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South Africa holds official memorial
service for “Mother of the Nation”

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa on Wednesday held a national memorial service for the late Winnie Madikizela Mandela at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg.

The service was attended by the people across the political divide, faith based organizations, labor and the general South Africans.

Deputy President David Mabuza praised Madikizela Mandela for her bravery in the face of torture by the Apartheid government. He said the late Mother of the Nation’s death has been felt all over the world.

“In the past few days, Mama Winnie’s sense of universalism was echoed by millions across the world, and the visits to her home by various leaders and people from different political persuasions is testimony to her status as a global freedom fighter. She triumphed to lead a life of reconciliation, and the reconstruction and renewal of our society,” Mabuza said.

He said Madikizela Mandela always tried to unite the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and society at large.

Madikizela Mandela was married to the late former South African President Nelson Mandela who was incarcerated for 27 years for opposing the Apartheid rule.

Mandela family spokesperson, Chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima praised Madikizela Mandela for raising the children single-handedly under difficult situation. Matanzima stated that Africa is now bankrupt without one of its loyal daughters in Madikizela Mandela.

He added, “We have lost a negotiator and a leader. She unified the Madikizela and Mandela family. We thank all South Africans who prayed for us. We received a lot of support. When you have a bereavement, you look for genuine support.”

ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte paid tribute to her departed comrade labelling Madikizela Mandela a unifier, humble and principled cadre. She stated that the late heroine never betrayed her party (ANC) but pointed the bad things and openly spoke her mind.

Duarte said, “She did not betray the revolution. She prayed for the unity of the ANC. She spoke out against those that wanted more power.”

Zodwa Zwane, who was a personal assistant of Madikizela Mandela since 2007, praised her late boss. She spoke affectionately about the Mother of the Nation’s humility who would greet everyone she met. To Madikizela Mandela everyone was important, she stated. Zwane described Madikizela Mandela as a “mother, friend and boss.”

Madikizela Mandela passed away on April 2 in Johannesburg after a long illness. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a 10-day mourning after her death. She will be laid to rest in a state funeral on April 14.



Mandela’s former wife to be remembered in Botswana

JOHANNESBURG South Africa(Xinhua) -- The South African High Commission in Botswana and the Association of South Africans in that country will on Wednesday hold a memorial service for the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Gaborone.

South Africa’s North West premier Supra Mahumapelo will address the memorial service as well as the Botswana’s Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs and the Mayor of Gaborone.

North West government spokesperson Brian Setswambung said, “The memorial service in Botswana is part of the week-long mourning activities organized worldwide to remember Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela for her role in the struggle for South Africa’s freedom.”

South Africa is holding a nationwide memorial service for the fallen anti-Apartheid activist. She would be buried in Johannesburg on April 14, 2018.


South African SACP wants to “reconfigure” tripartite coalition alliance

CAPE TOWN  South Africa (Xinhua) -- The South African Communist Party (SACP) on Tuesday called for drastic measures to reconfigure the tripartite coalition alliance.

A reconfigured alliance should be an alliance characterized by adherence to the principles of democratic consensus seeking consultation, collective leadership and accountability, the SACP said.

The party warned against a situation where one alliance partner through its executives or an individual leader makes decisions without consultation, or a faction becomes dominant and makes those decisions.

The SACP said such situation is “completely unacceptable.”

“This is the general situation we were faced with until recently. However, this unacceptable situation continues at various levels. Rather than build the alliance, arrogance and marginalization of alliance partners will only serve to weaken and ultimately destroy the alliance,” the SACP said as it marked the 25th commemoration of the assassination of late SACP leader Chris Hani who was shot and killed on April 10 in 1993.

The SACP took advantage of the event to outline its relations with the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

The SACP and ANC form a coalition alliance which also includes the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

Relations between the SACP and ANC reached an all time low last year when then President Jacob Zuma sacked SACP Secretary General Blade Nzimande as Minister of Higher Education and Training in a cabinet reshuffle. The SACP has been critical of the ANC for making unilateral decisions.

As its rift with the ANC deepens, the SACP has stated repeatedly that it will contest the 2019 elections on its own. In previous elections, the SACP stood by the ANC to win votes.

“In memory of Chris Hani, we must combat all tendencies that will liquidate the alliance. The best way to do so is to reconfigure the alliance,” the SACP said.

In the same manner, decisive action must be taken against the malady of corporate capture within the ranks of the movement and corporate capture of the state, the SACP said.

“We must deal decisively with all other forms of corruption and wrongdoing,” said the party.

This apparently refers to Zuma and a number of senior government officials who have allegedly collaborated with the controversial Indian Gupta family in looting from the state coffers.

A failure to succeed in dealing with corporate capture and other forms of corruption and wrongdoing, both within the liberation movement and the state, will undermine the hard-won democratic hegemony of the movement, the SACP warned.

“Those members within the ranks of our movement who lack personal discipline for instance can compromise the movement. Their undisciplined conduct is the route of entry for externally coordinated attacks directed at our formations,” the SACP said.


Countries discuss sustainable use of ocean economy in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- Many countries on Tuesday recommitted to balance the economic growth of the ocean economy and the environmental sustainability.

This was said by speakers at a workshop which was interrogating the social, economic and sustainability in the national ocean strategies on Tuesday in Johannesburg.

The Norwegian ambassador to South Africa, Trine Skymoen said 80 percent of their citizens live less than 20 km from the sea. She said since it is projected that by 2050 the global population would reach 9.7 billion there is a need to look to the oceans to find solutions to future challenges.

“We will have to cooperate closely at the international level if we are able to exploit the potential of the ocean to the full. Good cooperation mechanisms are needed at both global and regional level. The potential gains are huge. For example if we manage our oceans in an integrated manner, renewable resources like fish can be harvested forever,” said Skymoen.

She called for the respect for the UN Convention on the law of the sea, effective organization and secure seas and oceans. Ambassador Skymoen also noted that the UN is the most important forum for developing international norms and determine the overall framework for ocean based activities. She also said other international organizations like the FAO, UNEP and IMO have a key role to play.

Skymoen said, “The world needs countries that are willing to actively use these fora. Countries that are willing to take the lead in the work to protect the oceans and ensure that resources are used sustainably. Together we must work to improve the sustainable management of living marine resources, based on scientific evidence and ecosystem approach.”

Andre Share, chief director of Department of Environmental Affairs in South Africa, told Xinhua that his country is benefiting from the ocean economy. South Africa in 2010 benefited an estimated 4.5 billion U.S. dollars and created 316,000 jobs.

He said South Africa have a potential to create one million jobs and 14.8 billion dollars by 2033.

Julius Salema, Environmental representative in the Tanzanian office of the Presidency, told Xinhua that his country is committed to working with other countries in the world to benefit from the ocean economies.

He stated that Tanzania and other marine countries face illegal fishing pollution and the need to balance economic benefit and sustainability. Salema said, “The future of ocean looks bright. We have to collaborate, public private partnerships to ensure that no one is left behind in this endeavor.”

Alex Benkenstein, program head of the governance of Africa’s resources at the South African Institute of International Affairs, said if the opportunities are exploited well by the countries there is a great potential for the sector to contribute to the socio-economic lives of the people.


South Africa appoints BRICS development bank head

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s national treasury on Tuesday appointed head of the New Development Bank (NDB) for the African Regional Center.

The deputy director general of Treasury’s economic policy department, Monale Ratsoma, will take over as the head of the bank with effect from April 16.

Ratsoma will manage the bank’s African regional operations and lead the bank’s African efforts in project preparation, implementation and regional portfolio management,” the Treasury said Tuesday.

Ratsoma joined Treasury in 2011 as chief director of liability management. He was appointed deputy director general of economic policy in 2015.

Duncan Pieterse will act as deputy director general of economic policy until the position is filled. Pieterse is the chief director of microeconomic policy at South Africa’s treasury.

Last year, former president Jacob Zuma opened the African Regional Center in Johannesburg. The bank is expected to provide resources to drive infrastructure development by accelerating investment in energy and transport sector.

Treasury’s Director General Dondo Mogajane has given his support for Ratsoma. Stating that Treasury will give him the support he needs to achieve the bank’s vision.

This comes after the expiration of Tito Mboweni’s term as Director of the NDB in July. 



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