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Thu, 22 Feb 2018
Black Panther is a milestone for the film industry

The film brilliantly represents a myriad of perspectives and arguments.

In a sign that the acting world’s respect for John Kani goes deep, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira both gestured with their arms folded into an X – the sign of Wakanda from their hit film Black Panther – when the South African acting legend entered the room.

On Friday, Nyong’o and Gurira joined Kani and actress Connie Chiume for the South African leg of the Black Panther press tour.

The film, which took in a staggering $75.8 million (R881 million) on Friday alone, was set to recoup its $200-million budget yesterday.

The first black man to play Othello is the living embodiment of what an actor should be. Kani is poised but relaxed, cautious, smart and incredibly engaging – but when you start asking questions about Black Panther and the world’s perceptions of the continent, he really opens up.

“I’m 75, and when we were young we only read comic books. It was incredible to learn to speak English with a picture – there was a reference point.

“But when you think about comic books, you think about Batman, Iron Man, Superman. You look at all these and you think, that’s impossible, no black person can be one of those heroes, yet when you see Black Panther you realise, oh my God – I’m in the picture too.

“We’ve been so drilled and indoctrinated not to see Africa as the origin of knowledge, information and everything.

“Our cultures have kept us together for a hell of a long time, and here (in Black Panther) you see words in Xhosa, women dressed as warriors; you see some of the elders in Masai. It says we’re here.”

Black Panther is set to become one of 2018’s biggest blockbusters. From its director to the main cast, white faces are limited.

Interwoven with the storyline are African actors, music, languages, cultures and beliefs. Black Panther follows T’Challa (Michael B Jordan) who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda (Kani) returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his place as king.

But when a powerful enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle is tested as he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk.

In Wakanda, Black Panther explores an alternate Africa that was never burdened with colonialism, as well as different layers of African diaspora.

“It’s starting a conversation that’s long overdue. The film brilliantly represents a myriad of perspectives and arguments,” said Nyong’o.

“Hopefully it sparks a very robust conversation about things we felt but never expressed in a manner that brings us all together. “Something can shift when we experience something culturally together. To do so in a movie that has such mass appeal is just astounding,” said Nyong’o.

“When we were making it we’d sit around and really go in on exactly what we were trying to say, and do it with as much care, love and honesty as possible,” she reflected.

The Kenyan-born actress [...]

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Wed, 21 Feb 2018
Zuma staff in limbo as former president packs his bags

Former president Jacob Zuma has not briefed his staff members with regards to where their future lies‚ at least for those who were not employed permanently.

Former presidency director-general Frank Chikane‚ who was once a chief of staff of former president Thabo Mbeki‚ said Zuma would be allowed to keep one house for a month but has to clear the other official residence.

“The normal procedure is that when a president retires or when his term of office comes to an end‚ the president has a right to keep one of the houses for a month. As far as I’m concerned‚ the president has to release one of the houses and clear it up‚” said Chikane.

“Normally the [former] presidents keep the Pretoria one and clear up the Cape Town house because the president can stay in one of those houses while they are preparing to leave. The new president would then move into one of the houses but in most instances there’s no hurry [to move]‚” he added.

Chikane‚ who has been critical of Zuma as part of the ANC veterans structure‚ said the presidency system has been created in such a way that the outgoing leader is respected. “The staff that is attached to the president and are on contract‚ such as special advisor’s‚ they go with the president.

But there is core staff in the presidency that remain staff and don’t change‚” added Chikane. Zuma had three houses in Durban‚ Pretoria and Cape Town when he was president of the republic. Efforts to get hold of Zuma’s spokesperson‚ Bongani Ngqulunga‚ drew a blank.

Source: https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/news/2018-02-19-zuma-staff-in-limbo-as-former-president-packs-his-bags/

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Wed, 21 Feb 2018
5 talking points: Super Rugby Week 1

Sport24’s Herman Mostert highlights FIVE talking points after Round 1 of the 2018 Super Rugby competition:

Discipline issues at Newlands

It was no surprise when the season’s first yellow card went to a Jaguares player – fullback Joaquin Tuculet was sent to the sin-bin in the 26th minute of his side’s clash against the Stormers at Newlands.

The Argentine side’s discipline has left much to be desired since their introduction into the tournament in 2016 and the happenings at Newlands on Saturday suggested that not much will change this season.

The Stormers were themselves guilty of giving away silly penalties and hooker Ramone Samuels’ 64th minute yellow card almost cost them the game.

Overall, the Stormers conceded 13 penalties and the Jaguares 15 but what will be alarming to both coaches is the fact that several of these penalties were conceded near the respective trylines.

Is it ‘unfair’ to take a quick tap?

There was an interesting scenario early in the second half of the Stormers v Jaguares clash.

The Stormers were hot on the attack in the red zone and had a penalty advantage which went on for several phases.

They couldn’t force their way through, but referee Jaco Peyper played a long advantage which saw Stormer’s flyhalf Damian Willemse sprint towards the mark to take a quick tap.

However, the Stormers pivot was told by Peyper that he wasn’t allowed to take a quick tap because it would be “unfair”.

I was a bit puzzled as I’ve never heard a referee make such a call on a rugby field before, with SuperSport commentator Jean de Villiers at the time also questioning the call.

We’ve often witnessed referees stop players from taking quick taps if a player is not on the right spot – or if too much time has elapsed – but in this scenario Willemse was imminent with his intention.

I brought up the matter with retired referee Jonathan Kaplan, who said he “was not aware” of such a ruling.

It’s wasn’t a massive call in the outcome of the match, but nevertheless worth mentioning.

Overall, Peyper had a good game and he was spot on when he penalised Stormers reserve scrumhalf Justin Phillips who had retaliated after being shoved by a Jaguares player.

According to the laws, the retaliated player ends up the guilty party.

Scrum woes for Sharks

The foundation for the Lions’ 26-19 victory over the Sharks at Ellis Park was built on their domination at scrum time.

From the get go, the Sharks scrum was under pressure and in the end they lost no fewer than six of their own scrums.

The Sharks’ problems during last year’s Currie Cup final against Western Province also started at scrum time and it’s clear they have lots to work on in this department.

Sharks props Juan Schoeman and Thomas du Toit were replaced by Tendai Mtawarira and John-Hubert Meyer at half-time and the substitutions proved to somewhat stabilise the Sharks scrum.

The Lions even conceded two scrum penalties of their own in the second period but overall still had the upper hand in this department.

From a Sharks point [...]

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Thu, 15 Feb 2018
Zuma makes NPA representations at the eleventh hour

President Jacob Zuma submitted his representations stating why he should not face prosecution for the now infamous 2009 spy types saga to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) late on Wednesday evening.

The representations were initially supposed to be submitted in November 2017, but National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams extended the deadline to January 31, 2018.

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku has confirmed that the president’s legal representatives submitted his representations at 21:00 at the NPA offices.

A Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling dismissed Zuma’s and the NPA’s application to appeal a high court ruling that the dropping of the corruption charges against him by then NPA boss Mkotedi Mpshe was “irrational”.

Mpshe dropped the charges, based on the so-called “Spy Tapes”, which were presented to him by Zuma’s legal team.

The tapes were made up of recordings of telephone conversations between then Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka which Zuma’s legal team claimed showed political interference in the decision to charge the now president of South Africa.

On Wednesday, the DA released a statement saying it had written to Abrahams asking to be provided with a copy of Zuma’s submissions.

“The DA is entitled to Zuma’s full submission as the main litigant in this case, which has dragged on for almost a decade, costing ordinary South Africans an estimated R30-million or more in legal fees,” said James Selfe, chairperson of the DA federal council.

The party said it would engage thoroughly with the content and continue to ensure that Zuma has his day in court.

“For too long Zuma has evaded his day in court. Any other citizen would have had to answer to such charges in court, yet Zuma has been given special treatment and been allowed to make fresh representations on the same charges he faced in 2009,” said Selfe.—News24

 

Source: https://mg.co.za/article/2018-02-01-zuma-makes-representations-to-npa-on-corruption-charges-at-the-eleventh-hour

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