had been targeted by “mindless criminals” and promised to take “definitive measures“.

SA Cabernet Sauvignon in focus

South Africa has a long history with Cabernet Sauvignon, both as a varietal and blended wine. Highly rated examples abound, too, including many Stellenbosch-based bottlings from producers with long track records, like KanonkopLe RicheRust en VredeRustenberg and Waterford,

But South African Cabernet Sauvignon was never firmly identified as a consistent exemplar on the international wine stage.

It’s time for that to change, the Wine Enthusiast online recommends. Beyond the diversity and caliber of Cabernet Sauvignon produced in South Africa,­ the wines also represent tremendous value.

Babylonstoren 2015 Nebukadnesar (Simonsberg-Paarl); $45, 93 points.

Dark and brooding, this Cabernet Sauvignon-led blend, with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, currently smells somewhat reserved, with shy notes of black plum, cassis, Baker’s chocolate, boysenberry and cigar-box spice. It’s medium-plus in weight, with opulence and a rich body that’s framed by bold, supporting tannins and medium acidity. It’s well balanced, with a long, spicy finish that ends with a kiss of dark chocolate. Catamarca Imports LLC.

Ernie Els 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch); $24, 91 points. While this is currently slightly tight and closed, it shows the structure and elements to present a complete and well-balanced wine with a little time. Scents of charred plum skin, dark chocolate, cigar box and roast beef dance in the bouquet, while the bold, firm palate offers flavors of black fruit skin, cassis and char. Drink 2019–2022. Editors’ Choice.

Robertson Winery 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Robertson); $10, 91 points. Brambly berry, black plum and cherry abound on the nose of this attractive wine. Touches of cinnamon stick, violet and milk chocolate add interest. The medium-weight palate is fresh and vibrant in ripe fruit tones, with velvety tannins and ample acidity. It’s well balanced and harmonious, while the lasting finish evolves from fruit flesh to soil then tree bark and finally soft sweet spice. Best Buy.

 Vergelegen – top African winery

South Africa’s Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West has been voted the top winery on the African continent. (Image above: illustration).

Vergelegen placed 34 overall in the prestigious World’s Best Vineyard 2019 competition, where a global voting panel analysed 1,500 wineries from 17 producing countries. Argentina’s Zuccardi Valle de Uco has been announced first.

We are absolutely delighted by this award,” Vergelegen CEO Don Tooth said. “The Vergelegen team is committed to building South Africa’s reputation as a producer of world-class wines and this win is an acknowledgment of that passion.”

 

NGO sues SA government over pollution

A lawsuit filed by environmental and community groups accuses South Africa’s government in failure to resolve the problem of high air pollution levels in an area which is site of coal-fired power stations and refineries.

The case filed in the Pretoria High Court claims the government has violated the Constitutional right to a healthy environment for inhabitants of the densely-polluted Highveld Priority Area. It was brought by environmental justice group @groundWorkSA and community organisation Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action.

Africa’s most advanced economy is generating most of its energy from coal-fired power plants that emit millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Image above: illustration

 

 

 

 

Ramaphosa sworn as South Africa President

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to attain “hope and renewal” as he was inaugurated at a stadium in the capital Pretoria.

The African National Congress (ANC) leader vowed to fight corruption and rejuvenate the struggling economy.

Ramaphosa was elected earlier this month with a majority of 57.5%, the smallest since the party came to power 25 years ago.

Mr Ramaphosa initially took over from Jacob Zuma in 2018 after Mr Zuma was accused of corruption.

Egypt: Giza tourist bus explosion

A device went off close to the Giza Grand Museum fence as the bus was passing.

It is not yet known who was behind the bombing but Islamist militants have attacked tourists in Egypt in the past.

According to SkyNews there was a group of South African tourists and local guides, some of them are injured.

In December, three tourists from Vietnam and a local tour guide were killed after a roadside bomb hit their bus.

 

 

SA Kweneng city discovery

South Africa archaeologists have rediscovered an ancient lost city from around 1800 AD known as Kweneng using laser technology.

The researchers – who are with the University of Witwatersrand – have been studying the site in the Suikerbosrand National Park for decades.

But it was not until cutting-edge laser technology known as LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) became available in recent years that they were able to study the ruins in detail from above, and discovered that what they thought was only a scattering of ancient stone huts, turned out to be an urban agglomeration.

 

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