Feb 20, 2018 Last Updated 8:31 AM, Feb 20, 2018
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South Africa readied to welcome Cyril Ramaphose as its new president on Thursday after scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma resigned under intense pressure from his own party.

Zuma announced he had stepped down in a late-night television address in which he took some digs at the African National Congress (ANC) party that had threatened to oust him via a parliamentary no-confidence vote.

In a 30-minute speech, Zuma said he had "come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect".

"I have only asked my party to articulate my transgressions and the reason for its immediate instruction that I vacate office," he said.

Zuma (75) has been in a lengthy power struggle with Ramaphosa, the deputy president.

Ramaphosa, who won control of the ANC when he was elected as its head in December, is likely to be voted in by Parliament as South Africa's new president on Thursday or Friday.

Political analyst Dumisani Hlophe said the inclination is that Ramaphosa is likely to appoint a woman as his deputy.

"My gut feel is that it's likely to be a woman. My suspicion is it could be the likes of Lindiwe Sisulu or Naledi Pandor," he said.

"It wouldn't make sense to put Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma there simply because she contested."

Hlophe said many MPs are likely to face the chop.

Political analyst Khaya Sithole told eNCA's Dan Moyane that Ramaphosa must reshuffle the cabinet to start on a clean slate.

Sithole said he thinks Lindiwe Sisulu is the obvious choice for a deputy president.

South Africa has declared the drought which has seen Cape Town hurtling towards "Day Zero" a national disaster.

The government made the announcement after reassessing the "magnitude and severity" of the three-year drought.

It has badly affected three of the country's nine provinces.

The decision came as Cape Town announced its water saving measures, which require each citizen to use less than 50 litres a day, had successfully pushed back "Day Zero" to 4 June.

Just a matter of weeks ago, the date that Cape Town's taps were predicted to run dry was 12 April.

Mmusi Maimane, leader of South Africa's Democratic Alliance (DA), which runs both the city of Cape Town and Western Cape province, tweeted:

In another tweet, he revealed the average water use in Cape Town, a city of about four million people, was below 550 million litres. Two years ago, it was at more than a billion litres per day.

It has been no easy task for Cape Town's residents. The 50 litre limit is just enough for a very short shower and one flush of the toilet a day when other needs - including just one load of the washing machine a week - are taken into account.

However, the decision to declare a national disaster means the central government - which is run by the African National Congress (ANC) - will now take responsibility for relief efforts.

According to South African news website eNCA, the co-operative governance minister Des van Rooyen said last week more than 70m rand (£4.2m; $5.8m) had been put aside to tackle the crisis in the Western Cape, as well as in the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape, two provinces which have garnered less headlines, but are also struggling with the effects of the drought.

South African jazz legend Hugh Ramopolo Masekela has died, aged 78.

Masekela lost his battle with prostate cancer, for which he had been treated since 2008.

In October, he cancelled a scheduled performance at the Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival in Rockville, Soweto to dedicate himself to battling the disease and called on all men to go for regular cancer check-ups.

Masekela was born on 4 April1939 in Witbank. As a child, he began playing the piano, but a movie about jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, Young Man with a Horn, inspired him to shift his musical allegiances.

Anti-apartheid activist Father Trevor Huddleston helped Masekela to acquire a trumpet and ensured he received tuition, resulting in his rapidly joining South Africa’s first youth orchestra, the Huddleston Jazz Band.

In the late 50s, Masekela joined up with Dollar Brand (later known as Abdullah Ibrahim), Kippie Moeketsi, Jonas Gwangwa, Johnny Gertze and alternately Early Mabuza or Makaya Ntshoko on drums, to form The Jazz Epistles, who regularly performed at the Odin Theatre in Sophiatown.

In 1959, Masekela joined the cast of Todd Matshikiza's "all-African jazz opera" King Kong. The musical, which also helped launch the career of Miriam Makeba, received permission to perform in London in 1961.

With the Sharpeville massacre in mind and with jazz being seen as an expression of resistance, performances and broadcasts in South Africa were severely restricted. Masekela took the opportunity, along with many other members of the cast, to remain in England, effectively going into exile, and enrolled at the London Guildhall School of Music, later moving to the Manhattan School of Music in New York.

Here he befriended musician and political activist Harry Belafonte, and his music increasingly began reflecting the harsh realities of repression and discrimination back home.

Masekela married Miriam Makeba in 1964, but the couple divorced in 1966.

Masekela had success in the United States with a pop-jazz tune, "Up, Up and Away", in 1967.

He performed at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, alongside Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, before releasing Grazing in the Grass in 1968, which reached number one on the pop and R&B charts.

In 1970, he toured Guinea with Miriam Makeba and met Nigerian AfroBeat musician Fela Kuti and the Ghanian band Hedzoleh Soundz.

This led to his breakthrough album "Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz", one of the most highly regarded Afro-jazz albums of the decade.

In 1974, Masekela released his album I Am Not Afraid, which included Stimela (Coal Train), a song that became synonymous with his performances for decades to come.

Masekela performed on recordings by the Byrds, made an album in 1978 with trumpeter and bandleader Herb Alpert, and later collaborated with Paul Simon.

The South African city of Cape Town will slash residents' water allowance to 50 litres a day from next month amid fears that it could become the world's first major city to run out of water.

The city had reached a "point of no return", Mayor Patricia de Lille said.

Cape Town, a popular tourist destination, has been hit by its worst drought in a century.

Ms De Lille warned that the city risked reaching "Day Zero" on 21 April, when taps in homes could run dry.

"We can no longer ask people to stop wasting water. We must force them," she said at a press conference.

"Despite our urging for months, 60% of Capetonians are callously using more than 87 litres per day," she added, referring to the current daily limit.

A person uses about 15 litres per minute for a typical shower and the same amount when flushing a standard toilet, according to WaterWise, a South African water usage awareness campaign.

Current limit per resident: 87 litres; from 1 February: 50 litres

Day Zero (predicted day non-essential supplies to be cut off): 21 April (revised down from 29 April earlier this month). Takes effect when dams reach 13.5% capacity; currently at 28.1%

70% of Cape Town water use is in domestic homes - so:

  • Fix water leaks on your property
  • Use drinking water only for drinking, cooking and essential washing
  • Only flush the toilet when necessary
  • Cut showers to two minutes
  • Collect your shower, bath and basin water and re-use to flush toilet, water garden and wash car
  • Only run washing machines and dishwashers with a full load

Emergency services in South Africa say that at least 200 people have been injured in a train crash.

No fatalities have been reported so far in the incident in Germiston, a town around 12 miles (20 km) east of Johannesburg.

Many of the passengers were commuters on their way to work.

It is not clear what caused the collision, but local media is reporting that an incoming train hit a stationary train from behind. 

Paramedics say passengers sustained "minor to moderate" injuries and will receive further treatment in hospital.

It follows a fatal collision last week when a car hitting a train at a level crossing in Kroonstad, in Free State province, which is now known to have killed 19 people.

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