South Africa

South Africa Zuma riots: Death toll mounts amid looting

This includes 10 people killed in a stampede during looting on Monday night at a shopping centre in Soweto, the country's biggest township.

Almost 800 people have been arrested in the unrest that began last Thursday and turned violent over the weekend.

The military has now been deployed to help the overstretched police.

South Africa's warm-up Test against Georgia cancelled

Later on Wednesday, the Lions announced two players were isolating after one of the management team tested positive.

The Lions' warm-up fixture against the Bulls on Saturday was postponed because of Covid-19 cases in the hosts' camp.

South Africa is currently battling a third wave of infections.

The Springboks have had to isolate twice in the past two weeks, with their three-Test series against the Lions taking place on consecutive weekends from 24 July.

South Africa declares intention to host British and Irish Lions rugby tour

Contingency plans had been drawn up, which included bringing the matches to Britain and Ireland or postponing the tour until 2022 or 2025, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the two teams said they were “aligned” on delivering the tour “in the scheduled playing window.”

“I can confirm that the board's intended position is for the tour to go ahead as scheduled in South Africa in 2021,” said Jason Leonard, chairman of The British & Irish Lions.

Manu Tuilagi has added third string to his fitness fight after dabbling in hiking and salsa

Tuilagi has been exploring various ways of helping his recovery, including hiking and learning to salsa, but he is now concentrating on running for the first time since injuring his leg in September last year.

The severity of the Achilles injury raised serious doubts about his ability to make it back in Sale colours before the end of this season but he is now on course to play a key role in their bid for a Premiership playoff place and that would also surely put the England centre back in the Lions selection mix.

South Africa student protest turns deadly

One person was killed, but it’s unclear if it was a student or passer-by.

The students, in Johannesburg, have been protesting since Monday, blocking roads and causing general disruption over alleged financial exclusion by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

The scheme has run out of money and there’s no budget available to assist new students to register for the academic year.


South Africa crocodiles: Hunt on after mass escape in Western Cape

Some 27 reptiles have been recaptured but officials have admitted they do not know how many more they need to find.

The crocodiles are believed to have escaped through a broken fence at a breeding farm outside Bonnievale and made their way to the Breede River.

Local residents have been urged not to approach them.

"Obviously, they are very dangerous. These are wild animals even though they've been in captivity," said Petro van Rhyn, a spokeswoman for the region's environmental service, CapeNature.

South Africa halts AstraZeneca jab over new strain

Scientists say the strain accounts for 90% of new Covid cases in South Africa.

The study, involving around 2,000 people, found the vaccine offered "minimal protection" against mild and moderate cases of Covid-19.

South Africa has received 1m doses of the AstraZeneca jab and was due to start vaccinating people next week.

Lions tour could be held at home

That is among the contingency plans discussed by the Lions board in the event the trip has to be abandoned.

Instead, games would be played in Edinburgh, London, Cardiff, and Dublin.

The South African rugby union has previously made it clear that a tour without visiting fans would not be commercially viable for them.

The Lions board is also thought to be unenthusiastic about the Idea.

However, it is hoped that a vaccine would allow for fans to attend games in the UK in June and July.

South Africa's Ramaphosa announces new restrictions as cases soar

Indoor and outdoor gatherings will be banned, a curfew introduced from 21:00 to 06:00, and alcohol sales prohibited.

Mr Ramaphosa said the country was at an extremely dangerous point in the pandemic and action had to be taken.

Recently authorities confirmed a new, faster-spreading variant of the virus had been detected in South Africa.

Some hospitals and medical centres have reported a huge rise in admissions, putting a heavy strain on resources.

Fans now want Rugby Championship expansion

Having withdrawn from this season’s Australia-based competition due to concerns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, fears rose that that could spell an end to the four-team competition, with the Springboks favouring a potentially seismic move to the northern hemisphere and the Six Nations.

Those fears have obviously been allayed and after the news was announced by SANZAAR, there have now called for the Rugby Championship tournament to welcome new additions – with Japan and Fiji being the most discussed.