Sep 24, 2017 Last Updated 10:33 AM, Sep 22, 2017


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The Local South African Airways (SAA) office still claims it is unaware of reports that their mother company is cutting its Malawi routes.

About two weeks ago South African media reported that SAA intends to cut the number of flights and routes in some parts of Africa and within South Africa.

The move is expected to allow SAA to scale back their fleet from 50 aircrafts to only 40, of which they own only nine.

The development has raised fears amongst the travelling public that frequent the SA-Malawi route, especially the business community.

The South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is meanwhile expected to make an announcement on an equity injection during the next parliament’s medium term budget policy statement session next month.

Capital FM has been trying to get an update on the issue, but the country director for SAA in Malawi James Chikaonda insists there have not been any new developments that they are aware of on the matter.

SAA is the flag carrier of South Africa. Its headquarters are in Airways Park on the grounds of OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.

Kenya's Supreme Court has blamed the country's electoral commission (IEBC) for its decision to annul the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The judges said the 8 August poll was "neither transparent or verifiable".

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu said the IEBC did not verify the presidential results before they were announced.

Mr Kenyatta got 54% of the vote against opposition leader Raila Odinga's 44%, according to the IEBC's results.

Mr Odinga went to court alleging that he had been cheated of victory and that the IEBC had not followed the law in the conduct of the election.

The Supreme Court took the unprecedented step of annulling the election on 1 September but it has only now explained why it took that decision.

It was the first time in Africa that a court had agreed with an opposition demand to cancel a presidential election over rigging allegations.

While the judgement was being read out, police fired tear gas outside the Supreme Court to disperse opposition supporters who had gathered to support Mr Odinga.

At one point a swarm of bees attacked some of them.

Ms Mwilu said that the commission had not complied with a court order to allow its electronic voting system to be scrutinised.

She said that the IEBC's refusal to comply with the order to grant access to its electronic voting system led the court to "accept claims by the opposition that the computer system had been infiltrated and compromised and the data interfered with, or that the IEBC officials interfered with the system themselves".

The electoral commission has disputed that its system was tampered with.

Opposition coalition Nasa has been pushing for the sacking of IEBC officials whom it blames for bungling the polls, saying that a new team should be in charge of the re-run scheduled for 17 October.

Doubts have however been cast on this date because OT-Morpho, the French company that provided the voting kits, has said that it needs to reconfigure the more than 40,000 kits and that the process would not be complete until at least the end of October.

The judges had ordered the re-run to be held in 60 days.

Four judges voted to annul the election while two dissented. Another judge was taken ill during the hearing of the petition and did not take part in the case.

An elephant has killed a 40-year-old woman at Kawelenga Village in Nkhotakota district.

Confirming the development, Nkhotakota Police Station Deputy Public Relations Officer, Paul Malimwe identified the deceased as Aida Nkuzi.

Malimwe says the deceased met her fate when she went to fetch firewood in the bush near Nkhotakota Game Reserve.

After noticing that his wife was delaying from returning home, the deceased’s husband, Ezala Kamwendo, started searching for her in the bush and later found her dead body under a tree with multiple fractures on the neck and hands.

Postmortem results jointly conducted by Nkhotakota Police and the District Hospital indicate that the death was due to severe head injuries and loss of blood.

Just recently 500 elephants were relocated from Liwonde and Majete Parks to Nkhotakota Game Reserve.

This was one of the measures to address the plummeting numbers in Africa, attributed to poaching.

A recent continent-wide survey showed catastrophic losses, with numbers dipping from 1.3 million in 1979 to around 350,000 -- far lower than expected.

United Nations member states have expressed alarm at the ongoing rights violations in Burundi. 

During the 36th Regular Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in New York on Tuesday speaker after speaker spoke of abductions, executions and torture being carried out in the East African country, before urging the Burundian authorities to cooperate with the UNHCR.

Trial, an international NGO comprising civil society organisations fighting impunity for war crimes, sent an open letter to the human rights council.

The letter, entitled “Renewing the Mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi and Ensuring Accountability for Serious Crimes”, urged the council to support a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Burundi.

It also called on the UNHRC to explore all options to ensure accountability for the crimes documented by the COI.

These included the opening of an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) whose Office of the Prosecutor announced the opening of a preliminary examination on 25 April 2016.

In addition, the UNHRC was urged to call for Burundi’s suspension from the Council, or at a minimum, to explicitly request the General Assembly to take up the matter in accordance with a previous resolution.

“The COI has confirmed the continuation of serious human rights violations from April 2015 to date, including extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detention, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” the letter read.

Enforced disappearances and sexual violence perpetrated mainly by the National Intelligence Service (SNR), members of the Imbonerakure, the youth wing of the ruling party, the police and the army were also outlined.

“The COI confirmed that they have reasonable grounds to believe that several of the violations documented constitute crimes against humanity.”

More than 400,000 people have fled Burundi since April 2015.

 Nine elephants were electrocuted in central Botswana in a freak accident near the village of Dukwi.

The elephants died after they knocked down overhead power lines while jostling to drink water from a leaking pipe supplying water to villagers, the director of Wildlife and National Parks, Otisitswe Tiroyamodimo, told Reuters.

"Investigations are still at a preliminary stage, but what we have discovered so far is that the elephants were helping themselves to water from a damaged supply pipe.

The elephants were electrocuted when they knocked down power lines, which fell into the gushing pool of water," he said.

Botswana has an elephant population of between 150,000 and 200,000, depending on the migration season. Elephants normally live in the wild but often move near human settlements in search of water, in Botswana, a generally arid country.

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