Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana
For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Thabi Madiba.
Reports says US unlikely to sanction South Africa in Russia weapons dispute; President says Kenyan authorities should have prevented cult deaths; And, Air strikes pound Sudan's capital as conflict enters second month
Reports says US unlikely to sanction South Africa in Russia weapons dispute
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said his country had resolved a dispute with the US over allegations that Pretoria supplied weapons to Russia, and South Africa is unlikely to face US repercussions.
Godongwana said a number of actions were taken in order to ensure that South Africa’s relationship with the US remains and that relationship should be normal and cordial.
US Ambassador to South Africa said last week he was confident that a Russian ship had picked up weapons in South Africa in December, in a possible breach of Pretoria's declared neutrality in the Ukraine conflict.
South Africa's government denied the claims. After a meeting between US Ambassador and South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor on Friday, the ambassador "admitted that he crossed the line and apologised unreservedly.
President says Kenyan authorities should have prevented cult deaths
Kenyan government agencies should have been able to prevent the deaths by starvation of more than 200 members of a cult in the country's coastal region, said President William Ruto, adding he took responsibility for the disaster.
Authorities accuse Paul Mackenzie, leader of the Good News International Church, of ordering his followers to starve themselves and their children to death so they could go to heaven before the end of the world.
The death toll so far stands at 201, making it one of the worst cult-related disasters in recent history.
Given the presence of government agencies in the area, including police, intelligence services and the local administration, Mackenzie's activities should not have gone unnoticed, Ruto said.
Mackenzie was arrested earlier this year on suspicion of the murder of two children by starvation and suffocation, but was then released on bail.
And, Air strikes pound Sudan's capital as conflict enters second month
The Sudanese army carried out air strikes on Monday along the River Nile in the north of the capital Khartoum as it fought to push back its paramilitary rivals after a month of warfare, witnesses said.
Intense battles in Khartoum and its sister cities of Bahri and Omdurman have raged despite Saudi and US-brokered talks between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the Red Sea city of Jeddah aimed at securing humanitarian access and an effective ceasefire.
The fighting has spread to the western region of Darfur, already scarred by a long-running conflict, but has been concentrated in the capital, where RSF fighters have taken up positions across neighbourhoods and the army has used air strikes and heavy artillery fire to target them.
RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo dismissed rumours that he had been killed or injured in the battles.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today
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