Issue 426 | 6 May 2020
    It's Your Voice   UBUNTU Magazine   UBUNTU Radio  
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here
Corona Virus 24-Hour Hotline for South African citizens
South Africa has committed an amount of US $1.3 million in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Cyril Ramaphosa made the pledge during a World Health Organisation (WHO) Coronavirus Global Response pledging conference, which was convened by the European Union (EU) on Monday, 4 May 2020.

The conference mobilised resources for the WHO’s recently launched global collaboration to accelerate development, production and equitable global access to new COVID-19 essential health technologies.

The initiative entails the development and production of new COVID-19 tools, and equitable global access to safe, quality, effective and affordable COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. The initiative is meant to ensure that in the fight against COVID-19, no country is left behind.

Speaking on behalf of the African Union (AU), President Ramaphosa said COVID-19 was a health emergency of truly global proportions, yet developing countries were particularly vulnerable to its impact.

The pandemic, the AU Chair said, required coordinated and consistent international action, so that all countries were sufficiently capacitated.

The President called on all countries to make tangible commitments to bolster the global effort, but in particular, to support countries that bear the brunt of poverty, inequality and underdevelopment.

He said Africa had responded to the Coronavirus pandemic with urgency and purpose.

“The African Union has established a COVID-19 Response Fund to direct resources towards the continent’s response. To date, a total of US$61 million has been committed to the fund and to support the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention,” President Ramaphosa said.

African countries are supporting each other through regional Coronavirus task forces to oversee screening, detection and diagnosis, and infection prevention and control.

“South Africa is making significant investments in science and innovation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and is participating in several research initiatives with partners across the world to support African researchers.

“We pledge the capacities and facilities of South Africa’s Biovac Institute to support the global effort to develop, manufacture and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. Now more than ever, the world needs solidarity and cooperation to mobilise and guide investments, and drive delivery towards equitable access for new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines,” President Ramaphosa said.

A number of countries, which participated in the COVID-19 Virtual Pledging Conference, have also pledged millions in response to the pandemic. These include Norway, which pledged US$220 million, US$850 million pledged by Canada and US$456 million pledged by France.

– Source:
On Monday, 4 May 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa participated in a virtual COVID-19 Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
The summit was convened by the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, in his capacity as Chairperson of the NAM.

South Africa, as Chairperson of the African Union (AU), was invited as one of the selected countries for the Africa region, said The Presidency on Monday.

Participants included NAM heads of state and government from all geographical regions who convened as the NAM Contact Group.

Representatives of several organisations, including the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, the President of the UN General Assembly, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the Chairperson of the AU Commission, participated in the summit.

Entitled, “United against COVID-19”, the virtual summit was an opportunity for the movement to promote the values of international cooperation, in ensuring a concerted and coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The founding principles guiding NAM, places multilateralism, and global solidarity, at the centre of responding to contemporary global challenges, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

“President Ramaphosa will use the opportunity to highlight South Africa and Africa’s response to the pandemic and call for countries of the NAM to use this crisis to strengthen solidarity and cooperation in the fight against COVID-19,” said The Presidency.

The outcomes of the summit included the adoption of a declaration underlining the importance of international solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19, and the establishment of a task force to develop a database reflecting the medical, social and humanitarian needs of NAM members in the fight against COVID-19.

– Source:
The African Union (AU) has raised US$25 million for the COVID-19 Response Fund and an additional US$36.5 million for the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
AU Chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa, made the announcement during a virtual meeting with chairpersons of the AU Regional Economic Communities on Wednesday, 29 April 2020.

Earlier in April, the regional body established the AU COVID-19 Response Fund in a drive to raise additional funds for the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The continental body also set out an intensive lobbying of the international community, including the international financial institutions, for a comprehensive, robust economic stimulus package for Africa.

To spearhead the continent’s economic response to the pandemic, five AU special envoys were appointed to follow up on pledges, mobilise further international support and campaign for international participation in the AU’s COVID-19 economic intervention.

The five envoys are Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria, Dr Donald Kaberuka of Rwanda, Mr Tidjane Thiam of Côte d'Ivoire, Mr Trevor Manuel of South Africa and Mr Benkhalfa Abderrahmane of Algeria.

President Ramaphosa said the appointment of a special envoy from the Central African region was also on the cards.

The AU has addressed the virtual summit of the G20 and a virtual joint meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, underscoring the need for a comprehensive, robust economic stimulus package for Africa.

In these engagements, the AU called for, among other measures, the allocation of more Special Drawing Rights Allocations to Africa to provide much-needed liquidity to central banks, the corporate sector and SMEs.

“We also argued for a waiver of all interest payments on multilateral and bilateral debt. This would provide the necessary fiscal space for African governments to devote all available resources to response and recovery.

“This economic injection should support both the continent’s immediate humanitarian needs and place the continent on a path towards economic recovery,” said President Ramaphosa.

The need to ensure trade and investment flows are not further disrupted by measures inconsistent with World Trade Organisation rules was also emphasised.

African business leaders propose debt standstill

Earlier, President Ramaphosa chaired a video conference meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly with 21 African business leaders to obtain their support for the AU COVID-19 Strategy.

The meeting expressed its full support for a two-year debt standstill and a proposal to develop a plan for the restructuring of both private and bilateral debt. It was further stressed that grants from the World Bank to the poorest countries must be additional to what had already been planned.

Support the WHO

Updating the meeting on the response from the international community, President Ramaphosa said the response had been positive with various partners making pledges, offering debt-relief measures and providing concrete support in the form of medical supplies.

He called on African countries to unequivocally support the World Health Organisation and its Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

A further call was made on all African countries to support the pledging initiative, which started on 4 May and which is spearheaded by the European Union to mobilise significant resources towards finding a vaccine.

Lift economic sanction on Sudan and Zimbabwe

The President also expressed the urgent need for economic sanctions against Sudan and Zimbabwe to be lifted, in order to provide the necessary space for these countries to devote their resources to the fight against COVID-19.

“It is clear that this virus knows no borders or nationality. In our response, it is therefore essential that we remain guided by the principles of unity, solidarity, collaboration and cooperation among African countries,” said the President.

– Source:
Opening up economic opportunities for women and addressing the scale of gendered poverty was an area that required far greater attention to mitigate the economic and social impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and to rebuild the economy, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday, 30 April 2020.
"We must support women's economic empowerment through preferential procurement, funding to women-owned small, medium and micro enterprises and speeding up women's access to land," he said during his address at the handover of the Emergency Response Action Plan and the National Strategic Plan to Combat Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.

President Ramaphosa said three milestones in the country's struggle against the scourge were being marked on Thursday: the completion of the work of the Interim Steering Committee on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide that was set up in the wake of last year's Presidential Summit, the handing over of the six-month progress report of the Emergency Response Action Plan and the releasing of the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence.

The National Strategic Plan was the Government and civil society's multi-sectoral strategic framework to realise a South Africa free from gender-based violence and femicide, President Ramaphosa said.

"We will galvanise support for this plan by creating a permanent structure to steer its implementation and budgeting for it over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period."


South Africa was one of the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman, President Ramaphosa said.

"The protests that took place last year in response to a series of high-profile rapes and murders of women and girls, were a clarion call from the women's movement and all of society for more to be done to combat this scourge.

"They were cries of frustration and anger that despite our progressive laws, we failed to protect women and girls from abuse, ill-treatment and femicide. It was clear at the time that a coherent and measurable strategy to deal with this growing problem was sorely needed," he added.

The committee comprised, among others, government and civil-society representatives, researchers and scientists.

"Guided by the Presidential Summit, the committee went beyond identifying interventions to address gender-based violence and femicide to consider the wider challenges women and children face with regard to safety and security, poverty and access to economic opportunities.

"They also looked at the contestation around the rights of women and children in a climate where patriarchy and chauvinism is widely prevalent," said President Ramaphosa.

Emergency Response Action Plan

The Emergency Response Action Plan, established to deal with rising gender-based violence cases in the middle of last year, focussed on broadening access to justice for survivors, changing social norms and behaviour, strengthening existing architecture and promoting accountability, and the creation of more economic opportunities for women.

Around R1.6 billion were sourced through budget reprioritisation, he added.

This went toward mass media campaigns, redirecting resources to sexual offences courts, and awareness drives, among others.

"With regard to response, care and support for survivors of gender-based violence, the number of Thuthuzela Care Centres are being increased, and access to legal aid is being broadened."


A number of government buildings have been handed over to the Department of Social Development to be used as additional shelters.

The greatest achievement of the Emergency Response Action Plan was how it fundamentally changed how departments involved in the gender sector interacted and collaborated, President Ramaphosa said.

"It enabled government processes that ordinarily are fraught with red tape to be fast-tracked. It inculcated a smarter approach to using and managing resources, because government departments had to stretch their apportioned budgets to meet ambitious targets.

"From the outset, it was clear that this would be a short-term plan to be implemented over six months. We have reached the end of that term, and the consolidated report being presented today covers the six months."

He said the emergency plan "helped to set up a delivery mechanism for a longer-term set of interventions", and the work would now be taken over by the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Council to oversee the implementation of the National Strategic Plan.

– Source:
Health workers around the country will receive a boost of critical medical supply, such as masks and face shields, to assist their efforts to combat COVID-19 in the country.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, on behalf of government on Thursday, 30 April 2020, received a consignment of R1 billion worth of critical personal protective equipment (PPE), which was donated by global Internet group, Naspers South Africa.

“Today, we received the consignment of some six million masks and shields donated by Naspers, and many more are still to come. We are truly grateful that we have corporations like Naspers and many others, who have decided they are going to lend a hand and assist our whole effort of fighting COVID-19.

“We are also grateful to China for continuing to supply these medical supplies that we so need and others will be coming,” said the President.

The handover took place at the Takealot Distribution Centre in Kempton Park, Gauteng.

The Naspers donation is a significant contribution to healthcare and to the partnership between government, the private sector and civil society at large in the fight against COVID-19.

Naspers procured the PPE and other medical supplies at great speed through its logistics and warehousing capability in Takealot and the group’s Tencent enterprise in the People’s Republic of China.

While visiting the Takealot Distribution Centre to receive the medical supplies, President Ramaphosa was taken through a state-of-the art, high-tech distribution process of the PPE to various parts of the country.

“I have also been very impressed with their logistical set up here, where they receive these millions of medical supplies and they are able to distribute them throughout the country in an orderly manner.

“This is really a great operation and we are thankful for the donation that the country has received from Naspers and facilitated also by China,” said the President.

Naspers’s overall aid in response to the pandemic in South Africa is R1.5 billion, consisting of R1 billion in PPE and R500 million to the Solidarity Fund.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has conveyed his condolences following the passing of Rivonia trialist and Esteemed Member of the Order of Luthuli, Denis Theodore Goldberg.
“My thoughts are with Denis Goldberg’s family and his comrades around the country and around the world. This is a sad moment for our nation and a moment for all of us to appreciate Denis Goldberg’s brave dedication to our struggle and his lifelong activism in the interest of – and in the physical presence of – poor and vulnerable communities around our country,” said the President.

Goldberg, who lived in Hout Bay, Cape Town, passed away on 29 April 2020 at the age of 87.

In his tribute, President Ramaphosa said Goldberg’s first experience of prison was alongside his mother, who had been detained for four months.

“Such experiences failed to intimidate him. Instead, it fuelled his determination that the liberation movement should use all strategies at its disposal, including armed resistance, to end apartheid.

“His commitment to ethical leadership was unflinching and even during his advanced age, he formed part of the movement of veterans of the struggle calling for the reassertion of the moral centre of society. He dedicated his life to achieving the better life we enjoy today and his revolutionary contribution reinforced the non-racial character of our struggle and of our democratic dispensation.”

Goldberg received a National Order for his commitment to the struggle against apartheid and service to the people of South Africa.

Upon receiving news of Mr Goldberg’s passing, the National Coronavirus Command Council observed a moment’s silence in honour of this special patriot.

The life and times of a revolutionary

Born in Cape Town in 1933, Goldberg grew up in an intellectual family and became acutely aware of national, as well as international politics at an early age.

In the early 1950s, Goldberg joined the Congress of Democrats and the Communist Party underground.

His keen sense of justice prompted him early on in life to fight injustices of the country.

In 1963, Goldberg was arrested at the Rivonia Headquarters of uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC).

He was sentenced in 1964, at the end of the Rivonia trial, to four terms of life imprisonment. He was the only white member of MK to be arrested and sentenced in the Rivonia Trial.

In 1985, after 22 years of imprisonment, he was set free and reunited with his family in London, where he continued to work for the ANC.

“We will hold him in our thoughts and prayers as we say farewell at a time when we are not allowed to gather in numbers to say our goodbyes. May his soul rest in peace,” said President Ramaphosa.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation also expressed sadness at Goldberg’s passing.

“We have been deeply saddened to hear that Denis Goldberg has passed away and send condolences to his family, friends and comrades. South Africa has lost another true patriot, someone who was a friend of Nelson Mandela and a stalwart of the struggle,” it said.

The foundation said most of Goldberg’s life was dedicated to the struggle against apartheid and the building of democracy.

“He was our friend. Always supportive, right to the end. We were delighted he was able to attend our events marking the 30th anniversary of Madiba’s release from prison. And always a constructive critic of our work, with insight and that characteristic naughty sense of humour,” said the foundation’s Chief Executive, Sello Hatang.

– Source:
Turkey has sent a container of medical supplies to assist in the fight against COVID-19 in South Africa.
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency distributed 10 000 N95 medical masks at Kalafong Hospital in Atteridgeville, Pretoria.

Included in the recent aid package were personal protective equipment and vital equipment as well as customised disinfectant booths produced specifically for South Africa," the Turkish Embassy said in a statement on Thursday, 30 April 2020.

Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saluted South Africa for its effective measures in curbing and dealing with the global pandemic.

"Expressing his solidarity, President Erdogan offered his condolences to the bereaved families and their relatives, and his best wishes to the people of South Africa," Turkish Ambassador to South Africa Elif Comoglu Ulgen, said.

President Erdogan also expressed concern about predictions indicating the pandemic might had a more profound impact in Africa, stating Turkey would stand by the continent.

"In the face of this situation, Turkey will always stand by Africa in the determined fight against the pandemic in terms of experience sharing and medical supplies.

"I am certain that the effective measures you have taken since the beginning of the pandemic will contribute towards overcoming this crisis with the least possible loss," Ambassador said.

The Ambassador praised South Africa for doing its best to combat COVID-19, saying it was one of the countries that implemented the fastest and most effective measures to combat the virus.

"Turkey, showing a spirit of solidarity and cooperation, has become the third-biggest supplier of medical aid in the world and was already the world's biggest provider of humanitarian aid," she said.

– Source:
South Africa’s fifth break-bulk vessel shipment of citrus departed to China and Japan on Friday, 1 May 2020, amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development said this was the first break-bulk vessel shipment in the 2020 export season, adding to the four shipments that were exported in the 2019 season.

Citrus comprises oranges, lemons, grapefruit and soft citrus.

The year 2019 was a historical year as the South African citrus industry marked its maiden break-bulk shipment of citrus through a specialised reefer vessel to Japan and China.

“The Baltic Patriot Vessel will leave South Africa with 4 521 tons of grape fruit and lemons destined for Japanese and Chinese export markets. The expected date of arrival in Japan is 18 May 2020 while for China it is 26 May 2020.

Loading of the vessel, which started on 25 April 2020 at the Maydon Wharf Fruit Terminal in Durban under thorough inspections, was concluded on Thursday, 30 April 2020.

The fruit harvesting, sorting, washing, transportation, inspection, loading and related aspects were conducted by essential workers during the lockdown,” the department said.

The department has extended its appreciation to everyone who made this a success, and more importantly, the essential workers who continued to work tirelessly under trying conditions in pursuit of local and global food security.

“The citrus industry continues to be one of the critical industries that creates 160 000 direct jobs and earns approximately R20 billion from exports only. South Africa exports two million tons of citrus annually, making it the second-highest global exporter of citrus,” the department said.

Given the challenges posed by COVID-19, the department said it continued to engage with trading partners to ensure that, where possible, export programmes proceed as planned.

The department also called upon all farmers, farmworkers, pack house workers, inspectors, drivers and everyone in the agriculture and food value chain to observe the COVID-19 hygiene and social distancing measures in the quest to grow the country’s economy and feed the people, both local and internationally.

– Source:
South Africa will have sufficient staple grains supply in the 2020/21 marketing year, which starts in May 2020 and ends in April 2021.
“Amid the unprecedented uncertainty and our collective fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, we are assured of sufficient food supply at reasonable price levels,” said Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, Thoko Didiza.

The data released by the department showed that this year’s summer grains harvest could amount to 17.5 million tonnes, which is a 31% increase from 2019 and the second-biggest harvest in the history of South Africa.

“This is a testimony to the hard work and resilience of the South African farming community and investments made in the sector,” Minister Didiza said.

The Minister said South Africa’s agricultural sector would also continue to export agricultural commodities and products, which are crucial for generating much-needed foreign exchange.

Over 2.5 million tonnes of maize (white and yellow maize combined) will be available for exports in the period between May 2020 and April 2021.

"We are committed to support export-led growth and will continue working with the private sector in unblocking bottlenecks to support further space for enterprise development and growth. We do this, while continuously monitoring the food supplies for the country," Minister Didiza said.

– Source:
Facebook is doing its part to support newsrooms in South Africa and on the continent.
The Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) announced recently that it would invest US$390 000 (or R7.3m at the time of publishing) to help South African news organisations navigate the economic impact of the Coronavirus crisis.

FJP also said that it would provide funding and training to support high-quality journalism across the country. Facebook will partner with the needed institutions to make this work.

Making a difference

As part of these funds, Facebook will work with the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), a non-profit organisation with a history of working with publishers across the world.

The ICFJ will provide US$140 000 in these grants to South African publishers, as well as a US$250 000 video training programme for 10 000 journalists across the continent covering COVID-19 through video reporting.

Newsrooms play a key rule during the pandemic

Jocelyne Muhutu Remy, Strategic Media Partnerships Manager of Facebook Africa, explained that the news industry was “working under extraordinary conditions to keep the population informed about COVID-19”, and added:

“As people turn to local journalists for critical information on how to keep their friends, families and communities safe, these journalists are affected, especially in the current economic crisis.”

In addition, Johanna Carrillo, ICFJ’s Vice President of Programmes, added that: “Sub-Saharan Africa’s newsrooms will need to play a key role in informing the public in a highly vulnerable region”. Carrillo explained:

“With this new grant from the Facebook Journalism Project, we can build on our work together, helping newsrooms and publishers in the region at this difficult time.”

Facebook’s ongoing COVID-19 focussed work in South Africa and Africa

The investment builds on Facebook’s initiatives, such as its Coronavirus Information Centre and WhatsApp-based helpline, to provide various communities with accurate information.

Furthermore, an additional US$100 000 (R1.8 million at the time of publishing) from Facebook will be invested in Kenya this year, for the Video Storytelling Fellowship.

FJP’s global initiatives

Earlier this year, Facebook also announced a US$100 million (R1.8 trillion) investment to support the news industry during the Coronavirus crisis, as well as US$2 million (R37 million) in grants for United States and Canadian local news.

An additional US$1 million (R18 million) in grants was made available for fact-checking organisations while a US$1 million (R18 million) donation was given to the International Fact-Checking Network.

Previously, the FJP also committed US$300 million (R5.6 trillion) to assist journalists around the world through diverse and inclusive news programmes and partnerships.

Applications opened on 5 May 2020. Visit the FJP website and ICFJ website to find out how to apply.

– Source:
A conservation biologist from South Africa has won a prestigious Whitley Award worth £40,000 to support her quest to save threatened amphibians … in a “giant leap for amphibian conservation”.
Jeanne Tarrant, known locally as the “Frog Lady”, works for the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), where she manages the Threatened Amphibian Programme. The EWT is the only NGO in South Africa to include frogs as a conservation focus.

The Whitley Awards, often referred to as the “Green Oscars”, are awarded annually to individuals from the Global South by United Kingdom-based conservation charity the Whitley Fund for Nature.

Jeanne is one of six conservationists to be recognised this year for their achievements in nature conservation.

Amphibians are the most threatened group of animals on the planet with 41% of all species at risk of extinction.

Almost two-thirds of the country’s 135 frog species are found nowhere else, making South Africa a priority for amphibian conservation. Despite this, a combination of threats from habitat loss due to mining, agriculture and pollution are putting the country’s frogs at risk.

In some South African cultures, frogs can be associated with witchcraft, making them often feared by locals.

Jeanne’s educational work aims to dispel such myths and raise awareness and appreciation of the important role frogs play in the health of the environment and ecosystem.

The EWT’s national awareness Leap Day for Frogs has attracted some 15 000 participants over the past five years.

Jeanne has inspired schoolchildren with her “Frogs in the Classroom” learning programme, gaining young fans and earning her the title of the “Frog Lady”.

Growing up in the southern Drakensberg mountains of KwaZulu-Natal, Jeanne was surrounded by nature. Following her undergraduate studies, she worked in the United Kingdom for five years before returning to her homeland of South Africa to specialise in the research of threatened South African frogs.

Some of the species that Jeanne and her team conserve include the Critically Endangered Amathole Toad, which had not been seen for over 13 years until Jeanne and her colleagues re-discovered it in 2011.

Jeanne also works with the Endangered Pickersgill’s Reed Frog, with the number of known localities of this tiny 2cm amphibian on the rise thanks to her efforts.

In addition to education and field work, Jeanne works with the Government to ensure enhanced protection for frogs on a policy level.

Supported by WFN, her team will produce a 10-year conservation and research strategy for South African frogs and protect 20 000ha of amphibian habitat conserving eight species.

Jeanne said: “While South Africa has excellent environmental legislation, illegal developments continue to destroy frog habitats. Our aim is to not only improve appreciation of frogs through research and education but use our slippery friends as flagships for the wider conservation of vital freshwater and terrestrial areas that are under the increasing threat of humans.

“The fact that almost half of amphibians are experiencing declines should be a massive wake-up call to humanity that all is not right with our planet – most people, however, are unaware that amphibians are even in trouble.”

Edward Whitley, Founder of the Whitley Fund for Nature, said: “Jeanne is an inspiring leader who tirelessly advocates for amphibians – an often overlooked group.

“We hope that this Whitley Award will allow her to spread her important message far and wide, and bring about real change for amphibians and their habitat through science, policy, and community education.”

Six conservationists have won Whitley Awards and will each receive £40 000 in funding to support their work with a range of threatened species. While normally presented to winners by charity Patron HRH The Princess Royal at an annual ceremony in London, the 2020 Whitley Awards Ceremony was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the winners will receive their funding now, they will be invited to attend a ceremony and related events in London later this year to celebrate their achievements, should circumstances allow.

– Source:
Pieter-Steph du Toit and Cheslin Kolbe are two South African representatives in a top-ten list compiled by “The Times”.
Rugby World Cup-winning Bok duo, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Cheslin Kolbe, were named among the world’s best rugby players, according to a poll ran by United Kingdom publication, The Times.

The two teammates were nominated for the prestigious World Rugby Player of the Year, following their success in Japan, with Du Toit walking away with the big prize in the end.

According to the publication, the reigning World Player of the Year cracks the top five in the list, with England lock, Maro Itoje, voted in as the best on the planet.

The towering second-rower may have only walked off with a silver medal in Japan, but was among the standout players throughout the tournament, and produced 11 turnovers and pipped Wales skipper, Alun Wyn Jones, in terms of the number of rucks he was involved in.

Itoje beat New Zealand flyhalf, Beauden Barrett, for top spot, with France scrumhalf, Antoine Dupont, rounding up the top three.

Also in the top five is Fiji utility back, Semi Radradra, who is just ahead of Du Toit in fourth place, with Kolbe coming in at sixth place.

Kolbe crossed the line three times in Japan, most notably providing the try that clinched a third Rugby World Cup title for the Boks as he danced around Joe Marler and Owen Farrell to dive over.

Also on the list is New Zealand lock, Brodie Retallick, with England pair, Kyle Sinckler and Tom Curry, completing the top 10.

Top 10 players in world rugby, according to The Times:
  • Maro Itoje (England, lock)
  • Beauden Barrrett (New Zealand, flyhalf-fullback)
  • Antoine Dupont (France, scrumhalf)
  • Semi Radradra (Fiji, wing-centre)
  • Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa, flanker)
  • Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa, wing)
  • Brodie Retallick (New Zealand, lock)
  • Ardie Savea (New Zealand, loose forward)
  • Kyle Sinckler (England, prop)
  • Tom Curry (England, loose forward).
– Source:
"Mr President,

"South Africa expresses its appreciation to the Prosecutor, Ms Fatou Bensouda, for her briefing provided today on the situation in Libya.

"South Africa continues to support the implementation of Resolution 1970, which apart from imposing a vital arms embargo, also mandates the ICC to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the context of Libya since 15 February 2011.

"We note with concern that the non-execution of arrest warrants for ICC fugitives remains the greatest obstacle faced by the Prosecutor. Cooperation between the Security Council and States Parties to the Rome Statute is vital to advance those cases and will send a message to the people of Libya and to the world underscoring the important role of international cooperation. South Africa ardently supports strengthening complementarity through the development of domestic institutions to investigate and prosecute the most serious crimes.

"South Africa commends the Prosecutor’s efforts to promote the investigation and prosecution of international crimes committed in Libya in its domestic jurisdiction where viable and appropriate. South Africa believes that cooperation with the ICC remains imperative and South Africa is encouraged by the continued engagement of the Libyan authorities, and their commitment at the highest level to cooperate with the office of the Prosecutor. We further welcome assistance provided to the Prosecutor’s Office by international and regional organisations, civil-society groups, and private individuals.

"Mr President,

"South Africa believes that progress in the Libyan peace process is vital in order to address the concerns that necessitated the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1970, of which the ICC process is part. We remain concerned over the ongoing fighting in Libya, including the resultant displacement of people, indiscriminate attacks that cause damage to civilian property and infrastructure, as well as civilian deaths and injuries (in particular deaths and injuries to children).

"We have noted with deep concern reports on the escalation of abductions and enforced disappearances of journalists, civil-society activists, lawyers, migrants and State officials, by armed groups during this COVID-19 outbreak, which have a negative effect on the spreading of the virus to those affected. South Africa is also concerned about reports of migrants being subjected to arbitrary detention, unlawful killing, enforced disappearance, torture, sexual and gender-based violence, abduction for ransom, extortion and forced labour.

"We are concerned about the prevailing environment and challenges faced by the people of Libya and the Office of the Prosecutor as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will require a pragmatic and condition-based approach for expeditious finalisation of investigations and prosecution of international crimes committed in Libya.

"Mr President,

"South Africa welcomes efforts undertaken to implement Strategic Goal 6 of the Office of the Prosecutor’s Strategic Plan for 2019-2021 of actively engaging with States and relevant organisations to exchange evidence and information, and which supports national authorities to investigate and prosecute migrant-related crimes in their respective jurisdictions.

"South Africa calls on all parties and stakeholders to recommit all efforts towards building durable peace in Libya on the basis of inclusive political dialogue as the only viable means to achieving sustainable peace in Libya. We also acknowledge and emphasise the role of the UN Security Council in promoting political dialogue and supporting all efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement of this conflict.

"I thank you for your attention."
Stay Connected with us
facebook   youtube

For back issues of NewsFlash, visit:


video button video button fina winners