Issue 521 | 5 May 2022
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Trade and investment relationships between South Africa and Guinea Bissau are being deepened, says President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Greater economic prosperity should underpin everything that we do and this is what we intend to focus on as we deepen our relations between our two countries. Our goal for this State Visit has been to deepen trade and investment between South Africa and Guinea Bissau,“ said the President.

The President was speaking to the media following a State Visit by Guinea Bissau President, General Umaro Sissoco Embaló, and a delegation of his ministers on Thursday, 28 April 2022.

“We have communicated to … President Embaló and his delegation that we would like to see South African companies being able to do work in Guinea Bissau as they develop their country from an agricultural point of view, infrastructure and in a number of other areas. Similarly, those Guinea Bissauan companies that may want to come and operate in South Africa should also be able to do so,” he said.

Other key agreements were expected to be reached on healthcare, defence, mineral resources as well as diplomatic relations with energy and agriculture also discussed.

The President said the visit gave the two countries an opportunity to “consolidate the relations that we’ve had over a long time … [stemming] back from history when we were involved in the struggle against colonialism”.

President Ramaphosa emphasised, however, that stability on the African continent was key to achieving economic prosperity for all countries.
He said coups – which had surged in several parts of Africa over the past few years – undermined the African Union’s efforts to “silence the guns” on the continent.

“It is of great concern to both of our countries that conflicts that are continuing on several parts of the continent. It is on our moral and political duty on our continent that we should work together … to achieve an Africa that is free of conflict and be able to provide the citizens of our beloved continent with safe and secure environments,” President Ramaphosa said.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says the African Union (AU) and its member states are demonstrating that the acceptance of unconstitutional takeovers of governments on the continent will not be tolerated.
The Head of State was briefing the media following the official State Visit of the President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau, General Umaro Sissoco Embaló, on Thursday, 28 April 2022.

The West African country was involved in an attempted coup earlier this year.


President Ramaphosa emphasised that South Africa had always advocated for peaceful negotiation in any conflict situation.

“As a continent, we have a lot to learn from our previous experiences. We also, equally, have a lot to learn in the way that ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] is dealing with these – much as it is experiencing a spate of coups. The determination and the decisiveness in the leadership of ECOWAS are something that stands out as a very good example for the rest of the continent.

“I think the continent is moving and maturing towards a state where tolerance for coups and acceptance of coups is now a thing of the past. The AU has taken a very clear and strong position on this, and I think it sends a very strong and important message to those who would want to perpetrate coups that they will have no place to hide and action will also be taken against them."

President Ramaphosa reflected that southern Africa had experienced “relative” stability over the last few years, with only a few countries facing difficulties.

“The only sense of instability has been in Mozambique, for instance, in Cabo Delgado with insurgents ... Lesotho has largely resolved [its challenges] and they are moving forward with their elections and reforms so that in many ways behoves well for greater stability, not only for our region but for the rest of the continent.

“I do believe that the guns should be silenced as soon as we move forward as the African Union as well,” he said.

Russia/Ukraine conflict

President Ramaphosa told the briefing that he believed talks between Ukraine and Russia on the ongoing conflict were a step in the right direction.

“We have, as South Africa, been calling for negotiations and our call for negotiation is based on the principle we have always held … that conflicts should be resolved through dialogue and negotiation. We were well taught by the great Nelson Mandela, who always thought that conflicts should be resolved in that way,” he said.

The President has previously had conversations with leaders of both nations, urging them to have a dialogue to end the conflict.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s discussions and meetings are something that we believe is a step in the right direction. In my discussions with them separately, I stressed that it is through negotiations and dialogue that this conflict can be resolved, and we are really pleased that that is now underway.

“We are really hoping and wishing and praying that it should lead to an agreement that will lead to a cessation of the hostilities and the end of the conflict as well, so that the lives of the people in both countries, and largely in the Ukraine, can be restored and peace can find fertile ground once again,” President Ramaphosa said.

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On Friday, 29 April 2022, President Cyril Ramaphosa attended the funeral service of former President Emilio Mwai Stanley Kibaki in Nairobi, Kenya.
Former President Kibaki passed away on Thursday, 21 April 2022, at the age of 90. He served as Kenya’s Vice President from 1978 to 1988, and as President from 2002 to 2013.

President Ramaphosa was accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor.

On Saturday, the President sent condolences on behalf of government and the people of South Africa to the Government and people of the Republic of Kenya following the passing of the former President.

President Ramaphosa said: “We send our deepest condolences to the family of former President Kibaki and to the people of Kenya in general. We mourn with them and share in their loss.”

 President Ramaphosa said Kibaki championed the cause of democracy and unity in Kenya and beyond.

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Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, started her four-nation tour in South Africa. She will also go to Angola, Gabon and France.
With African countries, she discussed issues around regional peace, maritime security and climate change.

In South Africa, she travelled to Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. On Wednesday, 4 May 2022, she met International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Alvin Botes, and other senior government officials and paid a courtesy call on Minister Naledi Pandor.

In a statement, her office said Sherman and South African officials would "discuss furthering United States (US)-South African cooperation on a range of issues, including global and regional peace and security, trade and investment, sustainable infrastructure, health security, and the climate crisis".

In Angola, she will meet President João Lourenço and Foreign Minister Tete Antonio. She will become the highest-ranking US government official to meet Lourenço before Angola goes to the polls later in August.

With the Angolans, she will discuss a similar agenda to her South African diary but added to it was maritime security in the Atlantic.

Sherman will round up her African safari in Gabon where she will meet President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Foreign Minister Michael Moussa-Adamo, and Minister of Defence, Félicité Ongouori Ngoubili.

They will "engage on our shared priorities including promoting environmental protection, addressing the climate crisis, and furthering security cooperation".

The last leg of her tour will be in France where she will meet officials from Italy, Germany, France and the United Kingdom to discuss "close coordination" to respond to the war in Ukraine.

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While undergoing difficult circumstances, the tourism sector continues to be resilient, says Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu.

“I know I have said numerous times before, but I will say it again, the tourism sector is incredibly resilient, and us being here today is testament to that,” Minister Sisulu said.

Speaking at the Africa Travel Indaba underway in Durban, Minister Sisulu said the province of KwaZulu-Natal was recovering from the devastation of the recent torrential rains, which caused flooding.

The Indaba is being held under the theme: Africa’s Stories, Your Success.

“I would like to thank each and every South African, as well as partners from across the world, for the support they have shown in ensuring that our sector and the people of KwaZulu-Natal get back on their feet,” Minister Sisulu said on Tuesday, 3 May 2022.

The Minister is encouraged by the efforts and swift movement of the provincial leadership team led by Premier Sihle Zikalala.

“In reflecting on these catastrophes, we must be cognisant that we are experiencing warning signs of climate change, therefore our sector must be part of the united global response to the challenge of reducing carbon emissions.

“We know from our insights that responsible tourism and sustainability are big consideration for travellers from various parts of the world.  Over the years, they have placed even greater importance on this issue when choosing a destination to visit,” Minister Sisulu said.

Responsible tourism has to be the way of the future. “Practising tourism that minimises carbon footprints conserves energy and water, reduces waste and plastic consumption and ensures that fair benefits accrue to communities and employees, is not just an option – it is vitally important.”

Ensuring that communities access real benefits from tourism is critical to the success and sustainability of the tourism industry on the African continent.

“When we start telling our own story as a continent, we embark on the journey of changing the narrative about Africa.

“We invite the world to join and journey with us as we, together, tell the story of Africa, and importantly, we ourselves rediscover who we are - a proud invincible people, who survived the brutality of colonialism.

“As a continent, we are a unique blend of culture, heritage, nature-based, rural and urban experiences that make Africa a rich and varied, all-year destination, with a unique history of courage, resilience and historic sites that tell of our advancement,” Minister Sisulu said.

There are 625 buyers from various parts of the world who have come to experience diverse, authentically African products and experiences that the continent has on offer at this year’s indaba.

“It is without a doubt that the entire world is still navigating and recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tourism sector has been among the hardest hit, yet has led economic recovery, bringing us together again.”

The Minister said all countries in Africa had potential for domestic tourism growth.

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The De Beers’ Cullinan blue diamond has been auctioned for HK$450.9 million (R911 million) at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.
The 15.1-carat, fancy vivid blue diamond was sold Wednesday evening, 27 April 2022, to an unnamed buyer. The step-cut gem, recovered from the Cullinan mine in South Africa, is the largest vivid blue diamond ever to appear at an auction. Bidders had pushed the price to HK$390 million, while auction premiums added the rest.

Records have been broken repeatedly in recent years for fancy coloured diamonds, which are more rare than colourless ones. Coloured diamonds come in many hues, but pink and blue are the most coveted. Blue diamonds are among the rarest and are found at levels four times deeper than most diamonds, according to the Gemological Institute of America.

In 2016, Christie’s in Geneva sold the Oppenheimer Blue for CHF56.8 million ($59 million). Sotheby’s sold a blue diamond for more than $4 million a carat in Geneva in 2015.

 – Source: www.



“My Only Story: Back to School”, a podcast co-produced by News 24 and the My Only Story NPC, with Johannesburg writer Deon Wiggett, has won top honours at the New York Festivals Radio Awards.
The series won gold in the Serialised Podcast Category and bronze in the Narrative/Documentary Category.


"We are immensely humbled while also struggling to contain our pride. The purposes of My Only Story, in descending order, are justice, activism and art. Being recognised for the latter is a career-defining moment for all of us. We’re so pleased in a hundred ways," said Wiggett

"That being said, there is plenty of justice still missing from the events reported in Season 2. We’ll be back soon with major developments from the Eastern Cape."

The New York Festivals Radio Awards honour radio content in all lengths and formats and across all platforms from radio stations, networks and independent producers from around the globe.

Adriaan Basson, News24’s editor-in-chief, said he was ecstatic about the international recognition received for My Only Story Season 2.

"This is like the Oscars for podcasts – it’s incredible. The impact of this season has been felt far and wide. No South African school can longer claim ignorance about the backgrounds of the teachers they hire. I am immensely proud of the team. This is further proof that News24 is now firmly the leading publisher of podcasts in South Africa."

The podcast was competing against the likes of Bloomberg, BBC and The Intercept.

"It's an incredible honour to be part of a project that has changed so many people's lives," said series producers, Alison Pope and News24's deputy multimedia editor, Nokuthula Manyathi.

"We are delighted that our work has resonated with an audience worldwide. And what comes with it is that more people will be able to protect children in their community," they said.

In 2020, the first season of My Only Story won bronze in the Serialised Podcast Category.

The podcast series was sound engineered by Sean Jefferies and additional reporting was by Sesona Ngqakamba.

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South African filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert – who are based in Botswana – have been awarded the prestigious 2021 Explorers Club Medal at the 118th Explorers Club Annual Dinner
Previous honorees of the Explorers Club (which was founded in New York City in 1904) include the world’s all-time greatest explorers like Neil Armstrong to Sir Edmund Hillary.

Dereck and Beverly – now join that elite group. The couple – who were born a year apart in Johannesburg burg, met in high school and married in 1983 – have lived in Botswana for over three decades where they have become award-winning filmmakers and conservationists, and are known as world-famous explorers from Botswana. Apart from an incident in 2017 when the Jouberts were chased by a buffalo (with Beverly being critically injured), they have largely lived in peace with the wildlife.

The Explorers Medal is the Explorers Club’s highest honour, recognising contributions in the fields of exploration, scientific research or the welfare of humanity.

The Jouberts said: “Receiving it was a career highlight and a great honour for both of us. To be recognised for work that brings us so much fulfilment and meaning was truly special and humbling …”

The Explorers Club paid tribute to the couple, saying: “They are the founders of the Big Cats Initiative, which now has over 150 projects across 29 countries focussed on the protection of large cats. One of their most recent films, Birth of a Pride, highlights the vision of the Initiative and has won 19 awards in multiple countries.

“Their mission for over 40 years has been the conservation and understanding of large predators in particular, along with other key wildlife species that determine the course of all conservation in Africa. The Jouberts have produced over 35 films for National Geographic alone, published 12 books and six scientific papers, and authored countless articles for worldwide scientific media.

“Among their eight Emmy awards (with 23 nominations), a Peabody, Grand Teton, Golden Panda, World Ecology and Lions Club International Awards, it is their Presidential Order of Merit bestowed by the President of Botswana that stands out most. Other conservation projects abound, including their work to move 100 rhinos out of the highest poaching zones of South Africa to Botswana, with 87 already moved and 44 calves born from their group alone.”

The Jouberts said: “Such an honour to receive this recognition for work that brings us so much joy and fulfilment – and allows us to make a contribution to safeguarding wildlife and wild spaces.”

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The president and the jokes were back, as the gloves came off for the return of the White House correspondents' dinner in Washington on Saturday, 30 April 2022.
South African comedian, Trevor Noah, was the first African to host the dinner, offering a light roast of the United States President as well as words of wisdom towards journalism.

President Joe Biden poked fun at his slumping poll ratings, took several sly digs at his predecessor Donald Trump and accepted a roasting from Daily Show host Trevor Noah at the glitzy party mixing Washington politics, media and Hollywood.

And there were serious references as well: to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and challenges to democracy and media freedoms at home and abroad.

"I'm really excited to be here tonight with the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating than I have," President Biden said in his opening comments.

The White House press corps association, the WHCA, has hosted presidents for an annual black tie dinner starting with Calvin Coolidge in 1924.

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A South African teen won multiple awards at the Miss Teenager Universe pageant hosted in Panama.
Sune Meyer – a young South African teen from Thabazimbi – walked away with three awards at the Miss Teenager Universe pageant over the weekend.

Miss Teenager Universe calls itself the “biggest and most important beauty pageant for teenagers from around the world”. Teens from around the globe spent the week in Panama preparing for the grand finale.

Monique Lightburn from the Bahamas took first place, while Miss South Africa took second. Meyer was also given the Best Body Special Award and crowned Miss Teenager African Continent.

“I would like to thank all my supporters, friends and family for their amazing support throughout my journey. Thank you to the Miss Teenager organisation for this wonderful opportunity that we could all experience the beautiful country of Panama; we were treated like celebrities. It was truly an honour to have been part of this experience and the amazing group of people behind it all.”

The experience has made Meyer more aware of the challenges South Africa faces, and in the past two years, the young teen has spent her time looking after the elderly, standing with young women fighting gender-based violence, baking cupcakes for cancer and collecting donations for the South African Woman Federation.

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A Grade 5 pupil from King's School in West Rand, Gauteng, has come first in the Mini Miss Africa category in Uganda's Little Mr and Miss Africa 2022 beauty pageant.
Reatlegile Tlhabi started modelling when she was just two and since then has won many titles, including Mini Miss World, Baby of SA, Queen of South Africa, Miss Tiny South Africa, Miss Tiny Universe SA, and many more.

Besides modelling, the 10-year-old dynamo participates in gymnastics, netball, drama and hip-hop dance.

Her mom, Tidimalo Tlhabi, says that when her daughter was young, she would always cry for her older sister's modelling dresses and wanted to look like a princess, just like her big sister.

Although Tlhabi could have guessed at the time that little Reatlegile would end up doing modelling, she had no idea that she would win international titles such as this one, one day.

Winning Little Mr and Miss Africa

"When my name was called, I was in disbelief and extremely happy at the same time, as the competition was tough," Reatlegile shared in her local paper, Krugersdorp News, after her win.

"I had the pleasure of learning about other African countries' various cultures, and I have made many new friends from around Africa," she added.

Tlhabi says that she cannot wait to start using her title as Mini Miss Africa to make a difference in Africa. During the pageant, she was also crowned Miss Popularity, since she received 2 500 votes online as the people's favourite princess.

Little Mr and Miss Africa will be hosted in South Africa next year, and Tlhabi says that she can't wait to show off South Africa to the rest of Africa when the time comes.

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The Springboks will tackle the Wallabies in Adelaide in this year's Rugby Championship.

The Springboks will tackle the Wallabies at the famous Adelaide Oval in South Australia later this year, Rugby Australia confirmed.

This will be first time the Springboks play a Test in Adelaide - at a ground more renowned for hosting cricket matches.

The Test, scheduled for Saturday, 27 August, is the first of two Rugby Championship encounters the Boks will play in Australia this year. The second encounter is scheduled for the following week (3 September) at a yet-to-be-determined venue in the New South Wales state.

Meanwhile, SA Rugby also confirmed that all six the Boks' home Tests this year will kick off at 17:05 (SA time). South Africa will play three Tests against Wales in July, as well as three Rugby Championship Tests: against New Zealand in Nelspruit (6 August) and Johannesburg (13 August), and Argentina in Durban (24 September).

Kick-off times for both clashes against Australia must still be confirmed, while the Boks' away match against Argentina at Estadio Velez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires (17 September) is scheduled to start at 16:10 (21:10 SA time).

Springbok fixtures and SA kick-off times:

Incoming Tour:

17:05 - Saturday, 2 July: Springboks v Wales (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)

17:05 - Saturday, 9 July: Springboks v Wales (Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein)

17:05 - Saturday, 16 July - Springboks v Wales (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)

Rugby Championship:

17:05 - Saturday, 6 August: Springboks v All Blacks (Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit)

17:05 - Saturday, 13 August: Springboks v All Blacks (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)

TBC: Saturday, 27 August: Australia v Springboks (Adelaide Oval, Adelaide)

TBC: Saturday, 3 September: Australia v Springboks (New South Wales, venue TBC)

21:10 - Saturday, 17 September: Argentina v Springboks (Estadio Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires)

17:05 - Saturday, 24 September: Springboks v Argentina (Kings Park, Durban)

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber welcomed the change of scenery in Australia, with the team having played mainly in Brisbane and Perth in recent years.

"We are very excited about playing in Adelaide for the first time and hopefully we can make the most of this occasion in a season that will be vital as we build towards to the Rugby World Cup in France next year," Nienaber said in a statement.

"The players enjoyed the experience of playing four Tests in Queensland last year, and Adelaide will present another exciting new challenge for the team, while the last time we played the Wallabies in New South Wales, was back in 2011 in Sydney.

"It also offers us the opportunity to start on a new slate at a fresh venue in a country that we have come to know very well over the years."

Nienaber added that the confirmation of the kick-off times for the Boks' local Tests assisted with their planning.

"Match-days are very structured for us, and every minute counts in ensuring that the players perform to their optimal ability when the starting whistle sounds, so the kick-off times allows us to fine-tune our planning even more as the countdown begins to the international season."

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Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel circumnavigated almost 1 100 kilometres of the landlocked African country Lesotho in 16 days, six hours and 56 minutes.
Sandes, 40-years-old, along with fellow ultrarunner Griesel, 42-years-old, have successfully completed the epic 1 100-km journey through some of southern Africa’s most brutal weather.

Ryan and Ryno started the trail at the Telle Bridge Border Post on 10 April 2022. They faced many physical and mental challenges and overcame 33 000m of elevation along the borders.

They covered the length of the entire Drakensberg Mountain range and summited some of Lesotho’s most breathtaking peaks, including Mafadi Peak – the highest mountain in South Africa at 3,446.1m. They walked along some of southern Africa’s untouched land.

Ryan and Ryno endured freezing weather as well as dangerous flooding along the way. Some days, temperatures were as low as -5° on the mountains and up to 30° degrees in the lower lands. They went through 23 pairs of socks.

“It was definitely a lot more challenging than we initially anticipated, especially the extreme weather we experienced in the mountain section – ice, snow and severe cold. There were some really cold nights out there, where we didn’t think we would make it through. All those curve balls make for real epic adventure with some incredible memories I’ll hold onto forever. We’ve been on enough crazy adventures together to know that the key is ultimately trust and respect. I wouldn’t want to have achieved this with anyone else.” – Ryan Sandes

The pair previously embarked on the ultimate Drakensberg adventure – the Drakensberg Grand Traverse – in 2014 when they ran 204km non-stop. They also broke the Great Himalaya Trail record in 2018 with a new mark of 25 days, three hours and 24 minutes.

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