As new opposition accusations of violence emerged this week to threaten Thabo Mbeki's mediation efforts in Zimbabwe, neither the ruling party nor the political opposition appeared keen on Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade's latest bid for involvement in the talks. Wade said earlier this month that he plans to visit Zimbabwe within weeks to “talk with him [President Robert Mugabe] to see what Africa can do”.
International oil prices galloping towards a barrel could force another petrol price increase next month and South Africans may also need to brace themselves for a further hike in interest rates, just in time for Christmas. A strengthening rand may, however, be just the white knight consumers need.
Zimbabwe's government-appointed Media and Information Commission will not close down two popular private newspapers even if owner Trevor Ncube -- also the publisher of the Mail & Guardian in South Africa -- loses his Zimbabwean citizenship, state television reported late on Wednesday.
''My days of racing are done,'' stressed seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong during a press conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday. ''However, I would love to do the Argus Cycle Tour once. Is Cape Town flat?'' It was Armstrong's first visit to South Africa.
Looking back at the Mail & Guardian Online's news stories of 2005, it was a year filled with high-profile events such as Oilgate and the Jacob Zuma scandal. But there was also a lot of lightweight news that was noticed by our national and international readers.
Elephants roaming the parched plains of Africa's national parks can get up to half their food by risky midnight raids into crop fields, according to scientists who tracked a herd by satellite monitoring in Kenya's Samburu national reserve. It is a problem that also occurs in South Africa.
Since the beginning of December, 560 people have been killed on South African roads -- mostly due to drunken driving, driver fatigue and speeding. At about the same time last year, 726 road deaths had been reported. Road accidents have also decreased, from 619 up to this time in December 2004 to 466 thus far.
''I am relieved, so relieved,'' said an exhausted looking Trevor Ncube, the owner and publisher of the Mail & Guardian newspaper, after he landed in Johannesburg on Friday morning, exactly a week after his passport was confiscated by Zimbabwean authorities.
About 200 people who flew to Johannesburg International airport from Lagos, Nigeria, entered South Africa on Thursday morning without having their passports checked. A Department of Home Affairs spokesperson said there were ''very few immigration officers around at that time to assist the passengers''.