Sep 19, 2017 Last Updated 8:40 AM, Sep 19, 2017
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The prospect of losing the only copy of her master's thesis during a robbery was just too much for one South African student to bear.

Noxolo Ntusi, 26, grappled with armed attackers to hold on to it during the incident in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

"There's no way I will let them take it," she told the BBC.

But she also said her actions were "not very smart" and advised others to give robbers what they ask for. "You can always write again," she said.

Ms Ntusi, a medical scientist at the National Health Laboratory Service, had her molecular zoology master's thesis on a hard drive when a car drew up beside her and two men jumped out, one brandishing a gun.

But while the attackers were able to take her lunch bag, Ms Ntusi refused to let go of the bag containing the hard drive.

"I was thinking about my masters. I'm almost done with what I'm writing, there's no way I will let them take it," she said.

"I was just pulling myself into a ball. They were trying to put me in the car, I think, but I made myself so heavy that they just gave up."

During the attack, one of the robbers pressed a gun to her head and repeatedly threatened to shoot her.

But Ms Ntusi held on. Losing the thesis would have meant having to ask for an extension until next year, she said.

"I really want to finish so badly, I want to do it now. Nothing got in the way of that, but it was very dangerous," she said.

Footage of the struggle was recorded on security cameras attached to nearby homes in the suburb of Auckland Park.

Ms Ntusi has since backed up her work and said she would not advise others to follow her example.

"You can always write again if you are worried about your work," she said.

The alleged robbers were later arrested and found to be in possession of a gas gun.

It will be good for South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC) to lose the 2019 election, ex-President Kgalema Motlanthe has said.

The party has become "associated" with corruption, and it has to lose for the "penny to drop", he told the BBC.

Mr Motlanthe is a senior ANC member whose comments show growing disillusionment with the party.

The party has won each general election with more than 60% of the vote since white minority rule ended in 1994.

However, it lost some of South Africa's main cities - including the commercial capital, Johannesburg - in local elections in 2014.

Voters were seen to have punished the party because of worsening corruption within its ranks.

Its leader, President Jacob Zuma, has survived eight no-confidence votes in parliament.

He has been accused by the opposition and his ANC critics of being at the centre of a corrupt network in government, an allegation he denies.

In the interview with BBC Hardtalk, Mr Motlanthe said the electorate will vote out the ANC for as long as it is "associated with corruption and failure".

"It would be good for the ANC itself and let me tell you why - because those elements who are in it for the largesse will quit it, will desert it and only then would the possibility arise for salvaging whatever is left of it," Mr Motlanthe added.

He said the ANC could renew itself, but it would require "lots of courage and failing that it has to hit rock bottom".

"It has to lose elections for the penny to drop," Mr Motlanthe told Hardtalk.

Mr Motlanthe served as South Africa's president between 2008 and 2009.

He was closely allied with Mr Zuma, but later fell out with him.

Mr Zuma is due to step down as ANC leader in December and as president in 2019.

He is backing his ex-wife and former African Union commission chairwoman, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to succeed him.

Her main challenger is Mr Zuma's deputy and former business tycoon Cyril Ramaphosa.

South Africa may appeal against Fifa's decision to order a replay of the World Cup qualifier against Senegal because of "match manipulation" by the referee.

South Africa beat Senegal 2-1 at home last November but match referee Joseph Lamptey has since been banned for life.

Neither South Africa nor Senegal are accused of any wrongdoing.

"We're grappling for answers and asking Fifa for them before we decide whether to take the matter forward," said South African FA lawyer Norman Arendse.

Arendse, who chairs the legal committee of the South African Football Association (Safa), says his organisation has never been advised by football's world governing body how the match was fixed.

"Safa cannot accept (the game was manipulated) because we have got absolutely no details of the alleged manipulation, what the nature of it was and what it all involved," he told BBC World Service's Newsday programme.

"Is (the referee) just a corrupt individual? Was he bribed by a third party outside of the match to influence the outcome? We just don't know.

"That is the most unpalatable thing for us - to accept an outcome to which we should have been party. We've never ever been called upon to put our side of the story in relation to the game."

A World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal will be replayed after the match referee was banned for life by Fifa.

Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey was banned for "match manipulation".

He awarded a penalty to South Africa in their 2-1 win in November last year for handball but replays showed the ball hit Senegal's Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly on the knee.

The match is due to be replayed in the November 2017 international window.

Lamptey was initially banned for life in March but on Wednesday the decision was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Lamptey, who also officiated at the Rio Olympics last year, declined BBC Sport's invitation to comment at the time of his original ban, which came about after a complaint from the Senegal Football Federation.

Senegal and South Africa are currently third and fourth respectively in Africa's Group D behind Burkina Faso and Cape Verde Islands. Only the top team qualify for next year's finals in Russia.

Top of Form

Bell Pottinger has been expelled from the UK public relations trade body for its work on a controversial contract in South Africa.

It is the first time that the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has ejected a PR firm as prominent as Bell Pottinger.

PRCA director-general Francis Ingham said it was "highly questionable" whether the firm would survive.

Bell Pottinger said it "accepts that there are lessons need to be learned".

The PR firm's work on a campaign for Oakbay Capital, a South African company owned by the wealthy Gupta family, had "incited racial hatred" and was "absolutely unthinkable", Mr Ingham said.

He expected more clients to abandon Bell Pottinger following the sanction.

South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance complained to the PRCA, accusing Bell Pottinger of a "hateful and divisive campaign to divide South Africa along the lines of race".

The campaign emphasised the power of white-owned businesses and used the #WhiteMonopolyCapital hashtag.

South African President Jacob Zuma has faced corruption allegations and suspicion over his ties with the Guptas. Mr Zuma and the Guptas have consistently denied all allegations.

Chief executive James Henderson resigned ahead of the five-year expulsion from the PRCA. His departure was "necessary, but not sufficient", Mr Ingham said.

"Bell Pottinger has brought the PR and communications industry into disrepute with its actions, and it has received the harshest possible sanctions," he added.

The firm was found to have breached two clauses of the PRCA's professional charter and two clauses of its public affairs and lobbying code of conduct.

The law firm Herbert Smith Freehills was commissioned by Bell Pottinger to conduct an internal review following the Oakbay controversy.

Its review, released on Monday, criticised the PR firm's senior management: "Bell Pottinger senior management should have known that the campaign was at risk of causing offence, including on grounds of race.

"In such circumstances, BP ought to have exercised extreme care and should have closely scrutinised the creation of content for the campaign. This does not appear to have happened."

Herbert Smith also found that certain material created by Bell Pottinger for the economic emancipation campaign "was negative or targeted towards wealthy white South African individuals or corporates and/or was potentially racially divisive and/or potentially offensive and was created in breach of relevant ethical principles".

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