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Botswana president urges Congo’s Kabila not to stand again
20 April 2018, 9:24 PM

Botswana’s new leader has urged President Joseph Kabila not to stand for re-election in Congo’s long delayed presidential poll, saying he had already been in power longer than expected.

Botswana, one of Africa’s most stable democracies, is so far the only country in Africa to have directly criticized Kabila.

Earlier this year, the government issued a statement openly blaming the president for Democratic Republic of Congo’s deteriorating humanitarian and security situation.

“The president of the DRC has stayed in power longer than the time that was expected,” President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who took office this month, said during a interview with London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies streamed on its website on Thursday.

“Hopefully we can get from (Kabila) a real commitment to not attempt to come back to power by whatever means.”

Kabila’s opponents suspect him of seeking a referendum to change Congo’s constitution to enable him to run for more than two terms, as the leaders of neighboring Uganda, Rwanda and Congo Republic have.

He has neither confirmed nor denied this, but his refusal to step down at the end of his mandate in December 2016 triggered widespread street protests. It also emboldened several armed groups, raising fears the country is sliding back into turmoil. The election – now scheduled for December 23 – has been repeatedly delayed.

Congo emerged from a five-year war in 2003 during which millions were killed, mostly from hunger and disease, and militias and foreign armies exploited the country’s fabulous mineral wealth.

“The DRC is potentially the richest country in Africa and arguable one of the richest in the world,” said Masisi. “The world has failed the DRC.”

Other African countries have been more cautious, encouraging progress towards elections but avoiding direct criticism of Kabila.

Bus strike to intensify after wage negotiations deadlock
20 April 2018, 7:04 PM

Unions involved in the bus strike have called on all their members to intensify as current negotiations mediated by CCMA have yielded no fruit.

“Unions call on all members in the transport sector to intensify the strike until such time employers make an offer that can end the strike,” says Solomon Mahlangu from the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu).

Mahlangu was speaking at a joint media briefing between Satawu, National Union of MetalWorkers of  SA (Numsa), South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Trisano), Transport and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Tawusa) and Transport and Omnibus Workers Union (Towu) in Woodmead, north of Johannesburg, between them and other unions involved in the strike.

The unions say employers are accepting the CCMA’s proposal of 8% in the first year and 8.5%t in the second year but all other demands must be dropped. These demands include, dual drivers and insourcing.

Mahlangu says they wanted employers to increase their offer by 1% so that it would be 9% in the first year and nine and half in the second but employers would not agree to that.

“Unfortunately, employers maintained a rigid stance and rejected all our movements,” says Mahlangu.

General-secretary of Numsa, Irvin Jim says they want to intensify the strike so it can end.

“We are not saying that we are intensifying the strike for the sake of intensifying the strike. We are intensifying the strike in order to end the strike. Therefore we are available for negotiations tonight, tomorrow, the whole weekend,” says Jim.

He has also called on government to play a role in the negotiations and “not just send statements”.

Thousands of commuters have been left stranded since the nationwide bus strike started on Wednesday. Jim has called on all non-striking members to join the action.

East Rand Mall shooting leaves one dead
20 April 2018, 6:53 PM

A security officer has been killed and two others wounded following a shooting incident at the East Rand Mall, in Johannesburg. A female shopper was airlifted to hospital for medical care.

Netcare 911 spokesperson, Tebogo Mogoro says the officer was declared dead on the scene.

“One of the victims had a gun-shot wound at the back and unfortunately sustained fatal injuries and was declared dead on scene. One of the allege robbers and a female victim sustained minor to moderate injuries and were treated on scene before one was airlifted by Netcare 911 and the other was transported by road to the nearest hospital for further medical treatment. At this stage the exact details were

It was earlier reported that the suspects were attempting to rob one of the shops in the mall but police say this was not the case. Two suspects have been arrested.

Gauteng police spokesperson, Mavela Masondo, says they received a tip-off that the suspects who were wanted for murder, were at the shopping centre.

“As we were approaching them they started to shoot at us. Then there was a shoot-out between the suspects and the police. One suspect was shot and wounded. The other suspect was arrested without any injuries. Three of the suspects managed to escape, they are still at large. A security officer at the mall who was assisting the police to apprehend the suspects he was shot he later died at the scene,” says Masondo.

Siyakhula Sonke buys Lily Gold Mine
20 April 2018, 6:01 PM

New investors, the Siyakhula Sonke Empowerment Co-operation, have bought the Lily Gold Mine in Barberton, Mpumalanga, for an undisclosed amount of money.

Vantage Goldfield – the former owners of Lily and Babrook mines, have decided to sell both mines.

The new company says it want to start operating soon. CEO Fred Arendse says they have finally secured R190-million funding from the Industrial Development Corporation.

“We have signed an agreement as early as November last year … we have raised the required capital to bring both mines out of the business rescue. How we going  do that is first is to open Babrook… We envisage  to do that in June this year,” says Arendse.

Lily Gold Mine has been closed since 2016 when part of the mine collapsed. Of the 76 workers were rescued but the bodies of Pretty Mabuza, Solomon Nyarenda and  Yvonne Mnis where never recovered.

 

Botswana closes border due to Mahikeng violence
20 April 2018, 2:28 PM

International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has confirmed that Botswana has closed its border with the North West following the chaos that has erupted in Mahikeng.

Violence in the North West has escalated, as community members call for the removal of their Premier Supra Mahumapelo.

Sisulu says President Cyril Ramaphosa was forced to return back to South Africa, as tensions in the North West have now become an international crisis.

Ramaphosa arrived in Mahikeng this afternoon, where he is expected to convene an urgent meeting with the African National Congress’ (ANC) top six. North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo will also meet with the President.

Meanwhile, about 500 foreign nationals have gathered outside the venue at which the ANC top six and other party leaders are holding an urgent meeting. They are demanding an audience with the ANC leadership following the continued looting of their businesses since violent protests erupted in the provincial capital on Wednesday.

“We have been seeking help from the government we got no shelter here more than 500 shops have been looted. We don’t have any document here we can’t travel. Most of the people are living with asylum seekers papers. We don’t have anything in the shops. This is the people’s violence. The violence does not depend on us we are supplying food for the people. We are doing a business we did not do any crime,” says spokesperson of the foreign nationals Teref Tesfaye.

Below is a map of where the protests are taking place and a video playlist of the latest developments from the story: 

 

Highlights

 

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