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Archive for South Africa

Newsline: Russian Embassy in South Africa denies underworld ties to Cape Town

The Russian Embassy in South Africa has denied that 25 men have been brought into Cape Town to bolster a faction of the underworld, intent on taking over club security. News24 earlier this month reported that several sources had said that a change in visa regulations between Russia and South Africa may have spurred a massive underworld coup, and that Eastern European men had been brought into the country as part of this. The nightclub security takeover was carried out in the early hours of March 31, the day after visa-free travel was introduced between Russia and South Africa. It is understood this is under investigation by the authorities. Well-placed sources said Russian men had been brought into the country. However, in a statement issued via Twitter, the Russian Embassy in South Africa denied this. “Even in terms of geography, unnamed citizens of Eastern Europe and Ukraine, either real or imaginary, come from Eastern Europe and Ukraine, and visa regulations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Africa cannot be applied to them. The embassy labelled the News24 article as “fake news”. Several well-placed sources told News24 that those recently brought into the country were guided by a Ukrainian businessman based in Cape Town, allegedly with close ties to the underworld. Previously Yuri “the Russian” Ulianitski, who was referred to as “the Russian”, but who was Ukrainian, and who was killed in Milnerton in 2007, had run a bouncer racket in Cape Town.


Newsline: DRC Shuts Down Embassy in Pretoria ‘Until Next Year’

South Africans wanting to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) would not be able to get any visas from the country’s Pretoria embassy until the new year. Citizens from that country who live in South Africa and who need new passports, would also have to wait. DRC ambassador to South Africa, Bene M’Poko, said he had closed the embassy until January 4 because he feared for the safety of his staff, after protests in front of the embassy turned violent. “I closed the embassy because I know what they are planning, and I’m a major target. They said they are planning to do what happened in Turkey,” he said. The Russian ambassador in Ankara was assassinated by a police officer on Monday. “They want to burn the embassy and they want to kills us,” he said of the protesters. “I can’t under those circumstances send my people to work. Their lives are dear, I can’t expose them to that.”


Newsline: Congolese ‘threaten to burn down’ embassy in Pretoria

Democratic Republic of the Congo expatriates in Gauteng are set to have a “prayer meeting” on Friday, days ahead of a planned march on the country’s embassy in Pretoria. Their action is set to coincide with protests by opposition supporters in the DRC on Tuesday, the first day after President Joseph Kabila’s term of office expires according to the country’s constitution. There are fears that Kabila would attempt to change the country’s constitution to allow himself a third term. Elections were supposed to take place this year, but the country’s electoral commission has proposed an 18-month delay of the election date so that a census and voter registration could be completed. Protesters had threatened to occupy and burn down the embassy. The South African police was tasked to protect the building and staff. Meanwhile Congolese citizens who have the means have already started leaving the country for an extended Christmas break over fears that next week’s planned protests would lead to a widespread outbreak of violence.


Newsline: 7 Indian Embassy Websites Apparently Breached

The websites of seven of India’s embassies apparently were hacked and some data pertaining to Indian citizens leaked online by the attackers claiming responsibility. The hackers say they wanted to call attention to the sites’ vulnerabilities. Indian embassies in South Africa, Malawi, Switzerland, Libya, Mali, Romania and Italy apparently were breached, according to The Hacker News, the security research and media outlet that first reported the incidents. Personal data on Indian citizens living abroad that was breached included names, home addresses, email, passport numbers and phone numbers, The Hacker News reports. That data has since been removed, and all seven websites were functioning as of late Nov. 7 India time. However, a cached version could be found on Google. ISMG was unable to verify the authenticity of the data.


Newsline: South Africa’s ambassador to Israel ‘violating government policy’

The ambassador reportedly says his embassy has ‘a lot of plans for visits’ in Israel and was exerting ‘pressure’ on Pretoria to send ministers to Israel. South Africa’s Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel organisation has lashed out at South Africa’s ambassador to Israel, accusing him of behaving disrespectfully and violating government policy towards Israel. Ngombane is at odds with South African government policy of no travel to Israel for SA government officials. President Jacob Zuma reminded political leaders earlier this year: “We reiterate that we discourage travel to Israel for ANC leaders, members and representatives for business and leisure purposes.” In clear contradiction, the ambassador, speaking to the Times of Israel, said he was hoping Zuma would feel in his second term that he needed to see ways to engage, not from afar and not from a distance. The ambassador went on to explain that his embassy had “a lot of plans for visits”, and was exerting “pressure” on Pretoria to send ministers to Israel.


Newsline: BlackLivesMatter Protest At US Embassy in South Africa

About 50 members of a group called Black Solidarity Action, led by Khayelitsha pastor Xola Skosana, marched on the US embassy in Tokai to protest police killings of black people in the United States. At the small shopping centre next to the embassy gate, the protesters were blocked by police officers.


Newsline: South African twins plotted to blow up US embassy

Two South African brothers arrested on terrorism charges were plotting to blow up the US embassy in Pretoria and Jewish institutions, and planned to join the so-called Islamic State, police said. The 23-year-old twins, Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie, appeared briefly in a Johannesburg magistrate court after being arrested at the weekend. “It is alleged that they wanted to bomb the US embassy and Jewish facilities in the country,” Hangwani Mulaudzi, spokesman for South Africa’s elite police, the Hawks, told AFP. The United States and Britain warned last month of possible imminent “terrorist” attacks by Islamic extremists in South Africa’s major cities. According to court papers, the brothers “conspired to commit the crime of terrorism by planning to cause explosions at a mission of the United States of America and Jewish institutions.”