South Africa

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Man Accused of Plotting Wife's Murder Stole Eulogy

Chris Panayioutou, alleged hitmen arrested in South Africa

(Newser) - Plagiarizing a eulogy is one thing. Plagiarizing a eulogy at the funeral of the wife you're suspected of plotting to kill is plainly quite another. Schoolteacher Jayde Panayiotou, 28, was kidnapped outside her home in Uitenhage, South Africa, on April 21 as she waited for a ride to work... More »

Hot New DJ Is 2 Years Old

'I'm not going to exploit my kid,' says South African dad

(Newser) - At first it seems like a fluke—a 2-year-old playing with the knobs and buttons of a sophisticated music system. Yet the tiny boy is in control of the big beat of the bass-heavy house music. He's South Africa's youngest disc jockey, DJ AJ. Oratilwe Hlongwane is still... More »

100 Bodies Found in Mass Graves on S. Africa Farm

Residents say farmer used prison laborers decades ago

(Newser) - An oral history project about the South African town of Dududu has turned up a dark secret from the past: the discovery of about 100 bodies in unmarked graves in what is now a sugarcane farm. The investigation is continuing, but the best guess is that they were prison laborers... More »

Woman Turns 100 With Skydive, Sharkdive

Georgina first jumped out of a plane at 92

(Newser) - What better way to mark your long life than by risking its end? Celebrating her 100th birthday with a parachute jump is not enough for South African Georgina Harwood, who plans to make her centenary even more exciting by doing a shark cage dive tomorrow. Her birthday skydive was a... More »

Girl Kidnapped in 1997 Found by Total Coincidence

South African teen's sister noticed resemblance when they met at school

(Newser) - On Cassidy Nurse's first day of school, classmates kept approaching her and saying, "There's a girl who looks just like you." The look-alikes met, felt an instant connection, and became friends, but it turns out the kinship had deeper origins: The girl was Cassidy's long-lost... More »

'Prime Evil' Killer to Walk Free

South Africa grants Eugene de Kock parole, citing 'reconciliation'

(Newser) - A man believed to have committed more atrocities than any other during South Africa's apartheid will walk away a free man after more than 20 years in prison. Eugene de Kock, known as "Prime Evil" for his role in the torture and murder of black activists, was granted... More »

South African Named Miss World 2014

Miss United States finishes 3rd

(Newser) - South Africa's Rolene Strauss has been named the winner of the Miss World 2014 competition in a London finale televised in many parts of the world. Edina Kulcsar of Hungary was the runner-up, and Elizabeth Safrit of the United States took third place after a lengthy competition involving contestants... More »

Prosecution Will Seek Pistorius Murder Conviction

Judge allows appeal of verdict but not sentence

(Newser) - South African prosecutors can appeal Oscar Pistorius' acquittal on murder charges for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a judge ruled today. Judge Thokozile Masipa announced the ruling in a Pretoria court, saying she was satisfied that chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel had raised "questions of law" that should be reviewed by... More »

Brit Walks in Honeymoon Murder of His Wife

Shrien Dewani cleared of all charges in South Africa in 2010 death of Anni Dewani

(Newser) - A British man accused of killing his wife while they were on their honeymoon in Cape Town was acquitted of murder today after a South African judge concluded that the prosecution's case didn't have sufficient evidence. Shrien Dewani promptly descended stairs leading out of the courtroom following the... More »

Inside the Battle Over Girls, 4, Switched at Birth

In latest development, court-appointed expert says not to switch them back

(Newser) - On a day in 2010, two South African mothers each gave birth to a girl at a Johannesburg-area hospital—but they unknowingly took the other's child home after nurses mistakenly switched them. The error came to light last year, when one of the mothers sued her former partner for... More »

South Africa's Soccer Captain Shot Dead

Armed men broke into Senzo Meyiwa's home

(Newser) - The captain of South Africa's national soccer team was fatally shot when armed men broke into the house where he was staying last night, police say. Goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was killed after two gunmen entered a house in Vosloorus township near Johannesburg while an accomplice waited outside, the national... More »

Reeva's Mom: Pistorius Never Slept With My Girl

June Steenkamp says daughter planned to leave him that night

(Newser) - Reeva Steenkamp's mother says the 29-year-old South African model "was scared to take the relationship to the next level" with Oscar Pistorius, so she never slept with the man who eventually killed her, the Sunday Times reports via the New York Daily News and the BBC . In the... More »

Oscar Pistorius Gets 5 Years

Judge hands down prison term for culpable homicide

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius was sentenced today to five years in prison for killing Reeva Steenkamp by a South African judge who cited the "gross negligence" the runner showed when he shot his girlfriend multiple times through a toilet cubicle door in his home. Legal experts say Pistorius could be released... More »

Where Pistorius Will Go If He Goes to Jail

Double-amputee will do his time in hospital wing of 'tough' South African prison

(Newser) - During the fourth day of his sentencing hearing today, Oscar Pistorius heard more details about where he'll end up if he gets jail time for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp: the hospital section of "one of South Africa's toughest prisons," Reuters reports. Pretoria Central Prison—which has... More »

Next for 'Broken' Oscar Pistorius: Sentencing

Witnesses testify in latest hearings

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of negligent killing—comparable to manslaughter, the New York Times notes—but the case isn't over: The next step is sentencing hearings, and they could last at least a week, the Times reports. With Pistorius facing anything from a fine to 15 years... More »

Millionaire Pleads Not Guilty in Murder of New Bride

Shrien Dewani's trial in 2010 killing starts in South Africa

(Newser) - Nearly four years after his wife was killed in an apparent carjacking during their South Africa honeymoon, Shrien Dewani today pleaded not guilty to arranging her murder. Prosecutors say the British millionaire hired hit men to kill his wife, Anni, in Cape Town in November 2010. The couple was in... More »

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 »

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