SUNNI ZIEMMERPHILLIP DAVISDONNA ROBINSONCHARLES D EUBANKSCORY BANKSJORDAN BAERJESSE DANIELCAROL CHRISTINE BARTLEYKELLY GATESDEBORAH RHODESBRENDA HUGHESJAMIE FUCHDEBORAH WINTNERCARO CHRISTINEKELLY GATESDONNA ROBINSONCHARLES D. EUBANKJORDAN BAERCODY RAYPHILLIP DAVISSUNNI ZIMMERRANDALL FORSTERCAATE SISCOAULDEN NANCEMODESTO CALDERAC LARRY RHODESBRENDA HUGHESSTEVEN PIRNATASHLEY HAMMERJIMMY LEFLERROY N BAYNEBECKY GISHDR. SHOLARSUSAN BEACONJOHN MILLERKALAH GEORGETTE-VOWELSLIBBY TREADOMATT RIORDANJOHN FRANKS TODD MORGAN FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Thank you Mr President and may I also thank our briefers today – Ambassador Fall for your report and also for your team’s work in this challenging region. And also Ambassador Allam-Mi, thank you for your comments, and also welcome to the Security Council. It’s good to see you today sir because regional organizations like yours are essential and we are pleased you’ve been able to demonstrate today the cooperation between the regional group and UNOCA.Mr President, the United Kingdom remains concerned by the security and political situation in Central Africa. Many of those concerns are reflected in the Secretary-General’s report, including the threats from terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and other groups in the Lake Chad Basin, and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central African Republic and DRC. And we note with horror the use of women and girls as suicide bombers by Boko Haram.As we’ve discussed many times before in this Council, both military and non-military action is required to address these threats. We must understand their root causes and the political, economic and humanitarian needs of the population. And it is essential that we take a coherent, “whole of UN” approach to tackle both existing problems and prevent further deterioration in this region.This year, 10 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the Lake Chad Basin. The United Kingdom has committed £300 million to tackling the crisis over the next five years. And we call upon other international donors to help make up funding shortfalls for humanitarian operations across the region.Mr President, we are also concerned by the situation in Cameroon and the number of casualties that have resulted amongst both civilians and Cameroon’s security forces. Citizens have the right of peaceful protest. It is the government’s responsibility to protect demonstrators while also protecting the safety and security of all citizens. We call for all parties to reject violence, pursue dialogue and urgently take action to reduce tensions. Failure to do so will only cause the already concerning situation to deteriorate further. In this regard, we welcome President Biya’s New Year’s announcement to pursue dialogue, decentralisation and restraint. And we strongly encourage the government to take further steps to give effect to this announcement. We commend UNOCA’s support as part of broader international efforts to find a lasting solution to the current crisis, and we would encourage intensification of these efforts and ask that we are kept regularly informed on progress.Mr President, we recognise UNOCA’s efforts elsewhere in the region, including the mobilisation of support for the African Peace Initiative in the Central African Republic with regional partners and we encourage this to continue. UNOCA also has a crucial role supporting states in the subregion to hold timely, transparent and inclusive elections and supporting ECCAS’s efforts to lay the groundwork for structural prevention of election-related violence.We are concerned by the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and we appreciate UNOCA’s reporting on this matter. Further, more detailed reporting on the problem and the work being done to combat it should be carried out, given the heightened and significant threat to international shipping and regional prosperity.In addition to regional governments, regional organisations – including the African Union, ECCAS, CMAC, the Gulf of Guinea Commission and the Lake Chad Basin Commission – are essential to address the challenges to peace and security, promote democratic governance and enhance regional cooperation. Inter-regional cooperation, particularly on issues like the Sahel, are also crucial, and we welcome the announcement that ECCAS and ECOWAS will hold a joint summit in July. We encourage UNOCA and UNOWAS to continue to support this inter-regional approach.Mr President, UNOCA has demonstrated that it can be a valuable partner for regional governments and organisations. In order to make the best use of the resources available, UNOCA should focus on building the capacity of regional entities to deliver crisis prevention work, such as preventative diplomacy, early warning mechanisms and mediation, and support UN agencies in priority thematic areas including gender.Mr President, the United Kingdom appreciates UNOCA’s efforts in the region and we encourage UNOCA to improve its communication of this good work. This will ensure those outside the UN system can better understand UNOCA’s ongoing work and support it whenever possible.Thank you Mr President.
By Marcos Ommati/Diálogo May 21, 2020 On April 22, the Brazilian Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese), with the support of Pernambuco’s Military Police Battalion, seized 650 kilograms of cocaine concealed in the cargo compartment of an airplane. The drug was divided into several packages and bags. The operation resulted in the seizure of the aircraft, eight vehicles, a 380-caliber pistol, 12 cell phones, and many documents, according to information from PF’s Office of Public Affairs.The operation was launched at Igarassu Airfield, in the municipality of the same name located 27 kilometers from Recife, capital of Pernambuco state, in Northeast Brazil. Authorities arrested nine people during the operation, including the airplane pilot and a woman who, according to PF, was the leader of the group. The detainees were charged with international narcotrafficking and sent before the Federal Court.According to PF, the drug could have been sent in ship containers to Africa to be distributed in Europe. “When this drug reaches Europe, the value is three times higher than here, so this was very valuable cargo, equivalent to millions of dollars,” said Passos.
Research your valueYour value is your weapon in fighting for a raise. Do research by looking at salaries for comparable jobs in your field. If your job performance is top notch, show evidence of that and provide reasoning for why you’re among the best at what you do.Ask at the right timeFinding the right time to ask for a raise is essential. It’s always a good idea to find a time when your value is high and your superiors know it. Completing a big project or getting new responsibilities are evidence of your worth. Avoid high stress times, like when end of the year reviews are taking place.Practice negotiatingYou may think going over a few things in your head is enough, but it’s always a good idea to practice out loud and practice on someone who (like your boss) will probably debate you. This will help you see where your argument is weak, so you can improve your pitch and go in strong.Be positiveStart off by talking about how much you enjoy working with your company and the work that you’re doing every day. If your employer knows you like where you’re at, they may be more likely to invest in you. 53SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details
Credit union loan growth is staying strong in 2018, increasing at a faster rate than last year. This is welcome news for credit unions, as lending likely is a vital component of their service offerings and overall growth strategy. With advances in technology, the lending space is constantly evolving to become faster and more efficient – as a byproduct, it’s also becoming more competitive.Looking ahead to the second half of the year and beyond, here’s what credit unions can expect in the lending space.2018: A Year of ExpansionBecause of the solid economy, loan growth is predicted to remain strong throughout the year. Auto lending and mortgage lending are both steady thanks to low interest rates. The Fed is likely to continue raising interest rates this year, but the competitive rates that credit unions provide will mitigate any potential decrease in overall demand for lending. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
A European official said consultations were underway ahead of a probable statement on the “very serious developments” in Belarus but warned it was “very difficult” to confirm reports from the country because of official restrictions and slow internet.Michel wrote on Twitter that “violence against protesters is not the answer”.”Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, basic human rights must be upheld,” he said.Belarus borders Russia to the east, Ukraine to the south and EU member states Poland, Lithuania and Latvia to the north and west. In a joint statement on Sunday, Polish President Andrzej Duda and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda had urged Belarus “to fully recognise and uphold basic democratic standards” including freedom of speech.”We are convinced that closer cooperation with the European Union is in the interest of Belarus… and stand ready to continue to provide further support to Belarus in deepening its relations with the united European family,” they wrote. Topics : Poland on Monday called for an emergency European Union summit on the situation in Belarus after clashes in the night in Minsk over a disputed presidential election.”The authorities have used force against their citizens, who are demanding change in the country. We must support the Belarusian people in their quest for freedom,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a statement.Morawiecki said he had written to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel with the request for a summit.
MANAHAWKIN – When you mention volleyball to most Jersey Shore residents it conjures up the thought of ultra-tan men and women romping through the sand on a sunny, 85-degree humid day on the beach in Belmar.Since the AVP professional volleyball tour made its first stop in New Jersey in the early 1980’s, beach volleyball has skyrocketed in popularity, not only as a spectator sport, but as a perfect way to stay in shape and have some fun with hundreds of leagues springing up, up-and-down the Jersey Shore.Volleyball’s origins date back as far as 1895 when a Holyoke, Massachusetts YMCA physical education director, William G. Morgan, combined the game of tennis and handball and called it Mintonette. After an observer, Alfred Halstead, noticed the volleying nature of the game, the game quickly became known as volleyball.The history of Olympic volleyball traces back to the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, where volleyball was played as part of an American sports demonstration event. The competition was a success and ultimately it began to be considered for official inclusion and was officially included in the 1964 Summer Olympics. Beach volleyball was added to the Olympic program at the 1996 Summer Olympics with only two players per team.In the fall of 1999, Southern Regional and Long Branch High School started the first girls’ volleyball programs in Shore Conference history with Colts Neck adding a team two years later.Southern Regional boys head coach, Eric Maxwell, followed suit and in the spring of 2000 formed the first boys’ volleyball program in the Shore Conference.“My sister-in-law Cathy Maxwell had started the girls program at Southern and I had just started teaching there,” Maxwell said. “I was in the right place at the right time. The athletic director was considering starting a boys program and asked me what I thought. I had been involved in the sport my whole life so of course I thought it was a great idea.”Now, 16 seasons later, Eric Maxwell is still the head coach at Southern and the Rams (37-2) are the No. 1 ranked team in New Jersey after winning their second consecutive NJSIAA State Championship in 2014 and fourth title in six years.In 2002, Christian Brothers Academy, Colts Neck and Long Branch added boys programs giving birth to Shore Conference boys’ volleyball. The four teams would play each other twice a season, adding additional games out of the area if they could find them, but usually played around ten games a season.It stayed that way until 2005, when Marlboro and Manchester High Schools joined, then in 2007 Howell, Monsignor Donovan, Barnegat, and the three Toms River Schools (North, South and East) were added and the Shore Conference was split into the A North division and the A South division.In 2009, the 12 member schools held the first official Shore Conference Boys Volleyball Tournament pitting Southern Regional against CBA. Southern beat CBA in the inaugural match and the two teams have faced each other in the final every year since with the Rams taking all six titles.Since the 2009 season, an additional 10 teams, including Lacey Township and Pinelands in Class A South and Neptune and Freehold in Class A North have been added along with Central Regional, Wall Township, St. Rose, Red Bank Catholic, Saint John Vianney and Keyport in the newly formed Class A Central.The success of Southern Regional’s volleyball program has drawn a lot of attention to Shore Conference volleyball and because of this you can expect to see additional growth coming out of the Shore in the next couple of years.— By Mike Ready
The Female U18 BC Cup is the first stage in the formation of Team BC which will participate at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George. The top players selected from the U18 BC Cup advance to the U18 Provincial Camp in Lake Cowichan May 16 – 19. Dawson, McAuley and Huisman are part of the Kootenay Wildcats Female Hockey team.A former Nelsonite, Emma Hare, who now lives in Winfield and played last season with Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna, was also selected to the U18 BC Cup.The opening two days of the U18 BC Cup consist of practices, team building and fitness testing. The remainder of the weekend will consist of games where players are evaluated on their performance. BC Hockey’s Female Under 18 level is the third and final stage of the High Performance Program.It is an opportunity for the top players in the Province to train and compete at an elite level and is meant to introduce players to the beginning of the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence. A handful of local female hockey players have been invited to the 2014 Female U18 BC Cup in Salmon Arm from April 23 – 27.Nelson’s Merissa Dawson along with Stephanie McAuley of Trail and Kimberley Huisman of Fernie were invited to the jamboree format event, featuring four teams.
The farmhouse at Liliesleaf, in a policephoto taken during the raid.(Image: Liliesleaf Trust) Denis Goldberg in the 1960s.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) Denis Goldberg is now retired, and livesin Cape Town.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) Nelson Mandela in the 1960s.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) Nelson Mandela at a 46664 Arctic concertin 2005. The campaign gets its name fromMandela’s prison number, 46664, andraises funds for and awareness ofHIV/Aids.(Image: 4664 Arctic) A police mug shot of Bob Hepple.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) Ahmed Kathrada on the cover of hisautobiography, Memoirs. Walter Sisulu in the 1960s.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) A police mug shot of Andrew Mlangeni.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) A police mug shot of Elias Motsoaledi.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) A police mug shot of Rusty Bernstein.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) An aerial view of Liliesleaf farm, takenduring the police raid.(Image: Liliesleaf Trust) Police inside the farmhouse during theraid.(Image: Liliesleaf Trust) A radio transmitter found in one of theoutbuildings during the raid was used forthe first broadcast of the ANC’s RadioFreedom.(Image: Liliesleaf Trust)Lucille DavieOn hearing they had received life sentences, Denis Goldberg shouted: “Life! Life is wonderful!”On that day, 12 July 1964, the Rivonia trialists had expected the death penalty. Instead, Judge Quartus de Wet handed down four life sentences to eight of them.“All rationality aside, and for all our preparedness to die for freedom in South Africa, we started smiling in disbelief, at first, and complete relief as it sunk in that when the judge said he would not impose the maximum penalty, even though it would be an appropriate sentence,” says Goldberg 44 years later. “By the time he had finished speaking we were openly laughing. In the end most of us got four life sentences, but in the end, you can only serve one of them!”They would live, but that life would include up to 27 years in jail. They would not see their children grow up, nor would they see their wives struggling to hold things together, dealing with harassment by the security police and imprisonment themselves, sometimes with their children.Eight of the 10 trialists were sentenced to life, while two – Lionel “Rusty” Bernstein and James Kantor – were acquitted. Kantor had been arrested a month after the Liliesleaf raid.Of the original eight, only four are still alive: Nelson Mandela, Denis Goldberg, Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni. Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Elias Motsoaledi and Raymond Mhlaba have died.Mandela is about to turn 90, Goldberg is 74, Kathrada is 78, and Mlangeni is 81 years old.Liliesleaf farmhouse and the outbuildings in Rivonia, where Mandela lived for a time and where the trialists were arrested and, have been restored, and were opened as a museum on 9 June. With two new buildings on the site, the Liberation Centre and the Liliesleaf Resource Centre, it promises to be an exciting addition to South Africa’s museums.Arrest at LiliesleafIn 1961 the South African Communist Party (SACP) bought Liliesleaf farm, some 25km from the Johannesburg city centre, to use as its headquarters. In those days it was a quiet 28-acre smallholding far outside the city.Goldberg, a civil engineer, describes Liliesleaf as having an “exhilarating atmosphere”.“We ate, slept, dreamed, worked at how to make a revolution,” he says. “That is what we did. That is why it was exhilarating. Buying a kombi, buying a farm, moving house, sorting out weapons manufacture, where to get the things needed, how to buy them, how to transport them, how to train people, endless problems to solve.“Sorting out getting passbooks signed without giving away where we were was a problem.”Mandela lived there in disguise, as a gardener and cook under the name of David Motsamayi. A the former president recalls in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom: “The loveliest times at the farm were when I was visited by my wife and family.” He says they were times of more privacy than they ever had at their tiny home in Orlando West, Soweto. “The children could run about and play, and we were secure, however briefly, in this idyllic bubble.”But it was not to last.The top leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) – key alliance partners of the SACP – were arrested at Liliesleaf on 11 July 1963. The apartheid government were smug. They had seized and put away for life the top echelons of the liberation movement, who they had caught hatching Operation Mayibuye, the plan to switch to violence to overthrow apartheid.When the police swooped on the farmhouse they arrested Sisulu, Mbeki, Kathrada, Goldberg, Bernstein, Mhlaba and Bob Hepple. Arthur Goldreich, who was ostensibly the owner of Liliesleaf, drove into the farm shortly afterwards, and was arrested along with the others. Goldreich made a dramatic escape from prison, together with Harold Wolpe, Mosie Moola and Abdulhay Jassat, crossing the border shortly afterwards.Mandela was already on Robben Island, serving a five-year sentence for inciting workers to strike, and for leaving the country without a passport.Mlangeni and Motsoaledi had been arrested on 24 June, and were charged together with the other Rivonia trialists.Hepple acted as lawyer for Mandela in 1962, also representing Sisulu and other ANC and Pan Africanist Congress leaders. He too managed to escape over the border before the trial.Today going under the title of Professor Sir Bob Hepple, retired Emeritus Master of Clare College and Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Cambridge, he is currently judge of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal, sitting in New York and Geneva. He recounts the events on the afternoon of the arrest.At about 3.15pm, 15 minutes into the meeting, a van was heard coming down the drive.“Govan Mbeki went to the window. He said ‘It’s a dry-cleaning van. I’ve never seen it before.’ Rusty Bernstein went to the window and exclaimed: ‘My God, I saw that van outside the police station on my way here!’“I moved to the open door and saw the panel of the van which read ‘Trade Steam Pressers’. I could see a man wearing a white coat, hat and glasses on the front seat. I pulled the door closed. A few moments later I heard dogs barking. Rusty shouted: ‘It’s the cops; they’re heading here.’“Govan had collected up the Operation Mayibuye document and some other papers and I saw him putting them in the chimney of the small stove in the room. The back window was open, and I helped Govan, Walter Sisulu and Kathy (Kathrada) to jump out of it. There was a second or two as I moved back near the door, with Rusty next to me and Ray Mhlaba sitting next to the window.“The door burst open. Detective Sergeant Kennedy, whom I had cross-examined in a political trial earlier that year, rushed in: ‘Stay where you are. You’re all under arrest.’“He walked up to me with an excited sneer: ‘You’re Advocate Hepple, aren’t you?’Hepple was chair of the youth section of the Congress of Democrats, which was part of the anti-apartheid alliance in the 1950s. He was a member of the secretariat which serviced the central political leadership of the ANC.Hepple says that he had been anxious driving to Liliesleaf, or Lil’s place, as it was called, from his chambers in Johannesburg. “My anxieties led me to stop more than once to ensure that I was not being followed. I took a secondary road to avoid passing the Rivonia police station.”He’d had a visit from a “mysterious man” who had appeared unannounced at his chambers that morning, with a message from leaders in Natal leadership for the central underground leadership. “Ever since Mandela’s arrest there had been suspicions about a possible police spy and lax security in Natal. I feigned ignorance and told him to come back the next day. I intended to check his credentials at our meeting at Lil’s place that afternoon.”The leadership were worried about the police discovering Liliesleaf farm, where they had been secretly meeting and living for the past two years. In fact a new property had been bought, a smallholding called Travallyn in Krugersdorp, and Goldberg had moved into it along with Sisulu, Mbeki, Mhlaba and Wilton Mkwayi. It was to become the new ANC headquarters but the next meeting did not take place there.“It could not take place at Travallyn because that would repeat the security failure of bringing people to the place where the leaders of MK [Umkhonto we Sizwe, the ANC’s armed wing] were living in secrecy,” says Goldberg now, referring to Liliesleaf.“They could not at that moment decide on a safe venue, therefore they decided to have one more meeting at Liliesleaf,” he explains. “It was the pressure of the security police surveillance and the house arrests, banning orders, etcetera, that led to the fateful decision.”Solitary confinement and jailAfter arrest Hepple and the other trialists spent almost four months in solitary confinement. Then he was offered freedom from prosecution if he turned state witness. He agreed to do so but, as soon as he was released from jail, escaped across the border with his wife, making his way to England where his young children and parents joined him later.Hepple, like the others, found his jail time hard going.“In the long hours of isolation and boredom, especially as I lay awake at night on the cold stone cell floor, I became obsessed with our predicament. As the days and nights slowly passed I became increasingly confused and created my own world in which reality and fantasy were hard to separate.“Threats and promises made by the police during continuous periods of interrogation became distorted out of all proportion in my mind and my capacity to reason was seriously impaired.“I say this with hindsight, because one of the consequences of sensory deprivation and exhaustion is that one is unable to realise the extent of the changes taking place in normal behaviour.”Mlangeni spent 26 years in prison, with his fellow Rivonia trialists, on Robben Island. He used simple methods to get through the low moments in prison. “I personally would take out the letters I received from my wife and read them over and over again. Look at the photographs I received and that helped me to get myself together again and go back to my studies.”Mlangeni became a politician on his release, and is still a member of parliament.Goldberg says it took discipline and determination to get through his 22-year prison sentence in Pretoria Central Prison. He did not go to Robben Island like the others because he is white.“I believe it was our self-discipline and determination to uphold our dignity, to demand respect, and that the warders act within their own rules, was the key to survival. We found ways of creating our own little world of politics and social contact that enabled us to support each other.“For myself, too, there was the sense of living time day by day. Time was flexible: at Christmas and New Year another year stretched out ahead, and suddenly it seemed the year was over. This was more so for lifers who had no release date.”He describes waking up at 5am, washing in a hand basin in his cell, using the bucket toilet in his cell, then eating a breakfast of watery mealie meal porridge, with a chunk of bread and coffee, which consisted of burnt mealies and chicory.Days were filled with sewing mailbags in the exercise yard, which was freezing in winter, and burning hot in summer.Lunch was “some kind of stew”, supper was powder soup, bread and coffee. “In total each day we were alone in our cells for 16 to 18 hours each day.”Kathrada says in his book, Memoirs: “Nothing could have prepared me for the enormity of losing all choice in such mundane matters as deciding when to wake up and when to sleep, or comprehend that minor joys such as letter-writing and meetings with family and friends would be so severely curtailed and controlled, and that fundamental human rights would become privileges that had to be earned and were always under threat of removal.”Kathrada has been honoured with awards and honorary degrees. While in prison he obtained several degrees. In 1999 he published his Letters from Robben Island, and is currently working on another book. He is retired but consults to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.The islandMandela describes Robben Island as the “harshest, most iron-fisted outpost in the South African penal system”. Being imprisoned at Robben Island was “like going to another country. Its isolation made it not simply another prison, but a world of its own, far removed from the one we had come from.”Mandela says that in Pretoria Central Prison, from where they were flown immediately upon being sentenced, they had felt connected to their families and supporters. But on the island, although they were together as a group, it was little consolation. “My dismay was quickly replaced by a sense that a new and different fight had begun.”The fight involved the Afrikaans-speaking warders demanding a master-servant relationship. “The racial divide on Robben Island was absolute: there were no black warders, and no white prisoners.”To get through the long hours he dreamed about being able “to go to my office in the morning and return to my family in the evening, to be able to pop out and buy some toothpaste at the pharmacy, to visit old friends in the evening”, he says in Long Walk to Freedom.To help him get through his prison sentence Mandela cultivated a vegetable garden. “I had a garden, which I looked after and when the tomatoes were ready, the warders would be very friendly and come and get some tomatoes from the garden,” he recounts with a mischievous smile in a 2006 interview.It was to be a long, hard 18 years on the island, before being moved to Pollsmoor Prison, then Victor Verster Prison, just outside Cape Town, for nine more years, before being released in February 1990.The world on releaseGoldberg says that the world he entered in 1985 was very different from the one he left in 1964.“The world was different after 22 years. Colours were brighter, everything moved faster. I flew in a jumbo jet. I wasn’t sure of how to deal with the outside world.”Goldberg lived in England after his release, representing the ANC in exile, and continuing his anti-apartheid activities. He settled in Cape Town in 2002, where he become special adviser to the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. He is now retired.Kathrada’s release from prison was marked by “life-changing news” in the form of a simple question: What is a fax?“We had read and heard about this strange new contraption, but none of us had ever seen a fax machine or message, and we simply could not grasp the concept of a sheet of paper being transmitted by telephone, and an exact replica arriving within minutes thousands of kilometres or several continents away.”He was inundated by family and well-wishers when he arrived at his brother’s house in Lenasia, Johannesburg.“Except for a few indelible memories, most of that first day has always been a blank,” he says in Memoirs. “My most precious recollections are of my little grand-nieces and nephews, clambering all over me, clasping their little arms around my neck, holding my hands, hugging and kissing this strange man they had never seen, but had learned to love in absentia.“After 26 years on my own, no other welcome could have meant as much as this spontaneous display of unconditional love and immediate acceptance.”His first television interview brought another surprise discovery. He was confronted with “a cylindrical, black, hairy object that was pushed into my face. I learned very quickly, that day, that this was a ‘boom’, and that I was expected to speak into it.”Mandela had been equally surprised when first confronted with a boom when he walked out of Victor Verster Prison, thinking it a “newfangled weapon” developed while he was in prison.Mandela arrived on Robben Island in the prime of life – he was 44 years old. He left prison as a 71-year-old man.He walked out of Victor Verster Prison on 11 February 1990 to thousands of assembled people, hundreds of photographers, television cameras and journalists. “When I was among the crowd I raised my right fist, and there was a roar,” he says in Long Walk to Freedom. “I had not been able to do that for 27 years and it gave me a surge of strength and joy.”His first night of freedom was spent at Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s house in Cape Town. “We were led inside the house, where more family and friends met us but, for me, the most wonderful moment was when I was told that I had a telephone call from Stockholm. I knew immediately who it was. Oliver Tambo’s voice was weak but unmistakable, and to hear him after all those years filled me with great joy.”Mandela and Tambo had been comrades since their student days at Fort Hare University, had set up a legal practice together, and founded the ANC Youth League.Mandela says that in his 27 years in prison, he held “a life-long conversation with him in my head”, and that when Tambo died in 1993, he felt like the “loneliest man in the world”.Mandela was busy after his release. “I began a tour of Africa, which included many countries. During the first six months after my release, I spent more time abroad than at home,” he recounts. “Nearly everywhere I went there were great enthusiastic crowds so that even if I felt weary, the people buoyed me. In Dar es Salaam I was met by a crowd estimated at half a million.”It was reported that a million people greeted him on his ticker tape parade in New York.Mandela is now retired, enjoying his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He will turn 90 on 18 July.Useful linksNelson Mandela FoundationNelson Mandela: reflections on prison lifeRivonia Trial documentsLiliesleaf TrustRobben Island MuseumSouth African History Online
27 May 2014Newly appointed Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene – the country’s first black finance minster – has his sights fixed on growing the South African economy.Speaking to journalists after being sworn into office in Pretoria on Monday, Nene said the National Development Plan (NDP) laid out ways of improving unemployment and tackling underdevelopment in the country.“The work has begun on growing the economy; we would like to look at investing in infrastructure. We have a solid team working within the Treasury, and we will continue to work as a collective.”On Tuesday, Statistics SA reported that South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) had contracted 0.6 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of the year – its first contraction since the second quarter of 2009, when the world’s economy dipped as a result of a global recession.Nene said that Africa was the next big frontier for growth internationally, adding that South Africa would be working with the rest of the continent in driving economic growth.He said he was happy that his appointment had been met with positively. “The reason why there is that positivity is because it signals continuity and stability, especially that the appointment is from within the department.”The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) welcomed Nene’s appointment. Sacci CEO Neren Rau said on Monday that the National Treasury would be “in the hands of a skilled and experienced leader in Minister Nene. Sacci anticipates a strong partnership with the ministry, as was experienced under Minister Gordhan”.Rau added that former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s move to the portfolio of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs gave him an opportunity to make a difference in the local government sphere, especially in addressing service delivery and local economic development.Nene was a Member of Parliament from 1999 through 2008, serving as co-chairperson of Parliament’s budget committee from 2002 to 2005. He was appointed deputy finance minister in 2008, and served as a member of the local organising committee for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, as well as chairperson of the Public Investment Corporation.Source: SAnews.gov.za