South Africa

  1. South Africans Kellerman, Bantwini and Zikode win Grammy

    Zakes Bantwin, Nomcebo Zikode, and Wouter Kellerman pose in the press room during the 65th GRAMMY Awards

    South Africans Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode won a Grammy Award on Sunday for Best Global Music Performance for their collaboration Bayethe.

    The three artists have tweeted their reactions to the award:

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  2. Ramaphosa asks deputy to delay resignation

    South African Deputy President, David Mabuza at the 55th ANC (African National Congress)
    Image caption: South Africa's deputy president said he was stepping down

    President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked his deputy, David Mabuza, to remain in his position until a transition is finalised.

    Mr Mabuza is reported to have told a funeral gathering on Saturday that the president had “accepted” his resignation and that an announcement on his departure was coming.

    He said he believed it was logical for him to give way to Paul Mashatile, who was elected in December as the ruling ANC party’s deputy president.

    But the presidency spokesman on Sunday said the president wanted Mr Mabuza to remain until the transition process was finalised.

    Mr Mashatile is due to be sworn in as an MP on Monday. His entry to parliament will pave the way for the president to name him as the country’s deputy president.

    Mr Ramaphosa is due to deliver his state of the nation address in Cape Town on Thursday.

  3. Protesting pupils flip police car in South Africa

    Pupils in South Africa's Free State province were filmed flipping a police car on Thursday after going on the rampage over the alleged death of their schoolmate.

    The child is alleged to have taken their life after being bullied by a teacher, the Times Live site reports quoting a local police spokesperson.

    “It is reported that the child left a suicide note to say what caused the death and then the learners at the school picketed and it became violent,” Warrant Officer Peter Mabizela is quoted as saying

    Pupils from surrounding schools converged at Tlotlisong Secondary School where they held two police officers and teachers hostage inside the school, Mr Mabizela added.

    The pupils turned a police vehicle on its side amid cheers. It took additional police units to disperse them from the school.

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    Five minors were arrested for public violence and will appear in court soon, police said.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Why are global powers 'scrambling' for Africa?

    Top officials from the US, China, Russia and Turkey have visited 14 African countries in January 2023.

  5. Mystery over blue tap water in Johannesburg

    The authorities in South Africa's commercial hub, Johannesburg, have launched an investigation after a resident found blue water flowing from her tap.

    The resident had on Monday shared a picture and video of her frightening experience on social media.

    A spokesperson for the water utility firm, Johannesburg Water, said it suspects the water was contaminated by copper in the building, but samples had been taken for testing, according to local reports.

    The results are expected in 24 hours after the samples have been tested, Puleng Mopeli is quoted as saying.

    The affected resident told IOL news site that the blue water eventually stopped coming out.

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  6. South Africa mulls state of disaster over power crisis

    South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa
    Image caption: The president said the ruling party had proposed a national state of disaster over the energy crisis

    South Africa is considering declaring the power crisis in the country a national disaster.

    President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said the governing ANC party had recommended that a national state of disaster be declared to ensure sufficient resources were allocated to alleviate the problem.

    This would be similar to the state of disaster declared in 2020 to manage the effects of the Covid pandemic, he said in his closing remarks at an ANC strategy meeting.

    “Work is already underway within government to establish whether the legal requirements of a national state of disaster are met and what specific actions we would be empowered to undertake,” he said.

    “A national state of disaster will enable us to have the instruments necessary to fully implement the challenges that our nation faces,” he added.

    South Africa has been grappling with an energy crisis for years and is currently experiencing lengthy power cuts blamed on ageing infrastructure and corruption.

    The ruling party has been under increasing pressure to resolve the crisis.

    The president said the issue would receive urgent attention and be discussed fully at the government level.

  7. SA judge withdraws from Zuma corruption trial

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Jacob Zuma
    Image caption: Jacob Zuma has survived a series over scandals over his political career

    A South African judge presiding over the corruption trial of former President Jacob Zuma has withdrawn from the case - in a move likely to cause further delays.

    Judge Piet Koen said he wanted to avoid any risk of compromising the perception of justice, after he earlier ruled against Mr Zuma's efforts to force out the prosecutor.

    Mr Zuma is facing 16 counts of fraud and racketeering over the purchase of fighter jets and other arms equipment when he was vice-president in the 1990s.

    Eighteen months ago, Mr Zuma was given a 15-month jail term for contempt of court in connection with another corruption case.

    He has denied any wrongdoing.

  8. Concern over South Africa attacks on Mozambican cars

    Jose Tembe

    BBC News, Maputo

    Cars in SA
    Image caption: Mozambique wants to know when the attack on its citizens' vehicles in South Africa will stop

    The Mozambican government has expressed concern over repeated attacks on vehicles with the national number plate in South Africa.

    In the latest incident, a group of unknown criminals, still at large, set alight six vehicles belonging to Mozambican citizens, including a passenger bus, which was carrying around 35 passengers and was bound for the port city of Durban.

    The attack took place about 90 km (55 miles) from the Ponta de Ouro border crossing between the two countries.

    There are no reports of deaths or injuries. The victims were rescued by the South African authorities and escorted back to the border.

    In addition to setting fire to the vehicles, the criminals also stole belongings from the vehicles.

    Mozambican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Veronica Macamo described the situation as worrying. She says her government cannot explain the phenomenon and has demanded an explanation from South Africa.

  9. Ex-teacher linked to UK abuse arrested in South Africa

    Pumza Fihlani

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    Fettes College
    Image caption: The teacher previously worked at Fettes College in Edinburgh

    A former teacher accused of abusing pupils at boarding schools in Edinburgh has been arrested in South Africa.

    The 83-year-old — who can’t be named for legal reasons — attended a sexual offences office in Cape Town with his lawyer on Monday morning.

    He is due to appear at the city's Wynberg Magistrates Court later.

    The man, known in a BBC documentary as "Edgar", taught at Fettes College and Edinburgh Academy in the Scottish capital in the 1960s and 1970s.

    The BBC presenter Nicky Campbell is one of several former pupils who have made allegations against "Edgar", who is fighting extradition from South Africa to the UK.

    "Edgar" admitted abusing young boys while teaching in Scotland, according to court documents seen by the BBC.

    His legal team now insists that he denies the allegations.

    He also denies molesting students after moving to South Africa to teach at a prestigious boys school in Cape Town.

    The man is subject to an order at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry preventing his identification.

    BBC presenter Nicky Campbell - who has been fighting for Edgar’s extradition to the UK - said he witnessed incidents of both sexual and physical abuse at the Edinburgh Academy which had a “profound effect” on his life.

    Edgar is fighting the extradition on compassionate grounds arguing that he is old, unwell, and remorseful.

    Read more: Teacher accused of abuse at Scotland schools arrested in South Africa

  10. Gunmen kill eight at birthday party in South Africa

    SA Police Service barricade tape

    Gunmen killed eight people after opening fire on a group of people celebrating a birthday party in a township in South Africa's Eastern Cape province, police have said.

    Two gunmen entered the yard of the house on Sunday evening in Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth, and randomly shot at guests, a police statement said.

    The owner of the house was among those killed, while three others were also wounded.

    The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, and the head of police, Fannie Masemola, are expected to lead a delegation to the crime scene on Monday.

    No arrests have been made and an investigation has been opened on the attack, local outlets report.

    A map of South Africa
  11. South Africa not abandoning coal yet - president

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A general view of the Grootvlei Power Station, a coal-fired power plant operated by Eskom located in Grootvlei in South Africa - December 2022
    Image caption: South Africa is one of the world's most coal-dependent nations

    South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has said there are no plans to immediately abandon coal-fired power stations during a proposed transition to cleaner forms of energy.

    The country is one of the world's most coal-dependent nations and is a significant polluter.

    It is currently experiencing lengthy power cuts blamed on ageing infrastructure and corruption.

    Since 2021 South Africa has secured several billion dollars in international loans and grants to support a switch to greener power.

    Addressing colleagues from the governing African National Congress (ANC) party, Mr Ramaphosa suggested it would be unwise to reduce the country's capacity as it made what he called a just energy transition.

    The ANC has close links with the country's mining unions.

  12. Zimbabwe's Hillzy - a musical balancing act

    DJ Edu

    Presenter of This Is Africa on BBC World Service

    Hilary Ngaakudzwe Chipunza, also known as Hillzy.

    Hilary Ngaakudzwe Chipunza, better known as Hillzy, is an R&B and hip hop artist from Zimbabwe with a silky smooth voice.

    He has a very international sound to his music. So much so that it took him a while to be recognised as a Zimbabwean artist despite the fact that he sings in both English and Shona.

    "When I actually started out, the comments I would get were like: 'Wow, yeah you don't sound like you are based in Zim.'"

    He puts this down to his musical influences which include the Grammy-award winning US singer-songwriter Chris Brown, and other Western music.

    "So because of that I always try and add my African flavour to it. As time went on I decided to mix the two and just make sure it sounds nice. So now the recognition is coming all because I'm adding more Shona elements into the music, and it has definitely done wonders for me."

    While Hillzy studied computer science and computer engineering at the University of Cape Town, in South Africa, he was also honing his skills as a beats maker and started recording his own material.

    He says social media has been key to building his career. But being in Cape Town, he found it difficult to connect with Zimbabweans initially.

    "So that's how social media built up for me because it was a way to connect with Zim. But then I learnt so much about it and I was like, 'hey why not target people in Cape Town, Johannesberg, Nigeria, to the rest of the world'?"

    Hillzy released his latest EP last October, entitled In The Building. It's a mixture of R&B, hip hop and some songs with an Afrobeats vibe. But he insists he wants to stick with his first loves, R&B and hip hop.

    "I recently did an Afrobeats song, Chargie, which did very well, and I do see the potential in it, but I just feel like I've already started this R&B and hip hop journey. I would love to collaborate with other artists. I just genuinely think I'd be a better 'feature' than an Afrobeats artist."

    Hillzy says that wanting to be known internationally, and at the same time wanting the respect within Zimbabwe, presents him with a difficult musical balance to strike.

    One of his most successful songs is Ndiwe Wega Uripo which means You Are The Only One Here. On it, he samples Zimbabwean legend Oliver Mtukudzi who wrote the song for his wife Daisy.

    "People are kind of saying, 'OK I hear a little bit of some Mtukudzi here, who is this kid?' So I have a lot of elderly fans all because of just that song. I think I'm also on that kind of mission where I'm trying to bring back that old school of Zimbabwean music, so you can expect something like that in the near future."

    Hillzy says his focus this year is to become part of the African roster.

    "Say you're in London - when people ask you about African music you're probably going to say 'there's your WizKid, there's Tems, Nasty C'. I want people to also say there's Hillzy."

    He also wants to enter into some collaborations.

    "If Mr Eazi wants to do a song I want to fly to Nigeria and do a song with him. I want to be more on the road and less online. That's the next thing for me. The African roster."

    To hear the full interview with Hillzy, listen to This is Africa on BBC World Service radio and partner stations across Africa, and online here: bbcworldservice.com/thisisafrica.

  13. South Africa in deal to send dozens of cheetahs to India

    BBC World Service

    A cheetah looks out over plains at the Mashatu game reserve on July 24, 2010
    Image caption: The first batch of 12 cheetahs will be moved next month.

    South Africa says it has signed an agreement to introduce dozens of African cheetahs to India over the next decade.

    The South African environment department said the first batch of 12 cheetahs would be moved next month.

    It plans to send a similar number annually for the next eight to 10 years.

    India received eight cheetahs from Namibia last year and they were released at Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh state.

    Asian cheetahs became extinct in India in the late 1940s because of excessive hunting and loss of habitat.

    Some conservationists argue that the translocation of cheetahs may not be successful as reserves in India are close to densely populated villages.

  14. US wants to deepen Africa ties - Yellen

    Vumani Mkhize

    BBC Africa business reporter, Johannesburg

    Janet Yellen
    Image caption: Janet Yellen is currently in Africa as part of a US charm offensive of the continent

    US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says Washington wants to deepen its economic ties with Africa, during a bilateral meeting with her South African counterpart, Enoch Godongwana.

    Ms Yellen is on the last leg of her Africa tour, having previously visited Senegal and Zambia.

    Top of the agenda is the restructuring of Zambia’s debt - which the country defaulted on in 2020.

    Closer to home, discussions around financing South Africa’s energy transition away from coal towards less carbon-intensive methods will be at the fore.

    A figure of $8.5bn (£6.8bn) has been put on the table by the US and some EU countries to fund South Africa’s transition.

    Ms Yellen also paid President Cyril Ramaphosa a courtesy visit last night, but no comment was made about the closed-door meeting.

    This trip marks the beginning of a year-long US charm offensive in Africa, with President Joe Biden and his deputy expected to visit the continent later in the year.

    Over the past week Russian, Chinese and EU officials have also been to the continent to strengthen their relationships.

  15. South African farmer laments ‘disastrous’ energy crisis

    electricity poles at the Frangipani Boerdery farm
    Image caption: The blackouts, known locally as “load shedding”, have caused huge disruption

    A South African farmer has told the BBC’s Newsday radio programme that the energy crisis in the country is having a “disastrous” effect on all industries and a “big impact” on agriculture.

    The country is facing regular blackouts which have been blamed on the government’s poor management of the power utility, Eskom, and an ageing fleet of coal-fired stations.

    Regarding agriculture, crops need to be irrigated, while poultry farming “relies on a lot of electricity”, Gift Mafuleka said.

    Mr Mafuleka, who grows potatoes and grains, said he currently has crops that need irrigation. The heatwave the country is currently facing makes it hard to “keep up” with watering crops and tending to livestock, he said.

    “It’s very tough,” he continued, saying that he has been discussing the possibility of “scaling down” his produce with his staff.

    He warned this could have a wider economic impact in terms of job losses if other farmers followed suit.

  16. South Africa opposition holds protest over power cuts

    Pumza Fihlani

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    Democratic Alliance (DA) members hold placards as they march to Luthuli House, the headquarters of the
    Image caption: South Africa's opposition party DA is holding march against the country's power crisis

    South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), is holding a march in Johannesburg to protest against worsening power cuts across the country.

    The march is heading towards the headquarters of the governing party, the ANC.

    The regular blackouts have been blamed on the government’s poor management of the power utility, Eskom, and an aging fleet of coal-fired stations.

    “This is an ANC-created problem,” chanted a speaker from a makeshift podium set up in the Johannesburg city centre - where thousands of DA supporters have gathered.

    Many are carrying placards written “enough is enough”.

    The crowds will walk through the city’s streets to the ANC's Luthuli House offices.

    The DA says the ANC-led government is to blame for the persisting power crises.

    South Africa has been experiencing regular blackouts since last year, leaving homes, hospitals and businesses in the dark for several hours each day.

    There have been small pockets of unrest as a result, but this appears to be the largest demonstration in recent months.

    The blackouts, known locally as “load shedding”, are carried out by energy utility Eskom - supposedly to keep the grid from collapsing.