Monday, May 31, 2010
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Acting Congress of the People (Cope) president Mbhazima Shilowa adjourned the party's national congress on Sunday afternoon pending an urgent court appeal to overturn ousted president Mosiuoa Lekota's attempt to prevent elections.
On Saturday, Lekota won an interdict to halt elections based on the grounds that the Congress National Committee had resolved that elections could not go ahead at the policy conference. Shilowa said that Cope had briefed senior counsel and given them a mandate to appear in court on an urgent basis, after Lekota was adamant that he retained his position as president of the party following a vote of no confidence in him.
Cope now has an acting president and a president, both believing that they are the rightful leaders of the party.
France will today attempt to claw back some economic influence in Africa as it welcomes some 40 government leaders to a summit that will include the heads of top French companies for the first time.
The Africa-France summit, held since 1975, is usually dominated by a political agenda, with former colonial power France exerting its historical position as "Gendarme of Africa." But with the rise of developing economies Brazil, Russia, India and China - countries strengthening their economic ties to take advantage of virgin markets and fast-growing African economies - France has found itself increasingly sidelined on the economic front and less influential in the diplomatic arena.
Under President Nicolas Sarkozy, France's biggest companies have sought to move away from the poorer West African francophone States, focusing on more lucrative markets such as oil producers Nigeria and Angola and Africa's sole Group of 20 member, South Africa. Sarkozy is only holding bilateral talks with South African President Jacob Zuma and newly appointed Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan at the summit.
South African security officials on Sunday denied claims that the country faces a high risk of terrorist attacks during the FIFA World Cup. A Sunday Times report pointed to a briefing to the US Congress counterterrorism caucus last week by the NEFA Foundation, which investigates terrorist activities.
NEFA Foundation director Ronald Sandee believes that there is an 80% chance of an attack. However, South African police and intelligence officials have dismissed the claims. The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure, which coordinates all security operations for the FIFA World Cup, also disputed the story.
South African officials have long said that the country's nonaligned status and a lack of any substantial local support for militant groups should insulate it from attacks during the June 11 to July 11 event. However, analysts and security experts say that such actions cannot be ruled out because of the huge attention that even a small attack would get during the tournament.
Also making headlines:
South African Communist Party deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin says that South Africa needs to reconsider its narrow black economic-empowerment policy.
Sudan bars three activists from leaving the country to attend a review conference on the International Criminal Court, which has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes.
South African President Jacob Zuma says that sport can unite Africa and help to establish peace.
And, a gay Malawian couple sentenced to 14 years in prison were released from jail on Saturday after a Presidential pardon.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.