Saturday, April 18, 2015

Nigeria's TB Joshua Claims He Predicted Attacks in South Africa


A video has surfaced showing Nigerian pastor, T.B. Joshua, warning South Africans of a "youth revolt" in their nation which would result in deaths of "certain people".
The clip, uploaded to Joshua's popular YouTube channel Emmanuel TV, says the controversial cleric prophesied about the deadly xenophobic attacks spreading across South Africa on Sunday 28th July 2013.
"In the nation, South Africa, we should help them in prayer because I am seeing youth revolt," the clip quotes Mr. Joshua as saying. "It will be very serious. A situation where youth will come out and... you learn that there is a protest. Some people were killed - certain people."
Mr. Joshua's prediction made the front cover of South African newspaper-based City Press newspaper in August 2013 when Julius Malema, the fiery leader of South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), visited his church in Nigeria for "spiritual blessings".
The clip was posted alongside a message from Mr. Joshua to South Africans.
"If we fail to see that there are powers that cause people to be bowed down in bondage, we are going to fight the wrong battle," he wrote, in a statement posted on the Nigerian pastor's official Facebook page, followed by over 1.5 million people.
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He then proceeded with a prayer for "calmness" in South Africa. "I pray for my nation, South Africa. As Jesus stood in the boat and commanded the storms to be calm, I stand in the midst of the storm in my nation, South Africa and I command the storm, wind and waves to be calm, in the name of Jesus! I speak calmness to my nation, South Africa, in the name of Jesus!"
The recent spate of xenophobic violence has spread to different South African cities, with thousands of foreign-owned shops forcibly closed and their owners seeking refuge in makeshift camps.
Five immigrants are said to have been killed, including a 14 year-old boy. Horrifying images and videos have surfaced online showing locals burning foreign nationals and looting their shops.
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The violence erupted shortly after a purported statement from the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, calling on foreigners to return to their countries as they were causing economic "inconvenience" to locals.
T.B. Joshua's television station, Emmanuel TV, is especially popular in South Africa where thousands of Christians annually go for "pilgrimage" at his church, The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations, in Lagos, Nigeria.

Xenophobic Attacks: David Oscar calls for boycott of South African shops


Xenophobic Attacks: David Oscar calls for boycott of South African shops
Ghanaian comedian and actor, David Oscar, has called on Ghanaians to stop buying and patronising from South African shops in the country.
His comments come in the wake of brutal xenophobic massacre being carried out in South Africa, which has left some Africans dead, including a Ghanaian, according to reports.
At least five people have died in anti-foreigner attacks in recent weeks.
Many jobless South Africans accuse foreigners of taking jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is 24%.
David Oscar, who has been vocal on a number of national issues recently, joined a number of opinion leaders, Friday, to condemn the attack, calling it "sheer savagery".
The Actor who was in South Africa a few months ago, made his opinion known via his Facebook page.
"I'm having to jump on this band wagon because of the sheer savagery being unleashed on our brothers and sisters. I've cried this morning after seeing some of the images .....", the actor revealed.
He further wrote, "Let's have a black Friday demonstration TODAY against the gruesome killings of foreigners in SA. no shopping at shoprite, pick n pay, spar, steers, debonairs, hungry Lion, Mr Price, Woolworths, or any shop that is a south african invstment. S.A must be put in their place."
David Oscar's comment comes at a time when many have criticized the South African government for being too lenient on perpetrators of this heinous crime.
Meanwhile,foreign-owned shops in South Africa have been attacked and looted in eastern Johannesburg, the latest in a series of xenophobic attacks.
Police said about 200 foreigners took refuge at a police station, and 12 people were arrested over the attacks.
The violence comes despite Thursday's rally against xenophobia in the coastal city of Durban, and condemnation from President Jacob Zuma.

South Africa shops looted despite Zuma call for peace


South Africa shops looted despite Zuma call for peace
Foreign-owned shops in South Africa have been attacked and looted overnight in eastern Johannesburg, the latest in a series of xenophobic attacks. Police said 12 people were arrested for the attacks, while about 200 foreign nationals took refuge at a police station. The attack came hours after thousands took part in a rally against xenophobia in the coastal city of Durban. Anti-foreigner violence in recent weeks has killed at least five people. 

Many jobless South Africans accuse foreigners of taking jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is 24%. A crowd began looting foreign-owned shops in east Johannesburg on Thursday night, and a car, and a building believed to house foreigners, were set on fire. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the looters. 

The acting Premier of the Gauteng province around Johannesburg, Qedani Mahlangu, condemned the violence. "We have to, each and every South African who's a peace-loving South African, to stand up and condemn this," she told the BBC. "Today we can't... say that we want to live in isolation when the whole world is globalising." On Friday, police dispersed a group of foreign nationals in Johannesburg who had armed themselves with machetes for protection, Reuters news agency reported.

 The recent xenophobic attacks have also been condemned by President Jacob Zuma as "shocking". "No amount of frustration or anger can justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops," he told parliament on Thursday. Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has been accused of fuelling the attacks by saying that foreigners should "go back to their countries". However, he said that his comments had been distorted.

 The police have established 24-hour joint operation centres to clamp down on attacks on foreign nationals, the BBC's Milton Nkosi in Johannesburg reports. Many South Africans say they are embarrassed by the attacks on foreigners and hope they will end soon, our correspondent adds. At least 62 people died in xenophobic attacks that swept South Africa in 2008. - See more at: 

Cameroon suffers trade decline due to drop in world prices -World Bank

Cameroon ranks among a group of African countries heavily affected by the decline in world prices of raw materials; mainly crude oil and unprocessed agricultural products. Records reveal that deterioration in terms of trade is about 10% for its national economy, according to the World Bank.

The latest World Bank forecasts published Monday in Washington, sub-Saharan Africa's growth indicated a decline of about 4.0% compared with 2.9% for the global economy in 2015, after reaching 4.5% in 2014 and 4.2 percent in 2013.

A slight rebound to 4.5% is planned in 2016 and 4.7% in 2017, according to the findings of the Africa's Pulse report unveiled on this occasion.

"According to projections, by 2015 growth will be less than the average of 4.4% realized in Africa over the past two decades. It would however, be around 4.7% excluding South Africa. These figures are far from the peak of 6.4% growth recorded in the years 2002 to 2008 ', stressed the press release.

Worldbank

For the World Bank, the fact that the black continent is net exporter of raw materials, including oil, gold and natural gas represent more than 90% of all the 8 major exporting countries of black gold exports and 30% of their GDP, increasing its vulnerability to exogenous shocks, i.e. those resulting from the decline in the prices of these products.

Thus, "the recent drop of oil prices has degraded the terms of trade of most of the countries in the region, especially as it extends to other raw materials", said the institution, indicating that the 36 countries listed in this analysis are home to 80% of the continent's population and account for 70% of economic activity.

Cameroon is one, with a rate of deterioration in its terms of trade estimated at about 10%, due primarily to the decline in the price of cocoa and oil with the impact on revenues respectively 7 and 4%, according to the team report Africa's Pulse, led by Punam Chuhan - Pole and Francisco H.G.Ferreira, interviewed during an Exchange by teleconference by Xinhua.

Facing the atrocities of the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram in the far North region, Central African country suffers also of deadly incursions by armed gangs.

Added to measures to prevent the epidemic of Ebola, this climate of insecurity has resulted in an increase of 22.7% of the public expenditure of 1,000 billion francs CFA ($2 billion) budget from 2014, established in 3. 312 billion ($6.6 billion), according to a previous study by the World Bank.

Certainly, in the opinion of the Minister of finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey, the decline in oil revenues was mitigated by good results in the collection of customs and tax, respectively at 700.8 billion francs ($1.4 billion) and of 1.345,8 billion ($2.6 billion), and revenues above forecast of 636 billion ($1.2 billion) and $ 1.345,8 billion ($2.6 billion).

After a leap to 5.5 per cent in 2013, the Cameroonian economy was then contracted to 5.3%. However, Governments do not fail to demonstrate a greater optimism for 2015, where their forecast focuses on performance of 6.3%, with a budget of the at 3.746,4 billion francs CFA ($7.4 billion).

This is a goal which is also based on the launch of a triennial Emergency Plan for the acceleration of growth, at a cost of 925 billion francs CFA ($1.8 billion), and for which the loan agreements was concluded with international financing institutions.

At the same time, the Government continues its policy of use of both domestic and external capital market started in 2010.

Could Xenophobia in SA be qualifying Mugabe’s indigenization?


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Current ruthless massacres going on in South Africa targeting immigrants from other African countries have left the African continent in a state of fear on what might befall that African country should the targeted human slaughter space forth.

The attacks, traditionally referred to as xenophobia, have earned the termed 'Afrophobia' for their motives pinned on the direct aversion of nationals from fellow African states can be predicted as enervating an economy that never bore identity nor had any local ownership and significant entitlement for native South Africans dating back to the Apartheid regime of the Boer epoch.

These daily Afrophobic attacks have not been received with any modicum of acceptance from leading African states which even bailed South Africa to earn its freedom from colonial mastery. African dissent against this action will only but gradually disengage South Africa's economic power wheel whilst destabilizing its political well-being.

Jacob Zuma will need to act promptly to avoid running in the same infamous track of Nigeria's former President, Goodluck Jonathan who was sold out by his inactive role in containing the Boko Haram insurgence which is wreaked havocin Nigeria, subsequently leading him to lose out to Muhammadu Buhari in recently held elections in that country. Jonathan conceded defeat and asserted that 'nobody's ambition was worth the blood of any Nigerian'.

South Africa, perhaps like most economies of former colonial African states would regret loaning its economy to foreign trusteeship, but as an economy built purely on foreign human capital, the story for South Africa becomes somewhat fragile.

While the country could be credited for a removed cataract to realize its economic risk zones demanding immediate resolution, the danger is in the country's knee jack reaction that has bastardized human rights and soiled its regional or international relations for posterity. But yet, it remains with no solutions.

To many, President Mugabe stands as the most un-preferred politician mainly due to two common factors, first being his unwavering posture on what he regards as 'imperialistic motives of western countries marshaled by Britons and Americans' and secondly, his resultant move of effecting black economic empowerment nationally packaged and bound as 'the indigenization policy'.

South Africa also took chance to jibe Mugabe for the programme, which the nascent Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) adopted and equipped itself for fortification, only to be misconstrued as replicating Zanu PF ideologies.

But, whether this will confirm the frail side of President Jacob Zuma, the volatility of the situation in South Africa could be traced as back to year 2012 when the state reacted in lethal ways to grievances posed by mine workers at Lomnin, near Rustenburg which almost matched the Sharpeville massacre of 1960.

Marikana shootings were alleged to be a result of poor salaries and was seen as exposing an ignorant governance system that could not react for the protection of aggrieved local workers who then were instead shot from the backs showing apparent non-resistance from those who protested.Thelater set-up Marikana Commission of Inquiry failed to veil and address this.

What is urgent for South Africa has been established as an urgency in accepting the reality around enterprise ownership in that country and to seek sustainable alternatives that should empower locals but retaining respect for the rights of foreign nationals. It is believedin Durban, where the first strikes took place, businesses are owned largely by people from the Indian community.

However, Cde Patrick Zhuwao, a Zanu Pf politburo member,discussing the tragedy with this journalist, could not have kind words for the situation occurring in neighboring South Africa, relating the occurrences to stark genocide, dismissing the correlation of the matter to economic access.

'21 years ago, we did not have indigenization in Zimbabwe but we did not resort to killing people. I think this issue is more about the illegal killing of human beings and this xenophobia should be treated as intended genocide.

There is a wide difference between locals having an upper hand in the running of economics in a country and locals killing human beings. Any narrative that seeks to match that at this instance is extremely dangerous.

If I were you, I would have unpacked the two guys involved, one King Zwelithini and Jacob Zuma who even has a sister married to a Zimbabwean. How can the King of the ama'Zulu' ethnic group initiate the killing of the people who are his own people.

Surely, they have Nobel prizes for idiocy. We can never always be blaming foreigners for our stupidity. And equally enough, we can't compare Robert Mugabe to this, especially when involving these two. This is purely an issue of leadership. This is what happens when you ask this to anybody who is affected, it is an emotive issue', said Cde Zhuwao.

The Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai had earlier on published a press statement condemning events taking place in South Africa, a state that long professed to be a reference for African democracy and a hub for human rights preservation.Where to South Africa?

*Zisunko Ndlovu is a journalist, political writer and rural development practitioner from Binga kubutonga@gmail.com

PHOTOS: South Africans stealing from foreign stores


PHOTOS: South Africans stealing from foreign stores
Some South Africans have been captured on camera stealing from stores owned by foreign immigrants who were targetted in the xenophobic attacks currently ongoing.
The violence comes despite Thursday's rally against xenophobia in the coastal city of Durban, and condemnation from President Jacob Zuma.
At least five people have died in anti-foreigner attacks in recent weeks.
How shameful!
See more photos after the cut...

South Africa apologises to Africa for xenophobia

South Africa's International Relations minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Photo©Reuters
SOUTH AFRICA'S INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS MINISTER MAITE NKOANA-MASHABANE


South Africa has apologised to African countries after the xenophobic attacks flared again in the continent's largest economy, driving thousands of immigrants out of their homes.
International Relations minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane met African diplomats in Pretoria on Friday to brief them on the situation and also to apologise for the violence.
Five people are feared to have died in the violence that has displaced thousands of foreigners.


"We took the African diplomatic corps into confidence on the practical measures that are being taken by the security agencies to bring to justice those who are responsible for the violence and related criminal acts," Nkoane-Mashabane told journalists.
She said the South African government had employed several strategies to halt the attacks.

"It is therefore with a deep sense of pain and regret that we as the South African government humbled ourselves before the African diplomatic community in our meeting with them today; and we expressed, through them, our heartfelt apologies to the African continent and people for the actions of those of our citizens who have behaved in a shameful manner," Nkoane-Mashabane said.

President Jacob Zuma on Thursday had described the attacks against foreigners 'unacceptable' in a televised address.
Zuma also directed his security and economic sector ministers to take steps to prevent further attacks and devise ways of maintaining long-term peace and stability.

"Additional law enforcement officers have been mobilised from around the country and deployed to the affected areas to enforce the law and prevent further attacks," Zuma said.
Malawi and Zimbabwe have started evacuating their citizens and some African countries have also called for consumber boycotts of South African goods in protest against the attacks.

A possible boycott will hit the South African economy hard, as it is already struggling with sluggish growth.
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said former United Nations High commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay would lead a panel of experts to advise government on the integration of foreigners into the local communities to avoid conflict.
The violence that began in Durban a week ago has been blamed on a traditional leader who made inflammatory remarks against foreigners last month.

South Africa experienced similar violence in 2008, which left 60 people dead.

Friday, April 17, 2015

China 'building runway in disputed South China Sea island

Satellite images of Fiery Cross Reef (CNES 2015, Distribution Airbus DS / Spot Image / IHS)
Satellite images of Fiery Cross Reef (CNES 2015, Distribution Airbus DS / Spot Image / IHS)
Satellite images show China is making progress on building an airstrip on a reef in disputed territory in the South China Sea, a report says.
The images, published by IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, show construction work on reclaimed land on Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands.
The landmass could accommodate a runway about 3,000m long, the report said.
China's land reclamation work in the area has raised concern around the Asia-Pacific region.
China claims almost the whole of the South China Sea, resulting in overlapping claims with several other Asian nations including Vietnam and the Philippines.
They accuse China of illegally reclaiming land in contested areas to create artificial islands with facilities that could potentially be for military use.
Images have emerged of work in multiple areas in the disputed Spratly islands. China says its work is legal and needed to safeguard its sovereignty.
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Military use?

The report from IHS Jane's used images provided by Airbus Defence and Space in February and March.
The later image, dated 23 March, showed a paved section of runway on the north-eastern side of Fiery Cross Reef, as well as paving and ground preparation of other sections of the runway.
The 3,000m length, it said, "would be well within the parameters of existing People's Liberation Army Air Force runways on mainland China, which vary in length from about 2,700m to 4,000m at most".
It also showed dredging to the south of the reef, in apparent work to improve the reef's port facilities.
Additional images showed that China could be building a second air strip on Subi Reef, also in the Spratlys and only 25km from an island with a Filipino civilian population, by creating and then linking three artificial islands, the report said.
China's neighbours are concerned that Beijing is working to entrench a military presence in the South China Sea to reinforce - and make permanent - its claims.
The Philippines said last year it believed China was building an airstrip in Johnson South Reef, in the Spratlys - the extent of work there is not clear. And earlier this week, another report citing satellite images said China was expanding an airstrip on Woody Island, much further north in the disputed Paracel Islands which Vietnam claims.
Mischief Reef, March 2015
Several recent sets of images have shown land reclamation work in the Spratlys. This shows ships and construction on Mischief Reef (photo: CSIS's Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe).
In this 25 Feb 2014 file photo taken by surveillance planes and released 15 May by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, a Chinese vessel, top centre, is used to expand structures and land on the Johnson Reef, called Mabini by the Philippines and Chigua by China, at the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, Philippines.
Manila released this photo in May 2014 appearing to show Chinese land reclamation at Johnson South Reef
President Barack Obama has said the US fears China is using "sheer size and muscle" to strong-arm smaller nations over the South China Sea.
A US State Department spokesman says the US does "not believe that large-scale land reclamation with the intent to militarise outposts on disputed land features is consistent with the region's desire for peace and stability".
But China insists it is acting within its rights.
"China's work on the [Spratly] islands mostly serves civil purposes apart from meeting the needs of military defence. China is aiming to provide shelter, aid in navigation, weather forecasts and fishery assistance to ships of various countries passing through the sea," a commentary carried prominently by Xinhua news agency on Thursday read.

South Africa's Durban city rallies against xenophobia

Thousands of people take part in the "peace march" against xenophobia in Durban, South Africa, on 16 April 2015
Up to 5,000 people have taken part in a rally against xenophobia in South Africa's coastal city of Durban following attacks on foreigners.
President Jacob Zuma condemned the violence, which have claimed at least five lives, as "shocking", and called for calm to be restored.
The Zulu king has been accused of fuelling the attacks. He denies this.
Many jobless South Africans accuse foreigners of taking jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is 24%.
"No amount of frustration or anger can justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops," President Zuma told parliament on Thursday.
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For the latest news, views and analysis see the BBC Africa Live page.
BBC Africa Live page screen grab
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Protesters marched through Durban chanting "Down with xenophobia" and "A United Africa", led by the city mayor and the premier of KwaZulu-Natal province.

'Beautiful sight'

Marcher Vanessa Govender told the BBC: "It's just a mammoth show of support for all those foreigners who have fallen victim to the past two weeks of xenophobic violence."
As the march was held, anti-immigrant protesters clashed with police, but were reportedly dispersed by water cannon and pepper spray.
The latest wave of violence against foreigners erupted in the Durban area before spreading to other parts of the country.
In Johannesburg on Thursday, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at a crowd chanting anti-immigrant slogans after attacks on foreign-owned shops. Dozens of migrants sought refuge in a police station.
Malawi has said it would evacuate its nationals from South Africa and Kenya says it is preparing to do the same. Mozambique has set up border camps to cope with the exodus of its citizens.
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At the scene: Milton Nkosi in Benoni, east Johannesburg

Police officers advance to enter men's hostel after xenophobic violence in the area overnight forced foreign shop owners to close their shops for fear of attack in Actonville, Johannesburg on 16 April 2015
Riot police tried to prevent further attacks on foreigners in eastern Johannesburg on Thursday
Parts of Benoni look like a ghost town.
Foreign-owned shops were forced to bring down the shutters because of skirmishes earlier in the day. I met shop owner Sharif Danis, originally from Nigeria and resident here for more than 15 years.
He tells me that he is scared because if he does not open the shop, he does not know where he is going to get money to pay the rent and buy food for his four children.
Mr Danis points out that the tavern next door - run by a South African businessman - is the only place open in the area. But he gets along with his neighbour and the South African insists that Sharif is his "brother from another mother" and should be operating and making money.
Like President Jacob Zuma, people here are worried and ashamed by what their compatriots have done.
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'Hate speech'

Foreign nationals pack up their shops in the small village of Primrose, near Germiston about 15kms east of Johannesburg, on 16 April 2015
Foreign nationals were seen closing up their shops near Johannesburg on Thursday
Makeshift camp for foreigners outside Durban, 15 April 2015
Some are seeking refuge from the violence in makeshift camps such as this one outside Durban
Many foreigners, mostly from other African states and Asia, have moved to South Africa since white-minority rule ended in 1994.
At least 62 people died in xenophobic attacks that swept South Africa in 2008.
The government-backed South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is investigating complaints of hate speech made against Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.
He was widely quoted as saying last month that foreigners should "go back to their countries". However, he said that his comments had been distorted.

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