News Brief

South African Government Unveils 13 Million Rand Statue Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The South African government has been met with public outrage after it unveiled a 13 million Rand national statue of anti-Apartheid veteran O.R. Tambo during a pandemic that has already resulted in considerable job losses.

The South African government has unveiled a new statue of South African struggle stalwart Oliver Reginald Tambo and it has caused public outrage. According to EWN, President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled the 13 million Rand statue yesterday right next to O.R. Tambo International airport. Public criticism over the exorbitant expenditure and the fact that the statue is aesthetically disappointing had the official unveiling trending on Twitter. The outrage is warranted with South Africa's current youth unemployment rate reportedly standing at just over 52 percent. Additionally, a number of government officials are reportedly facing corruption charges for alleged collusion in billions worth of missing COVID-19 funds. President Ramaphosa's speech implied that the statue is a strategy to bring in funds as an international tourist attraction.


READ: R20 Million Statues to be Erected in Durban to Encourage 'Black Unity'

The statue reportedly stands at nine meters tall and holds the Freedom Charter in one hand. The Freedom Charter is the ruling African National Congress (ANC)'s cornerstone document and was historically adopted in 1955. Tambo was one of Nelson Mandela's closest friends and together with Walter Sisulu, founded the ruling party's ANC Youth League. While the beginnings of the ANC honoured the South African youth, the unveiling of this statue has polarised the very group that the ANC is dependant on for votes. South Africans have expressed that this statue is admittedly a slap in the face of youth who did not even receive the government's meagre COVID-19 relief stimulus of R350 per month.

President Ramaphosa also revealed during his speech that the erection of the statue was the culmination of a project that began in 2006 with an amount of 30 million Rand, according to PowerFM. Furthermore, a mall costing over four billion Rand is set to be built in close proximity to the location of the statue.

Black Twitter did not hold back from lambasting the South African government about their unnecessary and pricey misstep.






News Brief
Photo by ER Lombard/Gallo Images via Getty Images.

COVID-19 Cases Surge To Five Million In Africa

As the world approaches a post-pandemic era, South Africa, Kenya, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Ethiopia and Egypt top the list of countries contributing to Africa's alarming five million COVID-19 cases.

Africa has reportedly reached a highly concerning number of COVID-19 cases. Recent statistics show that over five million Africans have contracted the coronavirus since its discovery in 2019. These numbers are alarming despite Africa's large population of over 1.2 billion, marking a reported increase of 16 percent in death rates. South Africa, which is officially in a third wave, leads the numbers and accounts for almost half of the deaths across the continent. On the contrary, cases globally have been declining for the sixth consecutive week.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief
Photo by Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images.

African Diplomats Kicked Out Of South Africa For Selling Booze Illegally

So far, Lesotho and Malawi diplomats were expelled after South African officials discovered that they had been involved in illicit alcohol trading.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) of South Africa recently informed the Kingdom of Lesotho and Malawi that a number of its diplomats and their dependants were caught abusing their diplomatic privileges. The announcement also included the fact that the diplomats involved in this alcohol scandal have been declared Persona Non Grata in the Republic of South Africa and given three days to leave the country with their families.

Widespread media reports divulged how Lesotho and Malawi diplomats have been smuggling alcohol into South Africa without paying duty, and reselling it at local bars and restaurants. It is expected that over 200 diplomats from other countries accused of the same crime will also be kicked out in the coming weeks.

In response to the news, the Lesotho Ministry of International Relations announced that it condemned the actions of the diplomats, and was disappointed in the activities of its officers. It further stated that disciplinary action would follow once the officers returned to Lesotho.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief

Watch Blxckie and Nasty C’s Music Video For ‘Ye x4’

Blxckie and Nasty C take over infamous Joburg inner city building Ponte in new striking visuals for 'Ye x4'.

Blxckie has finally released the visuals for "Ye x4", one of the hottest South African hip-hop songs currently. "Ye x4" is a watershed moment—Nasty C, a Durban native, jumps on a song with a rapper from his city whose rise was as ferocious and rapid as his.

For the song's visuals, Blxckie finds himself in what was once one of his wildest dream. He and Nasty C perform "Ye x4" at the basement of Ponte, an infamous residential building in Hillbrow, which is a huge part of the Joburg skyline with its animated Vodacom branding visible from any angle of the tower.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Nana Mensah's 'Queen of Glory' To Screen At The 2021 TriBeCa Film Festival

Ghanaian-American actress, writer and filmmaker Nana Mensah talks tenacity in filmmaking and telling immigrant stories from a joyful perspective.