Issue 368 | 20 March 2019
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South Africa and Indonesia are the only countries in Africa and South East Asia respectively that are members of the G20 and both countries Co-Chair the New Africa-Asia Strategic Partnership.
On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent a message of condolences to the Government and people of the Republic of Indonesia following the flash floods in Indonesia's eastern province of Papua, more than 80 people lost their lives and more than 4 000 were displaced.

The Government and people of South Africa send their deepest condolences to the Government and people of Indonesia and especially to the families and friends of those killed and injured in the tragedy.
On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent a message of condolences to the Government and the people of New Zealand following the massacre that took place at two mosques in Christchurch on 15 March 2019.
The Government and the people of South Africa convey their deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones and wish all the injured a speedy recovery.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has appealed to South African NGOs, companies and individuals to make donations towards humanitarian aid for the people of Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique affected by Tropical Cyclone Idai.
According to reports, at least 100 people have lost their lives as a result of floods that have left 400 000 displaced and in urgent need of shelter, food and other amenities.

The Minister has, on behalf of the people of South Africa, sent a message of condolences to the people of Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and wished those in hospital speedy recovery.

“We have directed all our embassies and diplomats to continue to work with the three countries to assess the damage”, said Minister Sisulu.

The Minister also said: "We have received reports from our missions and our teams on the ground who are working with authorities; what is urgent now is the provision of humanitarian aid”.

The Minister urged any South Africans affected by the floods to contact the embassies or call the 24-hour DIRCO call centre on 0123 511000.

Companies, NGOs and individuals who are able to assist are requested to contact the following officials:

Matheko Rametsi, +27 81 037 2765
Surprise Malehase  +27 83 700 7946

The hashtag for the urgent donation call by the Minister is #CycloneIdaiHumanitarian2019.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) will convene a Solidarity Conference with the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) from 25 to 26 March 2019, which will be hosted by the Republic of South Africa in Pretoria.
The 38th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of SADC approved the convening of a Conference on Solidarity with the Saharawi people. During the Solidarity Conference, the SADC Heads of State and Government will express the region’s support for decolonisation and self-determination for Western Sahara on the basis of the values and principles that have guided the quest for independence throughout Africa.

SADC’s collaboration on and with Western Sahara has been informed by the region’s own decolonisation experiences and the quest for liberation and self-determination.

The Solidarity Conference is expected to conclude with the adoption of a SADC Regional Strategy and a Declaration, which will, among others, establish:
  • mechanisms to engage relevant stakeholders and partners, including Morocco, to observe the spirit of African Union (AU) decisions and United Nations resolutions in order to expedite the resolution of the Western Sahara matter

  • support to the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic’s (SADR) right to self-determination and independence based on the principle of self-determination and decolonisation, through the holding of a referendum

  • support for the self-determination of the SADR based on the following principles:

    a) multilateralism and international legality in seeking a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination and independence of the people of Western Sahara

    b) sanctity of inherited colonial borders in Africa and the right of peoples of former colonial territories to self-determination and independence as contained in the Constitutive Act of the AU

    c) respect of international human rights law in the occupied territories, notably the right to freedom of association, assembly, movement and expression and respect of international humanitarian law

    d) an end of the illegal exploration and exploitation of the natural resources of Western Sahara in the illegally occupied territory and the discouragement of the involvement of foreign companies in such activities.

South Africa and Vietnam have agreed that, while cordial relations remain between the two countries, more needs to be done to expand trade opportunities.
The Fourth Meeting of the South Africa-Vietnam Intergovernmental Partnership Forum for Economic, Trade, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation discussed relations between the two countries on Friday, 15 March 2019.

Hosting her Vietnamese counterpart, Deputy Minister Quoc Cuong, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Reginah Mhaule, said there was a need to reach a more balanced trade relationship between the two nations.

She said the respective government officials had worked hard to concretise cooperation so that relations could continue to grow in strength and substance.

Deputy Minister Mhaule spoke of the need to address issues that could constitute as barriers to market access in the respective economies.

The Deputy Minister highlighted the importance of bilateral cooperation in the field of conservation and wildlife protection.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Cuong stressed the need to deepen bilateral cooperation in the areas of defence and security so as to elevate bilateral ties to a new height of mutual trust, as well as to further enhance other areas of cooperation.

He appreciated the positive developments in bilateral relations, particularly the exchange of 14 high-level visits since the third meeting in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi in 2015. He highlighted the then Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to his country in 2016 and the visit to South Africa by National Assembly Vice President Do Ba Ty in 2017.

The two sides provided each other with an overview of the political developments in their countries and respective regions. Both sides deeply appreciated the cooperation and mutual support between the two countries at multilateral fora, particularly at the United Nations (UN).

The Vietnamese delegation congratulated South Africa on being elected as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the 2019-2020 tenure and expressed its belief that South Africa would successfully fulfil her mandate.

They also expressed sincere thanks to the South African Government for supporting their candidacy to the UNSC non-permanent seat for the 2020-2021 term of office.

Deputy Minister Mhaule said the meeting gave an opportunity to review bilateral relations and also exchange views on a range of issues of mutual interest in the respective regions and continents and forged common ground in most areas.

South Africa formally established diplomatic relations with the Southeast Asian country in December 1993.

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The Director-General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Kgabo Mahoai, co-chaired the South Africa-United States Working Group on Africa and Global Issues (WGAGI), with the United States (US) Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan, on 15 March 2019 in Pretoria.
The WGAGI is a structured bilateral mechanism that was held at the level of the Director-General/Deputy Secretary of State, which gives both the respective heads of delegation an opportunity to engage on African and global issues of mutual interest. The meeting shared perspectives and explored possibilities for cooperation at regional and multilateral levels, including matters related to peace and security, sustainable development, trade and investment, and wildlife trafficking, among others.

Deputy Secretary Sullivan used the platform to provide a briefing on the Trump Administration’s recently announced Africa Strategy and in particular the Prosper Africa initiative, which is a aimed at enhancing trade and investment ties for the benefit of both the US and Africa.

Bilateral relations between South Africa and the US are cordial. The US is an important partner for South Africa for trade, investment, tourism, technology transfer, education and health cooperation. South Africa is a major beneficiary of development assistance from the US, especially for health, through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Trade and investment relations take place under the auspices of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, under which South Africa gains duty-free access to the US market for value-added products.
The Electoral Commission said initially 30 532 voters applied to cast their votes at South Africa’s 121 foreign missions.
In terms of the breakdown, about 2 868 South Africans will cast their votes on the African continent, 7 174 in Asia, 14 838 in Europe, 2 196 in North America, 2 133 in Oceania and 125 in South America.

The top 10 foreign missions with the most applications are London with 9 084 approved applications, 1 542 in Dubai, 1 355 in The Hague, 1 195 in Canberra and 1 061in Abu Dhabi.

In Wellington, the IEC approved 927 applications, 817 in Dublin, 797 in Kinshasa, 605 in New York and 566 applications in Doha.

Voters whose applications have been approved will vote on Saturday, 27 April 2019, between 07h00 and 19h00.

They are required to take with them their South African identity document (either a green bar-coded ID, a smartcard ID or a valid temporary ID certificate) and their valid passport.

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South Africa and the World Bank have signed an agreement that will boost the local business environment while also helping to enhance foreign direct investment into the country.
The Advisory Services Agreement was signed between the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and the World Bank Group recently in Johannesburg.

The partnership is aimed at improving the business environment for domestic entrepreneurs and undertaking policy and institutional reform to enhance foreign direct investment inflows.

Business regulation, investment policy and promotion, and market regulation and competition policy are the focus areas of the partnership.

The advisory agreement formalises the partnership between the Government of South Africa and the World Bank Group to support the national reform effort led by the dti, the Department of Economic Development and National Treasury.

World Bank support to South Africa will be provided in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the Prosperity Fund of the United Kingdom’s (UK) Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The project will deploy a Country Private Sector Diagnostic, a standard World Bank Group tool to identify industry sectors that can attract significant domestic and foreign investments and deliver positive development impacts in the near term.

Director-General (DG) of the dti, Lionel October, said the department would gain insight into best practice from the partnership.

“Support from the World Bank Group and its development partners promotes South Africa’s growth agenda. The dti and InvestSA hope to gain insights into best practice from the partnership.

“I would like to assure you that we are committed to addressing the employment deficits that we face, and this will start with providing the right environment for the private sector to flourish. The four-year programme will be led and coordinated by InvestSA,” said DG October.

Delivering the State of the Nation Address in February, President Cyril Ramaphosa committed government to ensure business competitiveness and an enabling business environment as a cornerstone of the drive for both domestic and foreign direct investment and the jobs that they are expected to generate.

Government has set the target of improving its current rank of 82/190 in order to be, within three years, among the top 50 economies in the annual Doing Business Report published by the World Bank Group.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is a member of the World Bank Group, expressed its commitment to help South Africa in its efforts.

“IFC is committed to working across the World Bank Group to help South Africa achieve best practices and real impact in its reform efforts. The target set by President Ramaphosa of generating investment of US$100 billion within five years is important. It sets the tone for the policies needed to attract foreign direct investment,” said Kevin Njiraini, IFC Regional Director for Southern Africa.

Early deliverables under the support programme will be inputs into South Africa’s Investment strategy.

Meanwhile, British High Commissioner to South Africa, Mr Nigel Casey said the UK was keen on supporting South Africa to attract an additional US$100 billion of investment into South Africa.

“The UK is the largest investor in South Africa, but we’re determined to build on that here and elsewhere in Africa. We also strongly support President Ramaphosa’s ambition to attract an additional US$100 billion of investment into South Africa.

“Today’s announcement is part of how we are going to support government’s ambitions and deliver on our own ambition about the role that UK investors should play.”

The UK, High Commissioner Casey said, would make use of its R900 million Prosperity Fund in South Africa.

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The Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, is participating in the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) in New York, United States of America.
Minister Lindiwe Zulu is part of a government and civil-society delegation led by the Minister in The Presidency responsible for Women, Bathabile Dlamini, to the CSW63, currently taking place at the United Nations Headquarters from 11 to 22 March in New York.

The delegation is presenting South Africa’s report on the status of social protection system, access to public service, sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in South Africa. Minister Zulu will also participate in some of the ministerial roundtables, high-level interactive dialogue and interactive expert panels.

The United Nation’s Commission of the Status of Women was established on 21 June 1946. It is a global policy-making body and a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council. The CSW63 is dedicated exclusively to addressing gender equality and the empowerment of women. As a global policy-making body, it serves to develop international strategies and programmes intended to promote and ensure gender equality and the empowerment of women across the world.

This year’s CSW63 is convened under the theme: ‘’Social Protection Systems, Access to Public Services and Sustainable Infrastructure for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls”.

Minister Zulu said: “We thank the United Nations for affording South Africa this unique opportunity to participate in the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women and it is also an opportunity to contribute, share and learn best practices on gender equality for the empowerment of women of our country”.

South Africa’s participation at the CSW63 has been robust and consistent throughout the years. The Department of Small Business Development and Minister Zulu’s participation at the CSW63 will provide an opportunity to learn from and share with the world some of the country’s strategies that are geared towards women economic empowerment, small business and cooperatives development and other strong economic foundations that are aimed at achieving inclusive and sustainable economic growth for women, including the youth.
Secretary-General of the Pan-African Women’s Organisation (PAWO) and South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Communications, Pinky Kekana, has welcomed the African Union’s (AU) Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Strategy 2018 – 2028.
The strategy is an instrument aimed at eliminating the constraints hindering gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Aligned to the AU Agenda 2063, the agenda will generate momentum in ensuring gender equality by getting organs of the AU and its partners to implement the recommendations.

“We believe that the strategy is a comprehensive articulation of the AU Agenda 2063, Goal 6 which seeks to ensure that we have an Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential offered by African people; especially its women and youth and caring for children,” she said on Friday, 15 March 2019.

The policy recognises that violence against women and related harmful traditional practices are symptomatic of the accepted social norms in many countries and communities.

The spectrum of violence affecting women across Africa includes domestic violence, rape, female genital mutilation, intimidation and additional threats to women’s personal security in periods of war and conflict.

PAWO said such violence was exacerbated in conditions of conflict. Human security and bodily integrity for women are critical for the attainment of gender equality.

The organisation also highlighted that women must form part of the mainstream workforce in transitioning the African continent to take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The adoption of the strategy took place during the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63), which attracts over 10 000 delegates from all 193 members states of the United Nations in New York.

“As the Pan-African Women’s Organisation, we understand that strategy can only be a successful strategy if it is inclusive and speaks to people with disabilities and the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Deputy Minister Kekana.

“In the final analysis, what we know for sure is that this document lays down the path to gender equality and women empowerment for future generations; this is important because the future is African, black and young,” she said.

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Given the right platform and support, South African small, medium and micro enterprises can succeed in the Italian market.
This is because Italy has a small and family-oriented business strategy, which puts small businesses at an advantage compared to multi-nationals in Italy.

“There is a lot that we can showcase as South Africa in Europe. We just need to support and encourage entrepreneurs back home to also invest their resources in foreign markets.

“Now it is the right time to show the world that there is so much more they can derive from South Africa and the rest of the continent,” said the South African Consul General to Milan, Titi Nxumalo.

Speaking at the Cosmoprof Worldwide exhibition taking place in Bologna, Consul General Nxumalo was optimistic that this could be done to the cosmetics industry, given that President Cyril Ramaphosa had committed government to focus on increasing exports of manufactured local goods.

“I would not say whether there is a demand or not for South African health and beauty products here in Italy, but we rather bring our products and test the market when the right platforms are presented to us.

“Also, agro-processing products like rooibos and wines that we are continuously supporting and promoting as a mission have been in demand in Italy due to the rooibos health benefits and the reputation South African wines have all over the world,” added Consul General Nxumalo.

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The Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria has successfully completed the world's first-ever middle ear transplant that has allowed a 35-year-old man to be able to hear again.
The Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria has successfully completed the world's first-ever middle ear transplant, using 3D-printed middle ear bones.

The groundbreaking surgery has allowed a 35-year-old man to hear again after his ear was completely damaged in a car accident.

"This may be the answer to conductive hearing loss, a middle ear problem caused by congenital birth defects, infection, trauma or metabolic diseases," Health Department Spokesperson, Popo Maja, said in a statement on Wednesday, 13 March 2019.

The surgery was developed by Professor Mashudu Tshifularo and his team at the University of Pretoria's Faculty of Health using 3D-printing technology to print the hammer, anvil and stirrup – the ossicles that make up the middle ear. They are the smallest bones in the human body.

"By replacing only the ossicles that aren't functioning properly, the procedure carries significantly less risk than known prostheses and their associated surgical procedures.

"We will use titanium for this procedure, which is biocompatible. We use an endoscope to do the replacement, so the transplant is expected to be quick, with minimal scarring," Prof. Tshifularo explained.

A pioneering surgery such as this one, however, needs funding and sponsors to take off.

"For Prof. Tshifularo, 'innovate or perish' are words to live by when it comes to clinical procedures, teaching, research and medical devices, and [he] believes that academics have a responsibility to come up with solutions that benefit communities," Mr Maja added.

Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, has called on donors and developers to support this breakthrough.

"As the Department of Health, we shall do everything in our power to assist and mobilise resources to make sure that Professor Tshifularo gets all the help he needs for this far-reaching innovation", he concluded.

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South African human rights lawyer, Bonita Meyersfeld, will be appointed a Knight of the National Order of Merit by France for her work addressing gender-based violence.
The award will be bestowed upon Meyersfeld by the Ambassador of France to South Africa, Christophe Farnaud, at the French Residence in Pretoria on Tuesday, 19 March 2019.

This is in recognition of her 20 years of work against gender-based violence in South Africa.

"The appointment recognises Professor Meyersfeld's role in conceptualising and establishing Lawyers against Abuse (LvA), a non-profit organisation based in the informal settlement of Diepsloot, South Africa.

"Founded in 2011, LvA provides a cutting-edge and unique service to victims of gender-based violence, integrating legal and psychosocial services to ensure that we travel the journey to justice and recovery with our clients," LvA Executive Director, Lindsay Henson, said in a statement.

LvA's work includes providing legal and psychological support to more than 850 victims, assisting 528 clients with protection orders, supporting 163 clients pursuing criminal cases and providing more than 1 000 therapy sessions to 286 clients.

"LvA's model works. We see meaningful, long-term and successful support to hundreds of women and children, resulting in a level of access to justice that is unprecedented.

"It is this model that Meyersfeld initiated, together with a remarkable team of founding members. We are thrilled about the recognition by the French President," Ms Henson added.

Meyersfeld says the recognition is a testament to thousands of survivors of gender-based violence.

"The Chevalier is testimony to the thousands of heroes who survive gender-based violence; to the powerful women who founded LvA; and to the women in our centre who work every day to make LvA the sanctuary and place of justice it is today," she said.

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Tourists can now fly to the rocky island where Napoleon died, Darwin studied and Captain Cook docked.
St Helena is getting more connected for the summer months after Airlink announced it would be adding an extra mid-week flight during this season.

The extra flight will take place weekly on a Tuesday in addition to the current Saturday weekly flight from December 2019 to March 2020, and bookings are open for flight up until February.

The normal Saturday flight will continue to operate from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. The monthly flight to Ascension Island on the second weekend of each month will also continue as normal, with an additional Ascension Island flight in both December 2019 and January 2020.

From 3 December 2019 to 11 February 2020, inclusive the midweek flight will operate from Cape Town International Airport. The midweek flight will then revert to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg with effect from 18 February 2020 through to 31 March 2020.

The airline also recently announced that it changed the flight's technical fuel-stop from Windhoek to Walvis Bay in Namibia, adding 11 more seats to the flight.

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The International Women of Power (IWOP) Awards honoured “Isibaya” actress, Nomzamo Mbatha, with the Goddess Beauty Award for her contribution to the entertainment industry.
According to the Diaspora Dialogues, who are the organisers of the ceremony, the IWOP Awards seek to "honour and celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of global women who are trailblazers and trendsetters, inspiring black girls and women".

Nomzamo was the perfect candidate for this award because she is well-known for her humanitarian work as she took on the role as the newest Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees earlier this year.

The actress attended the ceremony at the Marina del Rey Marriott in Los Angeles, California, on Saturday, 9 March 2019.

Other winners include comedienne Tiffany Haddish, who bagged the Entertainment Roar Award, as well as the first lady of Sierra Leone, Fatima Maada Bio, who walked away with the Warrior Award.
A slew of local stars have been nominated for the Glocal Social Awards, which are set to take place in Prague in May.
The international awards celebrate "talent, creativity and originality of influencers who entertain and inspire fans, and have a positive impact on social media," according to their website.

The list of South African celebrities who have received nods for the Global Social Awards includes Bonang Matheba and Gigi LaMayne, both nominated in the Inspiration and Influence Category, and Cassper Nyovest, who received a nod in the Fun and Entertainment Category.

Other local stars who have made the cut are Shekhinah, Aisha Baker, Priddy Ugly and Sara Langa.

Celebrating after the announcement, Bonang, who recently premiered her first film at the Manchester Film Festival, wrote on Twitter: "Pack your bags, we're going to PRAGUE!!! Woooohoooo! I've been nominated for a Global Social Award, Inspiration & Influence category!!!"

The Global Social Awards will be held at the Forum Karlín in Prague on 29 May 2019. The 90-minute show will be hosted by supermodel Karolina Kurkova.

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Years after its release, Trevor Noah's biography, “Born A Crime”, has made its way back onto the "New York Times" best sellers list, taking the number one spot in the Paperback Non-Fiction Category.
The comedian celebrated with a post on Instagram, writing: "Wow! Born A Crime was released 2 years ago and has made its way back on the NYT best sellers list at #1. This is amazing! Thank you!"

Born A Crime first made the NY Times best sellers list in 2016. The book is about Trevor's childhood growing up during the last days of apartheid.

Not only did the star's fans love the book, but it also received praise from many celebrities, including renowned actor/producer Tyler Perry.

According to Trevor, Born A Crime will also be adapted into a film, with Black Panther actress, Lupita Nyong'o, taking on the role of his mother, Patricia.

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The Gipsy Kings and Jonathan Butler are the final additions to the line-up of the 20th Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF). The line-up will also include a tribute to the late Zimbabwean guitarist Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi, who died suddenly earlier this year.
The festival – which will take place on 29 and 30 March 2019 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre – will celebrate 20 years of successful local and international jazz.

Organisers of the CTIJF, have announced a further 15 performing artists from around the globe to join the 2019 line-up.

CTIJF Festival Director, Billy Domingo, said: “After 20 years of Africa’s Grandest Gathering, I’m happy to conclude this year’s line-up with two of South Africa’s all-time beloved favourites. We will also pay tribute to the late, great Oliver 'Tuku' Mtukudzi by celebrating his life through music as we say goodbye to an artist who can only be remembered as a true African legend.”

It has been almost three decades since the Grammy award-winning Gipsy Kings first burst onto the world music stage with their self-titled album and since then the band has toured the world, selling more than 20 million albums. Their most recent album, Savor Flamenco, wholly produced by the band who wrote all the original material, won a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album.

While the band has over the years incorporated diverse influences into its sound – such as Latin and Cuban styles, Arabic music, reggae and jazz guitar – they are held together by the melding of frontmen Tonino Baliardo’s fluid guitar work and Nicolas Reyes’ powerful vocals.

Soulful homecoming crooner Jonathan Butler has remained current by constantly exploring new genres. No stranger to the urban contemporary or gospel scene, Butler is just as comfortable singing an R&B song as he is showing off his jazz skills on stage. In concert, the Grammy-nominated Butler draws on a vast repertoire, which went down well the last time he played at the CTIJF in 2009.

Jazz fans were devastated to hear of the 66-year-old Mtukudzi’s passing earlier this year, knowing full well the guitarist/philanthropist/music legend was due to perform at this year’s CTIJF with singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela. CTIJF management can now confirm the line-up for the commemorative tribute, billed as Tuku Music: A Celebration of Oliver Mtukudzi’s Life through his Music, will fill Mtukudzi’s original slot on Saturday, 30 March 2019.

Mahlasela will be joined on stage by Mbeu, Maduvha and Berita. Sotho singer Mahlasela played a large role in mobilising people against apartheid through his music and is often simply referred to as “The Voice”.

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