South Africa

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Conservation Group Is Freeing 2K Rhinos

African Parks has acquired South African farm that housed private breeding operation

(Newser) - When a South African farm home to a herd of around 2,000 white rhinos went up for auction earlier this year, there were fears the animals could end up with a buyer that didn't have their best interests at heart. Instead, there were no bids at all, but...

Dozens Killed as Fire Blazes Through Settlement

Johannesburg building was full of 'informal structures,' firefighters say

(Newser) - More than 70 people were killed early Thursday when fire swept through a five-story building in South Africa's biggest city. Authorities say squatters had moved into the formerly abandoned building in Johannesburg's central business district and created an "informal settlement" with many shack-like structures inside, the BBC...

Illegal Miners Blamed for Gas Leak That Killed 16

3 children among the dead in South Africa disaster

(Newser) - At least 16 people, including three children, were killed by a leak of a toxic nitrate gas being used by illegal miners to process gold in a settlement of closely packed metal shacks, South African police and local officials said late Wednesday. Emergency services initially announced that as many as...

They Buried Their Dead 100K Years Before Homo Sapiens

Researchers describe cognitive complexity of Homo naledi, though skeptics remain

(Newser) - Just two hominin species are thought to have intentionally buried their dead: Neanderthals and modern humans. That idea has been floundering over the last decade, however, with the discovery of Homo naledi , an archaic human species that appears to have buried its dead deep inside South Africa's Rising Star...

Russian, South African Generals Meet After US Arms Accusation

American ambassador had suggested weapons were shipped to aid Ukraine invasion

(Newser) - Russia's top army general and his South African counterpart discussed "military cooperation" while meeting Monday in Moscow, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The announcement came hours after South African President Cyril Ramaphosa denied accusations by the US that his country was siding with Russia in the war in...

Farm With Huge Herd of Rhinos Is Being Auctioned Off

South African breeding farm has more than 10% of the world's white rhino population

(Newser) - If you've ever dreamed of owning your own herd of rhinos and you have a spare $10 million or so, you have until May 1 to place a bid for a farm in South Africa that's home to a large share of the world's surviving white rhinos....

Inmate Who Escaped in 'Hollywood' Fashion in Custody

Thabo Bester, celebrity girlfriend detained in Tanzania, returned to South Africa

(Newser) - A convicted rapist and killer who faked his death before escaping from a South African prison a year ago is back in custody. Thabo Bester, his celebrity girlfriend, and a Mozambican national were arrested last week in Tanzania, from which they planned to travel to Kenya, officials say, per CNN...

Snakes on a Plane Became Real Life on This Flight
Pilot Who Felt 'Cool Sensation'
on Back Made Terrifying Find
in case you missed it

Pilot Who Felt 'Cool Sensation' on Back Made Terrifying Find

Highly venomous cape cobra had slithered its way onto the plane

(Newser) - A cobra encounter is nerve-wracking no matter where it takes place, but we imagine it's worse when trapped in a small plane 11,000 feet high in the sky. That was the plight earlier this week of a South African pilot and his passengers when he was confronted by...

This Nation Spends the Most Time Online

South Africans spend average 578 minutes per day on the internet, per Atlas VPN

(Newser) - It can be hard to accurately estimate how much time we spend online, though Atlas VPN notes that for many of us, it's a "significant portion of our day." Using data on internet usage trends among internet users 16 to 64 years old, the VPN service found...

Parole Board Rules on Oscar Pistorius

Parole is denied, with board finding he hasn't spent enough time in prison

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius isn't getting out of prison anytime soon. The former Paralympic athlete serving a 13-year sentence for the 2013 murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was denied parole Friday following a hearing at Atteridgeville Prison outside Pretoria, South Africa. A lawyer for Steenkamp's parents, June and Barry Steenkamp,...

Killer Rapist Thought to Have Died in Prison Actually Escaped

Thabo Bester has been loose for 10 months, says South Africa's corrections department

(Newser) - Last May, South African prison authorities announced a man serving a life sentence for rape and murder had died in a fire in his cell. Dubbed the "Facebook rapist" for his habit of luring victims on the site, Thabo Bester had apparently set himself alight inside the maximum-security Manguaung...

They Went Underground in Search of Gold, Stayed for Years

Inside South Africa's abandoned gold mines and the zama-zamas who enter them

(Newser) - More than 40% of all the gold ever mined on Earth has come from South Africa's mines—and it's thought that zama-zamas mine about 10% of what the country annually produces each year. That's the name (it roughly translates to "take a chance") that's...

10 Years After Steenkamp Murder, Pistorius Up for Parole

He'll face a hearing within weeks

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius will have served seven years in prison for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp when he becomes eligible for parole next month. It's a day that has come too soon for Steenkamp's parents, June and Barry, who are speaking out on the 10-year anniversary of their daughter’...

They've Gone Down in History for Their 1999 Running Ruse

Sergio and Arnold Motsoeneng infamously cheated during the Comrades

(Newser) - Google "Sergio Motsoeneng," or the name of his brother Arnold, and you'll enter a portal into a scandal. The South African brothers' story of cheating in a 1999 ultramarathon has persisted as one of the most lasting in running history, writes Ryan Lenora Brown for Insider , as...

CEO Reportedly Was Served Coffee Laced With Cyanide

Andre de Ruyter of South Africa energy giant Eskom survives

(Newser) - A strange and disturbing story out of South Africa: Multiple reports say the head of the energy giant Eskom survived an attempt to kill him via cyanide in his coffee. "I have reported the matter to SAPS [the South African Police Service] ... and the case can be assumed to...

White Men Charged in Attack to Keep Black Teens From Pool

Christmas attack at resort reminds South Africans of their past

(Newser) - Nearly 30 years after the country abandoned apartheid, three white men have been charged with attacking Black teenagers to keep them from using a swimming pool at a resort in South Africa. One of the men arrested faces an attempted murder count and two others are charged with assault, the...

Encounter With Giraffe at Game Preserve Turns Deadly

Toddler dies, mother in critical condition following incident in South Africa

(Newser) - A toddler has died and her mother is fighting for her life after the pair were reportedly trampled by a giraffe on a South African game preserve. The incident happened around 4pm local time on Wednesday at the luxury Kuleni Game Park in KwaZulu-Natal province on the country's east...

Prosecutors: Crocodiles Fed on Murdered Botanists

Rod and Rachel Saunders were killed in 2018

(Newser) - Well-respected British botanists who were searching for rare Gladioli flower seeds in South Africa met a gruesome fate, having been killed and dumped in crocodile-infested waters, a South African court heard on Tuesday. Rod and Rachel Saunders, ages 74 and 63, respectively, filmed a segment for BBC Gardeners' World in...

Oscar Pistorius Argues He Is Due a Parole Hearing

He argues in filing he's been eligible for one since February 2021

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius is angling to get out of prison. The former Paralympic gold medalist argues he is eligible for parole, and as the BBC reports, whether that's so isn't exactly black and white. He was originally sentenced to six years for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the middle...

Zulu Nation Crowns King
King Accepts Disputed Crown

King Accepts Disputed Crown

Zulu nation holds coronation, though some question succession

(Newser) - The new king of South Africa's Zulu nation, Misuzulu kaZwelithini, was enthroned in a colorful ceremony Saturday before hundreds of supporters in a rural part of KwaZulu-Natal province. The king dismissed those challenging his right to the throne in his first public comments on the issue, the AP reports....

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