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Retiring Titi aims a jab at SA Athletics’ way

Titi has announced his decision to quit athletics after struggling to overcome a medical problem.

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South Africa's Ncincilili Titi competes in the heats of the men's 200m athletics event at Hampden Park during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow - AFP

Promising South Africa sprinter Ncincilili Titi has announced his decision to quit athletics after struggling to overcome a medical problem.

US-based Titi wrote on his Twitter page “Time I hang up my spikes, focus on other things, I guess till further notice…”

“Would be lovely if ASA or SASCOC would step in, but sadly that’s not my reality. I do have other passions so that’s where my energy is gonna be going now”.

The 25-year-old who is the fifth-fastest South African of all time also stated that he was unable to invest “any more resources” into trying to overcome his injury.

Titi was a member of the SA 4x100m team that set the 38.35sec national record at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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Southern Africa

South Africa apologises to Nigeria after xenophobic attacks

Buhari and Ramaphosa are expected to meet at a state visit in South Africa next month

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South Africa apologises to Nigeria after xenophobic attacks

A South African envoy expressed the country’s “sincerest apologies” to Nigeria on Monday, after a wave of anti-migrant attacks swept through Johannesburg and surrounding cities in recent weeks, fuelling diplomatic tensions. 

A meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in the capital Abuja was held to convey President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “sincere apologies about the incident that has recently transpired in South Africa,” the special envoy, Jeff Radebe, told reporters. 

READ: Police arrests several shop looters in South Africa

“The incident does not represent what we stand for,” he said, adding that South African police would “leave no stone unturned, that those involved must be brought to book.”

In a statement after the meeting, Nigeria’s presidency said “President Buhari responded to profuse apologies from the South African president, pledging that relationship between the two countries will be solidified.” 

Johannesburg and surrounding areas were rocked by a series of deadly attacks on foreigners in recent weeks, with many directed against Nigerian-owned businesses and properties.

South Africa apologises to Nigeria after xenophobic attacks

At least 12 people were killed in the violence that left hundreds of shops destroyed.

READ: Nigeria ramps up security to protect South African businesses

No Nigerians were killed according to South African authorities but the violence led to condemnation across Africa, particularly in Nigeria, fuelling diplomatic tensions between the continent’s two leading economies.

The violence also prompted reprisal attacks against South African firms in Nigeria and the temporary closing of South Africa’s diplomatic missions in Lagos and Abuja.

Last week, almost 200 Nigerian migrants were repatriated back to Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, following the unrest. 

At least 400 more are expected to return out of some 100,000 Nigerians estimated by the government to reside in South Africa.   

Buhari and Ramaphosa are expected to meet at a state visit in South Africa next month.

READ: 189 Nigerians repatriated from South Africa after xenophobic attacks

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Robert Mugabe: Family agrees to burial at Zimbabwe’s national monument

His family and President Emmerson Mnangagwa had disagreed over where and when he would be buried

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Robert Mugabe: Family agrees to burial at Zimbabwe's national monument

Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s family and the government on Friday said he would be buried in about a month after they agreed to entomb him at a monument for national heroes in Harare.

Mugabe died in Singapore last week, aged 95, leaving Zimbabweans deeply divided over the legacy of a leader once lauded as an anti-colonial guerrilla hero, but whose 37-year iron-fisted rule ended in a coup in 2017. 

His family and President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former Mugabe ally who turned against him, had been at odds over where and when he would be buried after his body returned home on Wednesday from Singapore.

READ: Zimbabwe’s ex-president, Robert Mugabe dies aged 95

On Friday, they agreed he would be buried at the National Heroes Acre, but the final ceremony will only take place in 30 days after a new mausoleum is built for Mugabe.

Robert Mugabe: Family agrees to burial at Zimbabwe's national monument
Members of the Zimbabwe Presidential Guard stand next to a military ceremonial casket carriage at the Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare after the arrival of the body of former President Robert Mugabe. (Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP)

“The government, the chiefs, the traditional leaders went to the Heroes Acre they showed each other where President Mugabe is going to be buried and that place will take about 30 days to complete,” his nephew Leo Mugabe said.

Mnangagwa confirmed the burial would only take place once a new mausoleum had been built there for the former leader.

Around a dozen African leaders and former presidents, including South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, are among those expected to attend Mugabe’s official state funeral on Saturday in Harare in a sports stadium.

Tensions had erupted when Mnangagwa’s government proposed a burial at the monument while the family said he would be buried at a private ceremony, possibly in his homestead of Kutama, in the Zvimba region, northwest of the capital.

Leo Mugabe said Mugabe’s body would go to Zvimba while the new tomb was built.

The former leader had been travelling to Singapore regularly for medical treatment but allies say his health deteriorated rapidly after his ouster.

Some of Mugabe’s relatives are still bitter over how he was removed from power, and the role Mnangagwa played in his ouster.

READ: Body of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrives Harare

Robert Mugabe: Family agrees to burial at Zimbabwe's national monument
Movement for Democratic Change party leader Nelson Chamisa (R), vice-president Tendai Biti (2ndR) and vice-Chairman Job Sikhala (2ndL) attend the lying in state of Zimbabwe’s late president Robert Mugabe at the Mugabe’s Blue Roof residency in Harare. (Photo by ZINYANGE AUNTONY / AFP)

Mugabe dismissed Mnangagwa as first vice president in 2017 — a move many perceived as a bid to position his wife Grace to succeed him after nearly four decades of autocratic rule.

Soon after, Mugabe was toppled by protesters and the army in what was seen as part of a power struggle within the ruling ZANU-PF party between pro-Mnangagwa factions and Mugabe loyalists siding with Grace.

He remained free in Zimbabwe with his family after he was forced from office.

People divided –

Zimbabweans have been split over the death of a man who some still praise for ending white-minority rule and widening access to health and education to the poor black majority.

But many Zimbabweans remember his tyrannical leadership and economic mismanagement that forced millions to escape a country ravaged by hyper-inflation and shortages of food, drugs and fuel.

“We are happier now that he is gone. Why should I go to his funeral? I don’t have fuel,” said Constance, 52, a Harare housewife.

“We don’t want to hear anything about him anymore. He is the cause of our problems.”

Mugabe’s legacy is also marked by a crackdown known as Gukurahundi, which killed an estimated 20,000 alleged “dissidents”, and his violent seizure of white-owned farms that made him an international outcast.

READ: Zimbabwe’s former President Mugabe to be buried in his village

Mnangagwa himself is under pressure after promising a new post-Mugabe era of more investment and jobs after he came to power, with little success.

His government’s fuel price hike this year sparked protests which led to a crackdown on opposition and clashes in which soldiers opened fire killing 17 people.

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Protesters storm Johannesburg to demand crackdown on gender-based violence

More than 40,000 incidents of rape were reported to the police between April 2018 and March 2019

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Protesters storm Johannesburg to demand crackdown on gender-based violence
Women hold signs as they take part in a protest following the murder of Uyinene Mrwetyana, a 19 year-old university student that was raped and killed on August 24 in Cape Town which has caused a groundswell of anger and protest against violence against women, in front of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Standton, Johannesburg, on September 13, 2019. (Photo by GUILLEM SARTORIO / AFP)

With placards stating “Enough is enough”, hundreds of protesters marched in Johannesburg on Friday to protest at gender-based violence.

Demonstrations in South Africa have been mounting over the rising toll of murders, rapes and abuse of women and girls, and a sense of impunity and government failure that surrounds it.

“I deal with kids coming through my door complaining about rape,” said Tshego Modisane, a 27-year-old teacher from the township of Soweto.

“They say ‘I have been raped by my uncle, violated by my dad, my step-dad,'” she told reporters, clutching a sign that read “YES #menaretrash”.

“All these kids are vulnerable girls who have nowhere else to go.”

Police crime figures released on Thursday showed that sexual offences including rape rose 4.6 per cent over a year.

Protesters storm Johannesburg to demand crackdown on gender-based violence
Women sing slogans in front of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange during a protest against the abuse of women in Johannesburg, September 13, 2019. – The murder of Uyinene Mrwetyana, a 19-year-old university student that was raped and killed on August 24, in Cape Town has caused a groundswell of anger and protest against violence against women. (Photo by GUILLEM SARTORIO / AFP)

More than 40,000 incidents of rape were reported to the police between April 2018 and March 2019 — a figure likely to be far short of the true numbers.

President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to review laws and crackdown on perpetrators last week, after hundreds of women assembled on the sidelines of an economic summit in Cape Town to draw attention to the issue.

But frustrated by the pace of change, some 500 demonstrators — mainly women — gathered again in Johannesburg to demand “action not words”.

“It will not be business as usual,” they chanted, as police watched on the sidelines.

“The law just has to be stricter. There should be no bail for rapists, it’s ridiculous,” said Natalie Pool, 36, adding that she remained sceptical about Ramaphosa’s promises.

‘Hush culture’ –

Blood-stained sheets and clothing were laid out in front of Johannesburg’s stock exchange in Sandton — one of the city’s most affluent areas — to call for more support from businesses and banks.

“Dear private sector, your silence is uncomfortable,” an organiser shouted into a megaphone, before inviting participants to observe a moment of silence for the latest victims.

South Africans have recently been shocked by the separate murders of three young women.

READ: Hundreds protest against gender violence in South Africa

A 19-year old university student and a 14-year old schoolgirl were killed in Cape Town earlier this month – the former raped and beaten to death on her way to a post office.

Boxing champion, Leighandre “Baby Lee” Jegels, 25, was allegedly shot dead by her partner, who was a police officer, last month.

Protesters storm Johannesburg to demand crackdown on gender-based violence
Demonstrators, mostly women, sit in front of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange during a protest against the abuse of women in Johannesburg, September 13, 2019. – The murder of Uyinene Mrwetyana, a 19-year-old university student that was raped and killed on August 24, in Cape Town has caused a groundswell of anger and protest against violence against women. (Photo by GUILLEM SARTORIO / AFP)

Their stories triggered outcry and soul-searching in a country that often appears numb to murder and sexual violence.

“There was a whole lot of hush culture when it came to abuse, particularly around gender-based violence and sexual issues,” Eden Bohulu, 22, told reporters at the protest.

“These issues have always existed but I think it’s only now that we’ve decided to fight.”

Siboso Mohlwayo was among the minority of men attending the event.

A young astronomy student, he was protesting in support of his sister, now in high school, who was sexually assaulted as a child.

He was disappointed by the male turnout.

“All of them should have come out as it’s their responsibility as humans to fight,” he said, the word “Amandla” — Zulu for “power” – printed on his T-shirt.

Their absence, he said, “shows how much disappointment we can expect from our own nation.”

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