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Diepsloot: Where South Africa's problems meet

The tavern in Diepsloot township on the outskirts of Johannesburg starts filling up early on a Friday. There are several hours left in the workday but the patrons have no work to go to and little diversion among the dusty streets and iron shacks. "I came to Joburg thinking I'll get a job. There's no job!" says unemployed 29-year-old Elias, summarising the dashed hopes of many tens of thousands who flock to South Africa's economic hub from surrounding provinces.

Small plane crashes near Johannesburg, three dead

A light aircraft crashed Monday at Johannesburg's Lanseria airport in South Africa, killing all three people aboard, an official at the city's second hub said. "A light aircraft has come down and there were three fatalities," said Mike Christoph, operations manager at Lanseria. "The plane was flying from Rand airport," he said, referring to another airport near Johannesburg. "It was a normal flight from Rand airport to Lanseria and crashed. There were three people on board, three people have perished."

S. Africa to spend 700 mln USD upgrading railway signaling system

S. Africa to spend 700 mln USD upgrading railway signaling system JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The signaling system of the passenger railway between Johannesburg and Pretoria will be modernized at a cost of 7 billion rands (about 700 million U. S. dollars), the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) announced Wednesday. As part of the modernization plan of the passenger railway network, the signaling system upgrading project between Johannesburg and Pretoria will be finished within three years, said the PRASA in a statement.

South African court invalidates Net 1 UEPS contract

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's highest court on Friday invalidated a contract between a unit of U.S. firm Net 1 UEPS Technologies <UEPS.O> and South Africa's welfare agency, raising further concerns about a deal already under investigation by U.S. authorities. Last November, Net 1 said it was being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI into whether it made "corrupt payments" to South African government officials to win the contract.

Riots after five arrested for S.African toddler murders

South African police fired rubber bullets Friday to disperse thousands of people who rioted after five people were arrested for the rape and murder of two toddlers in a shantytown, a spokesman said. Protesters "blocked the road and threw stones at the police", said Lungelo Dlamini. "Police fired rubber bullets and then the crowd dispersed," he added. Anger flared for a second time this week in Diepsloot township northwest of Johannesburg following riots Tuesday when a resident discovered the bodies of the girls, aged two and three, in a communal toilet.

South Africans demand vigilante justice after child murders

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Hundreds of South Africans burned tires outside a township police station on Friday and demanded the handover for vigilante justice of a fifth suspect arrested for the rape and murder of two toddlers, a crime that has shocked the nation. The mutilated bodies of the two girls aged three and two were discovered in a public toilet in the Johannesburg township of Diepsloot on Tuesday, three days after they were reported missing.

Five men arrested for rape, murder of two South African toddlers

South African police arrested five men for the rape and murder of two toddlers that sparked rioting in a restive shantytown northwest of Johannesburg.

South African police arrest fifth suspect in toddler murders

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African police investigating the rape and murder of two toddlers whose bodies were found in a public toilet arrested a fifth man on Friday, described by local media as the prime suspect in a crime that has shocked the nation. The mutilated bodies of the girls aged two and three were found in the north Johannesburg township of Diepsloot on Tuesday, three days after they were reported missing. Four other suspects are already in custody and will appear in court in Pretoria on Friday.

S.African gold miners go on strike over pay

Thousands of South African gold miners went on strike Tuesday after wage talks broke down, threatening to cause millions of dollars in lost output in the troubled sector. Powerful labour group the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) -- which represents the bulk of affected workers -- called for stoppages following its members' rejection of a 6.5 percent wage hike last week. "Our members have not clocked in for the night shift, at several mines in the Carletonville area. The strike is on," Mbuyiseli Hibana, NUM regional secretary general, told AFP.

S.Africa plays down xenophobic violence fears amid looting

South Africa's government on Tuesday sought to play down fears of anti-immigrant violence in impoverished townships, saying the recent looting of foreign-owned shops was "pure criminal activities". As looting continued for a second night, the violence forced foreigners to flee and raised fears of a repeat of xenophobic attacks that killed 62 people in 2008. Some 54 people were detained over two days over the unrest, police said.
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