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2221
2009-05-22 16:11:00
mercy mission
WEEKLY POLITICAL & SOCIAL NEWS (MAY 11th – MAY 15th)
WEEKLY POLITICAL & SOCIAL NEWS
(MAY 11th – MAY 15th)
EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA


Politics
        Jacob Zuma sworn in as SA’s 4th democratic President
        Some surprise announcements for President Zuma’s Cabinet
        Hard work ahead for new Cabinet Ministers
        ACDP and DA in battle over mayoral choice for Cape Town
        Tough road ahead for President Zuma
        New Cabinet meets at Union Buildings in Pretoria
        Baleka Mbete denies disagreement with President over Cabinet post
        ANC vs Helen Zille harming democracy – political analysts
        Thabo Mbeki speaks out on decision to suspend Advocate Vusi Pikoli
        ANC denounces ANCYL attack on Helen Zille
        Minister of International Relations - Dalai Lama free to visit SA any time



Foreign Relations
        New International Relations Minister pays first official visit to Angola

Crime
        Johannesburg father shot and killed in front of his family
        Johannesburg metro cops suspended over bribery claims
        Western Cape Safety MEC denies ’sex pest’ claims
        Police Commissioner’s son appears in court
        Advocate Willie Hofmeyr tipped to lead new crime-busting unit

Other Social Issues
        2010 Local Organizing Committee welcomes new Cabinet
        Department of Home Affairs struggles with new visa concession
        Probe into teacher-pupil sex claims completed
        Johannesburg child beggars claim parents force them to beg
        Taxi operators to discuss BRT system at mass meeting
        Xenophobic conflict remains a concern one year later
        Taxi bosses say President Zuma promised to stop BRT system

Neighbouring Countries
        New Malagasy government slams international community
        France hails decision by Malagasy leader


















POLITICS
Jacob Zuma sworn in as SA’s 4th democratic President
Jacob Zuma has been sworn in as South Africa’s 4th democratic President.  President-elect Zuma took the oath of office soon after 11am at the Union Buildings in Pretoria last Saturday.  Chief Justice Pius Langa presided over the oath.  Despite a heavy downpour of rain, thousands of dignitaries filled the amphitheatre to witness President Zuma’s proud moment.  Former Presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki were in the crowd.

President Zuma pledged “In the presence of everyone assembled here and in full realization of the high calling I assume as President of the Republic of South Africa I, Jacob Zuma, swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa.”

Chief Justice Langa then made it official as he swore Mr Zuma in as President of the country.  The controversial politician then took to the podium to address the South Africans as their leader for the very first time promising that he would serve them with dedication, integrity hard work and passion.  President Zuma clearly expressed that the country’s democracy needed to revert back to basics saying, “We are gathered here determined to renew that most solemn undertaking to build a society in which all people are freed from the shackles of discrimination, exploitation, want and disease.”

He also started plotting a way forward, saying he was committed to serving the nation.  President Zuma also praised former President Thabo Mbeki, the man President Zuma’s allies claim tried to plot his downfall and who announced his sacking as Deputy President in June 2005.  President Zuma was reconciliatory, saying South Africa belonged to all of its people.  Thousands of South Africans gathered on the Union Buildings’ south lawns to watch President Zuma being sworn in despite intermittent rain.

Some surprise announcements for President Zuma’s Cabinet
President Jacob Zuma made some surprise decisions last Sunday when he announced his new Cabinet, consisting of 34 Ministers and 28 Deputy Ministers.  The appointment of International Relations and Cooperation Minister Ms Maite Nkoana Mashabane was one of the unexpected decisions.  She is the widow of the late Norman Mashabane (who was accused of sexual harassment during his tenure as South Africa’s Ambassador to Indonesia).

A surprised Ms Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, the former leader of the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union, was made head of the new Women’s Ministry.  Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the SA Communist Party, Dr Blade Nzimande became the country’s first Higher Education and Training Minister while former Tshwane Mayor Angie Motshekga was appointed as head of the Basic Education Ministry.  The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa says he is working on a plan to reduce crime.  The new Social Development Minister Ms Edna Molewa says drugs and substance abuse are serious problems she would do her best to counter.  Poor South Africans will be looking to Tokyo Sexwale, the new Minister of Human Settlements, to make good on promises of service delivery by giving them rooves over their heads.  Mr Sexwale had a stake in construction company Group Five which had contracts with government.

Hard work ahead for new Cabinet Ministers
On Monday, Cabinet Ministers were preparing to be sworn in, with many of them about to take control of government departments for the first time.  Second Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane insists that he will do his job honestly and fairly.  Minister Chabane admits that his task will not be easy, saying “I am acting on behalf of the President carrying the mandate of the President to do a particular job.  Therefore we will have to do the job as honestly as we can.”

Incoming Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele is aware that he has a lot of work to do in ensuring a world class transport system ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  President Jacob Zuma has defended his decision to put a provincial politician and former diplomat in charge of the renamed Department of International Relations and Co-operation.  President Zuma says the new label better describes the work of the old Foreign Affairs Department and insists that Ms Maite Nkoane Mashabane is the best woman to lead it.  Minister Nkoane Mashabane was remembered for spending much of her time as High Commissioner to India on confinement in South Africa.  She returned to South Africa to become Limpopo’s MEC (Provincial Cabinet Minster) for Local Government and Housing but she was better remembered as the supportive wife of the late Norman Mashabane, who was sacked as South Africa’s Ambassador to Indonesia after being found guilty of multiple charges of sexual harassment.

ACDP and DA in battle over mayoral choice for Cape Town
The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) chief whip in the City of Cape Town says she believes the proposed mayoral candidate, Dan Plato, is the best man for the job.  There will be a special city council meeting to finalize the mayoral position on Wednesday.  Mr Ian Neilson will most likely take up the position of Deputy Mayor before the end of the month.

The City of Cape Town’s Deputy Mayor Grant Haskin says he is surprised he has not been put forward as a candidate.  He says he received a telephone call from the new Western Cape Premier (Ms Helen Zille) in which she informed him and confirmed that the DA would be electing a nominee for mayor on Wednesday.  Ms Zille also informed Mr Haskin that he would be removed and replace with a DA candidate as Deputy Mayor.  Mr Haskin says he is mystified why he cannot hold onto his position.  He says his affiliation with the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) seems to have caused some suspicion.

The DA’s Chief Executive Officer Ryan Coetzee says the ACDP has been disappointing as an alliance partner in the City of Cape Town and says that party has not always been honest.  Mr Coetzee says the ACDP has been engaged in a spiteful and defamatory attack on the DA leader, Helen Zille, accusing her of attacking Christians at a council meeting.  The ACDP also refused to vote for Ms Zille in the Western Cape provincial legislature when she recently became Premier.  The DA says that coalition partners in government need to behave in a certain way and that for a long time the ACDP has been trying to organize a coalition against the DA.  However, Mr Haskin says he cannot understand the allegations levelled against his party and questions the instances where his party was proven to be dishonest or untrustworthy.

Tough road ahead for President Zuma
On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma had his first full day in office but there are a number of issues he will have to face over the coming months.  One of the first decisions President Zuma will have to make is regarding who should take over at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and although Advocate Mokotedi Mpshe has been in charge in an acting capacity for nearly 18 months given President Zuma’s own history this will prove to a political ‘hot potato’.

The new President will also have to officially appoint suitable replacements for Chief Justice Pius Langa and two other justices in the Constitutional Court who are due to retire very soon.  Western Cape Judge President Judge John Hlophe may create another difficult situation if the Judicial Services Commission and Parliament recommend that he be sacked - again it will be President Zuma who will have to make the final decision.

New Cabinet meets at Union Buildings in Pretoria
On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma briefed his new Cabinet for the first time at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.  On Monday, the Ministers and their Deputies were all sworn in by the Chief Justice at the Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.

For Jeff Radebe, Trevor Manuel and Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma it came exactly 15 years since they first took the oath of office in 1994.  Some of their less experience colleagues were ushered into government’s top echelons for the first time.  The new Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says he will draw on the experience and wisdom of his predecessors Ms Barbara Hogan and Ms Manto Tshabala-Msimang.  Basic Education Minister Ms Angie Motshekga says her Ministry needs to focus on proper teaching in rural schools.

After meeting his Ministers President Zuma will have some tough questions to ponder.  One will be who to appoint as permanent National Director of Public Prosecutions.  The acting head, Advocate Mokotedi Mpshe is the man who announced that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had decided to drop its corruption case against Mr Zuma.  The irony is immense as he will have to select the man who will head the institution which spent eight years trying to prosecute him.  President Zuma also has a court battle to fight against former NPA head Vusi Pikoli who is challenging the decision to fire him.  President Zuma will then have to decide who he wants as his police chief and what he will do with suspended police chief Jackie Selebi when his contract expires at the end of June 2009.  President Zuma will also have to see South Africa through the global financial crisis, while keeping an eye on Zimbabwe and staying true to his campaign promise to taxi drivers.

Baleka Mbete denies disagreement with President over Cabinet post
Former South African Deputy President Ms Baleka Mbete insists that no controversy exists around her not being sworn in as a Member of Parliament last week.  Ms Mbete says that a decision was only taken the night before she was due to take the oath and there was no time to inform Chief Justice Pius Langa and parliamentary staff.

Last week Chief Justice Langa called out Ms Mbete’s name while swearing in Members of Parliament (MPs but the African National Congress (ANC) chairperson did not respond to the call.  It was speculated that Ms Mbete had overplayed her hand and refused to be sworn in because she had been overlooked as Deputy President.  However, she says it makes political and logical sense for Kgalema Motlanthe to fill the post because he is the ANC’s Deputy President.  Ms Mbete, a former Speaker of Parliament says she is not disappointed to be working at Chief Albert Luthuli House, the ANC’s headquarters in downtown Johannesburg.

Another senior ANC member who has yet to find out what his role in politics will be is Charles Nqakula.  The former Safety and Security Minister says his role in government and the ruling party still has to be defined but he is confident that he will be working very closely with President Zuma.  Mr Nqakula says he will meet the President in the next few days to discuss his future.

ANC vs Helen Zille harming democracy – political analysts
Political analysts have described the latest quarrel between Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Ms Helen Zille and the ruling ANC as "childish and unfortunate for democracy".

The controversy started when Ms Zille responded to a letter written by Ms Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, the new Minister of Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities, in which she criticized Ms Zille’s all-male, mostly White provincial cabinet in the Western Cape.  In response, Ms Zille criticized President Jacob Zuma for admitting to having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman during his rape trial several years ago (Mr Zuma was acquitted on these charges).  Ms Zille, the new Western Cape Premier says the President was putting his wives’ lives at risk by having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman.  Subsequently, the ANC and its Youth League attacked Ms Zille over her comments.

This week, the ANC’s Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe said that Ms Zille had changed from being the opposition to being "the enemy".  Political analysts believe that Ms Zille’s personal attack on President Zuma was an attempt to deflect attention away from her all-male Cabinet in the Western Cape.  Political commentators say the current war of words between Ms Zille and the ANC is not good for democracy in South Africa.  Ms Zille’s comments are factually correct but politically incorrect - it is not the way to go forward in South Africa and Ms Zille may have damaged her reputation with her latest anti-ANC remarks.

Thabo Mbeki speaks out on decision to suspend Advocate Vusi Pikoli
Former President Thabo Mbeki has given his official version of why he suspended Advocate Vusi Pikoli as head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and what happened in the weeks preceding the decision.  Mr Mbeki filed papers in the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday this week.

Advocate Pikoli turned to the court in February this year after Parliament ratified then President Kgalema Motlanthe’s decision to dismiss him.  Advocate Pikoli maintains he was sidelined by President Mbeki in September 2007 to prevent the prosecution of the National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi.  In a 25-page affidavit, Mr Mbeki has admitted that the infamous two-week/one-week conversation with Advocate Pikoli did take place.  In September 2007, President Mbeki asked Advocate Pikoli for two weeks to prepare the ground for Commissioner Selebi to be arrested but the prosecutions head only gave him one week.

During the Ginwala Commission of Inquiry, the State claimed this conversation was a fabrication.  Mr Mbeki has given credence to Advocate Pikoli’s argument that he was suspended to protect Commissioner Selebi.  Mr Mbeki has acknowledged that he took issue that Advocate Pikoli would have compromised national security by arresting the police chief.  The former President revealed that he conferred with the National Security Council about this – these discussions were confidential and he was advised to suspend Advocate Pikoli with immediate effect.  Former Justice Minister Ms Bridgette Mabandla, who was harshly criticized for not appearing before the Ginwala Inquiry last year, filed a brief affidavit in which she denied any wrongdoing.

ANC denounces ANCYL attack on Helen Zille
The ANC says it is deeply embarrassed by recent comments by the ANC’S Youth League (ANCYL) against Western Cape Premier Ms Helen Zille.  Earlier this week the ANCYL lambasted Ms Zille after she accused President Jacob Zuma of being sexist and of putting his wives at risk after having admitted to having had unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman during his rape trial several years ago.  Ms Zille’s controversial response was prompted by a letter questioning her all-male, mostly White provincial cabinet.

The ANC and its alliance partners have threatened to, amongst others, take Ms Zille, the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, to court, make the Western Cape ungovernable and embark on strike action.  However, following the ANC Youth League’s scathing attack on her the ruling party has put its foot down.  ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, who earlier said Ms Zille had gone from being the opposition to "being the enemy", says the Youth League’s embarrassing comments were totally uncalled for.  Ms Zille, on the other hand, seems totally unperturbed by the ANCYL’s outburst.  The Human Rights Commission has expressed concern over the war of words, while some political analysts have branded the mudslinging as ‘childish’.

Minister of International Relations - Dalai Lama free to visit SA any time
On Thursday, the new Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Ms Maite Nkoane-Mashabane, said that the Dalai Lama was welcome to visit South Africa.  However, the Minister says that nobody may abuse South Africa’s pro-human rights stance for their own agenda.

The newly-appointed Minister told reporters in Pretoria, “The Dalai Lama is more than free, like any other citizen of the world who would want to, to visit South Africa.  South Africa does not discriminate against anyone.”

The Minister says that South Africa's foreign policy is underpinned by human rights, but that does not mean it can be misinterpreted in the interests of certain quarters.  In March this year, the Dalai Lama was refused a visa to attend a peace conference linked to the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa, triggering an outcry that saw the event postponed indefinitely.  The South African government initially said it did not want his presence to overshadow the aim of the conference, but later conceded it had also acted to protect its economic ties with Beijing.  The conference coincided with the 50th anniversary of the failed uprising against China in Tibet and China feared that the Dalai Lama would use the conference as a political platform.

Minister Nkoane-Mashabane says South Africa hopes to strengthen ties with China and foresees no change in policy towards the country.  The main thrust of South Africa’s foreign policy remains unchanged, including the country’s controversial handling of the political situation in Zimbabwe.  When asked whether South Africa will press President Robert Mugabe to step down, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane says it is for the people of Zimbabwe to decide, while South Africa will focus on helping to rebuild that country.  The Minister has also defended one of South Africa's recent most controversial foreign policy decisions - voting in the UN Security Council against sanctions against Myanmar's military junta on the grounds that the regime did not constitute a threat to international peace and security.  The Minister says the UN Security Council was not the right forum to deal with that issue.

Minister Nkoane-Mashabane says South Africa will continue making the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and Africa the primary focus of its foreign policy.  The name change of her Ministry/Department, from foreign affairs to international relations and co-operation, is a bid by the government to ensure a holistic approach to foreign relations which reflects a developmental agenda.  The name changes are aimed at making the state machinery more efficient and service-delivery oriented.

FOREIGN RELATIONS
New International Relations Minister pays first official visit to Angola
On Friday, the new South African Minister of International Relations and Co-operation (previously named the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will pay her first official visit to Angola since her appointment as Minister on 11 May 2009.  In this regard, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane is expected to hold discussions with her Angolan counterpart as well as pay a courtesy call on President Eduardo Dos Santos.

The visit to Angola takes place within the context of efforts to consolidate and strengthen the strategic bilateral relations between the two countries.  South Africa and Angola enjoy strategic political, economic and trade relations which find expression in the Joint SA-Angola Joint Commission held at the Ministerial level.  The focus of the Commission is to strengthen and consolidate bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries including the post-war reconstruction and development of Angola.

Relations between South Africa and Angola were established during the anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggles, which saw South Africa and Angola's liberation movements - the ANC and MPLA forging an alliance leading to the independence of their respective countries.  These relations were transformed into state-to-state relations following the dawn of democracy in South Africa in 1994.  Since then, high-level visits between the two countries have taken place at both the Presidential and Ministerial levels.

CRIME
Johannesburg father shot and killed in front of his family
A Johannesburg father was shot and killed during a botched robbery at his home in Randburg (a large middle-class suburb northwest of Johannesburg) on Monday evening.  It is believed that a gang of armed suspects attacked the 58-year-old man, his wife and children.

Details are still unclear but it is thought the man was murdered during a struggle with the robbers.  Netcare 911, which attended to the incident, says the deceased man’s family is receiving trauma counseling.  Netacare 911 says it appears as if there was a botched armed robbery at the house and the man sustained a gunshot wound to his head.  Sadly there was nothing that paramedics could do to save the man’s life and he was declared dead at the scene.

Johannesburg metro cops suspended over bribery claims
Two Johannesburg metro police officers have been suspended and will face a disciplinary hearing after they were arrested for soliciting a bribe.  The officers allegedly took R60 from a motorist who was pulled over on Monday night for using his cellphone while driving.

The officers then asked the driver for cash to avoid getting a fine but the motorist quickly reported the incident to the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department’s (JMPD) anti-corruption hotline and the officers were arrested a short while later.  The JMPD says the case will be dealt by the South African Police Service (SAPS) investigating team but the two officers will still attend internal hearings within the metro police department.

Western Cape Safety MEC denies ’sex pest’ claims
The new Western Cape Safety MEC (Member of Executive Council – a provincial cabinet minister) Lennit Max says he is astonished to have been labeled as a "sex pest".  Mr Max believes it is a deliberate attempt to tarnish his reputation and career.

Mr Max reportedly received a payout of R5-million from the South African Police Service in 2003 after four women accused him of victimization and sexual harassment.  He was the Western Cape Police Commissioner at the time.  Mr Max maintains he is innocent and claims the report is mischievous.  Mr Max’s boss, Western Cape Premier Ms Helen Zille, says she is unaware of the claims against Mr Max.

Police Commissioner’s son appears in court
On Thursday, the son of a Commissioner in the South African Police Service (SAPS) and another man appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on charges of armed robbery.  The two men were arrested last week after a dramatic high-speed car chase and shootout with police in Pretoria.

The case against the pair was postponed to later this month when they are expected to apply for bail.  They already face several charges of house-breaking and robbery and more charges may be added as the investigation progresses.  It is believed that during his arrest, the Commissioner’s son threatened police officers, telling them that his mother, a Commissioner who works in the SAPS’ Legal Department, would take action against them.  He was also convicted of rape earlier this year.

Advocate Willie Hofmeyr tipped to lead new crime-busting unit
The renamed Ministry of Police (formerly known as the Ministry of Safety and Security) says it will be able to reveal who will head the new Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI) police unit within the next week.  The unit has been created to take over from the Directorate of Special Operations (more commonly known as the Scorpions, which was located within the National Prosecuting Authority), which was dissolved earlier this year.

It is understood that the current Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions and Assets Forfeiture Unit boss, Advocate Willie Hofmeyr is the most likely candidate to head up the new unit.  Advocate Hofmeyr played a vital role in the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) recent decision to drop corruption and racketeering charges against President Jacob Zuma.  Divisional Police Commissioner Raymond Lalla (who is currently the head of detectives in the police) has also been mentioned as a possible candidate to lead the new crime-fighting unit.

OTHER SOCIAL ISSUES
2010 Local Organizing Committee welcomes new Cabinet
The 2010 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has welcomed the appointment of the new Cabinet.  The LOC says it is confident that the South African government will continue working hard to deliver world class football in the upcoming Confederations Cup and during the FIFA World Cup next year.  The Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile and his Deputy Gert Oosthuizen retained their positions in the new Cabinet.

The LOC says, “Our government has always maintained that they will support the staging of the World Cup in South Africa and they have demonstrated that.  We have no doubt that the new Cabinet Ministers will work with us to deliver the best World Cup ever held in the world.”

Department of Home Affairs struggles with new visa concession
The South African Department of Home Affairs claims that its new visa concession for Zimbabweans is not creating logistical problem for officials.  Police and immigration officials at Beit Bridge (the border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe) have had their hands full with the number of people attempting to take advantage of the system by entering the border using correct documentation.  

The system forms part of the Department’s plans to attempt to decrease the number of Zimbabweans entering the country unlawfully.  The Department says it has only experienced minor glitches since introducing the new visa concession.

Probe into teacher-pupil sex claims completed
The South African Council of Educators (SACE) says it will demand a severe punishment for any teachers found guilty of sexually harassing pupils.  The Council has completed its investigation into several such cases in Cape Town schools.

In many of the incidents, teachers are accused of becoming sexually involved with school pupils.  The SACE says it will not hesitate to take tough action against disgraced teachers.  Earlier this month, five teachers were suspended in KwaZulu-Natal Province after more than a dozen pupils at Macumbuza High School claimed that male teachers were paying them (in the form of cash or alcohol) for sex.

Johannesburg child beggars claim parents force them to beg
An estimated 400 children are being used by their parents to beg for money on Johannesburg’s streets, city authorities have reported.  Officials maintain they are trying to prevent unemployed mothers and fathers from exploiting their children by warning that offenders will be arrested.

eThekwini (City of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal Province) council officials recently issued a similar threat, saying the lives of children in Durban were being placed in danger.  Many children between the ages of five and twelve can be seen standing at busy Johannesburg intersections begging motorists for money to take back to their parents.  Some of the child beggars say that they do not go to school and beg instead, earning between R40-50 a day.  City of Johannesburg officials say they will introduce harsher measures to get children off the streets.

Taxi operators to discuss BRT system at mass meeting
Thousands of taxi drivers are expected to gather in Soweto (a large Black township south-west of Johannesburg) on Wednesday morning for a mass meeting on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.  The United Taxi Association Forum will brief its members on the controversial BRT programme, which has the taxi industry up in arms over fears of job losses.

Taxi operators say they are hoping to discuss the issue with President Jacob Zuma and the new Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele soon.  The United Taxi Association Forum says that Johannesburg commuters will not be left stranded for the whole day because taxis will operate normally after the meeting ends at 14h00.  Meanwhile, President Zuma’s spokesperson, Ms Zizi Kodwa says the new Transport minister must first find his feet before meeting taxi operators.  Ms Kodwa advises, “I think that it is important that we allow new Cabinet Ministers to settle down, especially now because we have a new Transport Minister.”

Xenophobic conflict remains a concern one year later
One year after the start of xenophobic conflict in Gauteng (on 11 May 2008) authorities say tensions have subsided despite foreigners describing how they still live in fear.  Sixty two people were killed while thousands more were displaced during the violence which spread rapidly across the country in May last year.  Immigrants were forcibly removed from their homes by angry South Africans who accused them of stealing their jobs and committing crime.

Immigrants living in the Black townships of Diepsloot and Tembisa have described the current situation in their areas as calm but many say they will never let their guard down because anything could happen.  The police are keeping a close eye on the situation and are on standby to deal with any possible tensions which may arise.

Taxi bosses say President Zuma promised to stop BRT system
Taxi bosses from at least 18 associations will meet on Friday to discuss a way forward concerning the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.  Taxi operators held a mass meeting in Soweto, Johannesburg on Wednesday where they vowed to embark on violent demonstrations if the BRT programme is implemented.

The United Taxi Association Forum insists President Jacob Zuma promised to suspend the BRT programme while he was electioneering for the African National Congress.  Taxi drives believe that many jobs will be lost if the BRT system is implemented because it will not accommodate everybody within the taxi industry.

NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES
New Malagasy government slams international community
Madagascar’s new army-backed government has criticized the international community’s refusal to recognize it and singled out the Ambassador of the United States for a stinging attack.  Months of political instability on the world’s fourth largest island have devastated its $390million-a-year tourism sector and caused concern among foreign investors exploring potentially vast oil and mineral reserves.

Malagasy Prime Minister Roindefo Monja says the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) had been hasty in branding March’s overthrow of former President Marc Ravalomanana as a coup d’etat.  Andry Rajoelina seized power after dissident troops backed his challenge to President Ravalomanana’s leadership.  Several donor countries, including the United States and Norway, have suspended non-emergency assistance while the International Monetary Fund has frozen aid due to the country’s political crisis.  Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries and foreign donors make up 70% of the Indian Ocean Island’s budget.

France hails decision by Malagasy leader
On Wednesday, France said that Madagascar’s interim leader Andry Rajoelina's reported decision not to run in upcoming presidential elections would help solve the political crisis in the country.  

The French government is still waiting for Mr Rajoelina to publicly confirm this decision, which will help current talks to find a quick political consensus that will be as inclusive as possible.  This week, President Rajoelina informed the diplomatic community in his capital city of Antananarivo that he will not run as a candidate in promised presidential elections.  Madagascar has been embroiled in a political crisis since the beginning of the year.  In March, Mr Rajoelina ousted President Marc Ravalomanana with the backing of the military.  The African Union said last month that Mr Rajoelina's administration had indicated it was ready to hold elections by the end of this year.



   남부 아프리카 자료

mercy mission
2009/05/22

   中ㆍ아프리카 관계, 이보다 더 좋을 순 없다

mercy mission
2009/05/22

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