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JOHANNESBURG, June 14, 2018 (News Wires) — South African police say a man with a knife fatally stabbed two people and wounded several others at a mosque near Cape Town before police shot and killed the attacker.

Investigators are not immediately commenting on a possible motive for the attack in Malmesbury early Thursday.

South Africa’s Muslim Judicial Council says it is “shocked to its core” by the attack and is urging people not to jump to conclusions “until clarity can be given.”

On May 10, assailants killed one person and injured two others in a similar attack on a mosque in the eastern town of Verulam, near Durban. No arrests have been made.

DURBAN, South Africa , June 8, 2018 (News Wires) - The corruption case against former South African president Jacob Zuma was delayed until late next month, while Zuma took to a stage near the courthouse on Friday before thousands of cheering supporters and again declared his innocence.

"A person is not guilty until the court says so," said Zuma, who has described the 16 counts of fraud, racketeering and money laundering linked to an arms deal in the 1990s as politically motivated. He had been deputy president at the time.

Without providing details, Zuma said people who criticize him should not "provoke" him because he would reveal allegedly incriminating information about them.

The 76-year-old, who cheerfully danced for the crowd, had resigned in February on the orders of the ruling African Nation Congress party after growing public outcry over his scandal-marked tenure.

The corruption charges were reinstated this year after being thrown out a decade ago.

Judge Mjabuliseni Madondo said the case in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court will be moved from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, which has bigger facilities, for July 27.

Prosecutor Billy Downer said the state was prepared to go to trial but that the defense team had to "get its house in order."

Downer has suggested that Zuma's trial start on Nov. 12.

The former president's lawyer, Michael Hulley, said he hopes that questions about funding for the defense will be resolved ahead of July 27 and that he had written to the office of President Cyril Ramaphosa about the matter.

Zuma believes the state should pay his legal fees, though opposition parties have argued in court that taxpayers should not foot the bill.

Ramaphosa, who was deputy president under Zuma, has promised a strong campaign against corruption and seeks to rebuild a ruling party whose moral stature has diminished since taking power at the end of apartheid in 1994.

 

JOHANNESBURG, May 23, 2018 (News Wires) - South Africa’s leader of the North West province, Supra Mahumapelo, said on Wednesday he would go on early retirement after weeks of protests against his leadership.

The protests over corruption and poor public services were some of the first signs of public discord since President Cyril Ramaphosa succeeded scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma in February.

Earlier this month, South Africa’s national government took over the running of the troubled province in an effort to restore calm.

“I think it will be better for one to go on early retirement,” Mahumapelo told a news conference at the headquarters of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in downtown Johannesburg.


Mahumapelo, a Zuma loyalist and senior figure within the ANC, said he had taken the decision to step down to dispel fears that he could seek to influence investigations into mismanagement in the North West. Ramaphosa has staked his reputation on rooting out the corruption associated with Zuma’s nine years in power.

KAMPALA, May 11, 2018 (News Wires) - - Africa soccer governing body CAF has appointed South African referees to take charge of the Champions League group stage match between Uganda's KCCA FC and Al Ahly of Egypt.

The two sides face off next week Tuesday at Mandela National Stadium in Kampala.

Victor Gomes will be the main referee while Zakhele Siwela and Johannes Sello Moshidi will be the first and second assistants, respectively.

Ugandan champions KCCA are drawn in Group A with record winners Al Ahly, two-time winners Espérance de Tunis (Tunisia) and Township Rollers of Bostwana.

KCCA started their campaign of the group stages with a 1-0 defeat to Township Rollers last Friday in Gaborone.

A month ago, KCCA eliminated Ethiopia’s St George 1-0 on aggregate at StarTimes Stadium Lugogo to become the first Ugandan club to progress to the group stages of the lucrative competition ever since their introduction to the league in 1997.

But before that, Ugandan teams Simba and SC Villa had reached the finals of the older version of the competition - African Cup of Champions.

CAPE TOWN, April 26, 2018 (Reuters) - Heavy rain over the last 24 hours has blocked roads and disrupted traffic in South Africa’s drought-hit Cape Town, city officials said on Thursday.

The first winter downpour will slightly replenish dams dried by the region’s worst drought in a century, a dry spell that has scorched farms and hit the tourism sector.

South Africa has declared a national disaster over the drought affecting the southern and western regions which had two of the driest years ever recorded in 2015 and 2016.

Cape Town authorities warned that taps in the port city of 4 million could run dry this year. But they have pushed back this worst case scenario to next year and only if winter rains fail to sufficiently boost dam levels.

“There has been a lot of flooding in urban areas across the metro and a lot of roadways have been affected,” said Charlotte Powell, spokeswoman for Cape Town’s disaster management centre.

“Flooding is a known risk to the city,” Powell said.

However, no emergency shelters or evacuations were necessary, she said of a perennial challenge when heavy rains during winter affects thousands who live in shanty towns.

The South African Weather Service said around 34 millimetres of rain fell at Cape Town international airport from 8am on Wednesday to 8am on Thursday due to a severe weather front.

LONDON , April 21, 2018 (AFP) - South African police fired rubber bullets at protesters after President Cyril Ramaphosa cut short a foreign trip to deal with violent riots over alleged government corruption and poor public services.

Shops were looted, roads were blocked and vehicles set alight in North West province in unrest that posed an early challenge for Ramaphosa, who came to power in February.

At least 23 people were arrested and one man was reported to have died in sporadic violence that erupted this week in Mahikeng, the provincial capital.

Ramaphosa called for calm as he vowed to speedily resolve the cause of the unrest, following more than six hours of talks with local leaders in the city of Mahikeng after he cut short his trip to a Commonwealth summit in London.

Violent protests are common in South Africa, but North West province has been a hotbed of unrest due to boiling frustration over lack of housing, health services and jobs.

Police fired rubber bullets as protesters hid behind cardboard sheets, while roads were littered with burning tyres and bricks that had been thrown through the air.

'Violence and anarchy'

At the end of the talks Ramaphosa appealed for an end to the unrest, promising a "speedy" resolution of the crisis.

"...let us be calm, let us return to a position of normalcy as we address this matter and reach finality on it," he said in an address broadcast live from the city.

He said he had been made to understand during the talks that the unrest had been sparked by concerns over the position of the provincial premier, corruption and governance.

"These are matters that are serious enough" to warrant broad consultation in the party and the national government "on an urgent basis", he said.

"We are going to act as speedily as possible to address each of the issues that have been raised," he added.

The trigger for the unrest was reportedly the death on Tuesday of two patients at a health clinic that was closed due to a month-long dispute over health workers' salaries and contracts.

Much of the anger has been directed at Supra Mahumapelo, the provincial premier, who is accused of involvement in graft scandals that have engulfed the ruling ANC (African National Congress) party.

The border to neighbouring Botswana was closed due to the violence, while schools, shops, offices and government services across North West province were shut.

Local residents said foreign-owned shops were the first to be targeted by looters.

"Very poor people are in dire need. Those people looted foreigners' shops," local resident Leveticus Molosankwe, 43, told AFP.

"They have taken advantage of the political situation as people plead for the removal of Mahumapelo. This has been simmering for months."

Thapelo Galeboe, member of the local Communist Party branch, said the premier ruled "like an emperor" in the province.

"The health system has completely collapsed. Hospitals are filthy. Families close to the premier have benefited in a very corrupt manner from tenders," he said.

New leadership 

Ramaphosa, who took over as leader of the ruling ANC in December, replaced Jacob Zuma as national president earlier this year.

Zuma's nine-year tenure saddled South Africa with weak growth, ballooning national debt, depressed investor confidence and record unemployment.

The ANC forced Zuma from office in February largely due to his mounting legal challenges and multiple corruption scandals, and the party has distanced itself from its former leader.

Ramaphosa has vowed to crack down on government corruption, which he has admitted is a serious problem, and improve South Africa's ability to attract foreign investment.

Unemployment is at a record high of about 28 percent, with youth unemployment reaching over 50 percent in many areas.

Zuma appeared in court earlier this month at a preliminary hearing on graft charges that he denies.

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