Tuesday, October 6, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Bradley Dubbelman
Making headlines:Former chief of police, Jackie Selebi, has accused two ex-chief prosecutors of fabricating evidence against him and fraternising with criminals. Selebi pleaded not guilty to corruption charges laid against him, and then proceeded to finger ex-chief prosecutors Bulelani Ngcuka and Vusi Pikoli. Pikoli was axed earlier this year from his position for involvement in unlawful activities. Selebi's lawyer, Jaap Cilliers, argues that "The National Prosecuting Authority and Directorate of Special Operations approached people with criminal activities offering indemnities, on charges of murder, attempted murder, drug trafficking, racketeering, fraud, theft and defeating the ends of justice in exchange for false statements against the accused."
South Africa has proposed that the African Growth and Opportunity Act between the US and African countries be extended for a longer period of time. This will allow for investment in capacity building that will allow more countries and industries to take advantage of the benefits of the Act, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says. The Act, which provides preferential access for imports from beneficiary African countries, will expire in 2015, while the third-country fabric provision under the Act will expire in 2012. Davies noted that South Africa has reinforced its position in terms of the Act, saying that it is a significant and positive agreement for trade between the US and Africa. While an exact time period for the extension had not yet been proposed by South Africa, Department of Trade and Industry director-general Tshediso Matona notes that it would not be opposed to an indefinite rollover of the Act.
African farmers say that floods and droughts are expected to worsen, with climate change having already brought poor harvests, with women workers turning to prostitution and falling victim to HIV/Aids. Testifying at the first Pan-African climate hearings, the farmers' stories will be relayed at December's climate talks in Copanhagen, where Western countries and poorer nations are expected to adopt new carbon emission targets to curb global warming. The United Nations climate panel says that rich nations, blamed by poorer countries for emitting most of the harmful greenhouse gases, should cut emissions by between 25% and 40% from 1990 levels, by 2020 to avoid dangerous climate change. Africa, the world's poorest continent mainly dependent on subsistence agriculture, is expected to bear the brunt of unpredictable weather patterns that could ruin crops, entrenching poverty and malnourishment.
Also making headlines:
Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, will discuss domestic policy in a "secret" speech to high-ranking supporters. Selebi's graft trial enters day two, with convicted drug trafficker Glen Agliotti expected to be called to the bench by the State. And, former chief prosecutor, Bulelani Ngcuka, plans to rebut allegations levelled at him by Jackie Selebi.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.