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Without freedom to touch, blind migrants disoriented in virus-hit S.Africa

Johanesburg - Sheets of braille were scattered around Jetro Gonese as he sat hunched over his mattress in a dilapidated building in downtown Johannesburg, punching away at the keys of his special typewriter.

South Africa virus cases surge past 100,000

Johanesburg - South Africa on Monday said it had over 100,000 coronavirus cases, the highest in the continent, while the number of deaths inched towards 2,000.

Virus booze ban causes headache for S.African winemakers

Wellington - Wineries around Cape Town fear a nine-week alcohol sales ban will leave a bad hangover that outlasts the coronavirus pandemic, as South African bottles lose their spots on international shelves and thousands of jobs are lost.

S.Africans reluctant to return to places of worship despite lockdown easing

Johanesburg - White plastic chairs are sprayed down with sanitiser and a smartly dressed cleaner says a prayer while dusting before a first service in her church in more than nine weeks.

S.Africa readies military medics as virus cases surge

Cape Town - South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa said Friday that military medical personnel were ready to be deployed to the Western Cape province, the country's coronavirus epicentre, as the number of nationwide infections surged past 40,000.

S.Africans rush to liquor stores as booze ban lifts

Soweto - Scores of people lined up outside liquor stores in South Africa's township of Soweto on Monday, waiting to buy drinks for the first time in nine weeks after a ban on alcohol sales was lifted.

South Africa leader faces thorny test over virus lockdown

Johanesburg - Admired by some but berated by others for imposing a tight lockdown, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa faces a fresh leadership test over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

S.African migrants face hunger, xenophobia during virus lockdown

Johanesburg - The car approaches the gates of the small parish church, where an army of hands await.The precious food is swiftly taken from the car boot and back seat and lined up in bags in the courtyard, rather like a military parade. It is time for the handout.

Explorer learns to love lockdown in Swiss chalet

Chateau-d'oex - After venturing through the Amazon, the Himalayas and reaching both Poles, explorer Mike Horn is now, thanks to the coronavirus crisis, discovering new, uncharted territory: home.

South Africa starts easing coronavirus lockdown

Johanesburg - South Africa began to gradually ease its strict coronavirus lockdown on Friday, allowing some industries to reopen after five weeks of restrictions that plunged its struggling economy deeper into turmoil.

S.African anti-apartheid veteran Denis Goldberg dies aged 87

Johanesburg - South African activist Denis Goldberg, one of Nelson Mandela's closest colleagues in the struggle against apartheid, has died aged 87, his foundation announced on Thursday.

Worried and wary: S.Africa's safari industry waits out virus pandemic

Under the golden, late afternoon South African sun, an elephant emerges from around the curve in a dusty path. Disturbed, the imposing animal raises its trunk to sniff out the four-wheeled intruder.

Pompeo criticizes S.Africa, Qatar for taking Cuban doctors

Washington - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday criticized South Africa and Qatar for accepting doctors from Cuba to battle the coronavirus, accusing the communist island of profiting from the pandemic.

Violence and looting point to food crisis in S.Africa lockdown

Cape Town - "Mr President we are in the middle of a food crisis. It's war out here," warned Joanie Fredericks, a community leader in Mitchells Plain township in Cape Town.

Hungry S.Africans clash with police over food aid in Cape Town

Cape Town - South African police on Tuesday fired rubber bullets and teargas in clashes with Cape Town township residents protesting over access to food aid during a coronavirus lockdown.

South Africa crime rate drops, minister says thanks to virus lockdown booze ban

Johanesburg - South African Police Minister Bheki Cele sports a dark hat and pinstriped suit, a style that escapes no one in its echo of Eliot Ness, the famed enforcer of Prohibition in 1920s America.

South Africa rolls out mobile testing in virus lockdown

Johanesburg - South African public healthcare workers dispersed into the buzzing streets of Johannesburg's Yeoville neighbourhood as Africa's worst virus-hit country rolled out mass door-to-door testing for COVID-19.

S.Africa to rollout mass screening for coronavirus: president

Johanesburg - South Africa, which has the highest numbers of confirmed coronavirus infections on the continent, will start mass door-to-door screening and testing for coronavirus, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Monday.

S.African police fire rubber bullets at shoppers during lockdown

Johanesburg - South African police fired rubber bullets towards hundreds of shoppers queueing outside a supermarket in Johannesburg as authorities battled to keep people at home in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

'It's tough': S.Africa struggles with virus lockdown

Johanesburg - An early morning haze hung over the skyscrapers of the business district in Johannesburg, South Africa's economic hub, as the city woke up to day one of a national lockdown against coronavirus.

S.Africa's minibus sector shifts gears to combat virus

Johanesburg - Passengers crammed inside a speeding 16-seater public minibus in South Africa's largest city Johannesburg instantly fall silent after an old woman suddenly coughs.

Lives shattered by South Africa's forced sterilisations

Johanesburg - Four years ago, Bongekile Msibi, already a mother of a now 15-year-old girl, consulted a doctor after trying unsuccessfully to have a second child.

25 killed in South African bus accident

Johanesburg - Twenty-five people died Monday when a bus rolled down a steep embankment in South Africa's coastal Eastern Cape province, the country's transport minister said.

S.Africa 'sterilised pregnant HIV patients without consent'

Johanesburg - A South African inquiry into the forced sterilisation of dozens of HIV-positive pregnant women said Monday that their rights had been breached, and called for government action.

S.Africa protest forces president to suspend state of union speech

Cape Town - South Africa's far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) lawmakers protested rowdily in parliament on Thursday, forcing President Cyril Ramaphosa to abandon his annual state of the nation address.

Long road home for Cape Town's apartheid dispossessed

Cape Town - "It was just here. My house was number 41 Clifton Street," said Cassiem Morris, his voice catching as he points to where his Cape Town home was razed to enforce apartheid.

Arrest warrant issued for S.Africa ex-president Zuma

Johanesburg - A South African court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for embattled former president Jacob Zuma after he failed to appear for a pre-trial hearing over corruption charges related to a 1990s arms deal.

Five years of thirst: S.Africa's Eastern Cape battles brutal drought

- South African farmer Steve Bothma heaved a sigh of relief when the weatherman finally predicted rain.His excitement was short-lived. Just a few days later, the forecast changed. It was back to cloudless sunshine.

Revving up to a new speed record in the Kalahari

A loud hiss rips through the stillness of southern Africa's Kalahari Desert.It sounds like a fighter jet flying low over the Hakskeen Pan, an isolated dry lake bed in South Africa's Northern Cape province, near the Namibian border.

Adventurers cross Arctic Ocean on skis despite thinning ice

Oslo - Two adventurers have successfully crossed the Arctic Ocean on skis after persevering through brutal conditions, briefly running out of food, and struggling to traverse thin ice caused by global warming, their team said on Sunday.
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