NEWS ABOUT: South Africa

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Obama Offers Rare Personal Toast on Africa

Speaks of family history at US-Africa Summit dinner

(Newser) - President Obama isn't known for getting particularly personal at the podium, Politico notes, but in a speech at the US-Africa Summit , he offered up his own story. "I stand before you as the president of the United States and a proud American. I also stand before you as... More »

Giraffe Killed After Head Hits Highway Bridge

...in grisly scene eerily similar to a clip from The Hangover Part III

(Newser) - The scene may have drawn a few giggles in The Hangover Part III , but the horrific, real-life death of a giraffe on a South African highway this week has animal rights activists fuming. A witness tweeted a picture of two giraffes sticking out of a truck on a highway, with... More »

Pistorius Wasn't Mentally Ill: Experts

Runner could appreciate 'wrongfulness of his act'

(Newser) - After a month-long break in the Oscar Pistorius trial for a mental health evaluation, the results are in: The South African runner wasn't mentally ill when he killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a panel says. The chief prosecutor read the findings, the BBC reports: Pistorius "did not suffer from... More »

Pistorius' Psych Eval: 7 Hours a Day, 30 Days

Docs look to determine whether he had anxiety disorder

(Newser) - It's confirmed: Following a judge's order , Oscar Pistorius will undergo 30 days of daily psychiatric assessment, pausing his trial until June 30. An expert team will seek to determine the athlete's condition when he killed Reeva Steenkamp, NBC News reports. Pistorius will be an outpatient at a... More »

Team Thinks It Cracked an HIV Mystery

Genital disease may explain why majority of Africa's AIDS victims are women

(Newser) - Why are 60% of Africa's AIDS victims women when in the rest of the world, the majority are men? For researchers, it's a longstanding mystery—but Norwegian experts working in South Africa have a theory. A disease called genital schistosomiasis, or "schisto," can lead to vaginal... More »

ANC Wins 5th Election in South Africa

Jacob Zuma's party holds on, but misses two-thirds majority

(Newser) - The party of President Jacob Zuma today coasted to its fifth consecutive election victory in South Africa, but missed a two-thirds majority and saw the main opposition party gain some ground, the Guardian reports. With more than 99% of votes counted, the African National Congress had 62.2% (a 3.... More »

Columnist: Pistorius Took Acting Class Before Trial

Rep calls claims 'devoid of truth'

(Newser) - Has Oscar Pistorius' sobbing and vomiting in court all been an act? That's what a former South African columnist is alleging, to vehement denials from the runner's media rep. Jani Allan writes on her blog that Pistorius took acting classes from a friend ahead of his emotional trial,... More »

Pistorius: I Was Too Sad to Scream

Athlete faces last day of cross-examination

(Newser) - Today was the final day of Oscar Pistorius' grilling by Gerrie Nel, and once again, the prosecutor questioned the athlete's story of what happened the night Reeva Steenkamp died. When Pistorius realized he had shot his girlfriend, "Why would you not scream then?" Nel asked him, per NBC... More »

Pistorius Hammered About Reeva's Last Meal

Prosecutor also questions 2012 tweet about 'intruder'

(Newser) - Prosecutor Gerrie Nel hammered Oscar Pistorius on the details of the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed, asking about everything from the placement of her clothing on the floor to Pistorius' tone of voice. "Remember, the theme for the day is [that you have been] tailoring your evidence," Nel... More »

Pistorius: I Spoke to Reeva After I Heard Intruder

He says he told her to call police, but didn't wait for reply

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius' cross-examination is in its third day, and the topic returned to the moments leading up to Reeva Steenkamp's shooting. Pistorius described waking and moving fans in the bedroom, and moving to put a pair of jeans over a light shining from an amplifier. That's when he... More »

Pistorius: I Never Told Reeva I Loved Her

Cross-examination continues

(Newser) - It was another heated exchange in court today as Oscar Pistorius was again cross-examined by prosecutor Gerrie Nel, nicknamed the "bull terrier" for his fierce style. Nel tried to paint Pistorius as controlling—a text from Reeva Steenkamp said he "snapped at her" for chewing gum—selfish, and... More »

Prosecutor Gets in Pistorius' Face

It's a 'harrowing exchange,' tweets journalist

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius has again taken the witness stand, apparently fighting emotion as he gave an account of Reeva Steenkamp's final moments. When he found her after breaking down the bathroom door with a cricket bat, he said, "I could see she was breathing, struggling to breathe." Trying... More »

Pistorius Takes Stand After Vomiting Again

Apologizes to Steenkamp's family

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius' defense team is launching its case , and yet again , the testimony seems to have been too much for the athlete to take. Pistorius threw up multiple times—now a frequent occurrence—into a bucket as a forensic pathologist discussed the bullet wounds that killed Reeva Steenkamp, Reuters reports.... More »

Ex-Cop: Item Missing From Pistorius Crime Scene

Defense emphasizes shoddy police work on day 10

(Newser) - After days of graphic testimony that left Oscar Pistorius vomiting , the athlete appeared "calm and composed" for day 10 in court today, the Telegraph reports. The court was shown photos taken of Pistorius following the shooting in which he appeared in shorts and wearing his prosthetic legs, covered in... More »

Testimony That Made Pistorius Vomit Released

Expert says he used rare, maximum-damage bullets

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend almost instantly with expanding, hollow-point bullets designed to cause maximum damage, a pathologist said yesterday in testimony so graphic it made the athlete vomit . The judge banned live reporting of the expert's testimony, which included detailed autopsy results, but later decided that journalists could... More »

Pistorius Vomits Amid Autopsy Details

Reporting of graphic information barred

(Newser) - Autopsy details provided today at Oscar Pistorius' murder trial are so graphic that reporting and tweeting have been banned—and indeed, the findings appear to have been too much for Pistorius himself. He threw up in court as pathologist Gert Saayman discussed Reeva Steenkamp's injuries, AFP reports. His emotional... More »

Pistorius Trial Takes 'Soap Opera' Turn

Ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor testifies

(Newser) - It was "a bit of a soap opera" in court today for the fifth day of Oscar Pistorius' murder trial, a journalist tweeted . Pistorius was "transfixed" on the witness stand as his teary ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor told the court he kept a gun on him "all the... More »

Pistorius Gags as Trial Turns Graphic

Plus: Neighbor maintains screams he heard were from a woman

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius' murder trial continued today and up for discussion again were those "bloodcurdling screams" neighbor Michelle Burger said she heard the morning of Reeva Steenkamp's death. Her husband, Charl Johnson, took the stand to dispute what Pistorius' lawyer had said were perhaps screams from the athlete himself... More »

Pistorius Trial: 'Bloodcurdling Screams,' Then Shots

South Africa gears up for 'trial of the century'

(Newser) - The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius is under way, with the double-amputee athlete pleading not guilty in what the New York Times calls a "clear voice" to the murder charge. The trial's first witness, neighbor Michelle Burger, then testified that she awoke after 3am on Feb. 14 of... More »

Trapped South African Miners Refuse to Come Up

Some emerge, but others fear being arrested

(Newser) - About a dozen miners have been freed from a mine in South Africa since getting trapped there yesterday, but others are refusing to emerge because they don't want to be arrested for illegal mining, Reuters and CNN report. One miner is trying to convince about 19 others to surface,... More »

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