Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Mandela critical but stable: Zuma

The global icon  Nelson Mandela remains in a critical but stable condition, South African President Jacob Zuma said Tuesday.
Madiba has been in a Pretoria hospital  with a recurring lung infection for  more than two months.
"Former president Mandela is still in hospital receiving treatment and remains in a critical but stable condition," Zuma said in speech issued by the presidency.
Tata as he is popularly by most South Africans  known has been receiving treatment for a recurring respiratory illness at a private hospital in the capital Pretoria since June 8.
He was previously said to be on life support, but his condition has been lately described as serious but improving.
Zuma gave the latest health update during a visit to Malaysia, where he received an award on Mandela's behalf.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Sky News cameraman shot dead in Egypt

Sky News has released a statement confirming the death of cameraman Mick Deane, 61. Deane was killed Wednesday covering the clashes in Raba'a.

"It is with the greatest regret that Sky News announces the death of Mick Deane, an experienced camera operator, while working on assignment in Cairo this morning.

Mick was part of a Sky News team reporting on the disturbances in the city with Middle East Correspondent Sam Kiley when he was shot and wounded. Despite receiving medical treatment for his injuries, he died shortly afterwards.

None of the other members of the Sky News team were injured in the incident.

Mick, aged 61, was a hugely experienced broadcast journalist. He had worked with Sky News as a camera operator for 15 years, most recently across the Middle East and previously in the United States. He was married with two sons."

John Ryley, Head of Sky News, added: "Everyone at Sky News is shocked and saddened by Mick’s death. He was a talented and experienced journalist who had worked with Sky News for many years. The loss of a much-loved colleague will be deeply felt across Sky News. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family. We will give them our full support at this extremely difficult time.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013


Former South Africa  president Nelson Mandela is conscious, but still in a critical condition, a group of  bishops  said on Wednesday.

South Africa bishops held a prayer vigil on Wednsday inside Madiba's hospital where former president is being treated.
Briefing the media outside the hospital  leader of the delegation Bishop Jo Seoka said the global icon is still in a critical but stable 

"The ailing former statesman is conscious and aware," Seoka told reporters outside the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital, in Pretoria, where Mandela is being treated.

Seoka, who is the president SA Council Of Churches, said Mandela's wife Graca Machel had informed them of his condition.

The bishop was part of a group of religious leaders from the SA Council of Churches who delivered prayers for Mandela and ministered to his family.

They did not go into the room was Mandela was being treated.

"We did not see him," said Seoka. "We prayed in a room reserved for visitors."

Asked whether Mandela would be discharged soon, Seoka said he had no information on that.
Mandela has been in hospital for almost two months. He was admitted to hospital on June 8 with a recurring lung infection.

Malema is like Adolf Hitler - Activist

South Africa renowned activist and politician Mamphela Ramphele has described the controversial ANC Youth League  president  Julius Malema as South Africa's own Hitler or Mussolini.

Local media  reported on Wednesday that the Agang SA leader made the statement when she was  delivering the second Frederik van Zyl Slabbert memorial lecture at a high school in Polokwane.

Malema is making dangerous promises on land expropriation to desperate people, like Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini had done ahead of World War II, she said.

"You must not forget how Hitler and Mussolini emerged as leaders because desperate people were looking for an alternative.

"Malema is no alternative. He is facing corruption charges and does not pay his taxes," she said.

However the  Economic Freedom Fighters leader  responded in diplomatic matter buy  saying  he still  respected Ramphele as a mother and would not engage in name calling with her.

 "I want to pass a message to her that Ma Ramphele, I still love you and respect you very much." said Malema

Ramphele said that Van Zyl Slabbert, who led the Progressive Federal Party and was an old friend of hers, would be sad to see how many people still had no housing, jobs or food 20 years into democracy. He died in 2010.

She added that it was important for citizens to think about the future and vote wisely.

Friday, 2 August 2013

African Union declares Zimbabwe elections free and fair

The African Union (AU) observer mission monitoring the Zimbabwean elections has declared the process free, fair and credible.
The declaration was made by Head of the mission, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo in capital Harare.
Obasanjo however  recognised  some  minor problems which Zimbabwean people has been expressed during the election.
During Wednesday’s elections Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai  failed  to unseat incumbent President Robert Mugabe for the third time.
However on Thursday, Mugabe’s ZANU-PF unofficially claimed a landslide victory.
The ruling party went ahead with the  victory cry came amidst warnings from authorities that they would arrest anyone who released figures before the official results are made public on 5 August.
A senior aid to Mugabe called an international wire service on Thursday claiming the 89-year-old incumbent had beaten Tsvangirai to win an outright election victory extending his 33 year rule.
“We've taken this election. We've buried the MDC. We never had any doubt that we were going to win,” the source told Reuters by phone.
ZANU-PF’s announcement was followed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai announcing he had conceded defeat.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) says it's cautiously waiting for the final outcome of the polls before passing judgment on whether the election process was free and fair.
“Some of the challenges that we have noticed really compromise the credibility of the whole process. But we are also trying to be cautious and wait until the final announcement on the results is made,” said ZESN Chairman Solomon Zwana.
Tsvangirai, who leads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has slammed the election as a monumental fraud.
"It is our view that this election is null and void and does not meet international standards for a credible, legitimate, free and fair election. Once again Zimbabweans have been short-changed."
Tsvangirai said the MDC picked up countless problems in the election process.
He urged his supporters not to give up hope.
“We want to assure every Zimbabwean that this is the beginning of the end. Zanu-PF may have this victory as they would like to claim, but I would like to assure you that the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis has never been so near.”
Local observers have claimed irregularities systematically disenfranchised thousands of voters in Tsvangirai’s urban strongholds and severely compromised the results.
The ZESN said the credibility of the vote was seriously compromised by large numbers of people being turned away from polling stations in MDC strongholds.
Meanwhile, a group of observers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) confirmed on Thursday that incorrect papers were discovered in ballot boxes.
The SADC observer team is scheduled to deliver its verdict later on Friday.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

MDC dismisses Zimbabwe election as 'farce'

Leader of Zimbabwe opposition MDC Morgan Tsvangirai has dismissed yesterday's election as a "huge farce"

.He said the results were invalid because of intimidation and ballot-rigging by President Robert Mugabe's ruling party, which is claiming victory.President Mugabe's ZANU-PF party has claimed a landslide victory in the elections that would secure another five years in power for Africa's oldest head of state.

"This has been a huge farce," Mr Tsvangirai told a news conference at his Movement for Democratic Change party's headquarters in Harare."In our view, that election is null and void," Mr Tsvangirai said

Releasing unofficial results early in Zimbabwe is illegal, and police have said they will arrest anybody who makes premature claims about the result.

Election authorities were due to announce results by 5 August.But a senior source in Mr Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, who asked not to be named, said the outcome was already clear.

"We've taken this election. We've buried the MDC. We never had any doubt that we were going to win," the source told Reuters news.

Riot police took up positions outside the party's headquarters in central Harare and other key locations in the capital. 

MDC offices appeared to be almost deserted.An independent election monitor in Zimbabwe, who also could not be named for fear of arrest, said early results were looking like a "disaster" for Mr Tsvangirai, who was making his third bid to unseat 89-year-old Mr Mugabe.Responding to the ZANU-PF claim, a high-ranking source in Mr Tsvangirai's MDC party described the election as "a monumental fraud"

.The MDC will hold an emergency meeting later today.Several political sources told Reuters key MDC members had lost their seats, even in the capital, Mr Tsvangirai's main support base since he burst onto the political scene 15 years ago.

The head of an African Union observer mission said last night the polls appeared at first glance to be "peaceful, orderly and free and fair" - an assessment at odds with the view of the MDC and of independent entities monitoring the poll.

Earlier today, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), the leading domestic monitoring agency, said the credibility of the poll was seriously compromised by large numbers of voters being turned away from polling stations in MDC strongholds.

"It is not sufficient for elections to be peaceful for elections to be credible," ZESN chairman Solomon Zwana told a news conference."

They must offer all citizens ... an equal opportunity to vote."The United States, which has sanctions in place against Mr Mugabe, had also expressed concern about the credibility of the vote, citing persistent pro-ZANU-PF bias in the state media and partisan security forces.

Other worries centered on the voters' roll, which was meant by law to be released in electronic form to all parties before the poll, but which has still not been made available.