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Erasmus to step down as Boks coach after final
31 October 2019, 12:03 PM

Springbok coach, Rassie Erasmus, has confirmed that Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final between South Africa and England in Yokohama, will be his last as head coach.

He will resume his duties as the South African Rugby Union’s Director of Rugby after the World Cup.

Of the 25 test matches played so far under Erasmus, the Springboks have won 16 and lost eight with one draw for a winning ration of 64%.

But more importantly, he took South Africa from seventh on the world rankings, to second and into a third Rugby World Cup final.

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China’s state telecoms to launch 5G services on Friday
31 October 2019, 11:45 AM

China’s three state telecoms on Thursday announced the roll-out 5G mobile phone services, marking a key step in Beijing’s ambitions to become a technology superpower at a time when it remains locked in trade tensions with Washington.

China Mobile’s, China Unicom and China Telecom’s said on their websites and online stores that 5G plans, which start from as low as 128 yuan a month, will be available from Friday, allowing Chinese consumers nationwide to use the ultra-fast mobile internet service.

Beijing had originally said it would launch the ultra-fast mobile internet service, which promises to support new features such as autonomous driving, early next year. But it accelerated its plans as tensions with the United States, especially over its boycott of telecoms giant Huawei Technologies, heated up.

“China will have the largest commercial operating 5G network in the world on Friday, and the scale of its network and the price of its 5G services will have a pivotal impact throughout the supply chain,” Bernstein said in a report this week.

Authorities have said that they plan to install over 50,000 5G base stations across 50 Chinese cities in the country by the end of this year, and that big cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou, are already covered by the 5G network.

Chinese companies from Xiaomi to Huawei have also unveiled new products in anticipation of the 5G roll out, with Huawei saying that it anticipates to start seeing a revenue uplift from the sector next year.

Smartphone marker Xiaomi said earlier this month that it plans to launch more than 10 5G phones next year and that there was a fear in the industry that consumers would stop buying 4G models.

Gauteng parents urged to accept offers of placement for 2020
31 October 2019, 10:18 AM

The Gauteng Education Department has urged parents who have received offers of placement for the 2020 admissions to accept the offer immediately.

The Department says should the parents not accept the offers; it will lead to the system being clogged.

Gauteng Education Spokesperson Steve Mabona says this will also result in the system not being able to release further placement offers to parents who are still on the waiting list…

“Placement processes are actually unfolding. When parents accept offers, more offers can be released to others. Parents who have not yet received offers of placement are reminded that the process to send offers will end on Thursday, 31 October 2019.”

Nigerian supreme court dismisses appeal against Buhari election win
31 October 2019, 10:18 AM

Nigeria’s Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by the main opposition candidate to overturn the result of February’s presidential election in which Muhammadu Buhari was returned to office.

Atiku Abubakar lodged his initial complaint with the election tribunal, which ruled against him last month. Tuesday’s decision is likely to end the former vice president’s ambition to govern Africa’s most populous country.

The Supreme Court unanimously threw out Atiku’s appeal as “lacking merit”, saying in a short statement it would issue a more detailed reasoning for its decision later.

Atiku said Nigeria’s judiciary had been “sabotaged and undermined,” but also that his effort to fight the result in court had ended. “I must accept that the judicial route I chose to take, as a democrat, has come to a conclusion,” Abubakar said in a statement. “Whether justice was done, is left to the Nigerian people to decide.”

Buhari thanked Atiku for using the courts to address the issue.

“Now, following this final legal bid before the highest court, it is time the country is afforded the right to move on – in the interest of all Nigerians – regardless of how they voted,” Buhari said in a statement.

Buhari took 56% of the vote against 41% for Atiku, according to electoral commission data. A Buhari victory had been widely anticipated.

Every election result has been contested since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, with the exception of the 2015 vote in which Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat to Buhari.

‘Outstanding’ Erasmus always destined to be a top coach: Fleck
31 October 2019, 10:05 AM

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus’ outstanding rugby brain and ability to sell a game-plan to his players has been the catalyst for a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the Springboks, according to former teammate Robbie Fleck.

Erasmus has taken the Boks from their worst ever season in 2016, when they won four out of 12 tests under former coach Allister Coetzee, to a Rugby World Cup final against England in Yokohama on Saturday.

Former centre Fleck, who won 31 international caps alongside Erasmus between 1999 and 2002, and as coach of the Stormers Super Rugby side for the past four years worked closely with his former team mate, never doubted he would improve the Boks.

“He has always had the ability to turn teams around,” Fleck told Reuters.

“He did it with the Cheetahs, who he took from no-hopers to the Currie Cup title and made them competitive in Super Rugby.

“He did it with the Stormers and had success with Munster (in Ireland). He has a clear vision on how the game should be played. How the Stormers and Munster played back then is how the Boks play now.”

Erasmus, 47, who coached the Stormers to their only Super Rugby final in 2010, is now aiming to lead the Boks to a third World Cup title after wins in 1995 and 2007.

South Africa have been criticised for a game-plan that is overly reliant on their powerful forwards and the boot of scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, but Fleck says set-piece superiority and territorial dominance have always been part of Erasmus’ plan.

“He is pretty clear in how he wants to coach. He is a very smart man, can sell an idea to players and then select a team to play for his game-plan.

“It may not be attractive to some, but he has never said it was about playing attractive rugby. For him it is all about winning.”

Fleck adds that Erasmus the player was a dynamic flanker and, in many ways, ahead of his time in the way he analysed the game.

“Even though we did not have much in terms of the current technology back then, he would do the extra video work and was always extremely up to date on the latest rugby trends.

“He would try get his hands on whatever he could to analyse the opposition and fed that information to his teammates.

“He was very much involved in terms of our game-plan, strategic moves and so on.”

Fleck says Erasmus also garnered great respect from teammates for his work ethic and ability on the pitch, often showing great spontaneity.

“He was an outstanding rugby player, in many ways different to the way he is as a coach. Despite all that knowledge of the opposition before games, he often played off the cuff and created opportunities for teammates with great bits of skill. He was a hell of a tackler and a hard grafter.”

And underneath Erasmus’ easy-going persona is a fierce competitor.

“He had that mindset of a fighter who never gives up and was massively competitive. He is still like that as a coach and I think that has earned him massive respect from his players.”



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