Issue 306 | 15 December 2017
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South Africa maintains a principled position that unilateralism threatens the global balance of power, security and stability in a relatively volatile environment. International cooperation, dialogue and consultation are therefore critical to ensure peaceful interaction among states.  
South Africa is deeply concerned that unilateral action by the United States (US) undermines progress that has been registered within the context of Middle East Peace Process (MEPP). We believe that the MEPP seeks to secure lasting sustainable peace between the State of Israel and the State of Palestine. The decision to relocate the US Embassy to East Jerusalem is regrettable and is not constructive in advancing a sustainable solution in the MEPP.

The South African Government remains in favour of a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel based on the international recognition and independence of the State of Palestine, based on the 4 June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, with the peoples of Palestine and Israel existing peacefully side-by-side in two independent states.

South Africa recalls all United Nations (UN) resolutions, of both the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the UN General Assembly (UNGA), with particular attention to those resolution that have a direct bearing on the unilateral decision taken by the US. With this, South Africa recalls UNSC resolutions 181 of 1947, UNSC Resolution 242 of 1967 and subsequent resolutions 338, 465, 681, 1397, 1515 and 2334 of 2016. South Africa also recalls the positions of the Non-Aligned Movement and the international community in general, which include the outcomes of the various peace processes and initiatives, the most recent being the French Initiative in 2016.

South Africa calls upon the US Government to reconsider its decision to relocate its Embassy as such a move compromises and undermines the principles of a two-state solution based on peaceful coexistence between the peoples of Israel and Palestine.
  South Africa shares the concerns expressed by the United Nations (UN) spokesperson on 4 December 2017 about the escalation of clashes and air strikes, as well as the suspension of aid flights in and out of Sanaa.
The South African Government is very concerned about the deteriorating situation in Yemen, including the death of the former President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the calls from some quarters for revenge. Of the utmost concern is the inability of humanitarian workers to react to calls by families that have been trapped in Sanaa and its surroundings.

The protection of civilians remains a key priority for South Africa and we condemn any deliberate attacks on civilians and other civilian sites. We fully support calls for an immediate ceasefire as a basis for allowing uninhibited provision of humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen.

The conflict in Yemen has already led to unspeakable tragedy for millions of people. It has seen the largest ever single-year cholera outbreak and an outbreak of diphtheria largely due to the breakdown of health and sanitation services and the severe difficulties to render humanitarian assistance brought about mostly by the blockade of humanitarian deliveries. And, as noted by the UN Security Council, it is a country on the brink of a catastrophic famine. The South African Government calls for statesmanship by all parties to the conflict as they deal with the aftermath of the late former President Saleh's death. South Africa maintains that there is no military way out of the conflict in Yemen. The only sustainable resolution will be a negotiated, inclusive, fair political settlement, which puts the interests and wellbeing of the 25 million citizens of Yemen first.

South Africa stands ready to assist Yemen in any way within its means to find lasting peace and prosperity.
SFSA is Africa's largest "open science" event, aimed at igniting a vibrant debate on the role of science in society.  
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the opening address at SFSA 2017, which was held on 7 and 8 December 2017 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria.

The two-day programme comprised plenary panel debates, short seminars and talks, with the participation of local and international thought leaders from the scientific community.

The forum had a special focus on promoting Pan-African cooperation in science and technology, and on the role of innovation in promoting inclusive development.

Organised in 2017 for the third time, under the theme: "Igniting Conversation about Science", the SFSA had become an annual highlight for the South African science community, and has achieved global acclaim as Africa's premier public platform for the science and society debate.
  The ministerial conference is the highest decision-making body in the WTO and was attended by delegates of the 164 countries which are members of the WTO.
South Africa participated in the 11th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC11) in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 10 – 13 December 2017.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, and the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, together with the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe represented South Africa at the summit.

Minister Davies said the MC11 was held at a time of increasing backlash against multilateralism and trade liberalisation due to the lack of inclusive growth.  

"There is a need to define a new form of 'inclusive multilateralism'. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in its 2017 Trade and Development Report calls for a 'global new deal' to enhance growth and development," said Minister Davies.

South Africa is of the view that there is a need to define a new form of "inclusive multilateralism" that promotes inclusive growth and sustainable development and MC11 can provide an opportunity to start a discussion on this issue. Government's priorities are aligned to those of the African Group and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group.

The key priority is therefore to conclude the outstanding work of the Doha Development Agenda including, in agriculture, to address the trade-distorting domestic support subsidies being provided by mainly developed countries.

The South African government hosted a National Consultative Forum in October to prepare for the MC11. The meeting which was attended by representatives of government, labour and business provided an opportunity for stakeholders to sign a pledge not to concede to become a party to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement. – Source:
The UNEA is the decision-making body of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with a universal membership of all 193 UN member states with full involvement of UN organisations, specialised agencies, intergovernmental organisations, civil society and the private sector.  
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, recently led a South African delegation to the third United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, Kenya, where the universal climate body committed to a pollution-free planet.

The Assembly was held under the theme "Towards a Pollution-Free Planet".

Resolutions and decisions adopted by member states are expected to address specific dimensions of pollution and are set to include voluntary commitments by governments, civil society and private entities to clean up the planet. In addition, parties and organisations are being encourage to commit to cleaning up the planet by signing the #BeatPollution Pledge.

The Political Declaration on Pollution is linked to the Sustainable Development Goals and will serve as a signal that humanity can work together to eliminate the threat of pollution and the destruction of the planet.

Government is committed to upholding the legacy of South Africa's first democratically elected President, Nelson Mandela.

"As the Government of South Africa, we are deeply committed to upholding the legacy, the principles and values that President Mandela cherished as the founding father of our democratic society," said Minister in The Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, recently.

Speaking at the Nelson Mandela Foundation's event to mark the fourth anniversary of the death of the man affectionately known by his clan name, Madiba, Minister Radebe said the former President's selflessness ought to be emulated.

The former statesman passed away on 5 December 2013. He died at the age of 95 after battling a recurring lung infection.

Minister Radebe, who delivered his message via video link, is also chairperson of government's Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Nelson Mandela's centenary.

He said the country's first democratically elected President's legacy must be celebrated.

"When we celebrate his legacy, we must reflect on his different dimensions as truthfully as possible. I was privileged to serve in the first Cabinet that President Mandela appointed in 1994. Under his stewardship, our country adopted one of the best constitutions in the history of humanity. We owe it to President Mandela's visionary leadership that today our country is a constitutional democracy," he said.

The Minister said Madiba left an indelible legacy of selflessness, resilience and of devotion.

The former President would have turned 100 on 18 July 2018. The Mandela centenary IMC will be responsible for planning and coordinating the centenary programme befitting the legacy and heritage of Mandela. The IMC comprises ministers from departments such as Arts and Culture, Communications and Public Works, among others.

Minister Radebe said the centenary presented the country with an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

"We will use this opportunity to promote peace, deepen democracy and to fight and protect human rights as some of the deep values that Madiba espoused".

The IMC, which has already begun engagements with the NelsonMandela Foundation, will work in close collaboration with the foundation to ensure that a programme appropriate for someone of Madiba's stature is developed. – Source:
South Africa and Norway have a long history of cooperation in the field of marine science dating back to the development of the Living Marine Resources Act (LMRA) during the period 1994 to 1996.

The Department of Environmental Affairs, in cooperation with the Norwegian Embassy to South Africa, hosted the SA-Norway Antarctica and Southern Atlantic Ocean Workshop II from 4 - 6 December 2017 at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Aquarium, Sea Point, Cape Town.

A research seminar took place on Tuesday, 5 December 2017, and was open to the entire marine science community.

The seminar in particular focused on the national Antarctic programmes of the two countries, namely: South African National Antarctic Programme and the Norwegian Polar Institute. Specific areas of mutual interest deliberated included: interactions between the Southern Atlantic Ocean and the Antarctic ice shelf, as well as highlighting the approaches that could be used to address them.
The trans-continental Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route will allow the continent to reclaim its history from its colonisers.  
A continent-wide Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route offers Africa the opportunity to remember and reflect on its often tortuous road to independence.

The Department of Arts and Culture hosted a summit recently to get input from government, non-governmental organisations and civil society on the African Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route.

The route offered Africa the opportunity to commemorate, conserve and remember its road to independence, Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa explained in his keynote address.

"This is an opportunity for Africans to write our own history. Africa, tell us about yourself. Tell us in Namibia how did you gain your freedom? Tell us in Ghana, how did you gain your freedom?"

The Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) project supported by the African Union (AU). The project consists of a series of sites connected to Africa's liberation and resistance history. Angola has identified two sites, the Fortress of São Francisco do Penedo in Luanda and the site of the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale.

As Dr Ziva Domingos, of the National Directorate of Museums of Angola, pointed out: "Africa has a rich liberation history that led us to independence. We need to preserve this history."

In his opening remarks, Arts and Culture Director-General, Vusumuzi Mkhize, spoke of a need for Africa's history to be written by Africans. The trans-continental route will allow the continent to reclaim its history from its colonisers. "It is an opportunity to write our history; to embed our liberation heritage in hearts and minds."

To this end, the AU has approved the establishment of a multimedia centre and archive in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. From the archive – which will include a research library, cinema and theatre – the AU will help national heritage chapters identify and propose local sites for inclusion on UNESCO's heritage list.

Tanzania was chosen for its history of housing liberation movements from Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Professor Muxe Nkondo, who drafted the South African Framework of the Liberation Heritage Route, said the route was just a small part of the African Renaissance. He told the audience that this heritage project was one small step in improving awareness of Africa's rich history. – Source:
Rosie Mashale is flying the South African flag high as she secures a top 10 spot in CNN's Hero of the Year search.  
RosieShe has been running a children's home called Baphumelele (which translates to "we have progressed") in Khayelitsha since 2000 which has so far housed 5 300 children.

Many of those in her care are AIDS orphans or previously lived in child-headed homes.

If she wins the R1,3-million top prize, she says she'll pour it back into the home. Voting has begun and the winner will be announced on 17 December. – Source:
Nic Wolpe, CEO of the Liliesleaf Trust, was honoured with a knighthood on behalf of the King of Sweden by Swedish Ambassador Cecilia Julin at her residence on Tuesday
5 December, in Pretoria.
The prestigious Order of the Polar Star is a Swedish order of chivalry created by King Frederick I in 1748, and is bestowed on foreigners who further Swedish interests, and widen economic, political, social and cultural relations with Sweden.

"Nic and Liliesleaf are devoted to memory against forgetting. You have carried the flag for Sweden and taken our partnership forward. Liliesleaf is a home away from home, and now you are an official Ambassador for Sweden," Ambassador Julin said.

"This is not an honour for me," Wolpe said, "it is not an honour of a personal nature, but for the work Liliesleaf is doing. It is also a recognition of my father's contribution to the struggle".

Howard Wolpe and Arthur Goldreich had purchased Liliesleaf farm in 1961 in a suburb of Rivonia as the headquarters for the underground Communist Party. It later became the birthplace of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), and Wolpe was MK's first chief of intelligence. The farm was raided by the apartheid regime in 1963, and the MK High Command was arrested.

It was Harold's son Nic Wolpe who, in 2002, urged the ANC to buy the property back due to its historical significance. The 28-acre farm had been sub-divided over the years and sold off, but by 2008 the Liliesleaf Trust had managed to buy back eight properties.

Liliesleaf is now a heritage site and resource centre with a library and more than 500 hours of oral history. Its exhibitions have drawn national and international attention, and it is rated as one of the top things to do in Johannesburg. – Source:
  Little Foot, the world's oldest complete Australopithecus skeleton, was unveiled at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 6 December 2017, and has made headlines around the world.
The fossil – believed to be of a 30-year-old female – was discovered by South African palaeoanthropologist Ron Clarke, who took part in the big reveal.

"This is one of the most remarkable fossil discoveries made in the history of human origins research and it is a privilege to unveil a finding of this importance today," said Clarke.

He had found one of the fragments of the foot of the Australopithecus skeleton in a box of animal fossils in 1994. Three years later he discovered parts of the skeleton's other foot at a medical school in Johannesburg.

According to Maropeng, it took his assistants – Stephen Motsumi and Nkwane Molefe – a day and a half of exploring a deep underground cave to search for any possible broken bone surface to discover what would eventually be recognised as the most complete Australopithecus skeleton ever found … but it took 15 years of painstaking work to excavate the remains.

And that was followed by years of careful work to reconstruct and clean the bones.

Clarke said in a statement from Wits University that since the excavation, " My assistants and I, Abel Molepolle and Andrew Phaswana, have spent the last five years cleaning the matrix from the bones to expose them fully.

"I have reconstructed the many broken and fragmented elements, and most of the skeleton's reconstruction is now complete. I also trained Abel and Andrew in mould-making and casting, and together we have so far moulded and cast many of the elements, which are helping greatly in the analysis of the specimen by various members of our team".

It's believed that the female had fallen into a hole and died, and had been buried in rock at Sterkfontein – about 40 km from Johanessburg – for almost 3,6 million years! (The Sterkfontein Caves are recognised as one of the world's richest fossil sites.)  – Source:
As South Africa's tourism and hospitality industry continues to thrive, a new technology is set to reshape the way hotels engage, communicate and cater for guests and their modern travel needs.  
Tink Labs Limited has announced its launch in the South African market to offer "handy", a revolutionary hospitality IoT solution designed to uplift ancillary revenue, guest satisfaction and drive better cost efficiencies for hoteliers.

As a mobile first solution aimed at improving the guest experience, guests who now stay at "handy's" hotel partners in South Africa will enjoy the use of the handset at no cost.

The product was launched locally at the One&Only in Cape Town on Tuesday, 5 December.

It allows visitors to stay connected with free local and international calls, Internet access, speed dialling to hotel services, as well as access to local emergency services and essential travel information. Travelers can also explore customized city guides, curated by experienced content provider LUXOS, to discover new experiences anytime, anywhere.

Initially launched in 2012, handy is already available in 70 cities, covering 500 000 rooms and helped 18 million global travellers to stay connected. The service is a trusted partner of other leading hotel groups including AccorHotels, Intercontinental, Sheraton, and more.

Nick Solomans, Resort Manager at One&Only Hotel which is now incorporating the hassle-free guest service says, "At One&Only Hotel, Cape Town, we understand that elevating the guest experience and enhancing guests' loyalty and satisfaction is our utmost important mission. Together, "handy" and One&Only, Cape Town are creating world-leading travel experience, offering a frictionless experience to guests, allowing us to understand more about our customers and personalise our services even further". – Source:
  Big Concerts announced recently that Santana would be returning to South Africa in 2018.
Santana will be performing in Cape Town on 11 April 2018 at Cape Town Stadium and in Johannesburg on 13 and 14 April 2018 at the Ticketpro Dome. Santana's special guests will be local greats, Mango Groove. Tickets went on sale on Friday, 8 December, at 09:00 from

Carlos Santana, who first became famous in the late 1960s with his band Santana, pioneered a fusion of rock and Latin American music. His first Top 10 hit Evil Ways stayed on the Billboard chart for two years and was soon followed by two more classics and Billboard number one albums.

To date, Santana has won 10 Grammy Awards including a record tying nine for a single project with 1999's blockbuster Supernatural (Smooth, Maria, Maria).

Santana's special guest will be Mango Groove, whose career has spanned an exciting and turbulent time in the history of South Africa. Since the iconic multi-platinum release in 1989, the band, together with its charismatic lead singer Claire Johnston, has gone on to become a household name in South Africa. To date Mango Groove have sold over a million albums. – Source:
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) will head to South Africa next year with several wrestling stars to make an appearance.  
Tickets for WWE LIVE SOUTH AFRICA went on sale on December 13 from 09:00, with fans able to buy tickets from and There will be three WWE events hosted in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

The WWE LIVE SOUTH AFRICA tour begins at the Grand Arena, GrandWest in Cape Town on Wednesday, April 18, before debuting at the Sun Arena, Time Square in Pretoria on Friday, April 20.

The tour concludes at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg on Saturday, April 21.
The family-friendly events will feature WWE superstars Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns, RAW Women's champion Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks, Asuka, RAW Tag Team champions Cesaro and Sheamus, to name a few.
"Following the overwhelming demand from our fans in South Africa, we are excited to return to Cape Town and Johannesburg, and bring WWE LIVE to Pretoria for the first time," said Stefan Kastenmüller, Senior Vice President & General Manager, WWE Africa, Europe & Emerging Markets.

"WWE fans in South Africa can look forward to spectacular, non-stop, family-friendly entertainment featuring their favourite WWE Superstars."
WWE LIVE SOUTH AFRICA is promoted by Big Concerts and presented in partnership with SuperSport, Africa's premier sports broadcaster that airs WWE programming in more than 50 countries and territories throughout sub-Saharan Africa. – Source:
  Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has moved up to No 2 in the latest ICC Test bowler rankings.
Rabada swapped places with India's Ravindra Jadeja after the completion of the third and final Test between India and Sri Lanka in New Delhi, which ended in a draw.

Meanwhile, Dale Steyn dropped two places to slot in at No 10.

Proteas' Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar remain seventh and 10th, respectively. – Source:
South Africa's Kwagga Smith has made headlines across the globe with his outstanding performances in the 15-a-side game as well as sevens.  
In November, he turned out for the Barbarians at Twickenham and put in a man-of-the-match performance against the All Blacks.

Smith impressed with his all-round skills and his performance was enough for England's The Rugby Paper to award him with their Best Individual Performance accolade for the November internationals.

Last weekend, Smith returned from his stint in 15s to shine for the Blitzboks at the Dubai Sevens.

In South Africa's 24-12 win over New Zealand in the Cup final, the 24-year-old was named the Player of the Final and scored three tries during the tournament.

"It means a lot to win it," Smith told the World Rugby Sevens Series' official website. "It's always nice to be rewarded for your hard work but it was just great to get back playing with the boys. It was a great opportunity for me to be a part of the system and coach gave me the chance to start in the final. It was a huge honour to play with the guys and to feel the family and the synergy that's inside that team." – Source:
  New Zealand ran out as eventual winners after beating Argentina in the final, with South Africa finishing third.
Despite failing to win the Cape Town Sevens, the Blitzboks side were full of praise for the home support in the Mother City. The event was once again a success with over 100 000 people in attendance over the weekend.

New Zealand ran out as eventual winners after beating Argentina in the final, with South Africa finishing third.

Blitzboks captain Phillip Snyman says that from the opening match the home crowd's support was electric.

South Africa lost in the semi-final to eventual winners New Zealand, which stunned the home crowd but Snyman says the support never waned despite the heart break.

The Blitzboks finished the competition with a victory after beating Canada in the bronze medal match. Source:
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