Daily Archives: November 17, 2017

South Africa hosts sectoral joint meeting of SADC Ministers, 20 to 24 ...

South Africa to host SADC Ministers responsible for Environment and Natural Resources, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Tourism

South Africa will host the sectoral joint meeting of SADC Ministers responsible for Environment and Natural Resources, Fisheries and Aquaculture as well as Tourism taking place from 20 to 24 November 2017 in Pretoria. The meeting will comprise a 3 day Senior Officials meeting, followed by the Ministerial meeting on 23 � 24 November 2017.

South Africa is currently chairing SADC and convenes this meeting following successful hosting of the SADC Summit in August 2017.

This meeting will be hosted by the South African Ministers of Environmental Affairs, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as well as Tourism. More than 30 Ministers responsible for these sectors in the various SADC Member States are expected to attend.

The meeting will focus on environment management, implementation of the SADC Law Enforcement and Anti-poaching Strategy, Transfrontier Conservation Areas and will review current status of the wildlife, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture and tourism sectors in terms of implementation of regional projects, programmes and strategies.

Source: Government of South Africa

Sudan Commits To Sever Ties With the DPRK

Today, following bilateral meetings in Khartoum with Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry formally announced Sudan’s commitment to sever all trade and military ties with North Korea. The United States welcomes the Government of Sudan’s pledge and will continue engagement on this issue to ensure that this commitment is fully implemented.

Isolating the North Korean regime is a top priority for the United States, and is a key element to maintaining peace and stability worldwide. The United States is grateful for Sudan’s commitment to take these important steps in light of the critical threat posed by the DPRK.

Source: U.S Department of State

Minister of Police together with SAPS engaged with stakeholder ...

The Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula today, met with the community leaders of Helenvale, Port Elizabeth. Helenvale is an area engulfed by drugs and gangster violence. This forms part of Minister Mbalula’s ongoing community visits, in mobilizing community to work together with the Police in fighting crime.

Minister Mbalula engaged with community leaders on how acts of gangsterism has taken over the streets of Helenvale. The community of this area expressed their intimidation and fears on speaking out as to who the perpetrators are, as this would risk the safety and surety of their own families. Minister Mbalula was also informed that gangsters have started to recruit young learners into their circles and further requested an urgent intervention which is needed to ensure the safety of these young learners.

These gangsters have started to recruit our children from schools, but as community leaders, we remain upbeat that working with the Police, we will defeat these criminals. Community commented.

Community leaders agreed to revive street committees, and appreciated the work done by Operation Command Centre (OCC). The OCC is an intelligence lead operation unit piloted in Port Elizabeth last year.

Since the introduction of OCC, we have seen more convictions being made and Police response being quicker Community Police Forum (CPF) leader said.

I applaud your presence Minister, we must work together in getting rid of illegal firearms. The Metro Police will work as a force multiplier to the Police. I also want to congratulate the Police gangster unit team, as they are doing a great job. MMC of Community Safety said.

In his responses Minister Mbalula, informed community leaders that, a Police station will be built and land has been secured. This will further strengthen the work of the Police in combating crime.

We cannot co-exist with criminals, we are oil and water. I don’t want Police who are cowards, Police must understand, policing is a calling, it is a thankless job. As a police man or woman you risk your life and nobody will say thank you. Mbalula said.

In his conclusion, Minister Mbalula promised community leaders that he will be back, for further engagements and follow ups.

We came, we heard, we saw, in two weeks, I will be back, entering house by house, street by street, we will never allow gangsters to terrorize our.

Source: South African Police Service

Remarks at the Ministerial on Trade, Security, and Governance in ...

And we are grateful to see so many friends and partners here in the United States, and appreciate you traveling to be with us today for this event.

I have been very eager to host this ministerial meeting to bring together leaders from the continent to address our shared goals and, as I was sharing with the chairman of the African Union yesterday evening, I have not had the chance during my time as Secretary of State to travel to the continent. In my prior life, I came to your continent a lot and I visited many of your countries. But I do look forward to coming early next year. We have a trip that’s in the planning now, so � but in the meantime, really did not want to wait that long to get this group together. So very eager to host this ministerial meeting and appreciate you all coming to address our shared goals and challenges, and I look forward to a full day of discussions on how we can work together to achieve those shared goals.

I know all of us are following very closely the events in Zimbabwe and they are a concern to I know each of you, they are a concern to us as well, and we all should work together for a quick return to civilian rule in that country in accordance with their constitution.

Zimbabwe has an opportunity to set itself on a new path � one that must include democratic elections and respect for human rights.

Ultimately, the people of Zimbabwe must choose their government. In our conversations today, we have an opportunity to discuss concrete ways that we could help them through this transition.

Our aim today is to expand and enrich the United States’ relationship with Africa along three fronts that we’re going to be discussing today: promoting trade and investment; encouraging good governance; and countering terrorism.

Let me briefly touch on how these issues will help us strengthen U.S.�Africa relations and our ties in the coming decades.

We’re going to begin today’s proceedings with a discussion on ways we can work together to expand trade and investment, and grow economic opportunities that benefit the people of Africa and the American people.

Trade and investment between the United States and African countries is growing. U.S. exports to Sub-Saharan Africa grew from $17 billion in 2010 to more than $25 billion in 2014. And last year, the U.S. direct investment in Africa grew to $57.5 billion � the highest level to date.

Our trade and investment is stronger than it’s ever been, and the United States sees even more opportunity ahead in the coming years.

Africa is a growing market with vast potential. Five of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies are in Africa, and consumer spending there is projected to exceed $2 million[1] by the year 2025.

By the year 2030, Africa is expected to represent about one quarter of the world’s workforce and consumers, with a population of more than 1.7 billion. By 2050, the population of the continent is projected to double to more than 2.5 billion people � with 70 percent of that population being under the age of 30. All of these young people will have expectations for entering the workforce. The challenge is how to prepare Africa with the appropriate education for its workforce, and to prepare economically and financially for this future, so our partnership can facilitate greater growth and prosperity for both the United States and Africa.

This administration seeks to refocus our economic relationship squarely on trade and investment � to encourage policies that increase openness and competition within Africa.

A more economically vibrant and competitive Africa will grow the middle class, increase standards of living, and make the entire continent more prosperous.

I am also pleased to welcome with us today USAID Administrator Mark Green, and I look forward to his comments on this topic shortly. We also look forward to hearing from private sector leaders, and are very eager to learn more about your views and priorities for expanding trade and investment. Through Power Africa, for example, the United States and its partners have helped the private sector bring 82 power projects to Sub-Saharan Africa.

But economic growth and lasting prosperity can only thrive in environments of good government � good governance.

So we are going to discuss at our working lunch today how a country’s success is firmly rooted in good governance, which fosters strong, accountable relationships between citizens and their elected officials, how that drives economic progress, and improves overall security.

Lasting peace and economic growth are undermined when governments fail to provide good governance, respect for human rights, or to uphold the law.

Peaceful, democratic transitions are important and contribute to stability. But democracy is not just about elections, and elections are neither the first nor are they the final step in the long road to building resilient democracies.

Democracy requires the inclusive, peaceful participation of a nation’s citizens in the political process. That includes freedoms of expression and association, an independent press, a robust and engaged civil society, a government that is transparent and accountable to all of its citizens, and a fair and impartial judiciary. Corruption and weak governance, restriction on human rights and civil society, and authorities who ignore the rule of law and change their constitutions for personal gain are all obstacles to the development of prosperous, free societies. In fact, an African Union study estimated that corruption costs the continent roughly $150 billion a year.

This is money that should be used to create jobs, build schools and hospitals, improve security, and provide social services.

A quality basic education is another powerful contributor to economic growth and development � one that reduces poverty and provides children and youth the skills they need for gainful employment. We have worked with you to build the capacity for your national education system to offer quality education for more people, and we look forward to continued partnership to address low literacy rates, teacher shortages, and greater access to education across all of Africa.

We encourage our African counterparts to address these many governance challenges, and in doing so, unlock your country’s development potential. We look forward to discussing today specific ways to strengthen democracy and promote better governance over our lunch discussions.

The United States also stands with you as we work to defeat the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism, which have taken so many innocent lives in Africa and across the world. That will be our final topic of discussion today.

We are particularly grateful for the work of African countries to expand multinational and regional cooperation to counter terrorism. The United States is committed to partnering with you to defeat ISIS, al-Qaida, and other terrorist groups across your continent.

Just last month, I announced that the United States pledged up to an additional $60 million in funding to support the G-5 Sahel Joint Force in counterterrorism efforts, and to bolster our regional partners in their fight to provide security and stability.

The United States, as the largest peacekeeping capacity-building contributor, is also helping over 20 African countries train, deploy, and sustain peacekeepers. This year, such efforts have already supported the training of more than 27,000 African peacekeepers to the UN and AU missions.

But we recognize that the force of arms alone is insufficient.

It is imperative that we work together, and with civil society, to address the root causes of violent extremism. To create sustainable peace, we must also combat marginalization, strengthen accountability, and create more economic opportunity.

Before I conclude, let me stress that the United States seeks greater support from our African partners on growing global security matters, including North Korea.

We appreciate the statements condemning the DPRK missile launches that many of your governments have made. But all nations must act to implement UN sanctions in full and cut off all UN-proscribed ties.

Further, I urge you to take additional measures to pressure the DPRK by downgrading your diplomatic relationships with the regime, severing economic ties, expelling all DPRK laborers, and reducing North Korea’s presence in your country in all other ways it may be found.

The DPRK presents a threat to all of our nations. Everyone � including each country represented here today � must play a part in this peaceful pressure campaign to convince the DPRK that the only way to achieve true security and respect from the international community is to abandon its current path and choose a meaningful dialogue about a different future.

The United States will continue to support your efforts to secure your citizens, encourage stronger institutions and better governance, and promote greater economic growth for each of your countries.

I really do look forward to our time together today and in particular to hear how you are working to address these challenges, and how we can learn from your experience and strengthen this already very fruitful partnership.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Source: U.S Department of State


CAPE TOWN, South Africa’s Cabinet has congratulated France on being named the host of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, which South Africa had look forward to organizing.

Cabinet congratulates France as the preferred host of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, said Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. The World Rugby Council on Wednesday announced that France would host the 2023 tournament.

At a post-Cabinet media briefing held here Thursday, Kubayi-Ngubane thanked the government delegation, headed by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi and the South African Rugby Union, for the work done in promoting South Africa’s bid to host the event.

South Africa, France and Ireland had been in the running to host the 10th edition of the tournament. The Chairperson of World Rugby and Rugby World Cup, Bill Beaumont, made the announcement in London on Wednesday. The ceremony was attended by Deputy President Ramaphosa and his delegation.

Beaumont thanked the host candidates for their bids. We set out on this host selection process with the objective of selecting a host that would deliver an outstanding Rugby World Cup in every way. Within their bids all host candidates demonstrated that they could deliver a truly exceptional tournament for teams and fans. We believe that this is the most comprehensive and transparent host selection process ever undertaken by World Rugby, said Beaumont.

In September, Ramaphosa led the Rugby World Cup Bid Team SA, when it presented its case to host the 2023 tournament which will take place 200 years after the invention of the game of rugby by William Webb Ellis.

South Africa previously hosted the World Cup in 1995.


Zimbabwe Tension Simmers, on Both Sides of Border

JOHANNESBURG Amid crisis in Zimbabwe’s capital, there is also a flurry of activity in neighboring South Africa. The nation is home to a large Zimbabwean diaspora and in recent weeks, prominent figures who supported the military takeover have cycled through � signs that South Africa is a possible staging ground for what happens next in Zimbabwe.

The visitors have included Emmerson Mnangagwa � the man poised to be President Robert Mugabe’s successor � as well as Mugabe’s main political rival, the powerful head of the war veterans’ association and several other outspoken Mugabe opponents.

South African President Jacob Zuma also serves as chairman of the Southern African Development Community, which on Sunday will hold an extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe in Botswana’s capital.

Zimbabwean opposition politician Dumiso Dabengwa is a former intelligence chief who, by his own account, happened to be in South Africa this week, as the military sent tanks rolling down the streets of Harare and put Mugabe under house arrest. He says outsiders have failed Zimbabwe and need to stay out.

He says regional powers were too permissive in the wake of Zimbabwe’s flawed, violence-marred 2008 elections.

The role of SADC after that, after setting up a roadmap for Zimbabwe, and failing to supervise, and then forcing the implementation of that roadmap, is what has led to all of this in Zimbabwe, he told VOA.

Like many members of Zimbabwe’s opposition, he says the military’s actions do not constitute a coup, but rather, a correction to prevent Mugabe from anointing his unpopular wife, Grace Mugabe, as his successor at a ruling party conference in December. SADC and the African Union take a hard line on coups in member countries, suspending membership and imposing sanctions.

Mugabe’s actions earlier this month provided the spark for this flame, as he fired his vice president, Mnangagwa. That was widely seen as a step toward the installation of Mugabe’s wife as vice president.

Dabengwa, who heads the opposition ZAPU party, says Mugabe is now trying to exploit the regional body to remain in power. In recent days, he has been clearly resisting pressure from military officials and negotiators to quietly step down.

He wants to drag its feet, he wants to get SADC to leave things as they are, go to his ZANU-PF conference, where his wife becomes elected as a vice president, he said.

Dabengwa, who said he has heard his name mentioned as a possible member of a post-Mugabe transitional government, did not say what might happen if Mugabe gets his way.

South Africa’s government has long tried to distance itself from the appearance of interfering in its neighbor’s affairs. Unlike other leaders in the region, no South African president has ever publicly called on Mugabe to step down.

Solomon Sox Chikowero of the Global Zimbabwe Forum in Johannesburg says many Zimbabweans would have liked South Africa to be more outspoken before things escalated to this point.

It’s not that South Africa is afraid of Mugabe per se, but they’ve got their businesses that they want to protect in Zimbabwe, because once they say something bad about him, he will kick them out because he is one person who when he says, ‘I am going to kick you out,’ he will kick you out.

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since it gained independence in 1980, has become famous for sharp words like these. And he has made it clear that he sees only one path to leaving the presidency, saying last year, As long as I am alive, I will head the country.

Source: Voice of America

Killing of a police officer condemned

KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner Major General Bheki Langa has condemned the killing of a police officer in Mbongolwane, near Eshowe.

This is totally unacceptable and we will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to book. I have tasked the Provincial Organised Crime Unit to investigate this case and ensure that those involved will be arrested.

I wish to convey my sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Constable Mavundla who died as a hero protecting his community. I appeal to the community to assist us by providing information that will lead to the arrest of the suspects, he said.

On 15 November 2017 at 11:45, Constable Jabulani Mavundla was on duty at the Mbongolwane police station with his colleague. They were called to attend to a complaint of a robbery in the Maqhogo area.

On their way back to the station, it is alleged that they were ambushed by the criminals who opened fire at them. Constable Mavundla was shot and the vehicle lost control, hitting the trees nearby. He died on the scene.

His colleague was taken to hospital for treatment. The suspects stole Mavundla’s service pistol and rifle before they fled the scene. Charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery were opened at Mbongolwane police station for further investigation.

Inanda area

In another incident, police officers were conducting crime prevention duties in the Inanda area in the early hours of this morning when they spotted a Toyota Tazz with seven suspects.

When police approached the vehicle they came under fire. Two police officers were wounded and taken to hospital for treatment. They are in a serious but stable condition.

The suspects fled the scene, however, their vehicle was found abandoned in Phoenix with bloodstains.

Two counts of attempted murder have been opened at the Inanda police station for further investigation.

Source: South African Government News Agency