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Gupta companies seek urgent application to halt Baroda shutdown
1 March 2018, 9:14 AM

The High Court in Pretoria will on Thursday hear an urgent application by 20 companies belonging to the Gupta family to prevent the Bank of Baroda from shutting down its South African operations.

The India state-owned bank announced in January 2018, that it plans to close its branches in the country following a decision by its head office in India to downscale global operations.

The Gupta application also seeks to have the court declare that the CEO of the bank, Manoj Jha, to be in contempt of court if they shut down their operations in the country.

This follows a successful urgent interdict in February in the High Court in Pretoria which favoured Gupta companies that the Bank should continue providing services to the family companies.

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Three more arrested for allegedly killing a girl with albinism
1 March 2018, 8:21 AM

Three more suspects have been arrested for the alleged kidnapping of 13-year-old Gabisile Shabani who lived with albinism and her one-year-old cousin Nkosikhona Ngwenya in Vosman in Witbank in January.

Shabani and Ngwenya’s bodies were discovered in a shallow grave and stream respectively two weeks ago.

A 32-year-old traditional healer Thokozani Msibi is already in custody for the alleged kidnapping and for the murder of the two children.

This week pictures of Msibi circulated on social media showed him carrying human body parts believed to be of the young girl. It is believed that  Shabani was killed for purposes of muti.

The latest suspects were arrested on Wednesday and are expected to appear in court next Tuesday.

All four suspects are facing charges of murder, two counts of kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and violation of a corpse.

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ANC open to coalition talks with EFF in the E Cape
1 March 2018, 8:05 AM

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape says their doors are open to hold discussions with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for a possible coalition government in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

This comes after EFF leader Julius Malema announced in Parliament on Tuesday that his party intends tabling a motion of no confidence against Democratic Alliance (DA) Mayor Athol Trollip in April.

ANC provincial chair Oscar Mabuyane says this will serve the best interests of the people of the metro.

Mabuyane says, “Yes, we are definitely looking forward to this offer but it is not really a formal offer because we read about it on social media. But, if it comes it is something worth considering working with other political parties. We have been co-coordinating, it is what we call a black caucus, in that space and found that, that area is not properly governed, it is not properly led…”

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Long-lost Nigerian masterpiece sold for $1.4 million
1 March 2018, 7:31 AM

A portrait of a Nigerian princess that was lost for more than 40 years and found in a London flat was sold at an auction for 1 million pounds ($1.4 million) on Wednesday.

“Tutu”, an art work by Nigeria’s best-known modern artist Ben Enwonwu, was painted in 1974 and appeared at an art show in Lagos the following year but its whereabouts after that were unknown until it re-surfaced in north London.

The sale was a world record for the artist. The work had been expected to be sold for between 200 000 and 300 000 pounds ($277 600-$416 400).

The auction was held at Bonhams in London and shown live at the Wheatbaker, a hotel popular with artists in Lagos where the sale, made to a telephone bidder, was greeted with applause by about 70 people watching on a big screen.

“We are very happy that modern Nigerian art has begun to get its actual value,” said Oliver Enwonwu, the artist’s son, who is president of the Society of Nigerian Artists.

Tokini Peterside, who organises an annual art fair in Lagos, said it was a “very exciting moment for Nigerian art” since Enwonuwu was a “national treasure” who is regarded as a modern art pioneer in Nigeria.

“To have that artist’s work validated in the global marketplace is almost…a coming of age for Nigerian modern art,” she said.

The portrait of Adetutu Ademiluyi, who was a grand-daughter of a revered traditional ruler from the Yoruba ethnic group, holds special significance in Nigeria as a symbol of national reconciliation after the 1967-1970 Biafran War.

Enwonwu belonged to the Igbo ethnic group, the largest in the southeastern region of Nigeria that had tried to secede under the name of Biafra. The Yoruba people, whose homeland is in the southwest, were mostly on the opposing side in the war.

Enwonwu painted three versions of the portrait. The other two remain lost, although prints first made in the 1970s have been in circulation ever since and the images are familiar to many Nigerians. Enwonwu died in 1994.

Hawks raid is absurd: Pauw
1 March 2018, 6:22 AM

Investigative journalist and author Jacques Pauw says it is absurd that his house in Riebeek Kasteel in the Swartland of the Western Cape was searched by the Hawks.

Pauw who is the author of the book ‘The President’s Keepers’ says members of the Hawks linked to the Crimes Against the State Unit arrived at his home with a search warrant on February 28, 2018.

He said: “I expected a raid like this after the book was launched. I did not expect a raid like this in February 2018 after Cyril Ramaphosa became President. I think it’s rather absurd that the Hawks comes to the premises of a journalist and demand documents and have the right to search his house.”

Pauw’s book was published last year and alleged, among other things, that former President Jacob Zuma received a R1 million a month salary from a benefactor for a few months after becoming President in 2009.

He says he cooperated fully with the Hawks officials.

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