Chinese President Hu Jintao was due in South Africa on Tuesday to cement ties with Beijing's key trading partner on the continent and a crucial ally in pushing the interests of the world's have-nots. He is scheduled to hold talks with counterpart Thabo Mbeki during his two-day visit, sign trade agreements and discuss a raft of bilateral issues.
Xenophobia is on the rise in South Africa where foreigners are increasingly being blamed for spiralling crime and growing unemployment, thereby damaging the country's credentials overseas. Africa's largest economy started welcoming foreigners of all hues after the demise of apartheid in 1994 but the public mood is turning hostile.
A South African trade union leader said she would urge President Thabo Mbeki to break his silence on Zimbabwe on Friday after giving him a film exposing rights abuses in the neighbouring state. ''I am meeting the president tomorrow [Friday],'' Mary Malete, leader of the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) told the media on Thursday.
South Africa, riding the wave of a tourism boom, is touting Survivor-style business meetings to turn it into one of the world's top 10 conference venues by the end of the decade. The new ''Business Unusual'' brand unveiled at roadshows in the United States, Europe and Asia, offers executives a chance to swap pinstripe suits for shorts in the bush.
A decision to seize white-owned land if negotiations linger or end in deadlock is paying off with more and more farmers accepting the price offered by the state, a top land official said on Wednesday. ''These farmers have become more supportive because we are cracking the whip,'' chief land claims commissioner Tozi Gwanya said in an interview.
Wen Jiabao this week embarks on the first visit to South Africa by a Chinese premier in 50 years as the continental powers join forces to push the developing world's agenda in the global arena. The landmark visit on Wednesday and Thursday underlines the importance Beijing accords to Pretoria eight years after they established diplomatic relations.
South Africa this week marks the 30th anniversary of a watershed in its anti-apartheid struggle when hundreds of children in Soweto protesting the forced teaching of Afrikaans died in a brutal police crackdown. The June 16 youth protest began in the black township of Soweto, spreading like wildfire across the country and marking a turning point in the liberation movement.
Teresa Nandulo (13) mothered her three siblings for three years after losing her father during Angola's 27-year war and her own mother soon after. Reunited with relatives, she yearns for a role change. One of the estimated 18 000 people still separated from their families after the war, Nandulo and her sister and two brothers, were reunited with their paternal uncle last weekend by the Red Cross.
Zimbabwe must radically overhaul its land-reform policy to revive the economy and retain membership in the International Monetary Fund, which has given it six months grace from threatened expulsion, analysts say. The Southern African nation, in the throes of economic turmoil, faces a bleak future.
The wave of strikes that recently hit South Africa ground to a halt its vital gold industry and the national airline, among others, as unions struggled to negotiate wage hikes on the basis of the lowest inflation rate in years. But the economic impact of the protests is marginal compared with the past, analysts say.
Nelson Mandela has filed a lawsuit against a former associate and a businessman for selling forgeries of his artwork for millions of dollars, his lawyer said on Tuesday. The lawsuit targets the elder statesman's ex-lawyer Ismail Ayob and his business associate Ross Calder, who are accused of selling fake artworks bearing the magic Mandela moniker.
Africa's last absolute monarch, King Mswati III of Swaziland, celebrated his 37th birthday on Tuesday with a R10,5-million bash amid criticism that his extravagance was bleeding the poverty-stricken and HIV/Aids-afflicted nation dry. ''God has been watching over us since we became independent 37 years ago which is the time I was born,'' the king said, speaking in a rich baritone.