Justine Gerardy

Street vendors on charm offensive

''Madam of nations! Miss South Africa! How are you doing today, Miss South Africa?'' Balancing boxes of fruit, a tarmac charmer aims his compliments in a steady stream through an open car window. With little success, he shifts the boxes and ambles on to deliver his next salutation. Plastic coat hangers, mangoes, cheap cellphone chargers ... the range is eclectic and so is the sales talk.

Storms form part of Eastern Cape festive season

An SMS alert is triggered in the Eastern Cape about four times a week, warning of bad storm conditions heading towards the province. ''We send them out regularly,'' said South African Weather Service forecaster Peter Lumb. ''On average, three to four a week for individual storms. We zoom in on ones that we think will be the most severe and will cause damage.''

Report slams Zimbabwe police torture

Zimbabwean police torture 33% of political detainees, according to a study on police brutality released in Johannesburg on Thursday. ''The Zimbabwean government has reverted to patterns of state control established under colonialism,'' said Archbishop Pius Ncube of the Solidarity Peace Trust. These include mass arrests under repressive legislation.

Mbeki: SADC trade imbalance still exists

The regional trade imbalance in Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries has remained in favour of South Africa despite major tariff removals, President Thabo Mbeki told the SADC parliamentary forum on Tuesday. The forum consists of representatives from the legislatures of SADC member countries.

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