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Paul Simao

Aids crisis looms for ANC ahead of vote

HIV/Aids has driven a wedge between the leadership and rank-and-file of the ruling African National Congress, with top officials accused of ignorance and activists aghast at the government's handling of the pandemic. President Thabo Mbeki and his former deputy, Jacob Zuma have both been burned politically by the HIV/Aids crisis.

Angolan soldiers accused of ‘systematic’ rape

Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières said this week that Angolan soldiers have raped, beaten and tortured illegal Congolese migrant workers before deporting them across the border. The French humanitarian group said the rights abuses were occurring in the diamond-rich northern Angolan province of Luanda Norte.

AU says Mugabe invitation a matter of principle

Africa's insistence that Robert Mugabe be invited to a summit in Europe is a matter of principle and not a sign of support for the Zimbabwean leader or his government, the chairperson of the African Union (AU) said on Friday. The prospect that Mugabe could attend a European Union-AU summit in Lisbon next month has threatened to derail the meeting.

Wildcat strike at Cup stadium in Durban

More than 1 000 labourers on Wednesday walked off the job at a South African soccer stadium work site, the latest in a string of disputes disrupting the nation's preparations to host the Soccer World Cup in 2010. The National Union of Mineworkers said its workers had downed their tools to press demands for bonuses and improved safety conditions.

State firms flex muscle in Africa oil boom

Africa's state-owned oil firms are taking a bigger role in the rush to tap the continent's energy resources and threatening to upstage the Western majors who have dominated exploration and drilling for decades. Governments from Luanda to Lagos are pushing for greater control and laying down increasingly stringent rules for the international firms.

Rugby win eclipses SA racial divide, for now

South Africans came together on Monday to bask in the glow of the country's victory at the Rugby World Cup, hoping the triumph would help heal the racial divisions of the post-apartheid era. But behind the jubilation over the 15-6 win against England on Saturday was the realisation that the racial unity could be as fleeting as it was in 1995.

Agreement on Doha ‘extremely close’

World trade talks appeared to be making progress on Wednesday as the leaders of Brazil, India and South Africa said they were committed to reaching a deal. The leaders said differences with rich countries were still blocking agreement in the Doha round, launched nearly six years ago to help developing countries grow out of poverty and boost the world economy by opening up global trade.

SA summit pushes for greater voice for poor nations

The leaders of Brazil, India and South Africa on Wednesday vowed to push the interests of poor nations in stalled international trade talks and said any agreement would have to benefit the developing world. Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and South African President Thabo Mbeki met at a summit in Pretoria.

Mbeki gets boost in ANC leadership race

President Thabo Mbeki's chances of staying on as leader of South Africa's ruling party improved on Thursday when the party said the biggest share of regional votes in a leadership contest would go to his stronghold. Mbeki, barred from seeking re-election as national president in 2009, has signalled he intends to stand for a third term as African National Congress (ANC) leader.

Southern Africa to meet trade deadline

Southern Africa is on track to form a free trade zone by 2008 and is still considering establishment of a customs union. ''We will be able to meet the deadline of the FTA [Free Trade Area] and we are seeing what we can do to meet the customs union,'' Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, a South African trade official.

Scorpions under spotlight again

The Scorpions crime unit is in the political spotlight again amid reports it was preparing to arrest the nation's police commissioner, the latest high-profile official targeted by the elite force. Unease over the unit has been building within the ruling African National Congress since President Thabo Mbeki announced the formation of the FBI-style crime unit in 1999.

Shaik court ruling could put Zuma in spotlight

The Constitutional Court ruling on Tuesday dismissing Schabir Shaik's application to appeal his conviction and sentence for corruption and fraud may have cleared the way for presidential hopeful Jacob Zuma to face corruption charges again, the latest twist in a political drama gripping the country.

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