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Posts tagged ‘Soweto’

Mandela Interpreter Committed to SAfrica Psychiatric Hospital.

Image: Mandela Interpreter Committed to SAfrica Psychiatric Hospital

By Robert Brothers

The fake sign-language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service — who caused international outrage as he flapped his arms around while pretending to sign — was admitted to a psychiatric hospital Thursday, according to the South African newspaper the Star.
Thamsanqa Jantjie’s wife Sizie took her husband for a check-up at the Sterkfontein Psychiatric hospital in Krugersdorp, which suggested he be admitted immediately, the Star reported.
“The past few days have been hard. We have been supportive because he might have had a breakdown,” she said.
Jantjie claims to have a long-history of mental disorders and on December 10 — the same day as the Mandela service — the interpreter was reportedly supposed to go to Sterkfontein for a check-up.However, the appointment was moved when he was offered to interpret at the memorial service held at FNB Stadium in Soweto, according to the Star.

Following the memorial service, Jantjie told various media outlets that his performance was sub-par due to a sudden attack of schizophrenia, which caused hallucinations.

“I saw angels falling on the stadium. I heard voices and lost concentration,” he said.

It was later found that Jantjie had been part of a mob which burnt two people to death 10 years ago — an allegation he denies — and that he had also faced rape, kidnapping, and theft charges, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.The South African government apologized to deaf people after the scandal. Last Wednesday, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said the government will investigate claims that Jantjie did not use actual sign language.

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© 2013 NewsmaxWorld. All rights reserved.

Fake Mandela Interpreter Part of Mob that Burned 2 People to Death.

Image: Fake Mandela Interpreter Part of Mob that Burned 2 People to Death

By Greg Richter

Thamsanqa Jantjie, the sign language interpreter who was accused of making nonsense gestures at the Nelson Mandela memorial last week while standing next to President Barack Obama and other world leaders,  admitted to being part of a mob who burned two people to death in 2003, South Africa’s Sunday Times reports. 

Jantjie, gesturing with his hands in what amounted to gibberish, stood little more than arm’s length away from Obama as he spoke at the memorial at Soweto‘s FNB Stadium.

Jantjie told the paper he is being treated at a South African mental health hospital and suffered a schizophrenic episode while on stage during the event. He said he saw angels descending on the stadium.

Addressing the burning deaths, Jantjie told The Times, “It was a community thing, what you call mob justice, and I was also there.”

He and others were arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder and kidnapping. Jantie’s charges were dropped because he was ruled incompetent to stand trial.

Earlier reports indicated Jantjie also has faced rape charges.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

World Leaders, South Africans Remember Mandela.

Image: World Leaders, South Africans Remember Mandela

SOWETO, South Africa — President Barack Obama implored thousands gathered in a cold, rainy stadium and millions watching around the world on Tuesday to carry forward Nelson Mandela’s mission of erasing injustice and inequality.

In a speech that received thunderous applause at FNB stadium and a standing ovation, Obama called on people to apply the lessons of Mandela, who emerged from 27 years in prison under a racist regime, embraced his enemies when he finally walked to freedom, and ushered in a new era of forgiveness and reconciliation in South Africa.

“We, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace,” said Obama, who like Mandela became the first black president of his country. Obama said that when he was a student, Mandela “woke me up to my responsibilities — to others, and to myself — and set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today.”

Addressing the memorial service for Mandela, who died Thursday at age 95, Obama pointed out that “around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and are still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love.”

Among the nearly 100 heads of state and government were some from countries like Cuba that don’t hold fully democratic elections.

On the way to the podium, Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro, underscoring a recent warming of relations between Cuba and the United States.

In contrast to the wild applause given to Obama, South African President Jacob Zuma was booed.

Many South Africans are unhappy with Zuma because of state corruption scandals, though his ruling African National Congress (ANC), once led by Mandela, remains the front-runner ahead of elections next year.

The weather and public transportation problems rain kept many people away. The 95,000-capacity stadium was only two-thirds full.

Some of the dozens of trains reserved to ferry people to the stadium were delayed due to a power failure. A Metrorail services spokeswoman, Lilian Mofokeng, said more than 30,000 mourners were successfully transported by train.

The mood was celebratory. A dazzling mix of royalty, statesmen and celebrities was in attendance.

Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president who succeeded Mandela, got a rousing cheer as he entered the stands. French President Francois Hollande and his predecessor and rival, Nicolas Sarkozy, arrived together.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon waved and bowed to spectators who sang praise for Mandela, seen by many South Africans as the father of the nation.

“I would not have the life I have today if it was not for him,” said Matlhogonolo Mothoagae, a postgraduate marketing student who arrived hours before the stadium gates opened. “He was jailed so we could have our freedom.”

Rohan Laird, the 54-year-old CEO of a health insurance company, said in the stadium that he grew up during white rule in a “privileged position” as a white South African and that Mandela helped whites work through a burden of guilt.

“His reconciliation allowed whites to be released themselves,” Lair said. “I honestly don’t think the world will see another leader like Nelson Mandela.”

Workers were still welding at a VIP area as the first spectators arrived amid an enormous logistical challenge of organizing the memorial for Mandela, who died Dec. 5 in his Johannesburg home at the age of 95.

Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, and former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela were at the stadium, and gave each other a long hug before the ceremonies began. So were actress Charlize Theron, model Naomi Campbell, and singer Bono.

Tuesday was the 20th anniversary of the day when Mandela and South Africa’s last apartheid-era president, F.W. de Klerk, received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to bring peace to their country. De Klerk, a political rival who became friends with Mandela, was also in the stadium.

Mandela said in his Nobel acceptance speech at the time: “We live with the hope that as she battles to remake herself, South Africa will be like a microcosm of the new world that is striving to be born.”

The sounds of horns and cheering filled the stadium. The rain, seen as a blessing among South Africa’s majority black population, enthused the crowd.

“In our culture the rain is a blessing,” said Harry Tshabalala, a driver for the justice ministry. “Only great, great people are memorialized with it. Rain is life. This is perfect weather for us on this occasion.”

People blew on vuvuzelas, the plastic horn that was widely used during the World Cup soccer tournament in 2010, and sang songs from the era of the anti-apartheid struggle decades ago.

“It is a moment of sadness celebrated by song and dance, which is what we South Africans do,” said Xolisa Madywabe, CEO of a South African investment firm.

The soccer venue was also the spot where Mandela made his last public appearance at the closing ceremony of the World Cup. After the memorial, his body will lie in state for three days at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, once the seat of white power, before burial Sunday in his rural childhood village of Qunu in Eastern Cape Province.

Police promised tight security, locking down roads miles around the stadium. However, the first crowds entered the stadium without being searched.

John Allen, a 48-year-old pastor from Arkansas, said he once met Mandela at a shopping center in South Africa with his sons.

“He joked with my youngest and asked if he had voted for Bill Clinton,” Allen said. “He just zeroed in on my 8-year-old for the three to five minutes we talked.”

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Zambia’s Copperbelt JV to pay $164 mln for Nigeria stake.

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia‘s Copperbelt Energy Corporation said on Monday its Kann Utility joint venture would pay $164 million for a 60 percent stake in Nigeria‘s Abuja Electricity Distribution Company.

Kann is half owned by the Zambian power company and half owned by XerXes Global Investments.



Burundi to get 68 mln euros in EU aid to boost power supply.

BUJUMBURA (Reuters) – The European Union will give Burundi 68 million euros to be used to improve electricity generation and transmission in rural areas to improve food production in the tinycentral African country, an EU official said on Friday.

International donors will fund 49 percent of Burundi’s 2013 budget of 1.3 trillion francs. While the government fears that global economic and financial troubles could reduce external aid, it expects to receive grants worth 645.3 billion francs this year against 523.2 billion francs in 2012.

European Union’s commissioner for development, Andris Piebalgs said that of the aid announced on Friday., 50 million euros will go toward rural electrification and developing small and medium hydro power plants to benefit around one million people living in rural areas.

“There can be no development without energy and, unfortunately the energy situation in Burundi remains one of the worst in the world, with daily power cuts being experienced by most people, he told a news conference at the end of a two-day visit to Burundi.

Only 3.5 percent of people in Burundi have access to electricity while demand for it grows by 13 percent every year.

Piebalgs said another 18 million euro to help the coffee producing nation improving food security for 80,000 undernourished children.



South Africa: Nelson Mandela’s recovery is good.

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela has recovered from his recent lung infection and a surgical procedure to remove gallstones, according to an announcement Sunday by President Jacob Zuma.

Doctors say that Mandela, 94, has made “steady progress and that clinically, he continues to improve,” according to a statement issued by Zuma’s office. Mandela was hospitalized for nearly three weeks in December before going home on Dec. 26.

Zuma’s statement said Mandela “continues to receive high care” at his home in the Houghton suburb of Johannesburg and that “his daily routine is being gradually re-established.”

Zuma congratulated Mandela on his recovery and said the anti-apartheid icon has “the love and support of all South Africans.”

Mandela has been reading newspapers, sitting up in bed and receiving visitors, according to reports in the South African media.

The news that Mandela has recovered from the recurring lung infection and the minor surgery will reassure many in South Africa concerned about the health of the aged leader, who has become increasingly frail over the years.

A year ago, Mandela was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what officials initially described as tests but what turned out to be an acute respiratory infection. He was discharged days later. He also had surgery for an enlarged prostate gland in 1985.

Under South Africa’s white-minority apartheid regime, Mandela served 27 years in prison, where he contracted tuberculosis, before being released in 1990. He later became the nation’s first democratically elected president in 1994 under the banner of the African National Congress. He served one five-year term before retiring.

He last made a public appearance on a major stage when South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament.


By ANDREW MELDRUM | Associated Press

South Africa: Nelson Mandela released from the hospital, will get more care at home.

JOHANNESBURG – Former South African President Nelson Mandela was released Wednesday from the hospital after being treated for a lung infection and having gallstones removed, a government spokesman said.

The 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon will continue to receive medical care at home.

Mandela had been in the hospital since Dec. 8. In recent days, officials have said he was improving and in good spirits, but doctors have taken extraordinary care with his health because of his age.

Mandela was released Wednesday evening and will receive “home-based high care” at his residence in the Johannesburg neighbourhood of Houghton until he fully recovers, said presidential spokesmanMac Maharaj.

“We thank the public and the media for the good wishes and for according Madiba and the family the necessary privacy,” said Maharaj in a statement, using Mandela’s clan name, a term of affection. The statement requested that Mandela’s privacy continue to be respected “in order to allow for the best possible conditions for full recovery.”

David Phetoe, a resident of the Johannesburg township of Soweto, reacted with joy when he heard that Mandela was no longer in a hospital.

“It’s not always the case, when people offer great expectations, that those expectations are fulfilled,” he said. “In this case, we say in the same tone, in the Christmas mood and in the Christmas season, let him stick around for a while!”

Mandela is revered around the world as a symbol of sacrifice and reconciliation, his legacy forged in the fight against apartheid, the system of white minority rule that imprisoned him for 27 years.

The Nobel laureate served one five-year term as president after South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994. Although the country today struggles with poverty and inequality, Mandela is widely credited with helping to avert race-driven chaos as South Africa emerged from apartheid.

South African President Jacob Zuma was among those who joined Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, and other family members in wishing a Merry Christmas to Mandela at his hospital bedside in Pretoria, the South African capital.

“I think he is an icon of hope and we are very excited” that Mandela is out of the hospital, said Sipho Sibiko, a Soweto resident. “I personally know that he is one of the people that inspired me. He inspires a lot of people and we are excited that he has been released. We wish him many more joyous years and good health.”

Thomas Phakane contributed to this report.


By Christopher Torchia, The Associated Press | Associated Press

Judge sentences South African rapper Jub Jub to 20 years in prison over drag-race killings.

JOHANNESBURG – A South African judge has sentenced a hip-hop star and his co-accused to 20 years in prison for the killings of four schoolchildren in a drag-race crash.

The South African Press Association reported Wednesday that Magistrate Judge Brian Nemavhidihanded down the sentences to Molemo Maarohanye, best known by his stage name Jub Jub, andThemba Tshabalala. The judge previously ruled that the men had been driving under the influence of drugs at the time of the March 8, 2010, crash.

The crash in Soweto also seriously injured two other schoolchildren.

Jub Jub is one of the most recognizable artists in South Africa. Thousands of high school students protested during his bail hearing in May and riots erupted when he was granted bail.


By The Associated Press | Associated Press

Nigeria names buyers of five state power plants.

  • A man walks past electricity pylons as he returns from work in Soweto, outside Johannesburg May 15, 2012. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

    Enlarge Photo

    Reuters/Reuters – A man walks past electricity pylons as he returns from work in Soweto, outside Johannesburg May 15, 2012. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria announced on Tuesday the preferred bidders for five state power generation plants, part of plans to privatise the country’s electricity sector to boost growth in Africa‘s second largest economy.

Despite holding the world’s seventh largest gas reserves, Nigeria only produces around 4,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity for its 160 million people, less than a tenth of the amount South Africaprovides for a population a third of the size.

In 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan announced plans to break up the state power company and sell it off as 11 distribution and six generation companies. He has promised a marked improvement in power output next year.

The highest bidders for the electricity distribution companies are due to be announced on October 16.

“This is a milestone in the power privatisation process,” Minister of State for Power, Darius Ishaku, said at a ceremony announcing the winners for generation firms in Abuja.

“I’m sure each and every one of you would agree the process has been transparent,” he told a room of bidding firms.

A consortium including Nigerian firm Transcorp was the highest bidder for the Ughelli Power company, offering $300 million, while Geregu Power plant was won with a bid of $132 million by a group which includes Forte Oil, a firm majority-owned by Nigerian billionaire oil tycoon Femi Otedola.

A consortium made up of Nigerian, Chinese and British companies is set to buy the Sapele Power firm for $201 million.

Mainstream Energy, a group including Russian firm RusHydro and several Nigerian companies won a contract to manage the Kainji Power company and North-South Power, a mostly Nigerian consortium, won a similar contract on Shiroro Power.

Mainstream and North-South had no competitors for their bids, raising question marks over the legitimacy of the sales.

There are also concerns over financing difficulties after the Nigeria’s central bank banned loans to 113 firms this week for failing to pay previous debts. These include Forte Oil and other firms bidding for power assets.

The sale of the remaining generation firm, which will run the Afam power plant, is being re-tendered after the Power Minister Barth Nnaji resigned last month when it was revealed he had a stake in one of the consortiums bidding for the asset.

If Nigeria can fix its electricity problems it could launch Africa’s second largest economy into double-digit growth and help pull millions out of abject poverty.

But corruption, mismanagement and the strength of vested interests mean despite an estimated $40 billion of capital injected into reforming the power sector over the last two decades, capacity has only improved marginally.


By Joe Brock | Reuters

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