UPDATE: New South African President To Be Elected Today- ANC Chief Whip

The chief whip of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, Jackson Mthembu has disclosed that the parliament will elect Cyril Ramaphosa as the new president at 2pm local time today.

“The office of the chief justice has made itself available today to officiate in the business of electing a new president,” Mthembu told a parliamentary committee meeting.

At the same meeting, the speaker of parliament said a letter of resignation from President Jacob Zuma, who stepped down late on Wednesday rather than face a no-confidence vote from his own party, was “still on its way”.

South Africans awoke to a nation without Zuma as president for the first time in nine years on Thursday, released from the burden of a compromised leader who darkened the dreams and aspirations of the post-apartheid.

Experts said the road back to prosperity and self-respect will be long and hard in a nation so divided by race and inequality but Zuma’s ultimate demise proved the enduring strength of its institutions, from the courts to the media and the constitution.

Zuma reluctantly resigned as head of state late on Wednesday on orders from the ruling ANC, bringing an end to his nine scandal-plagued years in power.

The 75-year-old Zuma said in a 30-minute farewell address to the nation he disagreed with the way the ANC had shoved him towards an early exit after the election of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as party president in December, but would accept its orders.

“Defiant in defeat” and “Going, Going, Gone” were some of the newspaper headlines that captured Zuma’s reluctance to leave.

“South Africa’s long nightmare is over,” read the headline of an analysis on online news site Daily Maverick

The ANC hailed Zuma’s decision to resign. Ramaphosa, the interim head of state after Zuma’s resignation, is widely expected to be appointed by parliament as permanent president until elections in 2019.

The rand currency, which has gained ground whenever Zuma hit political turbulence, soared to a near three-year high against the dollar on Zuma’s resignation.

“One chapter in South Africa’s political soap-opera has finally ended with the resignation on Wednesday night of President Jacob Zuma,” NKC African Economics analysts wrote in a note.

“It would be gratifying to see the dedication and purpose the ANC put into ridding itself of Zuma now be directed into rebuilding the economy, dealing with the corruption still residing in the ANC and improving its shoddy governance record.”

Zuma’s resignation came just hours after police raided the luxury home of the Gupta family, Indian-born billionaire allies of the former president who have been at the center of corruption allegations against Zuma and his circle for years.

Zuma and the Guptas have always denied wrongdoing.

Police said on Wednesday three people were arrested during the raids on various properties in Johannesburg.

State broadcaster SABC said a Gupta family member was among those detained, while a senior judicial source said police were expected to arrest up to seven more people and that Gupta family members would be among them.

Police said the raid was in connection with a state-funded dairy farm, which prosecutors last month called a “scheme designed to defraud and steal”.

The suspects were expected to appear in court.


Man Stabs Two Over Business Dispute

The Secretary of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Mr. Emeka Ezinteje, has said two of his members were killed by a fellow Nigerian early on Saturday.

He revealed the news to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the telephone from Johannesburg, South Africa, that the incident was due to a business dispute.

Ezinteje said, “We have received a report that at 3am on Saturday, Mr. Ekweghiariri Chidi Isacc, 34, a native of Ehime in the Isiala Mbano Local Government of Imo State and Mr. Nzechukwu Alabuche, 35, from Azia in Anambra State were stabbed to death by one Sunday from Awgbu in Anambra State.

“The incident occurred at Rossetinville, South of Johannesburg. We understand that there was a business dispute between them that made the assailant to stab the victims to death.”

He said the union had reported the incident to the Nigerian mission and the South African police.

“The assailant is on the run while the police have commenced investigation into the incident,” he stated.

The secretary added that the police had taken the bodies to the hospital for autopsy.

Xenophobia: Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation Warns Against Further Killings

The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) worldwide has warned against further killings of Nigerians in the Republic of South Africa.

NIDO in a statement by all its continental affiliations- Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa state that “these killings must stop and with immediate effect”, demanding that the South African Government put a stop to what it termed the ongoing killings of Nigerians in the country.

The Nigerian diaspora interest organisation reminded South Africa of the sacrifices made by Nigeria to free the country from Apartheid, adding it is following with deep shock and concern, the continued unwarranted killings of gerians in the country

NIDO reiterated the absolute need for African people on the continent and in the diaspora to stick together and aspire to a greater, self-reliant and progressive African continent.

“We hereby call on all South Africans to emulate the spirit of oneness displayed by all African Nations in no meagre proportion during South Africa’s apartheid regime which Nigeria played a leading role.”

“NIDO is calling for the immediate cessation of such reckless attacks which are contrary to the constitutional principles of the Republic of South Africa, the African Union and the United Nations for the preservation of African freedom and unity.

“Such attacks have no place in democracy nor does it fit into the ideals of hospitality indigenous to African societies.

“NIDO hereby urges the Government of South Africa to sustain its resolve to maintain peace and order by bringing to justice persons involved in these heinous acts.

“In pursuit of the African Union’s 2028 target for a fully integrated Africa, we hereby recommend an acceleration of the integration agenda towards eliminating xenophobic incidence like is presently happening in South Africa.”

NIDO called on South Africans to substitute violence with dialogue so as to facilitate peaceful co-existence and better integration.

The group urged the Nigerian Ambassador to South African to immediately meet with the Nigerian community and the highest authority responsible for migration to sort out whatever differences that might have existed and to set up a sustainable mechanism to addressing them.

It directed all NIDO Continental bodies to mandate all the NIDO Chapters in their continents to deliver a copy of its demand to the Embassies of South Africa in their respective countries.


South Africans Responsible For Attacks On Nigerians Apprehended

The Nigerian Mission in South Africa has confirmed that some of the South Africans responsible for the violent attacks on Nigerians in Durban and other areas have been apprehended and arraigned.

According to reports, the culprits were arraigned in South African Court on Monday.

The Nigeria Consul General in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mr Godwin Adama, said in a statement.

The Consular officers from the Nigerian Consulate-General in Johannesburg and the Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria were in Durban to witness the court proceeding.

Two policemen were arraigned in court and the case was adjourned till Monday, Jan. 29 while the accused were refused bail and remanded in prison custody.

According to the Consul General, the late Okori was killed in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal Province, South Africa on Friday.

“We condemn in strong terms the barbaric acts and call on the South African authorities to intervene and put an end to this ugly trend.

“We also call on Nigerians to continue to be law abiding, as we work towards obtaining justice for the family of the deceased,’’ he added

He stated that investigation was also going on to unravel the cause of the death of another Nigerian killed in Rustenburg, Northwest Province, South Africa, on January 20, 2018, in circumstances yet to be ascertained.

“While we await the outcome of the judicial proceedings, we want to, once again, appeal for calm and rectitude among our nationals in the affected areas,” he said.


New Attacks Carried Out On Nigerians In South Africa

The Nigerian Community in South Africa, through its chairman in the north west province, Mr Paul Nwanedo has disclosed that four members are in critical condition in the hospital while some shops have been burnt in renewed attacks by South Africans.

According to him, the attacks began on Sunday, due to a taxi driver in Rustenburg alleging that a Nigerian abducted and raped a 16-year-old South African girl and also alleged that Nigerians sold drugs to a local gang that attacked their members.

“ This is absolutely untrue. We have investigated and found out that the allegations are false. The union is worried about the safety of our members in Rustenburg,” he said.

Nwanedo said that four Nigerians caught by the taxi drivers were beaten and are in critical condition in the hospital while some shops belonging to Nigerians had been torched.

“ As I speak to you, we are afraid because the attacks have continued and our members are still in hiding.

“We have reported to the police and our national secretariat. We want the safety of lives and property of our people,” he said.

Mr Adetola Olubajo, President of the union, said that the national secretariat had been informed about the incident at Rustenburg.

“ Investigation by the union shows that no Nigerians abducted or raped a South African girl. Indeed, no Nigerian has been arrested for the offence and we are worried about the turn of events.

“ The lives and property of our citizens in Rustenburg are in danger and there is an urgent need for intervention. We appeal to our mission and Federal government to intervene urgently and save the situation,” Olubajo said.

Spokesman of the police in Rustenburg, Brig-Gen. Sabata Mokgwabone said  the reasons for the violent protest was unclear but confirmed that “ the burnt houses are those occupied by foreign nationals,”


61 Dead From Listeriosis In South Africa

At least 61 people have died from an outbreak of listeriosis that has lasted for a year. Listeriosis is caused by food-borne bacteria in South Africa as revealed by the country’s health minister Monday.

The disease, Listeriosis is caused by Listeria monocytogenes, a naturally-occurring germ typically transferred through contaminated food, although it is readily treatable with antibiotics. A total of 727 cases have been confirmed since January 2017, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said in a statement.

As of December 5, the confirmed death toll stood at 36, but has since risen to 61 because of the disease’s “rapid spread and unusual or unexpected behaviour”, it has been elevated to the country’s list of intensively monitored, serious conditions, Motsoaledi added.

A poultry abattoir in the capital Pretoria was identified by health officials as suffering from listeriosis contamination but it was unclear whether the facility was the source of the outbreak, the statement said.

Listeria bacteria can be found in soil, water, vegetation and the faeces of some animals.  Contamination in humans can result in flu-like illness, infection of the bloodstream and, in severe cases, infection of the brain which can prove fatal. People with compromised immune systems, like some of those living with AIDS and pregnant women, are at a heightened risk, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).


Henry Okah Challenges Conviction In South Africa

The self-acclaimed leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Henry Okah, Tuesday challenged his trial and conviction at the South African Constitutional Court, in a last-ditch attempt to walk away as a free man.

Mr Okah was sentenced to 24 years’ imprisonment in 2013 after being convicted on 13 counts of terrorism, including engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activities, and delivering, placing, and detonating an explosive device in 2010.

On appeal, the sentence was reduced to 20-years in 2016.

Today’s challenge at the Apex Court is claiming that his trial was not fair based on the dictates of the South African Criminal Procedures Act.

He is also questioning the constitutionality of the Anti-terrorism Act under which he was tried and convicted with regard to matters of jurisdiction.

Oba Ewuare II Appeals To SA Government

The Oba of Benin made the call on Saturday at a reception and Cultural display held in his honour by Edo indigenes resident in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“We appeal to South African Government to do its best to stamp out hostility toward Nigerians as the country played a great role in the fight against apartheid, so that Nigerians can live in peace in their country.

The Oba whose subjects are flooding South African countries and Europe, expressed sadness that Nigerians were constantly being treated with hostility and aggression in South Africa in spite of the assistance rendered to free the country from apartheid.

“Nigerians should be allowed to reap what they sowed in other African countries.’’ He said that Nigeria contributed a lot in the struggle to free South Africa from Apartheid.

he also admonished the residents of Edo tribe in Abuja. “I want you to please uphold your culture very high, hold our value system seriously and do not let anybody destroy it because that is the identity we have.

“Anywhere you go, their culture is very important to them, so let us not import other people’s culture from foreign land to supersede our own. That is why I try to encourage the use of indigenous language in the home.

“That is why I also want to encourage the re-introduction of Edo language in schools and it is worrisome that history is not taught in our schools.’’

He urged Edo indigenes in Abuja to do their best to uphold the unity of the country.

The Edo monarch thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for receiving him at the Vila and also for the support he accorded him during and after his coronation.

The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki said that the position of the Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Ewuare II was sacrosanct.

South African Policemen Beat Nigerian To Death

A Nigerian man only identified as Obosi, was allegedly beaten to death by metro police bee Mandela in Johannesburg South Africa. According to a Facebook user, Star Boy Nino Brown who shared the photos and videos online, the deceased was covered with plastic over his face and after much beating, he passed out and died.

The Facebook user, however, did not state when the incident happened. Nigerian men in the area came out to protest his killing.

South Africa: Sasfin to Review Its Future Engagement With KPMG

Sasfin will be changing its Independent Sponsor from KPMG Services (Pty) Ltd to Deloitte & Touche Sponsor Services (Pty) Ltd, effective as of Tuesday, 19 September 2017. This decision was made to ensure a separation of the role of an external joint auditor to the Sasfin Holdings Limited Group with that of Independent Sponsor.

KPMG Inc. and Grant Thornton Johannesburg Partnership have been joint auditors of Sasfin Holdings Limited Group for 18 and 30 years respectively.

 In view of the well-publicised concerns recently raised with regard to KPMG as well as Sasfin’s commitment to good governance in respect of auditor independence and auditor tenure, Sasfin has decided to put its audit out to tender.

This process is expected to begin in November 2017

Source: All Africa

Dangote Bids For South African Cement Company

Dangote Cement has approached South African cement producer, (PPC), for a takeover bid, but talks are at preliminary stages, Media reported on Thursday.

PPC is already considering a bid by local rival, AfriSam, which launched a new all-share bid that values PPC at about 9.2 billion rand

Dangote Cement bid for PPC is a way to increase its visibility in the South Africa and surrounding SADC market.

PPC offers the prospect of a much larger business than DangCems current operation in South Africa through Sephaku Cement.

Annual Financial Statement for the Full Year Ended March 31, 2017, shows that Sephaku Cement had revenues of R2.28 billion (178 million dollars) in 2016 (see Fig 1).

This compares to PPC which had revenues of R9.6 billion ($748 million) in 2016, about four times that of Sephaku.

Obviously, Dangote Cement would love to own the bigger company and has signalled it would be open to a sale of all or part of its cement operations in Sephaku Cement to win regulatory approval for a takeover.