South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party has lost control of Johannesburg, the country’s largest city and economic center.
Herman Mashaba from the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has been elected as mayor by Johannesburg council.
The ANC had run Johannesburg since the fall of apartheid more than 20 years ago. It lost its council majority in local elections, although it is still the largest party.
It has also lost control of the capital Pretoria and Cape Town.
Of South Africa’s six biggest cities, the ANC only won an outright majority in Durban, seen as a stronghold for South African President Jacob Zuma.
On August 22, there was drama at the Johannesburg council meeting, which lasted 11 hours.
A scuffle broke out between opposition party members and electoral commission officials and an ANC councilor who was sworn in earlier in the day collapsed and died shortly after Herman Mashaba was elected.
The ANC had won 44.5% of the vote, more than the DA’s 38.4%. The left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with 11% found itself in the position of kingmaker and refused to give its votes to the ANC.
Herman Mashaba, a 56-year-old businessman, has promised to reform Johannesburg administration.
“As of this evening, corruption is declared public enemy number one in this city,” he told cheering supporters.
“Public monies that have been misspent, misused, over the last five, 10 years or so … we’re going to take this money, we’re going to look after it, so that we can provide basic services to our people.”
Herman Mashaba also pledged to tackle unemployment saying: “Over 800,000 of our residents, one-in-three, are today unemployed. We need to address this and we need to address this as a matter of urgency.”
A collection of unusual items signed by Nelson Mandela is being auctioned in Johannesburg.
The lots include a chess set, of figures from either side of the apartheid battle, and salt and pepper shakers of Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk.
The sale items are expected to raise around $450,000 for charity.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died in December aged 95, was revered around the world for fighting minority rule in his country.
Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison, before being released in 1990 by FW de Klerk, South Africa’s last white ruler.
Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and stepped down in 1999
He became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and stepped down in 1999.
The auction of 202 lots is being held on the eve of what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 96th birthday.
“Nelson Mandela signed many, many, many things. And that’s what I like about it [the auction],” said Savo Tufegdzic of Stephan Welz & Co, the firm that will put the items under the hammer.
“People always look for autographs, but there are only a handful of items signed by those celebrities. In the case of Nelson Mandela, every person can own a piece of him.”
The chess set has pieces depicting Nelson Mandela, his former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu facing off against apartheid leaders.
The set, which has some pieces missing, is thought to be worth between $950 and $1,400, the South African Press Association (SAPA) news agency reports.
The auction also includes objects ranging from statues, photographs, refrigerator magnets, ostrich eggs, medals, books and even a batch of 850 Chinese telephone cards emblazoned with Nelson Mandela’s image.
Some of the money raised would go to the Foundation for Rural Development run by Nelson Mandela’s grand-daughter Ndileka Mandela, SAPA reports.
Thamsanqa Jantjie – the South African sign language interpreter accused of gesticulating gibberish during Nelson Mandela’s memorial service – defended his “champion” performance Thursday, but said he may have suffered a schizophrenic episode while on stage.
Thamsanqa Jantjie, 34, told Johannesburg’s Star newspaper he started hearing voices in his head and hallucinating, resulting in gestures that made no sense to outraged deaf people around the world.
“There was nothing I could do. I was alone in a very dangerous situation. I tried to control myself and not show the world what was going on. I am very sorry. It’s the situation I found myself in,” Thamsanqa Jantjie told the paper.
He did not know what triggered the attack, saying he took medication for his schizophrenia.
Thamsanqa Jantjie said he may have suffered a schizophrenic episode while on stage at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service
Millions of TV viewers saw Thamsanqa Jantjie interpreting Tuesday at Nelson Mandela’s memorial attended by leaders from around the world, but South Africa’s leading deaf association on Wednesday denounced him as a fake, saying he was inventing signs.
However, in a radio interview, Thamsanqa Jantjie said he was happy with his performance at the memorial.
“Absolutely, absolutely. I think that I’ve been a champion of sign language,” he told Talk Radio 702.
The controversy has overshadowed South Africa’s 10-day farewell to Nelson Mandela, whose remains were lying in state for a second day Thursday at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he was sworn in as the nation’s first black president in 1994.
Revelations about Thamsanqa Jantjie’s unconventional gestures – experts said he did not know even basic signs such as “thank you” or “Mandela” – sparked a hunt for the mystery signer on Wednesday.
The government, which was in charge of the mass memorial, said it had no idea who he was, as did the ruling African National Congress (ANC), even though footage from two large ANC events last year showed him signing on stage next to President Jacob Zuma.
Thamsanqa Jantjie said he worked for a company called SA Interpreters, which had been hired by the ANC for Tuesday’s ceremony at Johannesburg’s 95,000-seat Soccer City stadium.
Nelson Mandela is to be accorded a state funeral on Sunday, December 15, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma announced.
Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, died on Thursday, December 5, aged 95.
Hundreds are gathered outside Nelson Mandela’s home in Johannesburg’s northern suburb of Houghton, where he died.
They have been sharing memories of the former leader, recounting how they drew inspiration from his life.
A stage has been erected near the house, from where priests have led the crowd in prayers.
One of his grandsons. Mbuso Mandela, laid wreaths in his grandfather’s memory.
President Jacob Zuma visited the house in the early afternoon to pay his respects.
Nelson Mandela is to be accorded a state funeral on Sunday, December 15
At a news conference on Friday afternoon, Jacob Zuma outlined a week of events to mourn the former president.
Sunday, December 8, will be an official day of prayer and reflection with special religious services
On Tuesday, December 10, a service of national mourning will be held at a 95,000-seater stadium on the outskirts of Johannesburg
Nelson Mandela’s body will lie in state from Wednesday to Friday in the capital, Pretoria
Next Sunday’s funeral will be held in the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where Nelson Mandela grew up. South African Airways has announced that it will provide extra flights to Qunu for mourners.
Hundreds have attended an interfaith remembrance service outside Cape Town’s City Hall. The Johannesburg stock exchange suspended operations for five minutes on Friday as a mark of respect.
The White House has announced that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be travelling to South Africa next week to pay their respects and take part in memorial events.
Flags are flying at half-mast on government buildings in Washington DC, Paris and across South Africa. The European Union and world football body FIFA have also ordered their flags to be lowered.
Parliament in Pretoria is expected to hold a special joint session to reflect on Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy.
Nelson Mandela died on Thursday, December 5, shortly before 21:00 local time.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela has left a Pretoria hospital and has gone to his Johannesburg home, where he is continuing to receive intensive care, the presidency says on its website.
The announcement came a day after officials denied reports that Nelson Mandela, 95, had already been discharged.
The presidency’s statement says Nelson Mandela’s condition remains critical and at times unstable.
South Africa’s first democratically elected president has been in hospital since June with a lung infection.
Nelson Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is revered around the world for leading the fight against white minority rule and preaching reconciliation with the white community despite being imprisoned for 27 years.
“His team of doctors are convinced that he will receive the same level of intensive care at his Houghton home that he received in Pretoria [hospital],” the statement from President Jacob Zuma’s says.
It adds that Nelson Mandela’s home in the suburb of Houghton has been “reconfigured to allow him to receive intensive care there” and he will be treated by the same health care personnel who have been looking after him since June 8.
Nelson Mandela has left a Pretoria hospital and has gone to his Johannesburg home
If necessary, he will be readmitted to hospital, the presidency says.
Despite his various illnesses, the statement from Jacob Zuma’s office notes, the former president had displayed “immense grace and fortitude”.
The South African government has released few details about his condition, appealing for Nelson Mandela’s privacy and dignity to be respected.
Correspondents say this is not the discharge of a man who has made a significant recovery but the transfer of a patient from an intensive care ward in a hospital to a specially built intensive care unit in his own home, presumably in line with his family’s wishes.
“It is a day of celebration for us, that he is finally back home with us,” said his grandson Mandla Mandela.
On Saturday, sources close to Nelson Mandela told the international media that he had already returned home.
This was denied by South Africa’s presidency, which handles all communications about the former leader’s health.
Nelson Mandela’s lung condition is said to result from the tuberculosis he contracted during the 27 years he spent in prison for taking up arms against white minority rule.
He is been hospitalized four times in the past year and his latest stay lasted 84 days.
He became president after 1994 elections – the first time black South Africans were allowed to vote – and stepped down five years later.
Nelson Mandela’s last public appearance was at the 2010 football World Cup, which South Africa hosted.
Mike du Toit, the mastermind of a white supremacist plot to kill Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, has been convicted of treason.
A Pretoria court ruled that Boeremag group leader Mike du Toit was behind the nine bombings in Johannesburg’s Soweto township in 2002.
Mike du Toit is the first person to be convicted of treason in South Africa since white minority rule ended in 1994.
Analysts say race relations in South Africa are still tense.
However, white extremist groups like Boeremag, which means Afrikaner Power in Afrikaans, have very little support, they say.
Mike du Toit, the mastermind of a white supremacist plot to kill Nelson Mandela, has been convicted of treason
The Pretoria High Court handed down its verdict against Mike Du Toit, a former academic, following a nine-year trial.
Judge Eben Jordaan said Mike Du Toit had authored a blueprint for revolution intended to evict black people from most of South Africa and to kill anyone who got in the way, the South African Press Association reports.
Witnesses told the court that Boeremag had carried out a spate of bombings in Soweto in 2002, killing one person.
The Boeremag had also planned to stage a coup and assassinate Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison before being elected president in 1994 and acted as a unifying force after decades of white-minority rule.
The group also intended to shoot whites who opposed their vision of a racially pure nation, the witnesses said.
More than 20 other suspects were on trial with Mike Du Toit, but the court has not yet ruled on their fate.
Nearly 200 people gave evidence for the state – including police informants within Boeremag.
Nelson Mandela stood down as South Africa’s president in 1999 after serving one term, handing over to Thabo Mbeki.
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