August 20, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
African National Congress National Executive Committee member Joel Netshitenzhe says the Lonmin killings symbolise a crisis.
The United States says it’s stepping up trade activity in Africa.
And, Angola’s youth movement presses for change ahead of polls.
African National Congress NEC member Joel Netshitenzhe said the killings at the Marikana mine of Lonmin Platinum symbolise that South Africa may be reaching points of crisis that need to be nipped in the bud.
This follows last week’s violent illegal strike and police shootout at the London-listed Lonmin operation in the North West province, which left 34 dead, 78 injured and more than 200 arrested
Netshitenzhe said this was the kind of tragic event that justified a judicial commission of enquiry”, adding that the commission needed to include the use of violence by citizens, the concept of the State as the legitimate bearer of weapons and the State’s monopoly position in the use of force.
President Barack Obama's administration,which has been criticized for not doing enough to boost trade with Africa in the face of rising competition from China, has taken steps in recent months to address those concerns and plans to do more.
After decades of poor performance, Africa is now home to some of the world's fastest-growing economies and China has been signing contracts to lock in long-term access to the continent's huge resources.
US Deputy Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis says "trade and investment is a critical component of the president's vision for the next five years of US policy towards sub-Saharan Africa".
In a tough race for re-election against Republican Mitt Romney, in June, Obama promised to work with the region to free up trade and investment. However
Stephen Hayes, president of the Corporate Council on Africa, a US business group, said Obama hasn’t done enough to involve the private sector in planning on Africa.
Inspired by the Arab Spring, Angola's nascent youth movement is attempting to gain momentum by exposing corruption and rights abuses by the government of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos who has ruled Africa's second biggest oil producer for 32 years.
The small demonstrations organised by the youth movement are a rare sign of public dissent in a country where global rights groups accuse the ruling regime of using force to silence opposition.
Dos Santos' party has called the protesters "trouble-makers and rioters" and accused them of trying to derail democracy.
Angola is holding a parliamentary election on August 31, only its third in 20 years.
Also making headlines:
Analyst Steven Friedman says the Lonmin violence did not just happen “out of thin air”.
Eskom says decisions on the Integrated Resource Plan urgently need to be implemented.
And, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad makes a rare appearance in a Damascus mosque.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.