Archive for May 19th, 2008

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Phandu Skelemani has emphasised that EU driven Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) should focus on promoting regional integration and support development efforts of SADC states.

In a speech at the Europe Day Tuesday, Skelemani said such a situation “can only be achieved if the process respects already existing institutions in the SADC region” and the process must significantly contribute towards milestones and programmes that SADC has set itself to achieve.

He reaffirmed that Botswana is committed to concluding a comprehensive EPA and expressed the hope that all parties in the negotiation process will be satisfied with the outcome.

Benefits of the country’s relationship with the EU have been in areas such as human resource development, tourism, trade promotion and the fight against the [continue reading]

source: IOL
May 19 2008 at 07:03AM

By Wendy Jasson da Costa

President Thabo Mbeki says there appears to be a “sustained campaign” of misinformation about him doing the rounds regarding his relationship with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Addressing the media on Sunday after a meeting with his International Investment Council at San Lameer at the weekend, Mbeki denied that he was involved in the recent debacle involving the offloading of arms destined for Zimbabwe from a Chinese ship when it was close to Durban Harbour.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that there must be somebody or some people who have established a factory to manufacture lies. I am absolutely sure. That’s a complete fabrication,” he said, referring to the ship.

However, the president said he had heard several other stories about himself and Mugabe.

This included that Mugabe was hiding in the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
18 May 2008
Posted to the web 18 May 2008

Cape Town

A South African Cabinet minister has called on Zimbabwe’s ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) party to “surrender power” to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Arts and culture minister Pallo Jordan said Zanu PF had “only itself to blame” if it had lost the confidence of Zimbabweans to the degree that it could win elections only by intimidating people or rigging polls.

“Any attempt by ZANU (PF) to cling to power through overt or covert violence will only compound its problems by stripping it even further of the legitimacy it won by leading the Zimbabwean people in their struggle for independence, freedom and democracy,” he added.

Jordan’s comments were made in an article published on the website of the ruling African National Congress, and marked [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: The Selebi-Phikwe West Member of Parliament’s office has almost been turned into a labour office as aggrieved employees flock there to register their discontent over the way their Chinese employers treat them.

Countrywide, there are complaints of poor labour relations at Chinese businesses, particularly in the construction sector.

The Chinese have won a P1billion tender for the construction of Botswana’s largest dam, Dikgatlhong near Mmadinare in the Bobirwa Sub-District, while the majority of construction projects elsewhere in the country have also been awarded to the Chinese.

Some Chinese companies in Botswana have a good record, while others have courted controversy, attracting the ire of Batswana.

On a number occasions, questions have been raised over the continued awarding of tenders to certain Chinese companies known for poor labour relations.

Batswana also been angered by persistent reports of abuse of their compatriots at the hands of Chinese employers. Only recently, a former employee of [continue reading]

source: News24
18/05/2008 11:35 – (SA)

Johannesburg – Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was set to stay in South Africa on Sunday amid ongoing fears for his safety after an assassination plot was allegedly discovered against him, a party spokesperson said.

“There are no plans for him to leave today,” said a spokesperson, who said Tsvangirai would remain in Johannesburg where he arrived on Saturday after flying back from a trip to Northern Ireland.

Asked when he might return to Zimbabwe, the spokesperson said: “It hasn’t changed since yesterday. It is still about assessing the options and making sure that things on the ground are ready for his return from a security perspective.”

Tsvangirai has been out of Zimbabwe since [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Human rights lawyer, Duma Boko, says he wants to meet with President Ian Khama to find ways to settle the contentious problem of the ‘forced relocation’ of Basarwa outside the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve originally created as their preserve.

“Maybe if he were to apply himself to the case with a fresh mind, he would realise that there is nothing to this case but government’s intransigence,” Boko believes.

Boko says he has lost patience with what he calls the government’s ‘arrogant attitude towards Basarwa’, which he blames for lack of progress in arriving at a negotiated solution to the problem.

After Basarwa who were evicted from the CKGR took government to the High Court and won, the judges advised the two parties to negotiate because ‘litigation is not a solution to such complex issues’.

It is believed that the two parties met a few months after [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
By Barry Bearak
Published: May 19, 2008

JOHANNESBURG: Violence against immigrants, like some windswept fire, spread across one neighborhood after another here in one of South Africa’s main cities this weekend, and the police said the mayhem left at least 12 people dead — beaten by mobs, shot, stabbed or burned alive.

Thousands of panicked foreigners — many of them Zimbabweans who have fled their own country’s economic collapse — have now deserted their ramshackle dwellings and tin-walled squatter hovels to take refuge in churches and police stations.

This latest outbreak of xenophobia began a week ago in the historic township of Alexandra and has since spread to other areas in and around Johannesburg, including Cleveland, Diepsloot, Hilbrow, Tembisa, Primrose, Ivory Park and Thokoza.

Amid so much violence, the police were spread thin, sending in squads of [continue reading]

source: IOL
Jeremy Gordin
May 18 2008 at 08:56AM

Jacob Zuma will not go on trial for corruption, fraud and other criminal charges until he is president of the country.

And it might even be deep into his first term before he has to take a seat in the dock.

“Given the agreements reached by all the parties concerned at our Thursday meeting with Vuka Tshabalala, the judge president of KwaZulu-Natal, I can’t see a criminal trial taking place before 2010,” Michael Hulley, Zuma’s attorney, told Weekend Argus day.

Present at Thursday’s meeting were Judge Tshabalala; Billy Downer SC and Anton Steynberg of the National Prosecuting Authority, who handled the NPA case against Schabir Shaik and who are prosecuting the state case against Zuma; Kemp J Kemp SC and Hulley of Zuma’s legal team; and Ajay Sooklal, attorney for Thint, the local arm of the French arms manufacturer and dealer, charged alongside Zuma in the indictment served on the ANC president in December.

The meeting followed the revelation last week that the NPA, although it had said publicly that Zuma was due to appear in court on August 4, had not properly arranged for [continue reading]