Regional News Roundup

Children stoned to death

Three children were stoned to death on their way in northern South Africa last week. Bodies of the minors – aged between nine and 12, were found in Mookgophong, Limpopo, still in their school uniforms with their hands bound. A little girl among them had apparently been raped. They were last seen in the streets, protesting against the shortage of teachers and other education problems at a local school.

Experts discuss dispute

Border experts from Malawi and Tanzania met in Malawi’s city of Mzuzu this week to try and resolve a decades-long dispute over the ownership of Lake Malawi. The dispute flared again after Malawi’s government conferred rights to a British company to explore for oil.

Zuma costs R500m

President Jacob Zuma could cost the South African taxpayer more than R500 million over five years. At the very least, he will cost an average of R103.5 million per year, according to blogger Gareth van Onselen. The figure includes annual salary R12.3 million, medical aid R6.5 million and pension R2.8 million. Zuma’s several wives were estimated to cost R77.59 million.

Zambia doubles maize

Zambia said this week that it would double its strategic maize reserves and limit exports to keep prices low, as global grain prices surge. Agriculture Minister, Emmanuel Chenda, said that instead of buying 500,000 tonnes of maize as strategic reserves, the country would double that and centralise the issuance of maize export permits to monitor external sales to countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Mine stand-off

Miners remained defiant when Platinum giant, Lonmin ordered employees at a South African mine where police killed 34 people to return to work. This followed President Jacob Zuma’s declaration of a week of mourning, after the fatal shootings at the Marikana Mine in the Northwest, which have drawn international condemnation.

Bots to host AFRICOM?

Fresh reports are that Botswana is inching closer to hosting the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), following weeks of joint military exercises by troops. AFRICOM Commander, General Carter F Ham, was last week scheduled to close off the military exercises and hold talks with security chiefs. Both Botswana and the US have denied the reports.

Angola’s “Big” diamond

Lonhro Mining has unearthed a diamond bigger than the Koh-i-Noor, a centrepiece of the British crown jewels, in Angola. The 131.5 carat diamond is the biggest found since the start of the Lulo project near the Cuango River two years ago.

Week of democracy

Swaziland’s democratic movement will hold its Global Week of Action – the biggest campaign for democracy in the country, September 3 -7. It comes in the wake of the several weeks of protests by public sector employees. The past two demos saw thousands of marchers being met by riot police brutality.

Post published in: Africa News

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