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South African billionaire announces he’ll give half his fortune to charity

South African mining billionaire Patrice Motsepe announced Wednesday he would give half his family’s fortune to charity, becoming the first African to match a pledge made by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The Soweto-born tycoon, worth an estimated $2.7 billion (two billion euros), announced he would join the Giving Pledge,…

Namibia offers model for taking on poachers

Faced with poachers who are ravaging elephant and rhino populations, African nations could do worse than look to Namibia for a game plan to combat the scourge. Wildlife poaching is on the rise across Africa’s vast savannahs and in the jungles and outmanned and outgunned governments have struggled to keep…

15,000 crocs escape from South African farm

About 15,000 crocodiles have escaped from a farm in South Africa amid heavy rains and flooding, local daily Beeld reported. The predators sprung from the Rakwena Crocodile Farm in the far north of the country when owners were forced to open the gates to prevent a storm surge. A number…

Mr Gay World pageant dazzles South Africa

One came from the Philippines with mechanical wings, another from Mexico in a rhinestoned Mayan headdress, and one from Finland simply wrapped in a sauna towel. But for the first time, the contestants in Mr Gay World came to Africa, a continent where most countries still maintain sodomy laws, sometimes…

International telescope consortium stalls over siting dispute

The international consortium behind a plan to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope on Wednesday signalled further delays in deciding whether it should be hosted by South Africa or Australia. It was hoped that members of the SKA (Square Kilometre Array) Organisation would set a date for the eagerly…

Baby pygmy hippo is faring well in spite of abandonment by mom

“Harry” the pygmy hippopotamus was born in the early morning hours of Thursday, March 23 at a wildlife center in Oudtshoorn, South Africa. Sadly, his mother refused to nurse him. According to zookeepers, the first 36 hours of a hippo’s life are among its most important. Hippo mothers’ milk contains…

South Africa mulls new trophy hunt rules to fight rhino poaching

South Africa may impose new limits on trophy hunts as it combats a devastating surge in rhino poaching, with 150 killed illegally so far this year, the environment ministry said Thursday. Big game hunters are allowed to kill a limited number of rhinos every year, with their horns exported as…

S.Africa big cat expert attacked by tiger

A South African conservationist and filmmaker was in intensive careon Thursday after being attacked by a tiger at a reserve where he breeds the big Asian cats. John Varty suffered several puncture wounds and two broken ribs after being attacked while filming on his Tiger Canyons farm in the central Free State, which he set up to create…

South Africa launches plan to curb rampant lung disease

South Africa on Saturday launched a plan to diagnose tuberculosis in the country’s gold mines, where the disease’s incidence is the highest in the world. Speaking to mine managers in Driefontein, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said the goal was to “ensure that all mine workers, particularly in the gold mining sector, are screened and tested for TB…

Debate still raging on site for super-telescope

An international consortium planning to build the world’s most powerful radiotelescope is still debating whether South Africa or Australia should host the $2 billion project, an official said Friday. Scientists hope the Square Kilometre Array, or SKA, will shed new light on fundamental questions about the universe, including how it…

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