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June 9, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Former President Nelson Mandela remained in serious but stable condition in a hospital Sunday as South Africans in churches around the country prayed for him. There was no update on his condition from South Africa's presidency by Sunday afternoon. Mandela, revered around the world for his role in winning democratic rights and freedoms for black South Africans, was admitted to a Pretoria hospital in the early hours of Saturday, suffering from a recurrence of a lung infection that struck in December.
April 27, 2014 | By Mark Gevisser
In South Africa today, as the country celebrates the 20th anniversary of its democracy and prepares for elections, two deeply flawed folk heroes - one venal, the other violent - have commandeered the headlines. The president, Jacob Zuma, was recently found by the Public Protector, an independent constitutional body, to have misappropriated $20 million to upgrade his private home. And Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee who awed the world with his speed running on prosthetic legs, is being tried for murder in the killing of his girlfriend.
April 3, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- The health of former South African President Nelson Mandela has improved, according to South African officials who said he is in much better shape than he was a week ago when he was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. “President Nelson Mandela continues to make steady improvement in hospital,” said a statement by Mac Maharaj, spokesman for President Jacob Zuma. “His doctors say he continues to respond satisfactorily to treatment and is much better now than he was when he was admitted to hospital.
April 7, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
PRETORIA, South Africa - Two distinct portraits are emerging at the Pretoria High Court murder trial of South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius. The prosecution's portrayal of Pistorius as an aggressive, gun-loving, controlling man with a quick temper was countered Monday by the athlete, who testified for the first time in the month-old trial. Pistorius described himself as a serious, deeply religious good Samaritan, racked with crippling remorse about fatally shooting his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of Valentine's Day 2013.
June 18, 2009 | Robyn Dixon
When Emma Jordi's mother suggested a Sunday afternoon at South Africa's Confederations Cup watching the national soccer team play Iraq, the pretty blond 14-year-old had an excuse. Homework. "I have to write a speech for English," she said warily, more accustomed to riding her beautiful chestnut gelding, Spring Close Prince Dante, than spending rowdy afternoons at the soccer stadium, the air rent by the blasts of plastic trumpets called vuvuzelas that fans blow.
June 27, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- The health of former President Nelson Mandela, already critical, has deteriorated further in the past two days, according to a government official Thursday, as the nation prepared for his death. As Mandela spent his 20th day in a hospital after contracting pneumonia early this month, presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj told state-owned SABC news that Mandela's condition had worsened, forcing President Jacob Zuma to cancel a trip to Mozambique  on Thursday.
April 30, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- South Africa's ruling African National Congress on Tuesday defended a controversial decision to allow the broadcast on television of a video of an unsmiling Nelson Mandela, looking frail, pallid and uncomfortable, as people snapped flash photos of him when President Jacob Zuma and other ANC luminaries visited him at his house. Mandela, South Africa's first black president, was recently hospitalized with pneumonia and is recovering at home under medical supervision.
December 8, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - When South Africa's national anthem swelled in the Regina Mundi church in Rockville, Soweto, on Sunday, retired teacher Liz Magubane was sure that somewhere, Nelson Mandela could hear them. “That was the time when I felt like crying. I had tears in my eyes,” she said. “There were times when I would stand up and move my body a little bit, and enjoy it,” added Magubane, a member of a Roman Catholic Church group known as the Sodality of St. Anne, which does charitable work, visits people in prisons and helps orphans.
January 28, 2011 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
South Africans heaved a sigh of relief after their beloved former president, Nelson Mandela, 92, was discharged from a hospital and returned home Friday. He was driven home about lunchtime in a military ambulance, after doctors announced he had suffered an acute respiratory infection but was recovering well. News of the acute illness contradicted earlier reports from the Nelson Mandela Foundation and African National Congress that nothing serious was wrong with Mandela, known affectionately by South Africans by his clan name, Madiba.
April 19, 1992 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Cheered wildly by 40,000 Senegalese Saturday at Dakar, a South African track team made its first appearance in black Africa since the end of colonization 30 years ago. President F.W. de Klerk's dismantling of apartheid has cleared the way for an end of the international isolation of South Africa, which will send a team to the Summer Olympics.
April 6, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
PRETORIA, South Africa - Johan Gerber is a shy, neat man with iron-gray hair, a ready smile and a quiet voice. But on the streets, he has taken to carrying an open pocket knife with a mean 4-inch blade, concealed in an envelope and ready to use. Last month, three men accosted him in broad daylight, one of whom hit him in the stomach and grabbed his cellphone. A few years back, eight men surrounded him, held a knife to his throat and stole his wallet. His car and two trailers also have been stolen.
February 25, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday lost a bid to prevent the live broadcast of his murder trial next week in the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Under a High Court ruling Tuesday, the bulk of the athlete's trial can be televised and audio from all the proceedings can be broadcast. However, Judge Dunstan Mlambo ruled that there would be no television coverage of Pistorius' testimony nor that of his defense witnesses. Evidence provided by expert witnesses will be televised, but the court could refuse to allow other testimony to be filmed, if requested.
February 14, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Just weeks before South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius is due to face trial on charges of murdering his girlfriend, he posted a Valentine's Day message on his website, calling the shooting a “devastating accident.” The killing of Reeva Steenkamp, which took place on Valentine's Day last year, and the subsequent charges against Pistorius shocked South Africans. A bail hearing attracted massive global media attention. "No words can adequately capture my feelings about the devastating accident that has caused such heartache for everyone who truly loved -- and continues to love Reeva,” said the athlete, who rarely makes public statements or appearances.
February 5, 2014 | By Alicia Banks
Are you Parker Sithole? The question served as the original title for "Of Good Report," which screens Thursday as the opening night film of the 22nd Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. Set in the South African countryside, the film follows a troubled teacher named Parker Sithole (Mothusi Magano), who begins an illicit relationship with the beautiful student Nolitha (Petronella Tshuma) - a relationship that takes a brutal turn and forces Parker to battle past demons. More subtly, the film noir explores the lies that people tell and the morals that they bend to justify actions, at any expense.
December 15, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
QUNU, South Africa - When South African President Jacob Zuma stood at the microphone before a sea of mourners, the first notes of his unexpected song for liberation hero Nelson Mandela were lonely and poignant. But the magic of the answering harmony of the mourners rose under a soaring, domed black ceiling that looked something like a night sky. It was a moment of pure joyful melody, richer and more dramatic than television could convey to South Africans in townships and cities who watched on big screens in soccer stadiums and parks or at home on television.
December 15, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
QUNU, South Africa - After the sermon was read, the 21-gun salute thudded and the "Last Post" played, Nelson Mandela was laid to rest Sunday in the rolling green hills of the Eastern Cape where he was born, leaving South Africans with a gaping sense that they will never see a leader as great as him again. The crowds left his grave site, a host of luxury vehicles drove away and a chilling downpour of rain blew in. About 4,500 mourners filled a vast domed tent for the state funeral, with relatives, princes, African leaders, celebrities and members of Mandela's ruling African National Congress arriving from dawn onward to say goodbye one last time.
September 15, 1989
Regarding "A Marketplace of African Authenticity" (by Sheldon Teitelbaum, Aug. 19): I was dismayed by his reference to Southern California's "thriving white South African community" who, for "obvious political reasons, have not been asked to attend." As a fourth-generation white South African who felt compelled to leave South Africa for "obvious political reasons," I was deeply saddened by the inference that all white South Africans are collectively and irrevocably guilty and therefore unworthy of sharing in African pride and the celebration of African culture.
December 5, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon and Carol J. Williams
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Nelson Mandela, South Africa's beloved first black president and anti-apartheid hero, has died after suffering recurring lung infections that were the legacy of tuberculosis contracted in prison during his long fight against oppression, President Jacob Zuma said in a televised address late Thursday. He was 95. Although out of the limelight in recent years because of the infirmities of age, Mandela, or Madiba, the clan name by which he was affectionately known to many South Africans, remained a revered symbol of the fight he led against the nation's apartheid regime.
December 14, 2013 | SANDY BANKS
The long public farewell to Nelson Mandela will end on Sunday. After 10 days celebrating his life and mourning his death, South Africans will bury their leader in his family's village of grazing cows and one-room, tin-roofed shacks. Mandela leaves behind a troubled nation, still struggling to deliver on his dream of equality and advancement. But his legacy transcends that. His relentless battle against apartheid fueled a new strain of American activism among young people on college campuses who embraced a battle against injustice half a world away.
December 14, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
QUNU, South Africa -- A fine strong bull was chosen in Qunu, Nelson Mandela's home village, to accompany him on his final journey. It must be slaughtered before Sunday's funeral, so that it may go with him to the other side, according to traditional belief. As Mandela was taken from Pretoria, where he lay in state for three days, to his home village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, the chief of the clan, his grandson Mandla Mandela, and other elders were present. Dozens of family members were waiting at Nelson Mandela's homestead to receive his casket, where tradition called for the house to be freshly painted before he arrived, according to Qunu residents.
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