South African president Cyril Ramaphosa meets Russian president Vladimir Putin  during the welcoming ceremony at the Russia-Africa Summit in Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, October, 2019. Photograph: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty

Critics point to commercial links as one reason for silence on Putin’s war in Ukraine

Four children’s coffins and that of an adult,  from a single family who drowned  following floods and mudslides in Kwa-Zulu Natal province. Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal/AFP via Getty

Some locals in KwaZulu-Natal blame poor governance for exacerbating problem

A member South African Police Services Search and Rescue Unit guide their sniffer dog during search efforts to locate people who are unaccounted for from the KwaNdengezi township outside Durban. Photograph: Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images

Oversight structure introduced in attempt to avoid fraud seen with Covid-19 supports

Mozambique’s president, Filipe Nyusi, with Zambian president Hakainde Hichilema at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) extraordinary summit in January. Photograph: AMOS Gumulira/AFP via Getty

SADC, Mozambique and Rwanda working together in bid to overcome Islamist threat

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa speaking to grieving family members at the United Methodist Church  in Clermont, near Durban, on Wednesday. Photograph: Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images

President Ramaphosa calls it the worst natural disaster to hit KwaZulu-Natal province

South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa. His administration has maintained a neutral position on the escalating crisis in eastern Europe. Photograph:  Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images

Cape Town Letter: ANC-led government accused of fence-sitting to keep Vladimir Putin onside

 A member of the South African Police Services shoots rubber bullets to disperse a crowd looting at a warehouse storing alcohol in Durban on July 16th, 2021. Photograph: Guillem Sartorio/AFP

Report on violence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal ‘deeply disturbing’, president says

The NantSA facility, the future vaccine manufacturing campus in Brackengate, Cape Town: unless there is more equity in vaccination distribution, it could take years to inoculate enough Africans to bring the pandemic under control. Photograph: Gianluigi Guercia

Inequity of global rollout of drugs to protect against Covid-19 fought by local production

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa is under pressure to act following the revelations. Photograph: EPA

Value of investigated contracts in excess of €833m – over 9% of state virus expenditure

Mozambiques president Filipe Nyusi (left) and Zambian president Hakainde Hichilema (right) at the Southern African Development Community Heads of State Extraordinary summit on the state of security in Mozambique at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe on January 12th.  Photograph: Amos Gumulira/AFP via Getty

Southern African leaders agree to extend military mission in Cabo Delgado province

A technician uses a microscope to inspect samples during Covid-19 antibody neutralisation testing in a laboratory at the African Health Research Institute in Durban, South Africa. Photograph: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Scientists warn findings may not apply globally and WHO says more data needed on Omicron severity

Former South African president Jacob Zuma  was released from a prison in KwaZulu-Natal province for an undisclosed medical condition by a senior correctional services official. File photograph: Michele Spatari/Pool via AP

Former South Africa president to be returned to prison to finish 15-month sentence

The usually  busy tourist hotspot Nobel Square in Cape Town with statues of South Africa’s Nobel peace laureates Albert Luthuli, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and former presidents FW De Klerk and Nelson Mandela.  Photograph: EPA/Nic Bothma

Cape Town letter: many South Africans are bitter at the international community, believing their nation has been punished for its (...)

Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Since I landed in Dublin from South Africa, glitches in system do not inspire confidence

Country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, says his party will not enter coalitions ‘at all costs’

African National Congress supporters during their party’s door-to-door political campaign ahead of the local government elections in Mabopane towniship north of Pretoria. Photograph:  Phil Magakoe/AFP/via Getty Images

Widespread corruption set to reduce support for ruling ANC party in municipal elections

A Rwandan soldier walking past  a burned out truck near Palma, Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. Photograph:   Simon Wohlfahrt/AFP via Getty Images

Rwandan troops and a military mission have been in Cabo Delgado since June and July to help the Mozambican army restore peace

Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema casts his vote in Lusaka ahead of his presidential win.   Photograph: Salim Dawood

UPND leader to succeed Edgar Lungu who concedes win despite claims of unfairness

South Africa’s  president Cyril Ramaphosa appears before the commission of inquiry into allegations of state corruption, in Johannesburg on Thursday. Photograph: Sumaya Hisham/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

South African president tells inquiry of fears that some security operatives had gone rogue

President of Zambia Edgar Lungu is vying for another five years in office. Photograph: Getty

Presidential, parliamentary and local elections expected to be close-run contests

South Africa’s blindside flanker and captain Siya Kolisi (C) holds the trophy as he celebrates with teammates after victory in the third Test match against the Lions. Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images

Rugby pundits make it clear that team would rather win than play ‘champagne rugby’

South Africa’s Makazole Mapimpi is congratulated by teammates after scoring a try in their second Test win over the Lions. Photo: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

Feeling ahead of the deciding Test is of quiet confidence that tourists will be beaten

 A member of the South African Police Service detains a suspected looter outside a warehouse storing alcohol in Durban. Photograph: Guillem Sartorio/AFP via Getty Images

With Covid third wave having reached its peak, locals can at least drown their sorrows

Former South African president Jacob Zuma appears on a screen virtually from the correctional service facility Estcourt, in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Photograph:South Africa Judiciary via AP

Release of former SA president goes without incidence despite fears of unrest reigniting

British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland speaks to the team during squad training in South Africa on Monday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Despite little outward public excitement in SA, Lions could find Boks united in crisis

 Looters in a vandalised shopping mall in Vosloorus, South Africa. The  unrest erupted when former president Jacob Zuma started a 15-month prison term. Photograph:  Marco Longari/AFP

Purpose of protests and looting after Zuma’s arrest unclear as finger points to supporters

 Police and security guards stand over arrested looters in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday. Photograph: Kim Ludbrook/EPA

Unrest sparked by jailing of Jacob Zuma in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces

 Louis Rees-Zammit, draped  with  Lions Mascot BIL,  and Ali Price at Wondrboom National Airport, Pretoria, for their flight to Cape Town. The squad are now based in the Western Cape for the next couple of weeks.  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Strongly suspected the remainder of the Lions tour will now take place in Cape Town

 A torn African National Congress (ANC) election poster shows the face of former ANC president Jacob Zuma. File photograph: Kim Ludbrook/EPA

South African former president jailed for 15 months over refusal to appear at inquiry

The Lions played the Emirates Lions at an empty Ellis  Park on Saturday. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

Rugby writers unsure what to make of tourists after easy win over weak local side

Former South African president Jacob Zuma appears in court during his corruption trial in Pietermaritzburg on May 26th last. Photograph: Phill Magakoe/EPA

Former ANC leader guilty of contempt of court for failure to appear before corruption inquiry

Bundee Aki has his temperature checked on arrival with the Lions party in South Africa. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Crisis particularly severe in Gauteng province – where tourists are set to stay for the next two weeks

The WHO says the programme seeks to kickstart Africa’s vaccines industry and boost the continent’s pandemic preparedness at a time when it is in desperate need of assistance. Photograph: AP

Initiative aims to scale up Africa’s access to life-saving inoculations against the disease

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa (right) heads a government delegation on a visit to ASPEN Pharmaceuticals in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in March. Photograph:  AP

Country records more than 13,000 cases in 24-hour period with total now at more than 1.7m

Minister for health Zweli Mkhize: It has emerged that Digital Vibes bought a car for Mr Mkhize’s son, and  one of his private residences had work done to it that was paid for by the company. Photograph: Alet Pretorius/ Gallo Images via Getty

Zweli Mkhize denies any wrongdoing in the €9m Digital Vibes contract

People walk past a little shop in a camp for internally displaced people in Metuge in May. Photograph: John Wessels/AFP via Getty

Evidence that Islamist militants are using teenage girls as sex slaves, and boys to fight

John Curran, who was stabbed to death at his Cape Town apartment in 2018.

Mitspa Nzakomba Oyoka (27) apologises to family of John Curran for his 2018 murder

John Curran had just finished working for an  educational NGO in Cape Town, South Africa when he was killed

Congolese national was due to go on trial in June for murder of Irish aid worker in 2018

Elderly residents at the Evanna Tehuis nursing home near Klerksdorp await their turn for the  Pfizer vaccine. Photograph:  Michele Spatari/AFP via Getty Images

Slow start to rollout blamed for country being unlikely to meet Covid innoculation goals

Internally displaced persons gather in  Matuge, northern Mozambique, on February 24th following  attacks by Islamist militants. Photograph: Alfredo Zuniga/AFP via Getty Images

Survivors claim racial bias in airlift during attack by jihadists in Cabo Delgado province

According to a study commissioned  by SA Rugby, South Africa’s  economy could lose up to €386 million without local or international fans in attendance. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Third wave of Covid-19 is expected to hit the country in the coming weeks

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and secretary general Ace Magashule. Photograph:  Rajesh Jantilal/AFP via Getty

Ace Magashule, who is accused of corruption, argues step-aside rule is unconstitutional

Two alpacas: “We believe our alpaca antibodies would be best administered using an inhaler as they are 10 times smaller than human antibodies,” says  Dr Peter Durcan.

Researcher based in South Africa finds animal’s antibodies show signs of neutralising variants

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa appears on behalf of the ruling party African National Congress (ANC) at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry in Johannesburg on Wednesday. Photograph: EPA/Kim Ludbrook / Pool

President says ruling party determined to root out the malaise

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa. Photograph: White House/Bloomberg

Cyril Ramaphosa hopes his appearance will help make break from ANC’s corrupt image

Residential neighbourhoods are lit by raging fires in Cape Town, South Africa. Photograph: Jerome Delay/AP Photo

Cape Town Letter: At least 400 hectares of unique flora and fauna burnt to a crisp

Refugees seek shelter at a centre in Afungi, Mozambique after fleeing attacks in Palma. Photograph: AP Photo

Southern African leaders keen on joint action against growing Islamist threat to region

A temporary settlement centre for refugees from the unrest  in Palma, Cabo Delgado Province, Northern Mozambique. Photograph: Grant Lee Neuenburg/EPA/WFP

DAG had been praised for its role in fighting off an at attack by Islamic militants on Palma last week

 Men keep an eye on the sea at the port of  Paquitequete in Pemba boats have arrived carrying people displaced from the coasts of Palma and Afungi after suffering attacks by Islamist militants. Photograph: Alfredo Zuniga/AFP/Getty Images)

Government slow to embrace the assistance it has been offered to defeat Al-Shabaab

A  delivery of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine arriving  at  O R Tambo  airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photograph:  EPA/Kim Ludbrook

Ramaphosa says country is moving to more relaxed lockdown restrictions due to ‘dramatic decline’ in cases over eight weeks

ANC’s secretary general Ace Magashule:  ‘I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ll prove it in court.’ Photograph: Fani Mahuntsi/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Legal proceedings against Ace Magashule and 15 co-accused postponed to August 11th

Dr Anike Baptiste (left) receives a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against  Covid-19  from Mokgadi Malebye, a professional nurse at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria on February 17th. Photograph: Phill Magakoe/AFP  via Getty

Rollout starts following delivery of 80,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson jab

Former South Africa president Jacob Zuma faces numerous corruption-related questions linked to evidence contained in at least 36 affidavits submitted to the inquiry. File photograph: EPA

Ex-president refuses to abide by court ruling obliging him to answer questions at inquiry

A temporary ward dedicated to the treatment of possible Covid-19 cases at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria. Photograph: Phill Magakoe/Pool/EPA

Access to invermectin, which was developed by Irish scientist, will be on ‘controlled’ basis

  John Nkengasong: “If you add 400 million doses to the 270 million doses, I think we are beginning to make very good progress.” Photograph:  Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

AU president Ramaphosa calls on rich nations to share vaccines with developing world

  A grave digger works at Zororo Memorial Park cemetery in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, on  January 20th: the country has recorded 1,005 deaths to date. Photograph: Aaron Ufumeli/EPA

Irish aid agency Goal says urgent support needed to deal with rise in infections

  People walk past a   billboard advertising ‘Mask up Lagos’ along a road in Yaba district in Lagos, Nigeria. Photograph:Akintunde Akinleye/EPA

Many African nations have seen more deadly second waves of virus recently emerge

A coronavirus testing unit sign outside Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. Photograph: Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg

New South African Covid strain suspected of being a significant contributing factor

Displaced women at the Centro Agrrio de Napala, where hundreds of displaced are sheltered, fleeing attacks by armed insurgents in different areas of Cabo Delgado. Photograph:  Alfredo Zuniga/AFP via Getty

Besieged African nation wants to be self-sufficient even as situation becomes ‘dire’

In February, despite facing death threats and attempted bribes, five Malawi judges proceeded to nullify the poll’s outcome and order a rerun. Photograph: iStock

Annulment of presidential poll makes it only second African country to witness such a monumental development

South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa: beaches and public parks in several provinces will be closed to limit mass gatherings and “super-spreader” events. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Tighter restrictions include curfews and alcohol sale limits as death toll nears 24,000

African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa (right) toasts with former president Jacob Zuma (centre) and secretary general Ace Magashule (left) during the ANC’s 107th anniversary celebrations at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on January 12th, 2019. Photograph:  Rajesh JantilaL/AFP/Getty

Cyril Ramaphosa promises party officials accused of serious crimes would be sidelined

A security officer  measures the temperature of a  student  at the entrance of Albert Street Primary School, in Johannesburg. Photograph: Luca Sola/AFP/Getty Images

Clear evidence of a resurgence of Covid-19 across the Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces

 South African former president Jacob Zuma (C) jokes with his lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane (R) during a break at a corruption inquiry in Johannesburg. Photograph: Guillem Sartorio/AFP via Getty Images

South Africa’s former president defies summons as he fails in attempt to remove judge

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is due in court on Friday. Photograph: Kim Ludbrook/EPA

Party general secretary and Zuma ally Ace Magashule denies role in alleged asbestos scam

Destroyed houses in the village of Aldeia da Paz, Cabo Delgado province in Mozambique  after it was attacked in August 2019. Photograph: Marco Longari/AFP via Getty Images

Executions of men and boys by suspected jihadists in troubled Cabo Delgado province

Anti-mining activist Fikile Ntshangase was shot dead in her rural home.

Fikile Ntshangase had opposed plans to extend the Somkhele coal mine because of its environmental impact

Residents at the village of Aldeia da Paz outside Macomia, Mozambique, after an attack by Islamist militants in 2019. Photograph: Marco Longari/AFP via Getty Images

Southern African nation had asked for support against uprising that has killed 2,000 people

A woman holds her younger child while standing in a burned out area in the recently attacked village of Aldeia da Paz outside Macomia, Mozambique. Photograph:  Marco Longari/AFP

African region’s colonial past makes military assistance potentially problematic

A medical professional sanitises visiting patients in Springs, Johannesburg. Photograph:  Yeshiel Panchia/EPA

Scientists seek answers to why country’s Covid-19 death rate remains relatively low

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa: African National Congress has chosen to back his efforts to tackle corruption in the party. Photograph: Rodger Bosch/AFP

South African president calls on executive committee to purge party officials charged with wrongdoing

Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa has accused his political opponents of working with foreigners to destabilise the country. Photograph: EPA

Local hierarchy critical of ‘alarming levels’ of graft in country enduring ‘multilayered crisis’

Children in their social-distanced squares in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Photograph: EPA

Firms can operate, domestic travel, family gatherings allowed, schools to partially reopen

Patrick Sitwayi, who lives in Upper Mcambalala with his wife, five children and three grand children. He has silicosis from working underground in the gold mines for 22 years. Photograph: Thom Pierce (

Miners suffering from lung diseases are more vulnerable to Covid-19, say doctors

South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa. Photograph: Baba Jiyane/EPA

Ruling party members involved in fraud related to coronavirus contract tenders

A woman walks on a deserted street in the central Harare, Zimbabwe, where there is a  6pm-6am curfew. Photograph: EPA/Aaron Ufumeli

Opponents believe the president is using the Covid-19 lockdown to suppress opposition rather than to save lives

Cape Town: people faced with hunger, poverty and unemployment receive food parcels, hygiene packs and blankets. Photograph: Brenton Geach/Gallo Images via Getty

Letter: Conundrum of how to save lives while not destroying livelihoods is formidable

A customer shops at a Liquor City shop in Johannesburg, South Africa, in early June. File photograph: Marco Longari/AFP via Getty Images

Opposition criticises new rules, which include a ban on the sale of alcohol

People check the food parcels they   received  in Brakpan, Gauteng province, where coronavirus cases have surged. Photograph:  Michele Spatari/AFP via Getty Images

Health minister warns bed capacity in all provinces to be overwhelmed in weeks ahead

Khayelitsha Field Hospital is in a community sports centre in the township on the outskirts of Cape Town. Photograph: Médecins Sans Frontières

Minister for health ‘extremely concerned’ about public ‘letting their guard down’

Economic Freedom Fighters party leader Julius Malema has been accused of benefiting from the looted money. He denies it. Photograph: Jordi Matas

Seven face charges of racketeering, theft, fraud, corruption and money laundering at VBS

The aftermath of an attack by Islamic militants on the village of   Aldeia da Paz outside Macomia.  More than 210,000 people have been forcibly displaced by the ongoing violence   in northern Mozambique. Photograph: Maco Longari/AFP/Getty

Southern African nations preoccupied with curbing Covid-19 threat at home

A worker taking   the temperature of a customer  in a  furniture shop in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photograph: Luca Sola/AFPvia Getty Images

Pretoria high court judge rules that an ‘overwhelming number’ of lockdown restrictions are unconstitutional and invalid

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa delivering a speech via video link at the opening of the World Health Assembly virtual meeting from the WHO headquarters in Geneva. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

Lockdown measures to be further eased from start of June despite surge in cases

Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa said the restrictions would remain in place indefinitely because the country needed to ease strategically  out of its lockdown. Photograph:  EPA/Aaron Ufumeli

Rights groups concerned as three female MDC members say they were abducted and sexually assaulted

Dr Katherine Gill (left) of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation with volunteer nurses outside the foundation’s mobile testing clinic in Guguletu. Photograph: Bill Corcoran

Despite early success, officials know that townships remain vulnerable to outbreak

On April 21st a €25 billion social and economic package for South Africa was announced to counter the crippling effect the lockdown was having on businesses. Photograph:  Marco Longari / AFP

Tourism businesses are being awarded Covid-19 aid based on their compliance with black economic empowerment policies

Cuban health workers arriving at the Waterkloof air force base in Pretoria on Monday. Photograph: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS/AFP via Getty Images

Minister praises ‘solidarity’ as medical mission underlines countries’ close relationship

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa: “Our people need to eat. They need to earn a living.”  Photograph: Jerome De Lay

Ramaphosa to reopen mines and some schools under phased lifting of restrictions

According to South Africa’s Institute  for Security Studies researchers, policing lockdown restrictions is now a major challenge. Photograph: Kim Ludbrook/EPA

Cape Town Letter: However an upswing in gender-based violence in households has been reported

 Health workers in the Strandfontein temporary homeless shelter site in Cape Town: President Cyril   Ramaphosa said the pre-lockdown figures represented an average increase in daily Covid-19 cases of 42 per cent. Photograph: Nic Bothma

Opposition DA party criticises Ramaphosa for move in terms of ‘lives versus livelihoods’

 Residents fetch water from a bore hole in Mbare, Zimbabwe, during a nationwide lockdown on Wednesday. Photograph: Aaron Ufumeli/EPA

Trócaire and Goal assist in virus education in country hugely vulnerable to outbreak

Residents of Madala Men’s Hostel in Alexandra, South Africa cover their noses as they wait to collect sanitiser from health workers on Wednesday. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Government sends out 10,000 volunteers in effort to contain virus ahead of flu season

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa: as coronavirus tally rose 218 cases in 24 hours, he said, “We fear that it might rise much further than that.”  Photograph:  Phill Magakoe

Armed soldiers to be deployed in country with high rate of suppressed immunity

A customer wearing a mask against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus outside Makro in Pretoria East. Photograph: Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty

Health minister warns public as number of cases rises to 554, increase of 102 in 24 hours

The high court ruling will give Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration a timely credibility boost, as one of the central planks of his campaign to become leader of the ANC in 2017 was a promise to fight public sector corruption.  File photograph: Michele Spatari/AFP/Getty

Inquiry last year had found South African leader should be investigated over €28,000 donation

Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa: his government’s attempts to alleviate the food crisis have had limited success. File photograph: Aaron Ufumeli/EPA

Country suffering worst food shortage in living memory despite government efforts

Customers shop for hand sanitisers at a store in Johannesburg on Friday following the government announcement   of the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in South Africa. Photograph: Michele Spatari/AFP

Over 7m HIV/Aids sufferers and poor health system raise stakes as first case confirmed

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address in Cape Town was not well received. Photograph: Sumaya Hisham/Pool Photo via AP

Government under pressure to deliver plan that saves country from ‘economic meltdown’

Lesotho prime minister Thomas Thabane and his wife, Maesaiah. Photograph: Samson Motikoe/AFP via Getty

Lawyers for Thomas Thabane argue he should not be charged while still in power

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