South Africa

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Pastor Sprays Insecticide in Followers' Faces to 'Heal'

Government panel in South Africa investigating 'Prophet of Doom'

(Newser) - A South African pastor is under fire for his crazy-sounding manner of healing his flock: He sprays insecticide into their faces. Lethebo Rabalago, 24, of Mountzion General Assembly says spraying an insecticide called Doom on his followers can cure them of cancer, HIV, and other ailments. Known as the "... More »

3 Countries to Quit International Criminal Court

Gambia says it unfairly targets Africans

(Newser) - A third African country says it will leave the International Criminal Court as fears grow of a mass pullout from the body that pursues some of the world's worst atrocities. Gambia announced the decision on TV Tuesday, accusing the court of unfairly targeting Africa and calling it the "... More »

These Wine Grapes Listened to Mozart, to Their Benefit

Inside an interesting experiment in Italy

(Newser) - A taste of black cherry, leather, and just a hint of G minor? In the hills of Montalcino in Tuscany, winemaker Giancarlo Cignozzi has, for more than a decade, been playing Mozart 24 hours a day to a section of Sangiovese grapes growing in his vineyard, reports CBS News . At... More »

2 Activists Free Penguin, May Have Doomed Him

Park officials in South African say Buddy won't survive in the wild

(Newser) - Two South African students may have gotten in over their heads when they "liberated" a penguin from a South African marine park, the BBC reports. Surveillance video showed two still-unidentified students breaking into the enclosure at Bayworld marine park, grabbing the penguin, and driving it to the nearby shoreline,... More »

South African Park Kills 350 Hippos, Buffalos Amid Drought

Meat from the killed animals will go to poor communities

(Newser) - Rangers in South Africa's biggest wildlife park are killing about 350 hippos and buffalos in an attempt to relieve the impact of a severe drought, the AP reports. The national parks service says the numbers of hippos and buffalos in Kruger National Park, about 7,500 and 47,000... More »

Meet the Great-Grandma Who Trains South Africa's Fastest Man

They call the 74-year-old coach 'Aunt Ans'

(Newser) - South African sprinter Wayde Van Niekerk set a world record Sunday night in the men's 400-meter race, an Olympic feat that the Washington Post says "no one saw coming"—except, perhaps, for the 74-year-old Namibian great-grandmother who trains him. Van Niekerk first caught the eye of Ans... More »

She Stole a Baby in 1997, Is Finally Sentenced for the Crime

Woman who took Zephany Nurse sentenced to 10 years

(Newser) - The incredible saga of Zephany Nurse has reached its end: The South African woman found guilty of snatching a 3-day-old Zephany from her sleeping mother's hospital room in 1997 has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors had sought 15, reports Reuters . Judge John Hlophe had harsh words... More »

This Is the Oldest Evidence of Cancer in Humans

It comes from 1.7M-year-old foot bone

(Newser) - The oldest evidence of cancer in human relatives has long been a 120,000-year-old Neanderthal. A single foot bone changes that, by a lot. Belonging to an early hominin who lived 1.7 million years ago in South Africa, it holds the oldest example of a malignant tumor in a... More »

An Appeal in Pistorius Case —but Not From Pistorius

Prosecutors say sentence was 'shockingly' lenient, want more jail time than 6 years

(Newser) - South African prosecutors announced their intention to appeal against Oscar Pistorius' six-year jail sentence for murder on Thursday, calling it "shockingly" lenient and a decision that could bring the country's justice system into "disrepute," the AP reports. The announcement prolongs the 3.5-year legal saga of... More »

With Radio Telescope's First Image, 1.3K Galaxies Revealed

MeerKAT radio telescope will only get more impressive

(Newser) - Scientists promised it would be the world's most powerful radio telescope, capable of exploring dark energy, black holes, and traces of the universe's creation 14 billion years ago. South Africa's MeerKAT has already exceeded expectations. Though operating at a quarter of its eventual capacity with 16 of... More »

Pistorius Gets 6 Years for Murder

Judge goes easy on 'fallen hero'

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp , with the judge who decided the punishment calling the double-amputee Olympian a "fallen hero." South Africa's minimum sentence for murder is 15 years, but the judge said "substantial and... More »

Pistorius: Reeva Wouldn't Want Me Jailed for Long

Athlete gives first TV interview since shooting his girlfriend

(Newser) - Reeva Steenkamp wouldn't want Oscar Pistorius behind bars for long—according to Oscar Pistorius. In his first TV interview since killing the model in his Pretoria apartment on Valentine's Day 2013, the 29-year-old former Olympian says he deserves a prison sentence but doesn't want to "waste... More »

Famed Mine Spits Out 121-Carat Diamond

Petra finds white gem in same mine where British crown jewels diamonds were discovered

(Newser) - From the Cullinan mine in South Africa emerged in 1905 what still ranks as the world's largest rough diamond: the Cullinan diamond , a 3,106-carat gem that was cut down into smaller stones and incorporated into the British crown jewels. Now Petra Diamonds announces it's made another sparkling... More »

Pistorius Removes Prosthetics in Court to Show 'Vulnerability'

Defense had him walk on stumps to try to get out of long prison sentence

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius tried in vain in March to appeal his conviction before South Africa's highest court in the 2013 murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, and so he made a last-ditch effort Wednesday to avoid a lengthy prison sentence: He took off his artificial legs, Reuters reports. Pistorius lawyer Barry... More »

Elephant Chases Schwarzenegger's Car

And he has a typical Arnold reaction

(Newser) - What happens in Johannesburg stays in Johannesburg—unless you're Arnold Schwarzenegger and your safari vehicle gets chased by an elephant, in which case, yeah, the entire world is going to see that video. The clip, which Schwarzenegger uploaded himself to YouTube , shows exactly what transpired when the Terminator visited... More »

Desmond Tutu's Daughter Leaves Church Over Gay Marriage

Reverend Mpho Tutu-Van Furth married a woman in December

(Newser) - The daughter of Africa's most famous archbishop is leaving the priesthood over her marriage to a woman. The Washington Post reports Reverend Mpho Tutu-Van Furth, daughter of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Desmond Tutu, married Marceline Furth in December. Same-sex marriage was legalized in South Africa in 2006, but the... More »

Dying CIA Agent Admits Sending Mandela to Jail

He says he provided tip that led to 1962 arrest

(Newser) - In an interview recorded two weeks before his death, a former CIA agent claimed he had prevented a war by giving South African authorities a tip that led to the arrest of the "Black Pimpernel"—better known as Nelson Mandela. In March, 88-year-old Donald Rickard told film director... More »

'Mom' Guilty in Crazy 1997 Baby-Snatching Case

Woman found guilty of kidnapping 3-day-old baby from mom's side

(Newser) - A 51-year-old woman was found guilty Thursday of kidnapping a newborn in 1997 as the girl's mother slept in a hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. The unnamed defendant had pleaded not guilty, insisting she adopted the infant and "didn't know the baby was stolen." Incredibly,... More »

In 1997, a Baby Was Stolen From Her Mom. Now, a Trial

Zephany Nurse was finally found in 2015

(Newser) - When the story broke one year ago , it was jaw-dropping: After South African schoolkids noticed a physical resemblance between two girls, a DNA test revealed that one of them was Zephany Nurse, a girl kidnapped as a baby in 1997 from a Cape Town hospital; the other, her younger sister.... More »

Body, Cash Found on US Jet Impounded in Zimbabwe

Apparent stowaway's arm severed, blood spattered across fuselage

(Newser) - Zimbabwean aviation authorities impounded a US-registered cargo jet, a senior official said Monday, after a body later believed to be a stowaway and millions of South African rand were found on board Sunday. The Herald, a state-run newspaper, reported that the MD-11 trijet was traveling from Germany to South Africa... More »

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