Tag Archive: South Africa


 Nelson Mandela: Earrings bearing the image of Nelson Mandela

AP Photo: Themba Hadebe. A woman wears earrings bearing the image of Nelson Mandela outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where he is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa.

A tribal chief who talked with family members of Nelson Mandela hinted that the former leader is on life support.

JOHANNESBURG — South Africans were torn on Wednesday between the desire not to lose a critically ill Nelson Mandela, who defined the aspirations of so many of his compatriots, and resignation that the beloved former prisoner and president is approaching the end of his life.

The sense of anticipation and foreboding about Mandela’s fate has grown since late Sunday, when the South African government declared that the condition of the 94-year-old statesman, who was rushed to a hospital in Pretoria on June 8, had deteriorated.

A tide of emotional tributes has built on social media and in handwritten messages and flowers laid outside the hospital and Mandela’s home. On Wednesday, about 20 children from a day care center posted a handmade card outside the hospital and recited a poem.

Gallery: Nation waits for news on Mandela

“Hold on, old man,” was one of the lines in the Zulu poem, according to the South African Press Association.

In recent days, international leaders, celebrities, athletes and others have praised Mandela, not just as the man who steered South Africa through its tense transition from white racist rule to democracy two decades ago, but as a universal symbol of sacrifice and reconciliation.

In South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, where Mandela grew up, a traditional leader said the time was near for Mandela, who is also known by his clan name, Madiba.

“I am of the view that if Madiba is no longer enjoying life and is on life support systems, and is not appreciating what is happening around him, I think the good Lord should take the decision to put him out of his suffering,” said the tribal chief, Phathekile Holomisa.

“I did speak to two of his family members, and of course they are in a lot of pain and wish that a miracle might happen, that he recovers again and he becomes his old self again,” he said. “But at the same time, they are aware there is a limit what miracles you can have.”

Related: Children sing for Mandela in the hospital

For many South Africans, Mandela’s decline is a far more personal matter, echoing the protracted and emotionally draining process of losing one of their own elderly relatives.

One nugget of wisdom about the arc of life and death came from Matthew Rusznyah, a 9-year-old boy who stopped outside Mandela’s home in the Johannesburg neighborhood of Houghton to show his appreciation.

“We came because we care about Mandela being sick and we wish we could put a stop to it, like snap our fingers,” he said. “But we can’t. It’s how life works.”

His mother, Lee Rusznyah, said Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison under apartheid before becoming South Africa’s first black president in all-race elections in 1994, had made the world a better place.

“All of us will end,” Thabo Makgoba, the Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. “We just want him to be peacefully released, whatever he’s feeling at this moment, and to be reunited with his maker at the perfect time, when God so wills.”


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Reblogged from :   FSP-Microcosm News-Global Community Report


Dai Kurokawa / EPA

A portrait of former South African President Nelson Mandela rests against the wall as messages written by visitors are seen on the wall at Regina Mundi church in Soweto township, a flashpoint during the anti-apartheid struggle, in Johannesburg, South Africa, 23 June 2013.


Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s condition has become critical. MSNBC’s Craig Melvin reports.

Nelson Mandela has taken a turn for the worse and is now in critical condition at a South African hospital, officials said Sunday.

“The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands,” President Jacob Zuma said in a statement, referring to the 94-year-old former president by his nickname.

Zuma and African National Congress Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Mandela at the Pretoria hospital and were briefed on his condition by the medical team, the statement said. They asked the world to pray for the anti-apartheid icon and his family “during this difficult time.”

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Nelson Mandela taken to hospital in ‘serious’ condition

Nelson Mandela taken to hospital in 'serious' condition

Former South African president Nelson Mandela is in a “serious but stable” condition after being admitted to a Pretoria hospital on Saturday due to a recurrence of a lung infection, the country’s government has said.

By News Wires (text)

Nelson Mandela was readmitted to hospital early on Saturday with a renewed lung infection and was in “serious but stable condition,” South Africa’s presidency said, marking the second hospital stay in as many months for the ailing anti-apartheid icon.

“During the past few days former president Nelson Mandela has had a recurrence of lung infection,” President Jacob Zuma’s office said in a statement.

“This morning at about 1:30 am (2330 GMT Friday) his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to a Pretoria hospital. He remains in a serious but stable condition,” it said.

It marks the second hospitalisation in as many months for the frail anti-apartheid hero, who will turn 95 in July. On April 6 he was released after being treated for pneumonia during a 10-day stay.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has stayed in hospital four times in just over half a year, mostly over problems with his chest.

In December 2012, he was hospitalised for 18 days for a lung infection and for gallstones surgery, his longest stay in hospital since he walked free from 27 years in jail in 1990.

In March he was admitted for a day for a scheduled check-up and during his 10-day stay weeks later, doctors drained a build-up of fluid, known as a pleural effusion or “water on the lungs”, that had developed in his chest.

Zuma’s office said on Saturday that “the former President is receiving expert medical care and doctors are doing everything possible to make him better and comfortable.”

“President Jacob Zuma, on behalf of government and the nation, wishes Madiba a speedy recovery and requests the media and the public to respect the privacy of Madiba and his family.”

Earth Watch Report  –  Earthquakes

 photo MidAtlanticRidge-57MagEQMay16th2013_zps3951e308.jpg


M5.7 – Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

 2013-05-16 05:57:03 UTC


Earthquake location 57.578°S, 6.931°W

Event Time

  1. 2013-05-16 05:57:03 UTC
  2. 2013-05-16 05:57:03 UTC+00:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-05-16 00:57:03 UTC-05:00 system time


57.578°S 6.931°W depth=12.8km (8.0mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 730km (454mi) WSW of Bouvet Island, Bouvet Island
  2. 3234km (2010mi) SSW of Hermanus, South Africa
  3. 3242km (2014mi) SSW of Claremont, South Africa
  4. 3245km (2016mi) SSW of Rosebank, South Africa
  5. 3270km (2032mi) ESE of Stanley, Falkland Islands



Instrumental Intensity

ShakeMap Intensity Image









Earth Watch Report  –  Earthquakes

 photo SouthAfrica-3EQsMay15th-16th2013_zpsf13c50b6.jpg


M5.3 – South of Africa

 2013-05-16 03:18:24 UTC


Earthquake location 53.058°S, 22.177°E

Event Time

  1. 2013-05-16 03:18:24 UTC
  2. 2013-05-16 04:18:24 UTC+01:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-05-15 22:18:24 UTC-05:00 system time


53.058°S 22.177°E depth=15.8km (9.8mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 1247km (775mi) E of Bouvet Island, Bouvet Island
  2. 2065km (1283mi) S of Bredasdorp, South Africa
  3. 2084km (1295mi) S of Hermanus, South Africa
  4. 2113km (1313mi) S of Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
  5. 2672km (1660mi) S of Maseru, Lesotho



M5.0 – Southwest of Africa

 2013-05-16 05:19:40 UTC


Earthquake location 52.881°S, 10.365°E

Event Time

  1. 2013-05-16 05:19:40 UTC
  2. 2013-05-16 06:19:40 UTC+01:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-05-16 00:19:40 UTC-05:00 system time


52.881°S 10.365°E depth=10.0km (6.2mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 493km (306mi) ENE of Bouvet Island, Bouvet Island
  2. 2168km (1347mi) SSW of Hermanus, South Africa
  3. 2178km (1353mi) SSW of Bredasdorp, South Africa
  4. 2191km (1361mi) SSW of Grabouw, South Africa
  5. 2968km (1844mi) SSW of Maseru, Lesotho



M5.0 – South of Africa

 2013-05-16 05:42:51 UTC


Earthquake location 53.004°S, 22.413°E

Event Time

  1. 2013-05-16 05:42:51 UTC
  2. 2013-05-16 06:42:51 UTC+01:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-05-16 00:42:51 UTC-05:00 system time


53.004°S 22.413°E depth=16.5km (10.3mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 1264km (785mi) E of Bouvet Island, Bouvet Island
  2. 2060km (1280mi) S of Bredasdorp, South Africa
  3. 2080km (1292mi) S of Hermanus, South Africa
  4. 2106km (1309mi) S of Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
  5. 2663km (1655mi) S of Maseru, Lesotho




Earth Watch Report  –  Earthquakes

South  Africa  -  4.7  mag  May 10th  2013 photo SouthAfrica-47magMay10th2013_zps64aca221.jpg

M4.7 – South of Africa 2013-05-10 06:27:55 UTC

Earthquake location 53.107°S, 25.676°E

Event Time

  1. 2013-05-10 06:27:55 UTC
  2. 2013-05-10 08:27:55 UTC+02:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-05-10 01:27:55 UTC-05:00 system time


53.107°S 25.676°E depth=19.3km (12.0mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 1103km (685mi) SW of Marion Island, Prince Edward Islands
  2. 2111km (1312mi) S of Bredasdorp, South Africa
  3. 2118km (1316mi) S of Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa
  4. 2123km (1319mi) S of Kruisfontein, South Africa
  5. 2646km (1644mi) S of Maseru, Lesotho



Earth Watch Report  –  Space

iol scitech feb 15 russia meteorite


File photo: A fireball blazed across the horizon, leaving a long white trail in its wake which could be seen as far as 200km away in Yekaterinburg, Moscow about two weeks ago.

13.03.2013 Event into space South Africa State of Western Cape, Cape Town Damage level

Event into space in South Africa on Wednesday, 13 March, 2013 at 10:09 (10:09 AM) UTC.

Residents across Cape Town claimed to have sighted a meteorite on Tuesday after what appears to have been a fireball “exploded” in the sky. It is said to have been sighted just after noon. Nicola Loaring, an outreach astronomer at the South African Astronomical Observatory, said they had received about four or five reports. The green and blue light with a white tail that was reported to them appeared to be that of “a fireball, which is a bright meteor”. Fireballs were caused by dust formed in space that enter Earth’s atmosphere. “There are two meteor showers in March with one peaking on March 13 and this could be related to that. Loaring said another meteor shower would start later this month and peak in April.” “Meteor showers are best viewed in the morning. Up to eight an hour can be seen,” Loaring said. People shouldn’t be alarmed since these were “common and predictable”. Company director John Houston captured part of the event on camera while he was driving on the N1 from Stellenbosch. There was a “huge” explosion that left a white cloud close to the Durbanville hills, he said.


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Fresh footage casts doubts on police claims taxi driver assaulted officer and tried to take his gun before incident

    WARNING: Viewers may find this footage distressing Link to video: South African police officers suspended as van death investigated

    South Africa has suspended eight police officers after the death of a man they tied to the back of a police van and dragged along the road while bystanders looked on.

    Video footage showing the treatment of Mido Macia, in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg, has once more focused attention on South Africa‘s police force, already dogged by allegations of brutality, corruption and incompetence.

    In the amateur video footage (warning: contains images that some may find distressing), published by South African newspaper, the Daily Sun, Macia’s hands are tied to the rear of a police van behind his head before it moves off. Just over two hours later he was found dead in a local police cell, according to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). A postmortem gave the cause of death as head injuries with internal bleeding.

    The video provoked outrage with President Jacob Zuma labelling it “horrific, disturbing and unacceptable. No human being should be treated in that manner.” He has instructed the minister of police to investigate the matter.

    Police chief Riah Phiyega said the eight officers involved had been suspended and the station commander would be removed from his duties. “We would like to assure the country and the world that what is in the video is not how the South African police service in a democratic South Africa goes about its work,” she said.

    The IPID responded by launching an inquiry and giving details of the police version of events. The police account alleged that Macia, 27, a taxi driver from Mozambique, assaulted an officer and took his firearm after officers asked him to move his taxi because it was obstructing traffic. They admitted only that there was a “struggle” to get the taxi driver into the police van.

    Earth Watch Report  –  Biological Hazard

    Today Biological Hazard South Africa State of Mpumalanga, [Tubatse River outside Burgersfort] Damage level

    Biological Hazard in South Africa on Thursday, 21 February, 2013 at 04:21 (04:21 AM) UTC.

    The Sekhukhune district municipality and water affairs department officials have warned residents living along the Tubatse River outside Burgersfort not to use the river water because of the presence of cholera in the water. Yesterday a joint operations teams comprising health, municipal and water affairs officials were inspecting water facilities and sources at the affected places in preparation for emergency measures. The district municipality, spokesperson Willy Mosoma, said: “Vibrio cholera (bacteria which causes cholera) was discovered in Tubatse River stretching from the De Hoop dam. “Several villages including Taung, Maseven, Matokomani, Ga-Motodi, Ga-Malekana and many others are affected. Thousands of people can be infected or lose their lives if we don’t act swiftly. This is very serious.” Mosoma said routine tests on water treatment plants came out positive for cholera on Tuesday. The provincial health department’s, Sinenhlanhla Gumede said yesterday hospitals in the province were ready to deal with any outbreak of the waterborne disease. “We have no cases of cholera reported in our health facilities this year up to this stage.” The district municipality said the preventative interim measures taken include deploying 10 water tankers to supply villagers with drinking water. Symptoms of cholera infections include severe stomach cramps and diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration. Health authorities said that the disease was infectious and advise people to wash their hands regularly, especially after visiting the loo.
    Biohazard name: Cholera
    Biohazard level: 0/4 —
    Biohazard desc.: This does not included biological hazard category.

    A survey of the cholera epidemic in South Africa 

    The current cholera epidemic has gripped rural parts of Northern and Southern KwaZulu Natal since August 2000 in what has developed into the most serious epidemic yet experienced in South Africa. With the movement of people from province to province and between southern African countries, the cholera bacterium has now spread to seven of the nine provinces in South Africa. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry’s Community Water Supply and Sanitation Services section has developed a strategy to monitor the cholera outbreak and track the emergency water supply and sanitation intervention that each province is implementing to curb the spread of the disease.

    As of the 27th July 2001, the total number of cases is 106 224 and the total number of fatalities 228. This is a serious situation considering the size of the South African population, which is approximately 40 million.

    See below for the current total number of cholera cases and fatalities per province:

    East Cape Free State Gauteng Kwazulu  Natal Mpum-
    North West  Northern Cape Northern Province Western Cape
    Total Cases Reported 1 1 63 105247 111 6 0 794 1
    Number of fatalities 0 0 4 218 4 0 0 2 0
    Last report Date in 2001 2/3 11/1 10/5 27/7 10/4 15/3 27/2 4/5 7/5

    KwaZulu Natal, Northern Province, Mpumalanga and Gauteng are the four provinces where the problem of cholera is most severe. The KwaZulu Natal Province has the majority of cases (99% of the total number of cases reported nationally) and the highest number of fatalities (96% of the total number of fatalities reported nationally).

    Statistics suggest that despite the interventions that the government and other stakeholders are implementing, the cholera situation in the province is getting worse.


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    Pete Thomas
    Tue, 05 Feb 2013 10:54 CST

    Chris and Monique Fallows have witnessed many extraordinary events while diving off South Africa.

    But during two recent expeditions they captured wildly spectacular scenes that may never have been photographed: that of a voracious cape fur seal boldly snacking on large sharks; and dozens of blue sharks gathered around and gorging on an enormous ball of bait fish.

    Of the former event, revealing the raw dynamics of the food chain, Chris Fallows said: “There were eight guests aboard our vessel, many of them seasoned wildlife enthusiasts. None had ever seen anything like this as sharks of this size are certainly not usually considered food for seals.

    In more than 2,000 expeditions working with sharks over the last 21 years, this is the only time I have ever seen a seal kill several sharks and I can find no record of such an event happening elsewhere.”

    The seal consumed the stomach and livers of the first two sharks, before killing three others.

    Chris and Monique Fallows run Apex Shark Expeditions and the Apex Predators Facebook page. They allowed the use of these images, which are protected by copyright laws, for this story only.

    The company offers seasonal “Sardine Run” expeditions, which coincide with mass schooling of sardines along the coast.

    The sardines, in turn, attract all manner of large predators, including diving sea birds and the occasional shark.

    Read Full Article Here