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South Africa releases AFCON 2019 squad list2 minutes read

South Africa coach Stuart Baxter named a surprise-free 23-man squad Sunday for the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

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South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter speaks to the players during the South Africa Squad training session at Steyn City School.

South Africa coach Stuart Baxter named a surprise-free 23-man squad Sunday for the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt from June 21 to July 19. France-based Bongani Zungu and Lebo Mothiba are the only selections who play for clubs in the top five European leagues.

Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits, first and third in the 2018/2019 national championship, dominate the squad with five and four players respectively. Hopes of including defenders Joel Untersee of FC Zurich and Nikola Tavares of Crystal Palace were dashed when they could not obtain South African passports in time.

Both were born in South Africa and Untersee has represented Switzerland and Tavares Croatia in age-limit internationals because their parents hail from those countries. They remain eligible to be chosen for Bafana Bafana as neither has played for his adopted country at the senior competitive level.

South Africa are in Group D with fellow former champions the Ivory Coast and Morocco and Namibia, and it is considered the toughest of the six mini-leagues. Bafana boasts unbeaten Cup of Nations tournament records against their three rivals – winning twice and drawing twice against Morocco, drawing with the Ivory Coast and defeating Namibia.

The South Africa Squad players celebrates a victory
South Africa players celebrates a victory during the 2019 Cosafa Cup Plate final match between South Africa and Malawi at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban on 07 June 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Related: Injured Liverpool star selected for AFCON tournament

Official South Africa Squad List

Goalkeepers: Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Darren Keet (Bidvest Wits), Rowen Williams (SuperSport Utd)

Defenders: Sifiso Hlanti, Thulani Hlatshwayo (capt), Buhle Mkhwanazi (all Wits), Daniel Cardoso, Ramahlwe Mphahlele (both Chiefs), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Thamsanqa Mkhize (Cape Town City)

Related: Zimbabwe keep clean sheet in AFCON friendly draw with Nigeria

Midfielders: Hlompho Kekana, Tiyani Mabunda, Themba Zwane (all Mamelodi Sundowns), Dean Furman (SuperSport), Thembinkosi Lorch (Pirates), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford/ENG), Thulani Serero (Vitesse Arnhem/NED), Bongani Zungu (Amiens/FRA)

Forwards: Lebogang Maboe, Sibusiso Vilakazi (both Sundowns), Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg/FRA), Percy Tau (Royal Union St Gilloise/BEL), Lars Veldwijk (Sparta Rotterdam/NED)

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Politics

Isabel dos Santos considers running for Angola’s presidency

“I will do everything I need to do to defend and serve my country,” Isabel dos Santos said.

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Chairman of the Unitel SA Isabel Jose dos Santos attends the "Business Dialogue Russia-Africa" session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) , in St. Petersburg, Russia. Iliya Pitalev / Sputnik

Africa’s richest woman and billionaire daughter of Angola’s ex-president, Isabel dos Santos, has said she would consider running for president in the next election in 2022.

Asked in an interview with Portuguese state broadcaster Radio e Televisao de Portugal (RTP) whether she would run for the top job in Angola, dos Santos said it was “possible”.

“I will do everything I need to do to defend and serve my country,” she said in the interview, which was broadcast late Wednesday, an AFP report said.

Dos Santos has been targeted in an anti-graft campaign led by her father’s successor President Joao Lourenco, who has vowed to fight corruption and rebuild the economy of sub-Saharan Africa’s second biggest oil producer.

Prosecutors froze the bank accounts and holdings owned by the 46-year-old businesswoman and her Congolese husband Sindika Dokolo last month.

Dos Santos, reportedly Africa’s richest woman, has denied any wrongdoing and denounced the investigation as “politically motivated”.

The investigation surrounding dos Santos is centred on the alleged use of state-owned companies to siphon off over one billion dollars.

It is delving into irregularities involving Angola’s national oil company Sonangol and Sodiam, a national diamond marketing firm.

Dos Santos was appointed head of Sonangol by her father Jose Eduardo dos Santos in 2016, one year before he stepped down and handed the reins over to Lourenco.

The president forced her out of the position within months of coming to power in 2017.

He has since launched a large-scale purge of the dos Santos 38-year administration, during which top positions were awarded to the ex-president’s cronies.

Dos Santos’s brother Jose Filomeno — nicknamed “Zenu” — went on trial last month for allegedly embezzling $500 million from Angola’s sovereign fund, which he oversaw from 2013 to 2018.

Zenu, who faces a maximum of 12 years in jail if found guilty, is the first member of the dos Santos family to be prosecuted.  

“The selective manner of this so-called fight against corruption (is being used) to neutralise future political candidates,” dos Santos told RTP, adding that she continued to be “shocked” by the allegations.

Dos Santos has been named Africa’s richest woman by Forbes magazine, which last year rated her net worth at $2.2 billion (two billion euros).

She has holdings in two private banks, mobile operator Unitel, a supermarket chain and cable television among others.

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Business

Eskom Chairman resigns amid persistent power cuts

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Chairman of South Africa’s struggling state-owned power Utility Eskom, Jabu Mabuza, has resigned following worrying power cuts over the festive period.

The entity had implemented severe nationwide power cuts in several bursts last year and again sporadically this week, despite low electricity demand as many businesses and factories were closed for the holidays.

“In his resignation letter , Mabuza apologised for Eskom’s inability to meet the commitment it made to the President, the Deputy President and the relevant Ministers at a meeting on 11 December 2019 to avoid load shedding over this period,” a statement from the presidency read.

The power cuts are reported to have dented economic output last year, sapping investor confidence in Ramaphosa’s efforts to turn around Africa’s most industrialised economy.

Eskom supplies more than 90 percent of South Africa’s power but has struggled to meet electricity demands in the country.

Mabuza was appointed to the Eskom board of directors shortly after Ramaphosa became leader of the governing African National Congress party in December 2017.

“In the wake of Mr Mabuza’s resignation, Government will soon announce a re-configured Eskom board with the appropriate mix of electricity industry, engineering and corporate governance experience,” the presidency announced.

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East Africa News

No casualties as South African military plane crashlands in DR Congo

“There were eight crew and 59 passengers. Everybody was evacuated safe and sound. Nobody suffered major injuries. The runway has reopened,” MONUSCO said.

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The pictured plane served South African peacekeepers deployed in Beni, in the volatile North Kivu province/Enca

Atleast 67 people on Thursday escaped death after a South African military transporter aircraft caught fire on landing in Goma, a city in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo but UN officials said there were no casualties.

The plane was flying from Beni, a city about 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Goma and also in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s East, an AFP report said.

“The left engine caught fire upon landing,” said the UN mission in the country, known by its French acronym MONUSCO, adding that its firefighters “intervened.”

“There were eight crew and 59 passengers. Everybody was evacuated safe and sound. Nobody suffered major injuries. The runway has reopened,” it said.

The plane served South African peacekeepers deployed in Beni, in the volatile North Kivu province.

Some reports said the plane was a Soviet/Russian-made Antonov.

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