Category: International Written by CNN
NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE DESMOND TUTU (AP Photo/File)
by Kim Norgaard and Jason Hanna
(CNN) -- Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu checked into a South African hospital Wednesday for treatment of a persistent infection, his foundation announced.
Tutu, 81, also will undergo tests at the hospital in Cape Town to determine the cause of the infection, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation said. Details of the infection were not released.
"The archbishop spent the morning in his office today before checking into hospital. He was in good spirits and full of praise for the care he receives from an exceptional team of doctors," the foundation said.
The nonsurgical treatment is expected to take five days, according to the foundation.
The Anglican cleric was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his efforts to end and heal the wounds of apartheid, South Africa's system of institutionalized racial segregation.
He served as archbishop of Cape Town -- overseeing the church throughout South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho -- from 1986 until his retirement in 1996. He retired from public life in 2011.
Tutu was successfully treated in the United States for prostate cancer in 1997.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 14:51
Category: International Written by Associated Press
REVERED LEADER--A child looks through a fence at a portrait of former president Nelson Mandela in a Park in Soweto, South Africa. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell).
by Christopher Torchia
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A granddaughter of Nelson Mandela has harshly criticized a longtime associate of the former president and anti-apartheid leader, in an escalation of a dispute over funds linked to one of the world's most revered figures.
Tukwini Mandela accused lawyer George Bizos of insulting her mother, slandering the Mandela family name and spreading "blatant lies and innuendo" in a bitter rift over control of two companies linked to 94-year-old Mandela. The main purpose of the companies is to channel funds from the sale of handprint artwork by Mandela for the benefit of his family.
"Please have the decency to behave as an elder if you care for my grandfather and his name, which catapulted you into undeserved stardom," Tukwini Mandela wrote in an open letter that was emailed to The Associated Press on Tuesday. She urged Bizos, a stalwart of the struggle for equal rights in South Africa, to act in a manner "befitting of your status" in society.
In a statement sent to AP, Bizos said he had not been disrespectful to Nelson Mandela or his family.
"I have been a close friend and supporter of the family for over six decades," he said. He added that he would leave it to a court to decide on issues raised in a legal case brought against him and several associates by Makaziwe Mandela, Tukwini's mother.
The disagreement comes as Nelson Mandela, who last appeared in public in 2010, receives medical care at his Johannesburg home after several hospital visits in recent months. He is seen globally as a symbol of reconciliation and sacrifice after spending 27 years in prison during racist white rule and then leading South Africa's transition to democratic, all-race elections in 1994.
The dispute over the funds troubles many South Africans for whom corruption, high crime rates and economic inequality have tainted the new South Africa. Mandela was South Africa's first black president and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Makaziwe Mandela and her sister Zenani have launched a court case against Bizos and other associates of Nelson Mandela, alleging they should not remain directors of Harmonieux Investment Holdings and Magnifique Investment Holdings because they were not properly appointed. The case also alleges that the trio has neglected its duties at the helm of the companies.
Earlier this week, The Star newspaper quoted 84-year-old Bizos, who defended Mandela during the apartheid years, as saying Makaziwe Mandela's goal was to take some company money, estimated to be $1.3 million, without providing details of how it would be used.
"This woman wanted to take over the money, not for any specific purpose, and distribute it to members of the family," he said. "That is contrary to the provisions of the trust. Therefore we refused to give her the money."
Norton Rose, a Johannesburg law firm representing Bizos in the dispute with Mandela's daughters, said Bizos' position will be outlined in papers likely to be filed in court in mid-May.
In an interview last week with South Africa's Talk Radio 702, Norton Rose director Michael Hart said Nelson Mandela gave "explicit instructions" for Bizos and two associates, lawyer Bally Chuene and Tokyo Sexwale, a businessman and politician, to oversee the disputed companies. They have done so "without any charge or remuneration," he said.
In the letter, Tukwini Mandela said her mother is a "highly educated and accomplished businesswoman in her own right," and that Bizos' reported comments showed a lack of respect for Nelson Mandela and his advocacy on behalf of women.
"I doubt you would ever refer to the women in your life as 'this woman,'" Tukwini Mandela wrote.
"You and your peddlers of falsehood have spent the whole of last week casting aspersions on my family, spreading blatant lies and innuendo, hoping that a trial through the media will deter us from defending our name and legacy," she wrote.
Tukwini Mandela is the marketing director of House of Mandela, a winemaking company. Two other granddaughters of Mandela are starring in a U.S. television reality show titled "Being Mandela."
Bizos, who was born in Greece, defended Mandela during the Rivonia trial in 1960s that led to the African National Congress leader's conviction on sabotage charges and a sentence of life imprisonment.
Bizos works at the Legal Resources Center, a human rights group in South Africa. He has recently cross-examined the national police commissioner and other witnesses before a panel investigating the shooting deaths of 34 striking miners by police last year.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 08:51
Category: International Written by Courier Newsroom
(GIN)—Spoken word artist Julie Wang’ombe—a Duke University undergraduate—has been credited as the author of the victory speech read by President-elect Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.
The 22-year-old Kenyan-born poet is a familiar face at SLAM Africa events, open mic nights and other events around Nairobi. She comes from a writer’s family—her father is CEO of Kenya’s Nation Media Group.
The gala inauguration ceremony, which took place April 9, drew presidents from around the continent, including Robert Mugabe, Yoweri Museveni, Goodluck Jonathan, Salva Kiir, and dignitaries, including Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Long before dawn, buses packed with supporters arrived from central Kenya and the Rift Valley, heartlands of Kenyatta’s Kikuyu people and of his soon to be vice-president William Ruto.
Kenyatta loyalists, dressed in the red colors of his Jubilee Coalition party, waved farewell to outgoing President Mwai Kibaki, 81, retiring after more than a decade in power.
One of Africa’s richest men, Kenyatta, 51, won the March 4 polls by about 8,000 votes ahead of his nearest rival, outgoing Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
In his inaugural speech President Kenyatta promised to abolish all maternity care fees and make government dispensaries and health centers free of charge within 100 days. Funds reserved for an election run-off would be redirected to a new Youth and Women Fund, and within the first 100 days, measures would be taken to ensure that all public school students joining class one next year would receive a laptop. “We believe that early exposure to technology will inspire future innovation and be a catalyst for growth and prosperity,” he said.
Before the election, the U.S. and Europe sought to persuade Kenyans to reject Kenyatta, who faces charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court, charges which will be presented in July. Britain warned it would maintain only essential contact, noted Hadley Muchela, of IMLU, a Kenyan human rights group.
But the west has since softened its stance, Muchela said. “Is there honesty in these dealings, or is it always just about our interests in other countries in the world?” Diplomats from the U.K. and the U.S. both attended the swearing-in ceremony.
Meanwhile, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said: “I want to salute the Kenyan voters on ... the rejection of the blackmail by the International Criminal Court… The usual opinionated and arrogant actors” tried to use the court to “install leaders of their choice in Africa.”
A congratulatory message from Pres. Barack Obama to the Kenyan leaders read: “Now that your election has been confirmed, you have the opportunity to build on the promise of Kenya’s Constitution and solidify its place as a vibrant and prosperous democracy centered on the rule of law.” The message was relayed by the new U.S. Ambassador, Robert Codec, who replaces State Dept. Africa chief Johnnie Carson who formally retired March 29, ending a 44-year career.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 10:14
Category: International Written by Associated Press
NEW CITIZEN--Immaculee Ilibagiza raises her right hand along with 50 new citizens as she says the oath of citizenship, during a naturalization ceremony at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
by Verena Dobnik
NEW YORK (AP) — A Rwandan genocide survivor who became a U.S. citizen Wednesday says she was saved because her father trusted an exceptional member of an enemy tribe that slaughtered the rest of her family.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 08:16
Category: International Written by Courier Newsroom
(GIN)—While the public service record of Baroness Margaret Thatcher is praised to the skies in most western news accounts, the former U.K. Prime Minister was recalled more critically among many South Africans.
For starters, the British Prime Minister, known as the Iron Lady, was a warm friend of South African dictator PW Botha who was welcomed by her in 1984. With this, Botha became the first leader of the Apartheid regime accorded the privilege of a state visit to U.K. since 1961—the year South Africa left the Commonwealth over their refusal to end White minority rule.
She also labeled Nelson Mandela and those opposed to White minority rule “terrorists.”
Thatcher’s rule began in 1979 and encompassed critical years before Nelson Mandela’s release and the collapse of the racist apartheid regime. While she claimed to oppose apartheid, many faulted her government’s efforts as not enough.
Years later, David Cameron, the current British prime minister, apologized for Thatcher’s policies on apartheid when he visited South Africa in 2006. Cameron said his Conservative party had made “mistakes” by failing to introduce sanctions against South Africa, and that Thatcher was wrong to have called the ANC “terrorists.”
Thatcher, the Conservative Party leader, died on April 8, following a stroke. She was 87.
“The apartheid government thrived in her presence,” Political commentator Susan Booysen said. “That type of international support really gave the National Party government a few extra years of life … I think she also felt a type of brotherhood with very conservative elements in international politics.”
“We are aware that she had not been well for a long time so on that personal empathy level one can empathize with that,” Booysen said. “It’s the end of an era. Her type of politics has long ended. It’s an exit for a person whose time has long passed.”
According to journalist Alistair Sparks, Ms. Thatcher had allowed a series of underground meetings that led to secret meetings between the South African intelligence service and Mandela in prison.
“I wouldn’t want to exaggerate the role [of the group], but it did start a process,” he said.
“All of that, I must add, was never in Margaret Thatcher’s mind. I think it was an unintended byproduct of what she had intended – avoiding a campaign of sanctions in South Africa.”
Former minister Pallo Jordan was less forgiving. “I say good riddance.. She was part of the rightwing alliance with Ronald Reagan that led to a lot of avoidable deaths. In the end, she knew she had no choice. Although she called us a terrorist organization, she had to shake hands with a terrorist and sit down with a terrorist. So who won?”
Among those with kinder words was former South African President FW de Klerk, the country’s last white leader and Mangosuthu Buthelezi, leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, a rival of the ANC, who posthumously praised his “dear friend” Thatcher as a voice of reason during apartheid.
Dali Tambo (son of late ANC leader, Oliver) disagreed. “I don’t think she ever got it that every day she opposed sanctions, more people were dying, and that the best thing for the assets she wanted to protect was democracy.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 10:09
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