Issue 321 | 5 April 2018
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The President described Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as an abiding symbol of the desire for freedom.
In a statement on Monday evening, 2 April 2018, following the passing of the struggle stalwart earlier in the day, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Madikizela-Mandela, 81, was a champion of justice and equality.

“It is with a profound sense of loss and deep sadness that we have learnt of the passing away of Mam’ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

“Even at the darkest moments of our struggle for liberation, Mam’ Winnie was an abiding symbol of the desire of our people to be free.

“In the midst of repression, she was a voice of defiance and resistance.

“In the face of exploitation, she was a champion of justice and equality.

“Throughout her life she made an everlasting contribution to the struggle through sacrifice and her unyielding determination. Her dedication to the plight of her people gained her the love and the respect of the nation.

“For many years, she bore the brunt of the senseless brutality of the apartheid state with stoicism and fortitude. Despite the hardships she faced, she never doubted that the struggle for freedom and democracy would succeed.

“She remained throughout her life a tireless advocate for the dispossessed and the marginalised. She was a voice for the voiceless.

“In the coming days, as we mourn the passing of this heroine of our struggle, let us reflect on her rich, remarkable and meaningful life.

“Let us draw inspiration from the struggles that she fought and the dream of a better society to which she dedicated her life.

“Today, we have lost a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a comrade, a leader and an icon.

“As South Africans, we collectively pass our condolences to the Madikizela and Mandela families. Your loss is our loss as well.

“May her soul rest in peace.”

Madikizela-Mandela passed away at Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg after a long illness for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year, according to a statement released by her family

President Ramaphosa has declared that the late Mam’ Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela – a recipient of the Order of Luthuli in silver for her “excellent contribution to the fight for the liberation of the people of South Africa” – will be honoured with a Special Official Funeral Category 1.

A Special Official Funeral Category 1 entails elements of military ceremonial honours and is declared, in line with the Presidency’s State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy, for persons of extraordinary credentials specifically designated by the President of the Republic of South Africa.

“Mam’ Winnie deserves the highest respect our nation can demonstrate in honour of a patriot and citizen who served our nation and humanity at large with distinction during our liberation struggle and throughout our democratic dispensation,” President Ramaphosa said.

In line with this declaration, the national flag will fly at half-mast at all flag stations countrywide and at South African diplomatic missions abroad. This will be observed until the evening of 14 April 2018. The President has further declared national days of mourning from 3 April 2018 until 14 April 2018.

In terms of the President’s declaration, the official memorial service for Mam’ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will be held at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Mkhize Street, Soweto, on Wednesday, 11 April 2018.

– Source:

President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended his warm congratulations to Abiy Ahmed on being chosen to lead Ethiopia's Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front ruling coalition on 28 March 2018, and his subsequent swearing-in as Prime Minister on Monday, 2 April 2018.
President Ramaphosa said: “Your election is a vote of confidence in your leadership by the various parties of the ruling coalition and holds the hope that a stable leadership transition and the widening of political dialogue can open the way to peaceful development in the country”.

Ethiopia plays a leading role on the African continent, not only as the seat of the African Union, but as a historic beacon of the values of freedom and sovereignty as embodied in the life of late Nelson Mandela, whose centenary we celebrate this year.

The interests of the countries and people of Africa remain at the top of South Africa’s strategic priorities, as evidenced by the commitment to forging closer cooperation with Ethiopia displayed by discussions during the recent South Africa-Ethiopia Senior Officials Meeting in March 2018.

“I look forward to working with you, Mr Prime Minister, to further strengthen the strong bilateral relations between our two countries, focusing on economic cooperation for the mutual benefit of our respective countries and peoples,” President Ramaphosa concluded.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has, on behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, congratulated the President of the Republic of Botswana, Mokgweetsi EK Masisi, on his inauguration.
President Ramaphosa extended his best wishes to President Masisi following his swearing in as President on 1 April 2018. President Masisi takes over from President Ian Khama, who has stepped down after a constitutionally mandated two term. President Ramaphosa commended the people of Botswana for the smooth transfer of power, thus setting once again a good model for democracy on the continent.

President Ramaphosa recalled that the relationship with Botswana was not only based on geographical proximity, but on close historical and cultural ties and common interests. President Ramaphosa reiterated South Africa's commitment to continue working with Botswana on a wide range of issues. The two countries are united in the desire to build a better life for our people, and to pursue regional economic integration, as well as political and security stability in the Southern African Development Community region.

President Ramaphosa further stated that he was looking forward to meeting President Masisi later this year, during the fifth session of the Bi-National Commission between South Africa and Botswana.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has, on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, extended a message of condolences to President Vladimir Putin, the Government and people of the Russian Federation following the tragic death of over 60 people in the city of Kemerovo.
It is reported that the deaths occurred as a result of the outbreak of a fire in a shopping mall. Many of the deceased victims were children.

President Ramaphosa said: “The thoughts of the people of South Africa are with the people of the Russian Federation, particularly the families of the victims, during this time of mourning”.
The South African Government strongly condemns the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces in Gaza, which has led to the deaths of about 17 Palestinian citizens, with scores of others reported injured.
South Africa reiterates its view that the Israeli Defence Force must withdraw from the Gaza Strip and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories.

South Africa maintains further that the violence in the Gaza Strip will stand in the way of rebuilding Palestinian institutions and infrastructure.

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, said: "The actions of the Israeli armed forces present yet another obstacle to a permanent resolution to the conflict, which must come in the form of two states, Palestine and Israel, existing side-by-side and in peace".

"South Africa aligns itself with those members of the United Nations calling for an independent inquiry into the killings, with a view to holding to account those who are responsible."
The South African Government is concerned about the attempted missile attack that targeted the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, on 25 March 2018. This is the third such incident following similar attempts in November and December 2017.
The missiles are believed to have originated in Yemen, and South Africa shares the concern that the domestic conflict in Yemen is impacting on regional stability.

Furthermore, the missiles appear to have been destroyed over urban areas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and have resulted in a casualty.

South Africa condemns any use of lethal force targeting civilian populations and calls upon the parties involved to respect international humanitarian law in this regard.

South Africa reiterates its calls to all parties involved in the conflict in Yemen to demonstrate restraint and consider peaceful alternatives. We remain forthright in our belief that the only sustainable resolution will be a negotiated, Yemeni-led, inclusive and fair political settlement.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has noted and welcomed Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s retraction of the comments made by their Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, on the South African land redistribution process.
“We welcome the assurance by the Australian Government as reported in the media that the comments made by their Home Affairs Minister are not in line with Australian immigration policy. We also welcome Australia's condemnation of the unfortunate comments by South African and other international organisations and leaders," Minister Sisulu said.

The Minister added that: "We must emphasise, as we have stated before, that no one is being persecuted in South Africa, including white farmers. We call upon all non-governmental organisations to desist from spreading untruths and misleading information".

"South Africa is a law-abiding country and, through a constitutional process, it will arrive at solutions on land redistribution that will take the country forward without violating anyone’s rights.

"South African diplomatic channels are always open to those who may wish to seek clarity on our country’s policy positions."
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) forms part of the political and humanitarian assistance the South African Government is extending to the people of Western Sahara, the last colony on the African continent.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, and Bulahi Sid, Minister of Cooperation of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, on Thursday, 29 March 2018, signed an MOU on Technical Assistance and the Exchange of Notes on Humanitarian Assistance to the Western Saharawi refugee camps.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mister Sisulu said South Africa’s long-standing solidarity with the people of Western Sahara was borne out of our own history of fighting apartheid and our firm belief in the right to self-determination of people living under foreign or colonial occupation.

“It is a matter of serious concern that Western Sahara remains the last colony on the African continent, listed as a non-self-governing territory by the United Nations. This is despite the fact that the United Nations General Assembly has consistently recognised the inalienable rights of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and independence, and continues to call for the exercise of that right.

“The people of Western Sahara have been waiting for decades to exercise their right to self-determination and enjoy their freedoms as other nations around the world do. To think that there are people who were born in refugee camps and who are over 40 years, who have never tasted any freedom is a strong indictment on all of us as international community, as we must ask ourselves – how could we have allowed this situation to continue for so long?

“South Africa remains duty bound not to act with indifference to the plight of those who are appealing for decolonisation, independence, statehood and human rights. The aspirations of an inalienable right for self-determination are not an unreasonable demand.

“Thus, guided by our constitutional values and based on international legal principles, South Africa’s solidarity with the Sahrawi people remains unshaken.”
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, will lead the South African delegation to attend the 18th Mid-term Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), to be held in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan, from 5 to 6 April 2018. The meeting takes place under the theme: "Promoting International Peace and Security for Sustainable Development”.
The NAM Ministerial Conference takes place against the backdrop of:
  • The continuing international debate on finding sustainable peace in a world where too many conflicts are violating the most basic rights of people. The illicit flow of conventional arms and the potential proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, remains a serious risk.
  • Growing transnational organised crime, including cybercrime, illicit financial flows, trafficking in people, cultural property and drugs, as well as wildlife crime.
  • The threat of terrorism and extremism remaining ever-present concerns throughout the world, with terrorist groups evolving, diversifying and expanding their reach and the nature of their threats.
  • Unregulated mass migration posing broader security challenges.
Given the above challenges, South Africa believes there is an urgent need for the reform of the architecture of the global system of governance, in particular, for the enhanced voice and representation of Africa in the decision-making structures of international bodies such as the United Nations (UN). There is a continuing need to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the African Union's Agenda 2063, in particular the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan.

South Africa will take advantage of the meeting to engage NAM member states on issues that include the reform of the UN Security Council, self-determination and nuclear disarmament. South Africa is a member of the NAM Special committee on Palestine, which has the mandate to coordinate NAM's activities in support of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.

The NAM Committee on Palestine will meet on the margins of the NAM Ministerial Meeting to review the situation and developments in the occupied Palestinian territories. The committee will make a proposal to the NAM Ministerial Meeting on a programme to be adopted, aimed at advancing the cause of the Palestinian people.

South Africa will use the meeting to engage NAM member states on the initiative to mark the centenary of the birth and life of Nelson Mandela, which will be celebrated during the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2018 at the UN headquarters in New York. The meeting is expected to adopt the Final Outcome Document for the NAM Mid-Term Ministerial and the Political Declaration.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, says government is in the process of submitting documentation and the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement to Parliament for ratification.
The Deputy Minister said this when he fielded questions during the Peace and Security Cluster’s question-and-answer session at the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday, 27 March 2018.

This came after President Cyril Ramaphosa led a South African delegation to the African Union Extraordinary Summit in Rwanda, where he signed the Kigali Declaration on the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Addressing the Fourth Annual Ubuntu Awards recently, the President said the South African Government had, after signing the Kigali Declaration, undertaken to ratify all related instruments in accordance with the country’s domestic laws and process.

Deputy Minister Landers said: “South Africa signed the Tripartite Agreement during the Sixth Tripartite Sectorial Ministerial Committee meeting in July 2017".

“So far, 22 countries have signed the TFTA agreement. For the TFTA to be implemented, it requires 14 countries to ratify it and so far, only two countries – Uganda and Egypt – have ratified.

“South Africa is in the process of submitting the relevant documentation and agreement to Parliament for its ratification,” he said.

The Minister said South Africa participated in trade-related multilateral organisations with the objective of promoting South Africa’s National Development Plan, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or Agenda 2030, and the African Union Agenda 2063.

“This involves strengthening mutually beneficial, regional and international relations and negotiating structures aimed at advancing South Africa’s global competitiveness and its trade industrial and economic development objectives,” he said.

The Tripartite Free-Trade Area Agreement is the initiative between three regional economic communities in Eastern and Southern Africa.

The TFTA is anchored on three pillars: market integration, infrastructure development and industrial development.

“This was based on the recognition of the importance of a developmental integration approach which does not only focus on market access, but also addresses the productive capacity and infrastructure constraints of both the region and the continent,” the Minister said.

– Source:
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, recently briefed the media on the outcomes of the AfCFTA by the African Union Extraordinary Summit that took place in Kigali, Rwanda, on 21 March 2018.  Minister Davies reiterated the importance of the AfCFTA for Africa’s development.
“The AfCFTA will boost intra-Africa trade and create a bigger market of over one billion people with a gross domestic product of $2,6 trillion that will unlock industrial development”, said Minister Davies. He emphasised that for the AfCFTA to have broader benefits it had to be complemented by cooperation on industrial and infrastructure development, which were key components of the development integration approach. This will ensure that the African continent addresses productive and supply-side constraints.

Furthermore, he stated that the AfCFTA was an economic imperative to address the challenge of small and fragmented markets. It is also being established at a time when the multilateral trading system is facing challenges.

Minister Davies attended an Informal World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministers Meeting on 19 and 20 March 2018 in New Delhi, India. He emphasised that Africa’s overriding economic objectives were to advance integration and industrialisation across the continent in line with Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.

“We seek the policy space to pursue these objectives, and the WTO should enable their achievement or at a minimum not impede them,” said Davies.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, says the department will this year introduce an electronic VISA application system in order to curb fraudulent permits from foreign nationals.
The Minister said this when ministers in the Peace and Security Cluster fielded questions at the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday, 27 March 2018.

He responded to Democratic Alliance Eastern Cape Member of Parliament, Leon Magwebu, who asked what the department was doing to address the weaknesses that led to foreign nationals being in the country on fraudulent permits.

“During the course of the year, we are going to introduce a number of initiatives. One of them is the electronic applications for VISAS and for a number of other permits to the country.

“That will enable the applicant to obtain information electronically and submit their applications and the documentation to support their applications electronically,” he said.

The Minister said the initiative would remove the need for the department to provide frontline services that tended to stretch government’s capacity. He said the initiative would also pave the way for a centralised adjudication system to enable the department to take decisions quickly in terms of people’s applications.

“But, we further intend to introduce an amendment to the legislation which is going to enable the department to have an independent citizenship advisory board.

“But, this is only for those who are applying for citizenship once all other processes have been followed in terms of the latter of the law. So all of these initiatives are going to be introduced during the course of the year,” he said

Initiatives underway to enhance border law enforcement

Meanwhile, Minister Gigaba said several initiatives were being implemented to address border line enforcement and to deal with the number of undocumented foreign nationals.

He said that the current model of cooperative border management contributed to a lack of effective and efficient border management.

In future, the Minister said the border management authority that would be established would improve border law enforcement based on a model of integrated border management and the establishment of a single line of command and the control structure in the border environment.

Corruption at ports of entry, which leads to the facilitation of some undocumented foreign nationals entering the country, was also a challenge. The department was dealing with corrupt officials on an ongoing basis, the Minister said.

– Source:
The National Library of SA (NLSA) has some of the rarest, oldest books ever printed on display as part of its 200th anniversary celebrations.
Treasures detailing the life and culture of times gone by can be found in plain sight at the NLSA. The establishment is home to many historical gems, which are currently on exhibition to commemorate the NLSA’s 200th anniversary.

The NLSA is the oldest library and public institution of any kind in the country and its anniversary exhibition, titled: “Treasure House of Knowledge", was curated to honour the grande dame, showcasing 300 of the institute's greatest national treasures for the public to enjoy.

Works on display include a 10th century illuminated gospel book, with hand-painted illustrations, and Solomon T Plaatje’s translation of Julius Caesar into Tswana. These are some of the two million items in the library.

A letter written by Olive Schreiner to Mahatma Gandhi during a time of turbulence in South Africa is also a treasure on display.

The library was established on 20 March 1818 as a result of the Governor of the Cape, Lord Charles Somerset, introducing a special tax on wine to help set up the institution. At this stage, it was known as the South African Public Library.

– Source:
Durban is well-known for its beaches, but new developments are set to make these prime draw-cards for travellers and locals alike.
On Tuesday, 27 March 2018, eThekwini Mayor, Zandile Gumede, broke ground for construction on extending Durban's Beachfront promenade, which will support the R35-billion Point Waterfront development project by unlocking the first phase.

The extension is set to be complete in June 2019, and will be followed by the construction of a hotel, shopping centre, offices and residential homes as part of phase one of Point Waterfront.

The whole project, a public-private partnership, will be completed in three phases over five to 10 years and will create 11 000 jobs in the construction phase and 6 750 permanent jobs once it's completed.

According to Gumede, this will help boost the image of Durban as a global city and grow the tourism sector, as well as increase the value of property in the area between 5% and 10%.

“It is encouraging to note the growing interest from the business sector to work with the Government in major strategic investments,” says Gumede.

“The Point Waterfront development must be seen in the context of a city-wide development process, indicating that Durban is on the brink of change."

The city will also be raking in R200 million in revenue rates per year after completion, and national public revenues could amount to R1,7 billion that will contribute to the gross domestic product.

– Source:
South African director, Liesl Tommy, has been signed to direct the big screen adaptation of Trevor Noah’s autobiography, “Born a Crime”.
This is Noah’s first project with Viacom, the parent company of Comedy Central, and will be released through their venture, Day Zero Productions.

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o will star as Noah’s mother. Nyong’o and Tommy have worked together before, on the Broadway production, Eclipsed, for which Tommy received a Tony Award Nomination in 2016. Tommy made history with this nomination as the first woman of colour to ever be nominated for a Tony for Best Director of a Play.

Tommy was born in Cape Town and grew up there, until she moved to Boston, Massachusetts, when she was 15 years old.

She is excited about taking on the project. "When I came home to Cape Town for Christmas in 2016, I gave my father, my brother and uncles Trevor’s book as Christmas presents. I loved it so much, and thought they’d love it too because of the combination of humour and love of family with the apartheid backdrop. Never in a million years did I imagine I’d one day be directing the film of that book. I’ve spent many years working all over the world, to finally get to come home to South Africa to shoot a project like this is a dream come true."

– Source:

The Proteas, thanks to a superb Vernon Philander (6/21), cruised to victory in the fourth and final Test against Australia at the Wanderers on Tuesday, 3 April.

The hosts won by a staggering 492 runs – Australia were bowled out for 119 – on day five to bring the curtain down on a series that was marred by controversy from start to finish, but will be remembered for decades.

Philander was unplayable on the day and took six wickets in 32 balls.

The fourth Test started with Australian coach Darren Lehmann resigning, and it ended with South Africa inflicting their biggest-ever victory (previous was 323 in 1970), by runs, over their fiercest rivals.

It is also the fourth-biggest win margin by runs in the history of Test cricket.

Most importantly, though, the Proteas have beaten Australia for the first time in a home Test series since re-admission in 1991 – and the first since Ali Bacher's iconic team of 1969/70.

Ever since they lost the first Test in Durban, this series has belonged to the hosts as they recorded victories in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and now Johannesburg to triumph 3-1.

Following a 2-1 series win at home to India, it ended a successful summer for Ottis Gibson and his men.

– Source:
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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
Design and layout: René Marneweck


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