Louis Oelofse

SA troops cheered by parcels from home

Like children who cannot wait to open presents on Christmas Day, South African soldiers cheered loudly when a large cargo plane carrying goodwill parcels from home arrived in Burundi on Tuesday. When the cargo plane flew over the Modderfontein base in Africa's Great Lakes region, they spontaneously started singing.

Early Christmas for SA troops in DRC

Christmas came early on Monday for a group of South African soldiers deployed as part of the United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Father Christmas came in the guise of Lieutenant General Rinus van Rensburg, chief of defence corporate staff, and a host of other high ranking South African National Defence Force officers.

Wouter Basson denies unprofessional conduct

While he might have been part of the apartheid government's secret chemical and biological warfare programme, he did not act unprofessionally, Wouter Basson said on Monday. Basson pleaded not guilty to six charges brought against him at the Health Professions Council of South Africa. The charges relate to his time as head of the apartheid government's chemical and biological warfare project.

Stare into the eyes of Mrs Ples

Like the Mona Lisa, she has a strange allure; the almost sad eyes looking at you across 2,15-million years. A lifelike bust shows what one of South Africa's most famous fossils, Mrs Ples, probably looked like. The bust, reconstructed by French artist Elisabeth Daynes, goes on display for the first time in Pretoria from Friday.

Last miner emerges to smiles, cheers

The last miner among about 3 200 trapped two kilometres underground for over 30 hours at Harmony Gold's Elandsrand mine near Carletonville was rescued on Thursday night. He was welcomed by Harmony chairperson Patrice Motsepe and by Minerals and Energy Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica.

Lottery ticket in your pocket within two weeks

South Africans will be able to start buying lottery tickets in the next two weeks, newly appointed National Lottery operator Gidani said on Friday. To make the transition easier for lottery players, the games will initially remain the same, namely the Lotto, Lotto Plus, Wina Manja scratch-card games and the Sportstake games.

SA submarine outwits Nato force

A lone South African submarine left some Nato commanders with red faces on Tuesday as it ''sank'' all the ships of the Nato Maritime Group engaged in exercises with the South African Navy off the Cape coast. The SAS Manthatisi not only evaded detection by a joint Nato and South African Navy search party, it also ''sank'' all the ships taking part in the fleet.

Nato, SA in naval-warfare exercise

Forget the blazing guns of yesteryear -- these days naval warfare is a high-tech and sophisticated operation. This became clear on Monday as an exercise involving Nato warships and the South African Navy got under way off the South African coast.

US hopes to spend more on Aids in SA

The United States hopes to increase the money it spends to tackle HIV and Aids in South Africa, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt said on Monday. He met Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya at the Union Buildings in Pretoria as part of an official visit to South Africa.

PSC: Govt loses R45m to financial misconduct

More than R45,6-million was lost by national and provincial government departments due to financial misconduct in the 2005/06 financial year, the Public Service Commission (PSC) said on Tuesday. Releasing the commission's report on financial misconduct in government departments, PSC chairperson Stan Sangweni said there were 771 reported cases.

Probe apartheid-era atrocities, says PAC

Full investigations into apartheid-era atrocities are needed, the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) urged President Thabo Mbeki on Tuesday. ''As the PAC we feel that we should have full investigations into unclosed chapters of the past,'' PAC president Letlapa Mphahlele told reporters after meeting Mbeki at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Chikane points finger at apartheid secret service

Former members of South Africa's current intelligence services who were once part of apartheid secret services were behind the ''special browse'' report about an alleged plot to overthrow the government, said Director General in the Presidency Frank Chikane on Saturday at a press conference at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

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