South Africa

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Early Release for Pistorius Blocked

South Africa justice minister says decision to let him out was 'premature'

(Newser) - Looks like Oscar Pistorius may have a slight delay before he gets to chillax in mansion prison . The Paralympian's early release tomorrow has been blocked by Michael Masutha, South Africa's justice minister, who says that while the country's law dictates releasing inmates after they've served one-sixth... More »

Note to Pythons: Maybe Pass on the Giant Porcupines

South African snake's snack turns out to be a fatal idea

(Newser) - Anyone traumatized by the 2005 report of the exploding python might have imagined this wasn't the best idea ever conceived by a predator: A cyclist in South Africa's Lake Eland Game Preserve earlier this month came upon a nearly 13-foot python who looked about as stuffed as your... More »

Stowaway Plunges Out of Plane Over London

2nd stowaway survives on 6K-mile journey from South Africa

(Newser) - Two stowaways clung to a British Airways passenger jet on its 6,000-mile journey from South Africa to London, but police say only one survived the trip, NBC News reports. The plane was 11 hours into its flight and preparing to land at Heathrow Airport yesterday when one of the... More »

Sudan's Leader Evades Arrest Once Again— via Private Jet

Leader is wanted by ICC for war crimes

(Newser) - For six years and counting, Omar al-Bashir has evaded arrest and a trial at the International Criminal Court on genocide and crimes against humanity charges stemming from the Darfur conflict , and it appears he may have slipped through the cracks again—this time in South Africa. The Sudanese leader was... More »

Pistorius Will Likely Walk Free After 10 Months

Paralympian expected to be let out Aug. 21 for 'good behavior'

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius is "so desperate to get his life back on track" that he already has a plan to work with disadvantaged youth when he gets out of prison, the Daily Mirror reports. Which could be soon: The South African commissioner of correctional services says the Paralympian will likely... More »

US Tourist Killed by Lion Worked on Game of Thrones

NY native Katherine Chappell, 29, suffered fatal wound to neck

(Newser) - Katherine Chappell, the American who died at a South African lion park , was an Emmy-winning special-effects editor for Game of Thrones. The 29-year-old New York native, on a trip to raise money for anti-poaching initiatives, was driving through the park with independent tour guide Pierre Potgieter, 66, when a 9-year-old... More »

African Lion Jumps Through Window, Kills US Tourist: Report

Woman reportedly had windows down, against park regulations

(Newser) - South African media are reporting the death of an American woman at a lion park in Johannesburg, and the US Embassy says it has received reports of an "incident" involving an American citizen at the private park. The embassy says it has no information but will follow up to... More »

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 »

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