Daily Archives: January 13, 2019

Hundreds Rally in Sudan’s Capital for Al-Bashir’s Ouster

CAIRO Hundreds of protesters marched in and around Sudan’s capital Khartoum on Sunday, the fourth week of unrest that began over skyrocketing prices and a failing economy but which now calls for the ouster of autocratic President Omar al-Bashir.

Images circulated by activists online showed marches taking place in Khartoum and its northern twin cities of Omdurman and Bahary, despite security forces firing tear gas at the crowds. One group, hundreds strong, appeared to have reached Bahary’s main train station.

Security forces encircled the area and fired in the air to disperse crowds around the station, the main rally point for a gathering called by protest groups, professional associations and political opposition. Shops in the area have been almost entirely shuttered, eyewitnesses said, and crowds continued to gather.

Protesters burnt tires to obscure the view of policemen chasing them down, in a cat-and-mouse game that lasted until after dark. Witnesses said security forces were breaking into local homes and businesses in pursuit of demonstrators taking refuge there.

“The people want the fall of the regime,” chanted a crowd in the area, as seen in one video, echoing a popular slogan of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings that briefly defied despotism in the region, but never made it to Sudan.

Demonstrations also took place in other cities across the country, particularly in Gadarif, Faw and Amri, as well in the western region of Darfur, activists said, with eyewitnesses adding that police had broken up a 1,000-person strong demonstration in the northern Darfur town of el-Fasher.

The eyewitnesses spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

They said that security forces had surrounded the Haj al-Safi hospital in Khartoum, while a doctors’ union warned them against attacking or firing tear gas near or inside hospitals as had been reported last week by Amnesty International.

Sudan’s economy has stagnated for most of al-Bashir’s rule, but its recent lows have been dramatic, prompting the protests. He has also failed to unite or keep the peace in the religiously and ethnically diverse nation, losing three quarters of Sudan’s oil wealth when the mainly animist and Christian south seceded in 2011 following a referendum.

Bashir is also wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide in Darfur.

An Islamist who has been in power since he led a military coup in 1989, he has said those seeking to oust him can only do so through elections, and he is running for another term in office next year. He has insisted that the protests are part of a foreign plot to undermine Sudan’s “Islamic experiment” and blamed the country’s worsening economic crisis on international sanctions.

Already among the longest serving leaders in the region, al-Bashir hopes to win another term in office. In a bid to placate popular anger over his economic policies, he has promised higher wages, continuing state subsidies on basic goods and more benefits for pensioners.

His promises have been dismissed by critics as untenable.

Also Sunday, the government raised its official death toll from the weeks of protest by five to 24, still undercutting numbers released by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, who say at least 40 have been killed.

Sudan’s General Prosecutor said nine of those killed were in Gadaref, a province southeast of Khartoum close to the Ethiopian and Eritrean borders. The rest were killed in Omdurman and regions north and northeast of the capital.

Source: Voice of America

News: Three drug mules arrested at OR Tambo International Airport

Pretoria: Over this past week three suspects, two men and a woman were arrested at the OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) after they were discovered smuggling drugs through this port of entry.

On Tuesday, 8 January 2019 a 49-year-old man was arrested during an intelligence driven operation. The man was found in possession of drugs with an estimated street value of over R100 000.00.

The suspect was to board an evening flight to Munich when our team intercepted him and found Khat in his luggage resulting in his immediate arrest. Erik Korpel appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 10 January 2018 on charges of dealing in drugs.

Earlier in the week two suspects, a 47-year- old man and a 36-year-old woman were arrested separately also after being found in possession of drugs during routine investigation.

The woman had swallowed several synthetic “bullets” containing cocaine. The suspect had arrived from Sao Paolo to ORTIA on 8 January 2019 in transit to Windhoek. Raquel Mukoko has since appeared in court twice and her case was postponed to 21 January 2019 for her to secure an attorney. She remains in custody.

The 47-year-old man on the other hand was meant to depart to Frankfurt when he was stopped at the check-in counter following intelligence. His luggage was searched and amongst his clothing, parcels containing drugs were discovered. The suspect, Ali Ahmed Camaley was arrested and he has since appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrates’ Court.

The multi-disciplinary approach into safety and security at OR Tambo International Airport continues to yield results. This interdepartmental co-operation with ACSA and other stakeholders overseen by the Natjoints, has been established to root out criminals and criminality at OR Tambo International Airport.

The community is encouraged call Crime Stop on 08600 10111 with useful information that can assist in combatting of crime. Callers may remain anonymous and all information will be treated with strictest confidence.

Source: South African Police Service

SOUTH AFRICA: SARS, POLICE POUNCE ON R23M RHINO HORN CONSIGNMENT

PRETORIA, The South African Revenue Services’ (SARS) Customs unit scored a massive victory when officials pounced on a consignment of rhino horns worth over R23 million at the OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA).

In a statement, SARS said the 36 pieces of rhino horn were found after Lizzy, a detector dog, reacted positively to a consignment of so-called decoration items in a warehouse.

Customs officials accordingly cut open eight boxes attached together with bubble wrap. The horns, destined for Dubai, were hid underneath cut laminated wooden sheets in four of the boxes which were otherwise filled with doormats and decorative items, said SARS spokesperson Sicelo Mkosi in the statement.

He said the consignment weighed 116kg, with an estimated value at R23.2 million. The street value of these horns is assumed to be much higher.

The inspection at the warehouse formed part of an initiative to increase enforcement activities on cargo for outbound flights, following recent reports that rhino horn, originating from South Africa, has been detected in the Far East. This initiative is continuing, he added.

SARS said the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (HAWKS) were alerted, and a criminal case was registered for further investigation.

Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane welcomed the development, saying it was a significant achievement for enforcement agencies working to rid the airport – and the country – of wildlife-related crimes.

The SAPS has indicated that the seizure was part of an ongoing operation into ridding the airport of criminal activities following the recent confiscation of rhino horn originating from Southern Africa in the Far East.

The actions of the multi-disciplinary team, comprising members of the police, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Environmental Management Inspectorate (Green Scorpions), customs and excise, K9 units and ACSA security are to be commended.

Their successful efforts to rid our ports of entry and exit of particularly wildlife smuggling is an indication of the ongoing success of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros approach, said Mokonyane.

Source: Nam News Network

SAFA President mourns hero Masinga

SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan has described the late Bafana Bafana legend, Phil Masinga as a rare breed.

Chippa as Masinga was popularly known in football circles, died of a cancer related disease at a Johannesburg hospital on Sunday, (13 January 2019) morning.

He was 49.

Masinga was admitted in Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp two months ago before he was transferred to a Johannesburg hospital last month where he was diagnosed with cancer.

We have lost a giant of South African Football, this is a sad day for our football, said SAFA President, Jordaan who was the first to break the news of Masinga’s passing away on Sunday.

The SAFA President visited Masinga with his SAFA National Executive Committee last Sunday (6 January 2019) before flying out to Dakar, Senegal and said he didn’t look too well but didn’t expect him to ‘leave us so soon.

I am really gutted. I saw him last Sunday before I flew to Dakar and although he was not feeling well, he was in good spirits and I promised to visit him again sometime this week and now our hero is gone, added a sombre Dr Jordaan.

Phil was a loyal servant of the game, on and off the field of play. His goal against Congo which took us (South Africa) to our first World Cup in France in 1998, is still the most celebrated goal in the country to date, he said.

The SAFA President said Masinga was an active member of the South African Masters & Legends an affiliate of SAFA adding Chippa never missed any of SAFA meetings.

The late Masinga was born on 28 June 1969 in Klerksdorp in the North West and played among other clubs Jomo Cosmos, Leeds United in England together with Lucas Radebe, Saint Galliens in Switzerland, FC Bari in Italy and Salernitana.

Leeds United tweeted soon after the passing on of the football legend: It is with great sadness that the club has learnt of former striker Phil Masinga’s passing. The thoughts of everyone at the club are with his family and friends.

CAF deputy secretary general, Anthony Baffoe wrote: We have lost another hero in Phil Masinga. May his soul rest in peace.

Source: South Africa Football Association