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Former Paralympic gold medalist and convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius will remain behind bars after a parole board denied his early release on March 31.

The South African authorities revealed that he had not yet served enough time to qualify for early release. Oscar Pistorius, 36, is serving 13 years for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013.

The parole board met to hear evidence, including from Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp’s mother.

However, instead of giving a decision afterwards, embarrassed officials admitted their timings had been wrong.

Earlier this week, they had received, but ignored, a letter from South Africa’s top appeals court, which explained that Oscar Pistorius needed to spend another year and a half in prison before he could be considered for parole.

Photo Getty Images

The hearing at Atteridgeville prison, a low-security facility in rolling fields just outside the city of Pretoria, should never have happened.

For weeks, officials had insisted the amputee former sprinter was eligible to apply for parole, having served half his sentence.

The confusion stems from the fact that Oscar Pistorius’s time in prison has been broken up by appeals and by a period of house arrest.

There is disagreement about where to draw the halfway line.

Oscar Pistorius’s family have expressed dismay and are seeking legal clarification.

It has been an emotional day for the Steenkamp family, who have welcomed the fact that Pistorius will not be yet be freed.

When June Steenkamp, Reeva’s mother, spoke to reporters before the hearing she said she opposed the release of her daughter’s killer: “I don’t believe Oscar is remorseful… or rehabilitated.”

The six-time Paralympic gold medallist has expressed his deep remorse for killing his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day in 2013, but continues to maintain he shot her by mistake, believing she was a robber.

Oscar Pistorius was initially found guilty of culpable homicide and given a six-year term. But prosecutors launched an appeal, arguing this was too lenient.

The sentence was increased to 13 years as he was then convicted of murder.

This verdict was based on the grounds that he must have known his actions – shooting three times through a locked bathroom door in his Pretoria home – would lead to the death of whoever was on the other side.

The televised trial of the man once dubbed “the Blade Runner”, because of the ground-breaking prosthetic legs he wore in both Paralympic and Olympic track races, attracted huge global attention.

According to the Department of Correctional Services in South Africa, Oscar Pistorius will be reconsidered for parole in August 2024.


South African Fredie Blom, who was thought to be the oldest man in the world, has died at the age of 116.

His identity documents showed he was born in Eastern Cape province in May 1904, although that was never verified by Guinness World Records.

When Fredie Blom was teenager, his entire family was wiped out by the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. He went on to survive two world wars and apartheid.

Fredie Blom spent most of his life as a laborer – first on a farm and then in the construction industry – and only retired when he was in his 80s.

Although he gave up drinking many years ago, he was a regular smoker.

Image source: Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images

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However, a coronavirus-related lockdown imposed by the South African government reportedly meant Fredie Blom was unable to buy tobacco to roll his own cigarettes on his 116th birthday.

His family said he died of natural causes in Cape Town on August 22.

“Two weeks ago oupa [grandfather] was still chopping wood,” family spokesman Andre Naidoo told AFP news agency.

“He was a strong man, full of pride.”

But within days Fredie Blom shrank “from a big man to a small person”, he added.

Andre Naidoo said the family did not believe his death was related to Covid-19.


President Jacob Zuma violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money spent on his Nkandla private home, the highest court in South Africa has ruled.

The court gave the treasury 60 days to determine how much he should repay.

The ruling is a victory for the opposition, who said they would push for Jacob Zuma’s impeachment.

They accuse him of using “ill-gotten wealth” to upgrade his home with a swimming pool and amphitheatre.

Jacob Zuma has denied any wrongdoing.Nkandla house case South Africa

A government statement said Jacob Zuma would “reflect” on the judgement and take “appropriate action”.

An anti-corruption body, known as the public protector, ruled in 2014 that $23million had been spent on Jacob Zuma’s rural home in Nkandla in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province.

Jacob Zuma had “unduly benefited” from the renovations and should repay a portion of the money, the public protector said.

In a unanimous judgement on behalf of the Constitutional Court’s 11 judges, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said the public protector was a “Biblical David” fighting against the Goliath of corruption.

Jacob Zuma’s failure to repay the money was “inconsistent” with the constitution, he added.

“The president failed to uphold, defend and respect the constitution,” he declared.

Mogoeng Mogoeng added that public officials ignored the constitution at their peril, and should remember that the rule of law was the “sharp and mighty sword that stands ready to chop the ugly head of impunity from its stiffened neck”.


South African President Jacob Zuma has made a U-turn in court over his refusal to repay some of the $23 million of state money used to upgrade his Nkandla home.

Jacob Zuma’s lawyer admitted the president was wrong to ignore an anti-corruption watchdog’s report to pay back money spent on features such as a swimming pool.

The opposition brought the case, hoping it will open the way for impeachment proceedings against Jacob Zuma.

Thousands of people protested outside court, shouting “Zuma must fall”.

Police put up a strong show of force, as the protesters, led by Julius Malema’s left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), marched to the court in Johannesburg.Jacob Zuma Nkandla saga

The protest was against “corruption and cronyism” in government, the EFF said.

The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) also organized its own demonstration.

The governing African National Congress (ANC) denounced the marches as a “political exercise”.

The opposition parties want the Constitutional Court to rule that Jacob Zuma flouted the constitution by ignoring a 2014 report by the anti-corruption watchdog, known as the Public Protector, that he should repay the money, as he had “unduly benefited” from the upgrade.

At the time, the police minister defended the expenditure as necessary security upgrades, saying the swimming pool was, in fact, a fire pool that could be used in the event a fire broke out at the residence in Jacob Zuma’s home village of Nkandla.

An amphitheatre, cattle enclosure and chicken run were also built.

Jacob Zuma’s lawyer, Jeremy Gauntlett, conceded in court that the report was “binding” on the president, and he was prepared to repay the money within 90 days.

However, Jeremy Gauntlett denied that Jacob Zuma had violated the constitution.

The hashtag #PayBackTheMoney, mirroring the slogan used by EFF members to taunt the president, has been trending in South Africa.

The case comes at a difficult time for Jacob Zuma, who has also been under fire over his handling of the finance ministry, after he sacked two ministers in a week in 2015.

Many South Africans also accuse Jacob Zuma’s government of not doing enough to tackle corruption and poverty.


South African President Jacob Zuma will repay some of the $23 million the government controversially spent on upgrading his private rural home in Nkandla.

In 2014, a report by the public protector said Jacob Zuma had “benefited unduly” from the upgrades.

President Jacob Zuma said the auditor-general and finance minister should determine how much he should repay to end the dispute.

The announcement comes a week before a constitutional hearing on the matter.

The refurbishment of the residence in the village of Nkandla, in Jacob Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal, has turned into a major political controversy in South Africa.Jacob Zuma Nkandla upgrade

Some of the money was spent on building an amphitheatre, swimming pool, and cattle enclosure.

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who have called for a corruption investigation, say they are pressing ahead with their court case regardless of the president’s latest offer.

Following Jacob Zuma’s announcement #PayBackThemoney is trending in South Africa – this was the phrase EFF lawmakers chanted at the president in parliament in 2015.

Many commentators seem skeptical.

Jacob Zuma’s delayed willingness to pay back the money spent on the upgrades to his Nkandla residence could be a calculated move to avoid embarrassment at the Constitutional Court hearing expected next week.

It could also be linked to the forthcoming local government election.

The Nkandla scandal has been a sore point for the governing African National Congress (ANC) which president Jacob Zuma leads, especially as the party faithful go out to campaign for votes.


Mos Def has been ordered to leave South Africa within 14 days after being arrested for breaking immigration laws.

The American rapper, now known as Yasiin Bey, was held at Cape Town International Airport on January 14 after trying to leave South Africa with unrecognized papers.

South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs said the 42-year-old singer produced what he called a “world passport”.Mos Def arrested in South Africa

It said Mos Def had overstayed his tourist visa, obtained in 2013.

Born Dante Smith in New York, Yasiin Bey is now banned from South Africa for five years, but has been allowed to appeal. He had been living in Cape Town since May 2013, South African media said.

“Further investigation into the matter revealed that Mr. Smith’s wife, mother and four children had overstayed and were sojourning in the country illegally,” a statement by the Department of Home Affairs said.

As well as being nominated for six Grammy Awards, Mos Def has appeared in a number of movies, including The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Be Kind Rewind and The Italian Job.


South Africa’s King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo has begun a 12-year prison sentence for kidnapping, assault and arson.

King Dalindyebo, who is a nephew of the late Nelson Mandela, reported to prison after his legal attempts to overturn his conviction failed.

The case against King Dalindyebo was related to a dispute he had with some of his subjects about 20 years ago.

He comes from the Thembu clan, to which Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, belonged.

King Dalindyebo, 51, is the first monarch to be jailed in South Africa since minority rule ended in 1994.

He ascended to the throne in 1989, and has about 700,000 subjects.King Dalindyebo jailed

South Africa has 10 officially recognized monarchs representing different ethnic groups and clans.

They play a largely ceremonial role, and attend to minor disputes within their communities.

King Dalindyebo was accused of kidnapping a woman and her six children, setting their home on fire and beating up four youths, one of whom died, because one of their relatives had failed to present himself before the king’s traditional court.

He handed himself to prison authorities in the eastern city of Mthatha in compliance with a court order after a judge refused to extend his bail on December 30, the justice ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, Justice Minister Michael Masutha turned down his request for a retrial, saying there was no legal justification for doing so.

King Dalindyebo had maintained his innocence, saying he disciplined his subjects under customary law.

Sentencing him in October, the Supreme Court of Appeal said: “His behavior was all the more deplorable because the victims of his reign of terror were the vulnerable rural poor, who were dependent upon him. Our constitution does not countenance such behavior.

“We are a constitutional democracy in which everyone is accountable and where the most vulnerable are entitled to protection.”

Many people feel King Dalindyebo has disgraced the royal family, and that he will be hard-pressed to find any sympathy, correspondents say.

There is already talk of his son, Prince Azenethi Dalindyebo, being crowned as the next monarch.

King Dalindyebo defected from the governing African National Congress (ANC) to the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party during his legal battles.

The DA revoked King Dalindyebo’s membership following the ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeal.


Prince Harry dramatically fell from his horse during a charity polo match in Cape Town, South Africa.

The 31-year-old royal pulled up his horse but was thrown forward head-first to the ground and broke his fall with his hands.

Play was stopped at the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup as Prince Harry was left on his knees before he got up apparently unhurt and swapped mounts.

He captained a team in the event near Cape Town, in aid of his Sentebale charity which supports underprivileged young people in Lesotho.

As the match came to an end, Prince Harry tumbled to the ground again this time falling between two other players.

Prince Harry is an accomplished polo player like his father the Prince of Wales, and grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh, and regularly plays in competitive and charity matches.Prince Harry falls off horse South Africa polo match

The first charity polo match for Sentebale was held in 2010, and more than $4.5 million has been raised from events in the UK, US, Brazil, Barbados and Abu Dhabi.

Writing a joint message in the official match program with Sentebale co-founder Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, Prince Harry said the support from the event’s backers was “vital”.

“The success of our previous five polo events has helped Sentebale make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable children in Lesotho,” he said.

“The situation in Lesotho remains critical and every day children continue to lose their parents to the HIV/Aids epidemic.

“Sentebale works to protect and support these children providing them with basic necessities we take for granted: food, shelter, care and access to education.”

Prince Harry’s Sentebale team was beaten 8-7 by opponents Royal Salute at the Val de Vie Estate, with the prince scoring one of the goals.

A new human-like species have been discovered in a burial chamber deep in a cave system in South Africa, BBC reported.

According to researchers, the discovery of 15 partial skeletons is the largest single discovery of its type in Africa.

The scientists claim that the discovery will change ideas about our human ancestors.

The studies which have been published in the journal Elife also indicate that these individuals were capable of ritual behavior.

Photo National Geographic

Photo National Geographic

The species, which has been named naledi, has been classified in the grouping, or genus, Homo, to which modern humans belong.

The researchers who made the find have not been able to find out how long ago these creatures lived.

Prof. Lee Berger, the scientist who led the team, told BBC that he believed they could be among the first of our kind (genus Homo) and could have lived in Africa up to three million years ago.

He also said naledi could be thought of as a “bridge” between more primitive bipedal primates and humans.

The haul of 15 partial skeletons includes both males and females of varying ages – from infants to elderly. The discovery is unprecedented in Africa and will shed more light on how the first humans evolved.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir returns home after fleeing South Africa, pre-empting a court ruling over an international warrant for his arrest.

Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes.

The Pretoria High Court was due to decide whether Omar al-Bashir should be handed over to the ICC which charged him with the crimes.

Omar al-Bashir was in Johannesburg for an African Union (AU) summit.

A news conference will be held in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, upon his arrival.

Photo AFP

Photo AFP

On June 14, a judge barred Omar al-Bashir from leaving until the arrest application had been considered.

Omar al-Bashir is accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the Darfur conflict.

The UN says that about 300,000 people in Sudan have died and more than two million have fled their homes since fighting began in 2003.

Government forces and allied Arab militias are accused of targeting black African civilians in the fight against the rebels.

At the hearing at the Pretoria High Court, the lawyer representing the South African government says Omar al-Bashir’s name was not on the list of passengers who took off earlier.

On June 15, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the ICC’s warrant for the arrest of Omar al-Bashir must be implemented by countries who have signed up to the court’s statutes.

As a member of the ICC, South Africa is obliged to arrest anyone charged by the court. Before the summit, the ICC issued a press statement urging the South African government “to spare no effort in ensuring the execution of the arrest warrant”.


Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over war crimes charges, left Khartoum on June 13 to travel to South Africa for an African (AU) summit, state news agency SUNA said.

The ICC has called on South Africa to arrest Omar al-Bashir.

Omar al-Bashir is wanted for war crimes over the conflict in Darfur.

An ICC statement said South Africa should “spare no effort” in detaining him.

But instead he was welcomed by South African officials on his arrival in Johannesburg, SABC tweeted.

Since the Sudanese president was indicted by the ICC in 2009 over alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Darfur conflict, his overseas travel has been severely restricted.

Omar al-Bashir was accompanied by the foreign minister and other top Sudanese officials, SUNA reported.Omar al Bashir travels to South Africa

There are tensions between the ICC and the AU, with some on the continent accusing the court of unfairly targeting Africans.

The AU has previously urged the ICC to stop proceedings against sitting leaders.

The warrants against Omar al-Bashir, who denies the allegations, have severely restricted his overseas travel.

He has, however, visited friendly states in Africa and the Middle East.

The ICC has no police force and relies on member states to carry out arrests.

As a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC, South Africa is obliged to arrest Omar al-Bashir if he sets foot in the country, but correspondents say this is unlikely to happen.

The AU has previously refused to co-operate with the ICC, accusing it of bias against African leaders.

Sidiki Kaba, president of the assembly of states to the ICC, expressed “deep concern about the negative consequences for the court” if South Africa refused to comply with its obligations to carry out the arrest.

Human rights organizations and South Africa’s main opposition party have also called for Omar al-Bashir’s arrest.

Darfur has been in conflict since 2003, when rebels took up arms against the government. The UN says more than 300,000 people have died, mostly from disease.

The ICC has ended an investigation into war crimes in the region, but the warrants against Omar al-Bashir remain outstanding. The court accuses him of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.


An American tourist has been killed in a lion attack at a game park in South Africa, local media reported.

The feline, a lioness, jumped through the open window of the couple’s car and started mauling the woman, a park official said.

Paramedics were called to the scene but she died from her injuries, while the man is still receiving treatment.Lion Park South Africa

The popular Lion Park is 19 miles north of Johannesburg.

The park’s rules forbid visitors from driving through the lion enclosure with their windows down

Park rangers chased the lioness away after the attack, and it is not clear whether the animal will now have to be put down.

Local media are reporting that the woman’s death marks the third incident in the past four months at the park.

The official South African tourism website describes the park as a “hybrid between a zoo and a game reserve”, while the Lion Park’s website says “super close-up animal views” are guaranteed. Cheetahs, spotted hyenas and giraffe are also in the park.

The Lion Park is one of South Africa’s most popular destinations, attracting tourists from around the world.


According to South Africa’s police minister Nathi Nhleko, President Jacob Zuma will not have to repay state money spent to upgrade his private home in Nkandla.

Nathi Nhleko said that the upgrades, including a pool costing almost 4 million rand ($328,000) were in fact security features.

In 2014, an independent inquiry found Jacob Zuma had “unduly benefited” from the upgrades.

Jacob Zuma has been heavily criticized over the issue.Jacob Zuma Nkandla controversy

In February, the Nkandla controversy prompted chaotic scenes in parliament as leftist lawmakers scuffled with security.

They had been interrupting a key annual speech by Jacob Zuma and demanding answers over the row.

In 2014, a report by South Africa’s anti-corruption watchdog found Jacob Zuma had “unduly benefitted” from the renovations and recommended he pay back some of the money.

However, Jacob Zuma has maintained he would only pay money back if ordered to do so by Nathi Nhleko.

At a news conference Nathi Nhleko justified his decision not to make Jacob Zuma pay back any of the money by saying the upgrades were security features.

For example, Nathi Nhleko explained the pool was in fact intended for use in fighting fires, and he even had a video of four policemen demonstrating how this security feature worked.

A chicken run, a cow enclosure, an amphitheatre and visitors centre were also all classed as security features by Nathi Nhleko.


South African rapper Flabba has died at the age of 38.

His girlfriend has been arrested for allegedly stabbing and killing the rapper.

Flabba, real name Nkululeko Habedi, died in his home in Alexandra, a Johannesburg township.Flabba killed by girlfriend

According to police sources, Flabba’s girlfriend will be charged with murder and will appear in court “within 48 hours”.

Flabba, 38, became popular after he joined award-winning rap group Skwatta Kamp.

South Africans have taken to social media to send their condolences to Flabba’s family and friends.

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An astonishing coincidence has led to the discovery of Zephany Nurse, who was stolen from her mother’s arms in Cape Town’s Groote Schuur Hospital as a newborn 17 years ago.

A 50-year-old woman has appeared in court over the baby’s kidnapping.

Celeste and Morne Nurse, the girl’s biological parents, were reunited with her after she was enrolled in the same school as her sister. They lost their three-day-old daughter when she was snatched from her sleeping mother’s arms in her hospital bed in April 1997.

After seeing the pair’s likeness, the biological family invited the girl for coffee and then contacted police.

DNA tests have confirmed the identity of the girl, who has been placed in the care of social workers.

Morne Nurse said his daughter was receiving extensive counseling.

His wife said it was “like a dream” to see her daughter again.Zephany Nurse stolen baby South Africa

“When she met Cassidy [her sister], there was just an incredible connection and it started from there,” she told CapeTalk radio.

“Her birthday is on April 28. This year we can celebrate it with her. It will be her first birthday with us and we have to plan something very big.”

Celeste and Morné Nurse, who went on to have three more children, have celebrated Zephany’s birthday every year since she disappeared, never giving up hope that their first-born would come back to them someday.

Zephany grew up with a different name, and a different family, never knowing she was not their real daughter.

A relative of the alleged kidnapper told reporters outside the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court: “We grew up with the child, we took care of her.”

The arrested woman and her husband, who live in the Cape Flats, have no other children.

The woman is being charged with kidnapping, fraud and contravening the Children’s Act, in that she fraudulently pretended that she was the biological mother of a child, police said.

Her case was postponed to March 6.

The South African parliament descended into chaos as leftist lawmakers scuffled with security during a key annual speech by President Jacob Zuma.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), led by Julius Malema, repeatedly interrupted Jacob Zuma, demanding answers over a spending scandal.

The speaker of parliament then ordered their removal, prompting scuffles.

The largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, walked out in protest at their expulsion.

“You can’t send police into parliament,” said Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane.

The EFF used President Jacob Zuma’s annual State of the Nation speech to question him about a state-funded, multi-million dollar upgrade to his private residence.

They were evicted by large numbers of security guards. Among those thrown out was Julius Malema.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Julius Malema defended his lawmakers’ actions, calling it a legitimate attempt to defend democracy, adding that seven of his party had been injured and would be pressing charges.

It is not clear whether the guards were police or parliamentary officials: an important distinction, according to one lawmaker, who said the use of police would be a way of intimidating the opposition.

Julius Malema and Jacob Zuma were once close allies but the pair fell out.

The EFF has shaken up South African politics with a series of populist proposals to redistribute wealth.

EFF lawmakers accuse Jacob Zuma of benefitting unduly from taxpayer-funded upgrades to his private residence in the village of Nkandla and they wanted the president to answer questions about this before making his state of the nation speech.

In 2014, an independent inquiry found the president had “unduly benefited” from the expensive upgrades, which included a pool and a cattle enclosure and cost about $23 million.

President Jacob Zuma has denied any wrongdoing.

Despite criticism of the Nkandla upgrade and South Africa’s stagnant economy, Jacob Zuma’s African National Congress was overwhelmingly re-elected last year.

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South Africa is marking one year since the death of Nelson Mandela with numerous events held across the country, including a wreath-laying ceremony and a cricket match.

Anti-apartheid movement veterans joined Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, at a remembrance service in Pretoria.

Sirens and vuvuzelas sounded across the country before a commemorative three minutes’ silence was held.

There was a worldwide outpouring of grief when South Africa’s first black president died in 2013 at the age of 95.

Nelson Mandela, also known by his clan name of Madiba, spent 27 years in prison for fighting white-minority rule in South Africa.

Veteran liberation struggle hero Ahmed Kathrada addressed the remembrance service at the Union Buildings in the capital, Pretoria, on Friday morning.

He described Nelson Mandela as a democrat with a touch of autocratic rule.Nelson Mandela commemoration 2014

“The body gave in but Madiba’s spirit never, never changed, it was always the same until the end,” his widow, Graca Machel, said before laying a wreath at the base of the 9m (30 ft) tall bronze statue of her husband.

Graca Machel said it remained the responsibility of every person in the world to ensure his legacy lived on.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu also paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, saying: “We thank God for him, and the example he gave us. He taught us about the worth of a human being, all human beings.”

An interfaith service was held at Freedom Park in Pretoria earlier on Friday.

Commemorations are taking place across the country, including at Nelson Mandela’s birthplace of Qunu where a marquee has been erected outside the Nelson Mandela Museum.

Nelson Mandela was buried in his ancestral village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape 10 days after he died.

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Generations fans have been cut off from South Africa’s most popular show following the August sacking of its cast for demanding better pay.

The last available episode of Generations was broadcast on September 30.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) said it would be at least two months before a “revamped” version of the show returns – with a completely new group of 16 actors.

Generations is South Africa’s longest-running soap, having launched in 1994.

Watched daily by some seven million viewers, it follows predominantly black middle-class characters working in Johannesburg’s advertising industry.

The cast first went on strike in August after a long-running dispute over pay and contracts.

They claimed they were underpaid and received no repeat fees for their work, which is also screened in other African countries.

Generations is South Africa's longest-running soap

Generations is South Africa’s longest-running soap

The actors were asked to continue filming while negotiations were taking place, but were sacked after they did not return to work. The SABC has now run out of new editions to broadcast.

“We don’t have enough episodes of Generations, so we will only go until today,” SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago told the AFP news agency on Tuesday.

“We are hoping that Generations will have episodes ready for the first week of December.”

At the time of the cast’s sacking, executive producer Mfundi Vundla told a South African radio station that the actors were not irreplaceable and the soap would continue without them.

“There were other actors before, there will be other actors in the future,” he told Talk Radio 702.

“Generations will go on, it doesn’t mean the demise of the series.”

The cast have since approached the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration in an effort to get their jobs back.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has urged other actors not to be persuaded to join the soap as replacements.

“Don’t be used by the arrogant producing companies in order to maintain and continue the exploitation of your fellow actors,” said secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi.


South Africa’s Kruger National Park will evacuate hundreds of rhinos to save them from poachers.

The move, which is part of a plan to curb illegal hunts for rhino horn, was announced by the environment minister.

Kruger National Park authorities said they could relocate up to 500 rhinos, which can each weigh more than a tonne.

South Africa is home to more than 80% of Africa’s rhinos. Illegal poaching has risen sharply from 13 in 2007 to 1,004 in 2013.

Environment Minister Edna Molewa said the relocations from the Kruger National Park, coupled with the creation of “rhino strongholds”, could “allow the total rhino population size of South Africa to continue to grow”.

South Africa's Kruger National Park will evacuate hundreds of rhinos to save them from poachers

South Africa’s Kruger National Park will evacuate hundreds of rhinos to save them from poachers

“South Africa, with its large rhino populations, has borne the brunt of rhino poaching. We remain confident that our efforts in implementing the integrated strategic approach will build on our successful track record of conserving rhino,” she said.

The rhinos may be moved to other areas of lower poaching rates such as state-owned or private nature parks, areas within the Kruger Park closer to the Mozambique border, or even to neighboring countries, according to the minister.

The new initiative will be supported by the South African government’s Security Cluster to work on tougher penalties for those caught hunting rhinos illegally.

The famed Kruger National Park, which is of a similar size to Wales or Israel, is thought to be home to as few as 8,400 white rhinos.

Park authorities said Kruger was the biggest target for poaching in the region, with more rhinos killed there each year than anywhere else in South Africa.

Although international trade in rhino horn has been illegal since 1977, demand remains high in some Asian countries, where it is used both in traditional medicine and as a symbol of wealth.


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

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.

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Nobel Prize-winning writer Nadine Gordimer has died in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the age of 90.

Nadine Gordimer, who was one of the literary world’s most powerful voices against apartheid – died at her home after a short illness, her family said.

She wrote more than 30 books, including the novels My Son’s Story, Burger’s Daughter and July’s People.

Nadine Gordimer jointly won 1974’s Booker Prize for The Conservationist and was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1991.

The Nobel committee said at the time it was honoring Nadine Gordimer for her “magnificent epic writing” which had been “of very great benefit to humanity”.

Nadine Gordimer was one of the literary world's most powerful voices against apartheid

Nadine Gordimer was one of the literary world’s most powerful voices against apartheid (photo Getty Images)

Writing from an early age, the author published her first story – Come Again Tomorrow – in a Johannesburg magazine at just 15.

Her works comprised both novels and short stories where the consequences of apartheid, exile and alienation were the major themes.

Nadine Gordimer’s family said she “cared most deeply about South Africa, its culture, its people, and its ongoing struggle to realize its new democracy”.

Committed to fighting apartheid, Nadine Gordimer was a leading member of the African National Congress and fought for the release of Nelson Mandela. They went on to become firm friends.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation paid tribute to Nadine Gordimer, saying it was “deeply saddened at the loss of South Africa’s grande dame of literature”.

“We have lost a great writer, a patriot and strong voice for equality and democracy in the world,” it added.

A number of Nadine Gordimer’s books were banned by the South African government under the apartheid regime including 1966’s The Late Bourgeois World and 1979’s Burger’s Daughter.

Her last novel, No Time Like the Present, published in 2012, follows veterans of the battle against apartheid as they deal with the issues facing modern South Africa.

She was also critical of South African President Jacob Zuma, expressing her opposition to a proposed law which would limit the publication of information deemed sensitive by the government.

Nadine Gordimer’s family said a private memorial service would be announced at a later date.She is survived by three children.

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South Africa’s main opposition party, Democratic Alliance, has laid corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma over the use of state money to improve his Nkandla private residence.

The move follows a report by South Africa’s top corruption fighter accusing President Jacob Zuma of unethical conduct over the upgrade of Nkandla house.

The changes to Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla private home, including a pool and cattle enclosure, cost South African taxpayers about $23 million.

Police are now obliged to investigate the Democratic Alliance’s complaint.

It will then be passed on to the National Prosecuting Authority which will decide whether there is a formal case to answer.

The refurbishment of the residence in Nkandla, in Jacob Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal, has turned into a major political controversy in South Africa as the country approaches elections in May.

The changes to Jacob Zuma's Nkandla private home, including a pool and cattle enclosure, cost South African taxpayers about $23 million

The changes to Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla private home, including a pool and cattle enclosure, cost South African taxpayers about $23 million (photo Reuters)

A government probe in December cleared President Jacob Zuma, who came to office in 2009, of any wrongdoing, saying the improvements were needed for security reasons.

“We are laying charges because we want the president to be held personally liable,” said Mmusi Maimane, the national spokesman for the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The report released by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Wednesday said Jacob Zuma should repay costs for some of the unnecessary renovations from which he had “benefited unduly”.

Thuli Madonsela said that while it could be “legitimately construed” that Jacob Zuma had misled parliament, he made a “bona fide mistake” over which part of the renovations he was referring to.

Mmusi Maimane led a DA delegation to file their charges against the president at the police station in Nkandla, near Jacob Zuma’s home.

Referring to the Nkandla compound, he said: “I am angered because what we see behind us is corruption of the highest order.

“If we allow this president to continue today we are systematically allowing corruption to thrive in South Africa.”

Earlier, Gwede Mantashe, the secretary general of the governing African National Congress (ANC), said officials implicated in Thuli Madonsela’s report should be brought to book.

Gwede Mantashe dismissed the DA’s earlier calls for Jacob Zuma to be impeached saying opposition parties were trying to “sensationalize” the report.

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South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela left an estate valued at more than 46 million rand ($4.13 million), a public reading of his will has revealed.

Executor Justice Dikgang Moseneke, summarizing what he said was a 40-page document, said he was “not aware of any contest” to the will.

Close personal staff each get 50,000 rand. Schools Nelson Mandela attended are due to receive 100,000 rand.

Nelson Mandela died in December at the age of 95.

Nelson Mandela left an estate valued at more than 46 million rand

Nelson Mandela left an estate valued at more than 46 million rand

He left behind an estate that includes an upmarket house in Johannesburg, a modest dwelling in his rural Eastern Cape home province and royalties from book sales, including his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.

Nelson Mandela also left 100,000 rand to each of four other educational institutions, for bursaries and scholarships.

The mood of the Mandela family when the will was read was “charged with emotions but it went well,” said the executor, who added that the Mandela family were “well pleased” by his will.

The family trust will receive 1.5 million rand, plus royalties.

The ANC will also receive some royalties, to be used at the discretion of the party’s executive committee, to spread information about the principles and policies of the ANC, particularly about reconciliation.

There is a 90-day period in which Nelson Mandela will can be contested.


South African sculptors Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren have been ordered by government to remove a bronze rabbit they hid in the ear of Nelson Mandela statue.

The statue was unveiled after the former president’s death last month.

The sculptors reportedly inserted the rabbit as a trademark signature and to denote the haste with which they had to complete the statue.

Rabbit in the Afrikaans language is “haas”, which also means haste.

Nelson Mandela, who died at the age of 95, was widely acclaimed for his role in fighting white minority rule and promoting reconciliation after being elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994.

Sculptors Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren have been ordered to remove the bronze rabbit they hid in the ear of Nelson Mandela statue

Sculptors Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren have been ordered to remove the bronze rabbit they hid in the ear of Nelson Mandela statue

The 30-ft-bronze statue was unveiled on December 16, a day after Nelson Mandela was buried.

It stands at the Union Buildings, the government headquarters in the capital, Pretoria.

With Nelson Mandela’s hands reaching outward, the statute was intended to show that he had embraced the whole nation.

Mogomotsi Mogodiri, the spokesman for the Department of Arts and Culture, said the sculptors had apologized for any offence caused to the government and Nelson Mandela’s family by placing the rabbit in the statue’s right ear.

Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren said they had added the rabbit to the statue after the department refused to allow them to engrave their signatures on the trousers of the statue, South Africa’s Beeld newspaper reported.

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Thamsanqa Jantjie, the sign interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial who is accused of making up gestures, has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, local media report.

Thamsanqa Jantjie “might have had a breakdown”, his wife Siziwe is quoted as saying.

Sign language experts accused Thamsanqa Jantjie of referring to “prawns” and “rocking horses” while translating eulogies at Nelson Mandela’s memorial last week.

Thamsanqa Jantjie said he suffered a sudden attack of schizophrenia.

He insisted he was a qualified interpreter.

South Africa’s Deputy Disability Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu has said the company which had employed him had “vanished”.

Thamsanqa Jantjie has been admitted to Johannesburg psychiatric hospital

Thamsanqa Jantjie has been admitted to Johannesburg psychiatric hospital

Thamsanqa Jantjie’s wife took him to a psychiatric hospital near Johannesburg for a check-up on Tuesday, and it was suggested that he be admitted immediately, Johannesburg’s The Star newspaper reports.

“The past few days have been hard. We have been supportive because he might have had a breakdown,” Siziwe Jantjie is quoted as saying.

Last week, Thamsanqa Jantjie said he was supposed to have gone for a check-up on the day of the memorial, but he postponed it.

During the memorial at Johannesburg’s FNB stadium, which was broadcast live around the world, Thamsanqa Jantjie stood on the stage next to key speakers including President Barack Obama, South African President Jacob Zuma and Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren, translating their eulogies.

Thamsanqa Jantjie blamed his flawed interpretation on a schizophrenic episode, saying he had seen angels coming into the stadium.

The White House has downplayed fears that he was a security risk to President Obama.

Sign language experts said Thamsanqa Jantjie had made “funny gestures” and little more than “flapping his arms around”.

The governing African National Congress (ANC) said it had used Thamsanqa Jantjie as an interpreter several times before, and “had not been aware of any of complaints regarding the quality of services, qualifications or reported illnesses” of the interpreter.

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