Jerome Cartillier

Jerome Cartillier

    Officially no one is a candidate and there is not even a campaign, but in reality the contest to become the next South African president is well under way ahead of a crucial vote in December. The African National Congress (ANC) meets at the end of year to choose the person expected to lead the party into the 2009 general elections.

    Carel van Heerden feels no reason to apologise about his doomed lion-breeding business. "Trophy hunters will always exist. We're taking the pressure off the rest of the roaming lions in Africa." The appetite for big-game hunting among foreign tourists sustains around 300 lion-breeding farms across South Africa.

    Chinese leader Hu Jintao on Friday left Mozambique for the Seychelles, the last stop on an African swing marked by Beijing's largesse and staunch rebuttal of criticism that it was plundering the continent. Hu on Thursday announced a debt waiver, cash grants and increased market access for goods from war-ravaged Mozambique.

    Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday announced a debt waiver, cash grants, increased market access and "pragmatic cooperation" with war-ravaged Mozambique on the last major stop of his current African tour. Hu signed a slew of cooperation agreements and announced that Beijing was waiving Mozambique's bilateral debt.

    South Africa, which will host China's President Hu Jintao on Tuesday, sees mutual benefits flowing from Beijing's push into Africa while being wary of being seen as a mere source for raw materials. Hu is expected to receive the full red-carpet treatment when he arrives in the capital, Pretoria, on the latest leg of a sweep through the continent.

    South African telephone subscribers, enraged by high rates charged by fixed-line provider Telkom, are turning on the government and on Telkom. Analysts attack Telkom regularly, complaining of high charges, especially for access to the internet, and warn that this could obstruct South Africa from achieving targeted annual growth of 6% from 2010.

    Hundreds of South African prisoners who have been in jail since the apartheid era are hoping to reclaim their freedom by convincing the government that their crimes were politically motivated. Some of the prisoners, ranging from die-hard defenders of the whites-only regime to members of the Zulu-based Inkatha Freedom Party, concede they were involved in serious crimes.

    Stock markets across Africa, beset by feeble volumes of trade and lack of liquidity, are trying to work closer together in a bid to increase transparency and attract more foreign investment. "There has to be a change in the way international investors perceive Africa and its stock exchanges," according to Maged Shawky Sourail, chief executive of African Stock Exchanges Assocation.