Isaac Mangena
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/ 16 March 2008

Robben Island turns into a ghost town

South Africa’s once notorious Robben Island penal colony risks ghost-town status as its last residents trickle off in search of creature comforts on the mainland. The population of penguins, seals and feral cats far outnumbers the 112 human inhabitants of the present day heritage site — mostly former prison warders and their families.

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/ 28 February 2008

Evicted SA squatters live on hope alone

Legsaan Levember can only pray for better days as he huddles with 12 family members in a roadside tent, another victim of South Africa’s spiralling housing backlog. The family uses a plastic sheet to extend their tiny tent, which perches precariously on the slope of a small dune and is regularly blown away by Cape Town’s relentless south-easterly winds.

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/ 23 December 2007

Umshini Wami echoes through SA

<a href=""><img src="" align=left border=0></a>Some call it brainless, others inappropriate in the post-apartheid era but Jacob Zuma, the new leader of the African National Congress, is in no mood to stop singing his signature <i>Umshini Wami</i>. "If you erase the songs, you erase the record of history," said Zuma of the anthem.

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/ 14 December 2007

Investors fear jump to left under Zuma

Investors will closely eye the African National Congress’s election conference next week, fearing a victorious Jacob Zuma would chart a leftist course. Maarten-Jan Bakkum, an economist at ABN Amro Asset Management, said the thought of Zuma governing Africa’s economic powerhouse left many investors uneasy.

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/ 12 December 2007

Pistorius waits on Olympic dream

Oscar Pistorius, the self-described ”fastest thing on no legs”, retains both his sense of humour and confidence when he mulls the possibility that his Olympics dream could be about to be shattered. ”It has been my dream to run with the able-bodied and in the Olympics,” the South African double amputee tells Agence France-Presse.

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/ 6 November 2007

World Cup can heal Africa’s wounds

The first Soccer World Cup to be held in Africa can be the glue which binds a continent too often riven by conflict, according to the man in charge of organising the world’s most popular sporting event. Danny Jordaan said the 2010 tournament was a perfect opportunity to showcase Africa and banish negative stereotypes.

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/ 25 October 2007

Springboks scrap plans to visit Soweto

The Springboks were accused on Thursday of blowing the chance of spreading rugby among South Africa’s black population by scrapping plans to include the biggest township on a World Cup victory parade. SA Rugby, already under fire over the lack of black players in the Springbok team, said it had had to strike Soweto off its list of venues because of time constraints.

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/ 18 October 2007

‘White man’s game’ takes hold in black South Africa

The youngsters assembled at Soweto’s Jabulani soccer grounds for an after-school training session are united in their reply when asked to name their hero: ”Habana. He’s the man!” As the Springboks prepare for Saturday’s World Cup final, a sport that was traditionally seen as a ”white man’s game” is slowly but surely gaining interest among South Africa’s black majority.