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Wolfgat restaurant.
From fishing village to gastronomic heaven: tables turn for Wolfgat
26 February 2019, 8:09 AM

In a small fishing village on South Africa’s rugged west coast, restaurateur Kobus van der Merwe is struggling to process his meteoric rise to gastronomic stardom.

He recently got back from Paris, where four days ago his 20-cover Wolfgat was named Restaurant of the Year at the inaugural World Restaurant Awards, also winning the remote location prize.

“In our category, which was for the off-map destination… there are restaurants that we literally hero-worship and we were like, this is insane,” the food-journalist-turned-chef told Reuters TV on Friday in his first interview with foreign media since returning home.

Others on that shortlist included Japanese wild dining sensation Tokuyamazushi.

Of both prizes, he added: “We never dreamed of making the shortlist, let alone winning.”

Situated in Paternoster, about 160 km (100 miles) northwest of Cape Town, Wolfgat’s speciality is seafood.

Van der Merwe’s seven-course tasting menu pays homage to the region’s long-gone indigenous inhabitants, and his signature dishes are flavored and supplemented with ingredients foraged locally, such as seaweed and succulent plants.

They include Rooibos tea-smoked yellowtail with dune spinach and buttermilk rusk, and freshly baked bread served with bokkom (salted dry fish) butter and infused herbs.

Guests at the 130-year-old whitewashed restaurant, nestled above Wolfgat cave within hearing distance of crashing waves, pay 850 rand ($60), or 1400 rand including drinks.

Van der Merwe, who took the plunge into full-time cooking before completing his culinary studies, said he had no wish to expand or replicate Wolfgat in an urban setting.

“We certainly don’t aspire to be in the city because the west coast is our muse and I can’t see Wolfgat existing anywhere else,” he said.

His clientele is split evenly between foreign tourists visiting the village and well-heeled South Africans.

But those who make the two-hour drive from Cape Town had better be sure of their reservations before they set out – because he’s fully booked for the next three months.


Pastor Alph Lukau.
Pastor raising man from the dead a hoax – Funeral parlour
26 February 2019, 6:20 AM

The Kings and Queens Funeral Services has labelled as a ‘hoax’ – an incident in which a Johannesburg based pastor claimed to have raised a man from the dead.

A video showing Pastor Alph Lukau of Alleluia Ministries, went viral on social media – after he claimed to be praying for a dead man who he then resurrected.

The Kings and Queens Funeral Service’s vehicle was used to ferry the alleged deceased man to the church.

The funeral service’s spokesperson, Giyani Dube, explains their version of Sunday’s incident.

“The incident is shocking. There is nothing whatsoever that amounts to a miracle. That was a hoax. We urge the listeners not to be duped into such scams. As Kings and Queens, we did not have that body in our mortuary. We only came in as service providers to provide them with a hearse which they requested from us. The very person who acted as a dead person was identified by the people who were inside another quantum before this drama took place. He was there alive.”

Three funeral parlours have announced that they have approached the police to investigate the matter.

The companies have been criticised for their alleged involvement in the incident.

The companies say they are victims of misrepresentations by the so-called Prophet who wanted to display his would-be supernatural powers.


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SABC building.
Parliament’s committee to shortlist SABC board candidates
26 February 2019, 6:16 AM

Parliament’s Communications Committee will start shortlisting candidates to serve on the SABC Board. The selection is expected to be made from 233-nominees. The SABC Board is currently without a quorum as it remains with only four non-executive board members.

The Communications Committee says it will on Tuesday start to shortlist 24 candidates who will be interviewed to fill eight vacancies in the SABC Board.

It says 24 shortlisted names will be published on Parliament’s website for public comment, for six days.

This will be followed by interviews from March, the 5 to 7. Apart from being shortlisted and interviewed, candidates will also have to undergo a vetting process by the State Security Agency.

The committee says the whole process of searching and recommending the best eight candidates to the House will be completed before the National Assembly rises in three weeks’ time.


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Suspended Deputy National head of Public Prosecutions Advocate, Nomgcobo Jiba.
Jiba denies any ulterior motives against Booysen
25 February 2019, 12:30 PM

Suspended Deputy National head of Public Prosecutions Advocate, Nomgcobo Jiba, says there were no ulterior motives when she authorised the prosecution of racketeering charges against former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head, General Johan Booysen.

Jiba is now facing grilling questions at the Mokgoro Enquiry.

Booysen and scores others, attached to the Cato Manor Violent and Serious Crimes Unit, were in 2012 arrested and charged following a series of murders of taxi violence suspects and possible witnesses.

Most of the victims belonged to the Stanger and Kwa Maphumolo Taxi Associations respectively.

Jiba has been accused by witnesses of fabricating the charges against Booysen.

Jiba insisted she did not have any personal vendetta against Booysen as she doesn’t know him personally.

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Prince Harry and wife Meghan
Harry and Meghan attend a reception at the British Residence in Rabat
25 February 2019, 12:18 PM

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan’s last official foreign tour before becoming parents, was set to focus on initiatives promoting girls’ education, women’s empowerment and the inclusion of people with disabilities.

The royals met with Moroccan schoolgirls in the foothills of the High Atlas mountains, before heading to the capital for a reception on Sunday.

Clutching British and Moroccan flags, the teenagers lined up to meet the royal couple during their visit to the town of Asni south of the tourist hub Marrakesh.

A heavily pregnant Meghan, with henna on one hand, accepted flowers from one of the girls in Asni while she and Harry chatted outside to a group from the programme Education For All Morocco.

The organisation runs free boarding houses to give girls aged 12 to 18 from the High Atlas region access to education, working with 185-teenagers in 2017.

“Wow, that’s impressive!” Meghan told a girl who has ambitions to study astronomy, in an exchange filmed in a dorm room and posted on Twitter by Kensington Palace.

The couple also visited a classroom where pupils were practising their English, according to the royals’ social media account.

A quarter of Moroccans aged 15 to 24 are out of work and not in training or education, according to official data for 2016, a figure which rises to 44 for girls and young women.

Asni is close to the mountainous area where two Scandinavian women were murdered in December and some British media have raised fears over safety during the royal tour.

But local diplomatic sources have dismissed concerns about security in Morocco, where on Thursday police dispersed protesting teachers with water cannon in the capital Rabat.

The royals caught a local football match before flying back to the capital to attend a reception organised by the British embassy.

Ahead of their arrival in Rabat, a small group of demonstrators gathered in the city centre to demand wage hikes and the release of activists arrested in connection to a protest movement.

The rally was called for by a labour union which organised similar demos in some 20 cities across the kingdom.

“Medical provisions” had been made on the trip for Meghan, who is due to give birth in the spring, according to official sources.

The royal visit was described by Britain’s ambassador to Rabat, Thomas Reilly, as an “important opportunity to promote the strong relationship between the British and Moroccan people”.

London is aiming to replicate Rabat’s trade deal with the European Union once Britain leaves the bloc, the diplomat added.

Bilateral trade is valued at £1.8 billion (2.1 billion euros) by the British government, although the economic partnership falls far short of that which Morocco has with Spain, Germany or France.

On Monday the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as they are formally known, will attend a horse riding program for young disabled people in Rabat.

Harry and Meghan, who are being hosted by the Moroccan royal family, will also see a cooking demonstration and meet young entrepreneurs.




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