Monday March 19, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Brad Dubbelman
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema criticised power drunk ANC leaders yesterday who have drifted away from the masses. Malema said some leaders have become arrogant on power given to them by the masses and warned against another Polokwane elective conference, which led to the recall of the country's former president Thabo Mbeki. Before Malema addressed the crowd, Northern Cape ANC Youth League chairman Shadrack Tlhaole saluted Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe as leader, and Fikile Mbalula as secretary-general of the ANC.
Leaders of eight African Union (AU) countries failed to break a deadlock over the leadership of the 54-member body, highlighting divisions that have repeatedly stymied its decision-making. The talks in the Benin port of Cotonou were called after neither of the two front-runners for the AU commission chairman post - former South African foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon - managed to secure an outright majority during a voting contest in January. "Consultations will continue ... notably (between) Gabon and South Africa," said a statement issued after the Cotonou talks by leaders of those two countries plus officials from Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria, Ethiopia, Benin and Angola.
The deficit on South Africa's current account narrowed in the fourth quarter of 2011, helped by lower dividend payments to nonresident investors, but spending by households and government rose, signalling rising import pressures. The current account shortfall edged lower to 3.6% of gross domestic product in the fourth quarter from a revised 4.1% in the third quarter, the Reserve Bank said in its March Quarterly Bulletin released today. The shortfall for the whole of 2011 however widened to 3.3% of GDP from 2.8% in 2010, largely owing to a sharp deterioration during the second quarter of last year.
Also making headlines:
Kenya's next general elections will be held on March 4, 2013, its electoral commission said, a vote sure to draw international scrutiny after communal bloodshed that followed a disputed 2007 ballot.
And, Egypt's Parliament met on Saturday to decide on the criteria for selecting members of a 100-person assembly charged with writing a new constitution, a process crucial for charting out the future of democracy in the country.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.