Wednesday March 16, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Jessica Hannah
The uprisings that have swept across the Arab countries will not happen in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma said. He was speaking during the launch of the African Ombudsman Research Centre at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Howard College Campus. The recent and ongoing massive protests happened because people were tired of autocratic governments which had been there for a long time, Zuma said. "There have been many speculations about the cause of the protests. The answer is simply people want to participate in the affairs of their own countries. They want governments that represent their aspirations," he added.
The finance ministers of Singapore and South Africa have emerged as the only contenders to chair the International Monetary Fund's (IMF's) main advisory committee, IMF board sources said. Singapore’s Finance Minister is the favourite over South African Pravin Gordhan to head the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee, board sources told Reuters. The sources said an announcement was expected as soon as Friday if the fund's managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn can narrow the selection to one. Failing that, the outcome will be determined in a secret vote by the IMF board members.
The European Union (EU) plans to adopt sanctions next week against former Egyptian officials accused of stashing billions of dollars abroad, an EU official said. Egypt asked the US and EU to freeze the assets of several former officials last month after street protests ended the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak. EU and US officials said Mubarak's name was not on the initial Egyptian list, but Egypt's public prosecutor's office has since ordered the freezing of assets of the former president and his family after complaints they acquired wealth illegally.
Also making headlines:
The US and other world powers urged south and north Sudan to return to talks over the looming division of the country, and to control armed groups blamed for recent attacks.
Muammar Gaddafi's forces pushed eastwards towards the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi and his government predicted victory within days, as world powers debated imposing a no-fly zone to help stop him.
And, the Refugee Amendment Bill will not only streamline the application process for those seeking asylum in South Africa, but will also simplify and make it more efficient, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.