Watch: Ramaphosa charms Liberian ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

President Cyril Ramaphosa turned on the charm in an encounter with former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Monday.

The two met at the Financial Times Africa Summit in London, where Ramaphosa delivered a keynote address.

He shared a video of their encounter on Twitter and said he had the “joy and honour of being in the presence” of Sirleaf.

In the 30-second clip, he’s heard telling Sirleaf, “You’re looking so much younger. You’ve always been beautiful, but [now you’re] even more beautiful. You make the hearts of young men like me flutter.”

The two, along with another gentleman, shared a laugh before Ramaphosa sauntered to the stage.

The President repeated joke in the opening remarks of his keynote address, drawing laughter from the audience.

Ramaphosa and Sirleaf first met in August 2017 during the latter’s state visit to South Africa when she was still Liberian President. Ramaphosa was Deputy President at the time.

‘Invest in Africa’

Ramaphosa used his address to invite foreign investors to invest in Africa and South Africa in particular.

He cited the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), which he said “will bring together into a single market 54 nations of some 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of over $3 trillion.”

ACFTA’s operational phase is set to be launched in July 2020. 54 out of 55 African countries have signed it, with many of them also ratifying it in their domestic laws.

Ramaphosa added that African countries are implementing economic reforms and taking measures to improve their ease of dong business.

Unity in Africa

He also appealed to African countries to unite and “use our considerable collective resources to uplift our people.”

He explained, “We may come from different parts of the world, we may speak different languages and have different cultures. 

“But our fortunes are intertwined. Our destinies intersect. And ultimately, our success story will be a shared one.”

Joburg man builds massive house for mom who raised him with social grants

A young man based in Johannesburg has inspired thousands of South Africans on Twitter by sharing a photo of a massive house he’s building for his mother.

Kholofelo Madihlaba posted the image on Sunday along with the caption, “A small thank you gift for bomma for raising me ka yona zakana yeo ya motente without complaining.”

Loosely translated, he said the house is a gift to his mom who raised him using social grants without complaining.

The heartwarming gesture has gone viral, racking up more than 4,100 likes and 400 retweets so far.

‘You inspired me’

Madihlaba’s works as a robotics engineer at one of the country’s big four banks.

Hundreds of Twitter users replied to his tweet with a similar message – that he had inspired them.

Many of them expressed a wish that they could also do the same for their parents. One of them was @headwishr.

He replied, “I like what you’re doing. I have the same belief and I pray every day that God bless me so that I can build my father a better house and just take him on a drive to the ocean while he’s still alive. You inspired me warra, keep it up.”

@MothibaBoledi added, “I am so happy for bomma. She raised a prince ka motente. Well done bro.”

Kholofelo Madihlaba. Image credit: Twitter

‘Big gesture’

“Very good and all blessings Madihlaba! It’s not small but big a gesture and keep it up for your exemplary inspiration!” wrote Katishi Masemola.

AJ Mogolo congratulated Madihlaba, “Congrats my brother. If your mother’s heart is happy, you will get lots of blessings.”

This is indeed top work from Madihlaba, who hails from Limpopo.

Besides building his dear mom the massive mansion, he has also encouraged many more young people to do the same. Way to go!

Ramaphosa slams ‘outside interference’ in Africa, calls for African unity

President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken out against “outside interference” in Africa that advances “the interests of powers beyond our shores.”

Speaking at the Financial Times Africa Summit 2019 in London on Monday, Ramaphosa said the continent should seek “African solutions to African problems.”

“Africa wants to deal with the rest of the world on its own terms. It wants to see an end to outside interference, particularly from those countries that continue to fuel conflict in African countries,” he said.

The president added, “The continent cannot develop fully for as long as parts of Africa remain theatres of war to advance the interests of powers beyond our shores.”

He lambasted “foreign money that buys the weapons” used in African conflicts, saying this money should instead be used to build Africa’s infrastructure.

‘Invest in Africa’

Ramaphosa talked up Africa, and particularly South Africa, as an investment destination.

He cited the soon-to-be-launched African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), which he said “will bring together into a single market 54 nations of some 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of over $3 trillion.”

He also spoke against Africa’s “borders drawn up in the palaces of Europe,” saying ACFTA will make them “less significant.”

The president said the fact that elections have taken place or will take place in 11 African countries in 2019, including South Africa, signals the continent’s growing political stability.

African countries are implementing economic reforms and taking measures to improve their ease of dong business, he added.

Ramaphosa said South Africa’s land reform process is aimed at resolving “one of the great injustices of our colonial and apartheid history.”

African unity

Ramaphosa appealed to African countries to unite and “use our considerable collective resources to uplift our people.”

He explained, “We may come from different parts of the world, we may speak different languages and have different cultures. 

“But our fortunes are intertwined. Our destinies intersect. And ultimately, our success story will be a shared one.”

Ramaphosa held other meetings on the sidelines of the Summit, including with Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Mzwandile Masina says SA should close Durban harbour ‘so no minerals leave’

Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina wants South Africa to close its Durban port to compel “international manufacturing” to “descend to South Africa.”

Masina made the call in a tweet he posted on Sunday, arguing that this would grant South Africa “full independence from Western imperialists.”

“Democracy is nice and good, but to get our full independence from Western Imperialists we must close down the Durban Harbor so that no Minerals leave this country. In that way, International Manufacturing will descend to SA since we hold 90% of platinum, which the Works so need [sic],” he wrote.

Intense debate

Not surprisingly, the startling tweet has triggered intense debate on social media, racking up more than 800 replies so far.

Some Twitter users, like Masoga Kekana, agreed with Masina. He wrote, “Africa needs to stand firm and have a mineral export pause for the month.

“Can’t have a continent with the GDP smaller than Silicon Valley yet it would be close to nothing without the minerals here. Renegotiate the deals, ensure some finished goods are made here!!”

@Rebaone59275709 added, “I agree with you man, but why don’t you take that to your ANC meetings formally and lobby people in your corrupt organisation to support this so it can be done rather than being talked about?”

However, others slammed Masina’s idea. @mike_superb replied, “When you read things like this written by one of our mayors, then you can understand why our economy is shrinking and unemployment is growing. This is the quality of leadership in SA. He makes Zuma look clever.”

“Actually I was concerned the tweet exposes deep/scary ignorance by someone who served in DTI as a Deputy Minister,” wrote @mokabah.

Masina’s anti-WMC views

Masina is known as an ardent critic of “white monopoly capitalism” (WMC) and supporter of the radical economic transition (RET) grouping in the African National Congress (ANC).

He made headlines in the run-up to ANC’s 54th national conference in 2017 when he declared he won’t serve under the leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa should he win.

News24 reported at the time that Masina said if Ramaphosa won, “white people will lead South Africa.” However, he didn’t make good on this threat to resign as Ekurhuleni Mayor after Ramaphosa won.

More recently, he publicly criticised Ramaphosa’s decision to reappoint Pravin Gordhan to the Cabinet.

In a News24 article he penned in August, Masina also criticised those who defended Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign donations.

“We cannot and must never normalise a culture where we defend individuals who commit questionable acts in their personal capacities, and then want to claim that such defence is necessary or even revolutionary,” he wrote.

Drake turns up for DJ Black Coffee’s show and Mzansi can’t deal

US rap and hip hop megastar Drake turned up for South Africa’s own DJ Black Coffee’s show in Toronto on Sunday, much to delight of local fans of both artistes.

Black Coffee posted a snap of himself and the rapper on Instagram at Rebel Toronto, Canada’s largest entertainment complex.

He accompanied it with the caption, “What a crazy night @rebeltoronto…… Thank you for pulling up Bro [Drake]. Truly appreciate it.”

The two stood next to each other as they posed for the pic. Drake was among thousands of revellers who rocked to Black Coffee’s mixes.

Drake’s Insta stories

The top rapper enjoyed DJ Black Coffee’s sets so much that he posted two Instagram stories of him performing.

Twitter users, such as @MuzEsquire were quick to share them on Twitter. He captioned it, “Drake casually hanging around Black Coffee like a fan.”

The rapper also commented on Black Coffee’s Instagram post with “raised hands” emojis as a sign of appreciation.

South Africa’s top DJ has achieved pretty much everything a DJ can achieve, but having one of the biggest artistes on the planet as your fan is quite something.

Mzansi fans can’t deal

It’s no wonder Black Coffee started trending within an hour of posting the snap on Instagram and Twitter.

Local celebs led the awed reactions. Mampintsha and J’Something reacted with emojis, while Oskido wrote, “Champions league level.”

DJ Tira added, “Nothing can disturb the boy. The boy is too much…even [Drake] agrees!”

The situation was pretty much the same on Twitter. @Lebo_Mitty tweeted, “Black Coffee is doing the most, y’all.”

@_Mfusi added, “I like how Black Coffee always takes the time to take pictures and appreciate his fans.”

Another fan, @Boss4YouG, retweeted Black Coffee’s photo with the caption, “And he never brags about a thing. I’ve never come across such a humble person.”

Ndlozi accuses Lamola of presiding over Trump’s ‘imperialist capture’ of NPA

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is being “captured” by US President Donald Trump’s government, claims Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

And, in a tweet posted on Sunday, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson believes Justice Minister Ronald Lamola is “presiding over” this capture.

Ndlozi tweeted, “Ronald Lamola, previous Deputy President of the anti-imperialist ANC YL, is now presiding over the imperialist capture of South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority by Donald Trump’s United States of America.”

US department to train NPA officials

Ndlozi was reacting to news that officials from US Department of Justice are set to hold two training workshops for NPA officials this week.

Officials from South African Reserve Bank (SARB), South African Revenue Service (SARS), the Financial Services Conduct Authority, and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate will also attend the workshops.

Last week, the US government also announced that it had blacklisted three of the infamous Gupta brothers and their associate Salim Essa.

Lamola later revealed that it was South Africa that had sent a “mutual legal assistance” request to the US and seven other countries.

In a statement, he said, “The interests of justice must not be shackled by any boundary or border and justice must be seen to be done without fear or favour.”

Ndlozi’s followers react

Although Lamola hasn’t responded to Ndlozi’s claim, the latter’s Twitter followers have had plenty to say about it.

Some agreed with him. Sisa Dangeni replied, “The proximity to the US is worrying some. What does the US expect in return – silence from SA on the decimation of the Palestinians in defence of Israel?”

@SheWaseMbo added, “Chief justice articulated it perfectly….there is no free lunch!”

However, others, like @Kay_Gee22 disagreed, “Hahaha the looters are attacking everyone who takes initiative to prosecute corruption.”

“The looters are running scared. I welcome any efforts to capacitate South African law enforcement agencies in the fight against corruption,” added John Baloyi.

Cyril on being president: ‘I wish I’d come in when economy was better’

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said he wished he had become President of South Africa “when the economy was better.”

Ramaphosa made the comment during an interview with The Economist magazine on Sunday.

Former President Nelson Mandela was said to have wanted Ramaphosa to succeed him. The magazine therefore asked Ramaphosa whether he wished he had ascended to the high office sooner or not.

He responded, “It’s a difficult one. It’s a tough job…being the president of South Africa at this time…I wish I had come in when the economy was better.”

Mboweni’s draft economic recovery strategy

Ramaphosa is currently in London, UK, where he will deliver a keynote address at the Financial Times Africa Summit 2019.

During his interview, he expressed support for Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s draft economic recovery strategy.

Among the suggestions contained in it is for municipalities to pay their debts to power utility Eskom. Soweto in Johannesburg reportedly owes R18 billion.

Ramaphosa recalled the struggle days when, as the leader of National Union of Mineworkers, he called for rent boycotts in townships.

However, he said, the era of boycotts is now over, “But now I’m saying the war is over, the struggle is over, we’ve now got to pay our way.”

The president was however more cautious about selling off Eskom’s power stations – one of Mboweni’s suggestions. He said he’s open to selling the old ones, but only as long as affected local communities get a “just transition.”

Where are the corruption arrests?

The Economist also asked Ramaphosa about the impatience South Africans are beginning to have over the lack of corruption arrests.

He responded that while arrests may take some time coming, the process of restoring institutions such as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) “is irrevocable.”

“Once the institutions are strengthened, they should be able to go after anybody – including the president,” he said.

Mboweni regrets sending woman R3,000 after alleged extortion attempt

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has regretted sending a woman R3,000 after she allegedly tried to extort money from him.

Mboweni gave “his side of the story” via a Facebook post on Saturday evening, saying he was only “trying to assist a desperate student.”

He published the WhatsApp chat between him and the woman, whom he named as Asanda Viwe, that took place on 5 September.

‘R6,000 deposit’

Viwe appears to pester Mboweni for R6,000 for what appears to be a rental deposit.

She wrote, “Its not like if I’m asking u for money to go shopping or anything like that. This I’d really urgent and important to me but no, u don’t want to say or do anything [Sic].”

When the minister didn’t respond, Viwe seemingly made an implicit threat, “Well, it’s fine Tito. Let’s see how this will end. Have a great week.”

Mboweni said he finally relented and asked for her bank account details.

He wrote, “Account details sent but names different. I smell a rat! R3,000.00 deposited. Trying to assist a desperate student, so it seemed. Naively.”

Thulani Majola’s ‘R100,000 offer’

However, Mboweni said Viwe subsequently told him that a businessman, Thulani Majola, was offering her R100,000 to “expose” their WhatsApp chats and “voice call recordings.”

Viwe said she initially agreed, but changed her mind because Mboweni is “a very kind and sweet man” and “a father figure.”

Nevertheless, she asked for more money from the minister, “I have not told him that I’m no longer doing this for him but will do so tonight before I change my number. All I’m asking for you is R7k so I can pay my rent and settle my outstanding registration fee. Then I will leave you alone in peace [Sic].”

Mboweni said “out of the blue,” he received inquiries from a Sunday World reporter about the matter.

At this point, he said he decided to contact his lawyers. He wrote, “I went to my lawyers to ask that we write legal letters to Asanda (her name) and Thulani Majola to Stop and Desist this nonsense or else we will bring charges against them for extortion and injury to the person.”

He concluded, “That is my side of the story. LESSON LEARNT: DO NOT BE KIND TO PEOPLE YOU DO NOT KNOW.”

Both Viwe and Majola have not publicly reacted to the matter.

Businessman ‘offers woman R100k to reveal WhatsApp chats with Tito Mboweni’

A “prominent” businessman has reportedly offered a woman R100,000 to publicise WhatsApp chats and recorded conversations she had with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, News24 reports.

Both the businessman and woman’s identities remain undisclosed.

According to the report, Mboweni has threatened to take legal action against the woman for alleged attempted extortion.

‘Met online’

The Finance Minister reportedly met the woman over the internet, but he insists that they never went ahead to meet in person.

The woman apparently asked Mboweni for money to pay her rent, but he refused to send her the funds.

Mboweni has not yet commented publicly on the matter.

He is one of the more active politicians on social media and is popular for his informal and humorous posts.

He regularly shares his cooking “experiments” on Twitter and Facebook. More recently, he took jokes about his “old” shoes in his stride.

‘Account infiltrated’

It is perhaps because of his social media activity and huge following that he has got into trouble with unscrupulous elements from time to time.

On 10 October, he revealed on Facebook that his account had been “infiltrated.”

He wrote, “Good evening everyone. My account seems to be infiltrated by some people. I am not asking for money. Imagine… Just ignore them. But I am not closing my address. I refuse to be bullied.”

One of Mboweni’s followers, Sai Mayor Jola, commented on his post with a screenshot of a WhatsApp chat with a person purporting to be the minister.

The person requested Jola to send him R1,500 via eWallet. However, Jola didn’t fall for the scam.

‘This is why I’m staying:’ Teen and his matric farewell date inspire SA

A proud mom from Randburg, Gauteng has shared beautiful snaps of her son and his best friend at their matric farewell, inspiring thousands of South Africans in the process.

Tania du Plessis posted the pics on the popular #ImStaying Facebook group on 10 October.

She accompanied it with the caption, “This why #imstaying and have stayed. My son and his best friend at their Matric farewell. I’m staying because I fought hard for my children to live in a free, beautiful and colourful South Africa. I am proud to be a mama of Africa. Ek bly net hier!”

Du Plessis’ son looked dapper in a dark blue suit, light blue shirt and matching tie, while his date looked equally stunning in a bright yellow dress.

Image credit: Facebook/#ImStaying/Tania du Plessis

‘Proudly South African’

The adorable images have warmed the hearts of thousands of South Africans after going viral.

Du Plessis’ post has received an incredible 19,000 reactions, close to 1,000 comments, and hundreds of shares so far.

Many commenters remarked how the pics made the feel “proudly South African.” Others said the two best friends looked “stunning” and “beautiful.”

Blaste Iyolab wrote, “They so look good. It’s beautiful – a red apple and green apple. Don’t have different names; the name is apple no matter the colour. We are one.”

Claudia Fernandez Almeida added, “They should be on a cover of a fashion magazine wow stunning.”

Image credit: Facebook/#ImStaying/Tania du Plessis

Pride TheRabbi Mudzingwa joked, “Beautiful. But then, to that young man we are expecting lobola from you……we the uncles are busy with the list.”

#ImStaying Facebook group

According to its “about” section, the #ImStaying Facebook group “is dedicated to the South African women and men of all races, cultures, religions and creeds who remain loyal to South Africa.”

It seeks to promote “beauty and positivity in South Africa,” thereby encouraging those who may despair to “stay and work as one, to save this beautiful country we call home.”

It has amassed more than 645,000 members so far after just a month of its creation.

The group has sparked boundless positivity as evidenced by over 10,000 posts so far from South Africans of all backgrounds.

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