Jacob Zuma set for presidency

first_imgSouth African finance minister Trevor Manuel (left) greets president-elect Jacob Zuma in parliament on Wednesday. (Image: GCIS) During the election trail, Zuma attracted massive crowds who came to support him. (Image: Friends of Jacob Zuma)Khanyi MagubaneThe newly sworn in members of the South African parliament have voted in African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma as the country’s next president in the National Assembly, during their first sitting.Zuma received 277 votes, while the leader of the newly formed Congress of the People (Cope)Reverend Mvume Dandala received 47 votes.The official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, opted not to vote.Pomp and ceremony were the order of the day when parliament opened on 6 May.The singing of the national anthem, followed by a prayer, ushered in the first sitting of the National Assembly.  President-elect Jacob Zuma took an oath of affirmation with the first group; made up of the top 10 ANC Members of Parliament (MPs). South Africa’s current president,  Kgalema Motlanthe’s name did not appear on the list.All the members of parliament sworn in stood in front of Justice Pius Langa and recited an oath, which ended with the well known closing, “so help me God”.The first sitting came 15 days after South Africa held its fourth democratic elections since 1994.The ANC won the elections with 66% of the votes, which has resulted in 264 seats in parliament followed by the official opposition party the Democratic Alliance, which took 16.75% of the votes and has 67 seats in parliament.Cope has 30 seats in parliament after it secured 7.5 % of the votes in the elections.Mapping the way forward The first seating of parliament also saw the comeback of a few familiar faces, while others took their seats for the first time.ANC Women’s League president, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela made her comeback as a member of parliament.Speaking to the media, she expressed her excitement at returning to the National Assembly, “The age of talking is past, we have to deliver and that’s the only reason why I came back here.”Parliament veteran Koos Van der Merwe, from the Inkatha Freedom Party, has been in parliament for over 30 years and says there is a different energy about it this time around. “This is my 32nd year in parliament but there is something new this time, something exciting. It appears as if the new South Africa is coming to grips with things.”The Freedom Front Plus’ Pieter Mulder was also upbeat about the opening of parliament.“We wonder if it will be more of the same or will we get a different parliament. We will only know that when we start debating,” he saidSignificant changes include the appointment of South Africa’s first male Speaker of the House since the country crossed over to democracy in 1994.Max Sisulu, son of struggle veteran Walter Sisulu, was the only candidate put forward by the ANC for the position.He follows in the footsteps of Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, who took over from Baleka Mbete when she was appointed deputy president during the interim government period, which took over from September 2008.Mbete followed 1994’s speaker, Frene Ginwala, who held the position for five years.“She worked tirelessly to lay the foundations for our new democracy and she created and enhanced the systems so that parliament could take its rightful place in our country,” said Sisulu as he paid homage to his predecessor Ginwala.“Her initial work will resonate throughout the House. She has left us with a lasting legacy.”Nomaindia Mfeketo, who became an MP in 2008, was appointed as the deputy speaker of the House.Zola Skweyiya, minister of social development, was expected to return to parliament but resigned due to ill health.In a written letter, Skweyiya, who has been an MP since 1994, thanked the ANC for having faith in him by re-electing him back to parliament but said that he had to focus on his health.“Today, I retired from parliamentary politics due to health reasons. This is a decision I communicated to my movement, the African National Congress (ANC), in the past five years, and I reminded them sometime last year. “I would like to thank the ANC and the people of South Africa for having confidence in me and [having] trusted me to serve in government for 15 years,” said Skweyiya. Another notable difference in the opening of parliament was the increased number of women parliamentarians.The number of women’s representation rose to 45%, a figure which now puts SouthAfrica in third place after Rwanda and Sweden in the number of women in parliament.Dignitaries who graced the occasion today included diplomats, guests of the president’s office and guests of members of parliament.Provincial premiers, who were elected earlier last week, were sworn in during today’s proceedings.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: [email protected] articlesInauguration media guidelines Millions vote in record SA elections Motlanthe reassures the nation South Africans go to the polls The bell that rings when the vote is called Useful linksParliament of South AfricaThe presidency Jacob Zuma biographylast_img read more

Snailboy races up the global charts

first_imgSnailboy, created by Cape Town developer Thoopid, has become one of the world’s most popular mobile titles and one of South Africa’s most successful video games ever produced. (Image: Thoopid) • RW Liebenberg Managing partner Thoopid +27 83 380 0256 [email protected] • Durban developer’s app scores in Nokia competition • Triggerfish takes on the big boys • SA in Fifa Interactie World Cup • Learning through gaming • Mobile internet booms in SABy Shamin ChibbaA sign that the South African video gaming industry is on the up comes from a digital mollusc that scampers around a garden collecting slimeys and jumping off mossy trees, all in the quest to find his missing shell pack. His name is Snailboy, developed by Cape Town company Thoopid, and he is taking over the mobile gaming world.Released in September 2013 on Samsung’s Apps Store, iTunes and Amazon’s AppStore, Snailboy caught the attention of gamers worldwide because of its easy playability, catchy storyline and cute lead character. The game has been downloaded in China and the US more than any in other nation, and it has been listed as the best new game in 123 countries.Snailboy is a collector of precious shells, which he keeps in his shell pack. While searching for the perfect shell, he is ambushed and robbed of his pack by the Shadow Gang. The gamer has to help Snailboy retrieve it.According to Thoopid’s managing partner and co-founder, RW Liebenberg, the team wanted to create an unconventional hero. Since snails were not regarded as cute creatures, Thoopid set out to change the way we looked at them. “Snails are the underdogs and we are portraying him as the hero.”The team spent six months designing the game and, Liebenberg said, they pushed the game’s graphics, gameplay and story to the limit. Though keeping mum on the exact figure it cost to make Snailboy, Liebenberg said such a game would set his company back between R1-million and R5-million.When the game was initially released, it was a paid app. But the company recently turned it into a freemium app, meaning it is free to download but certain features of the game must be bought to be used. Liebenberg said there was a rise in the number of freemium games published and purchased towards the end of 2013. This payment method was ideal for Thoopid.Initially, the game was available on all major app stores except for Google Play. South African developers struggle to monetise their games on that particular store because they are unable to register as a Google Wallet merchant. However, Liebenberg said Thoopid overcame that problem and the game became available on Google Play in April. Stupid with a lispBefore starting Thoopid, Liebenberg and his fellow designers had been building games for 10 years, but for various clients. They established the company in 2013 with the intention of creating games specifically for mobile phones. “We always wanted to build games for ourselves and for others like us.”The company name sounded like the word “stupid” when said by someone with a lisp, he explained, adding that the tagline, “A State of Play”, was the mind-set one adopted when holding a gamepad or mobile phone and about to play a game.He said the company decided to focus on mobile gaming as it was the fastest growing gaming platform. “Mobile is taking over from console gaming worldwide. People waiting in queues or in boardrooms will play on their phones. There are more people doing that.”After the success of Snailboy, the company released Tap the Coin, a simple and addictive tapping game in which players must juggle a coin without letting it drop. It was made within an hour as part of a challenge. “It was created in our off time to freshen our minds,” said Liebenberg. “We sat down and wanted to build a game in an hour. One of the girls here said it couldn’t be done.”Snailboy and Tap the Coin were successful because they could be replayed without becoming boring. For Liebenberg, this was the mark of a successful game. “A game has to look fantastic and it has to entice people to return and keep playing.” Gaming potentialSouth African gaming’s roots lie with another anthropomorphic character, a coffee drinking, gun-slinging bunny named Toxic. Designed by computer programmer Travis Bulford, Toxic Bunny was released in 1996 as a platform game. It was well received and led to the formation of development company Celestial. In 2012, Bulford re-released Toxic Bunny in high definition.But his success did not filter through the industry. I-Imagine, a company based in Johannesburg, got a poor reaction for Chase: Hollywood Stunt Driver in 2002 and Final Armada in 2007. As a result, it retrenched its staff and went into hibernation. Even Bulford had to shut down Celestial after his strategy game, ZuluWar, failed to make an impression on gamers.Luma Arcade, the gaming arm of South African animation studio Luma, has been the most successful thus far, with titles such as Harvest, Core and Bladeslinger all coming out on mobile platforms.In a 2009 feature for Animation SA, writer Oliver Snyders said the stuttering performance of the local gaming industry was down to loss of creative and technical talents to companies abroad. In the same article, developer Danny Day said the exodus was tied to poor internet infrastructure, little online payment support and the lack of understanding of the games industry by businesses and other support circles.However, Liebenberg said that today programming and design talent was available in South Africa and was being fed to the gaming industry by tertiary institutions. “We’ve got the tools and the resources. Time and creativity are the only limits,” said Liebenberg.South African video game development might not be as mature as its Japanese and American counterparts, but Liebenberg said it was increasingly becoming a place where games were being built. There were a number of independent development companies in South Africa and a significant number of international developers used South African resources to create games.last_img read more

Minimizing wheat loss to take advantage of price gains

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Very few parts of Ohio have started in on the 2015 wheat harvest due to the wet conditions. Once things dry out and combines roll, it will be important to keep losses to a minimum. Account Manager Kevin Forrest has some tips for preparing for wheat harvest in this week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report.last_img

Archbold Equipment Co. rebrands and is now Redline Equipment

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Archbold Equipment has rebranded and is now Redline Equipment. The company has a new name, new logo and tagline: any season, any reason, any time.“We’re the same people, at the same locations, with the same ownership, but with a new vision,” Zach Hetterick Redline Equipment CEO said. “We have been working since the beginning of the year to define who we are, so we stay relevant to our customer base and to ensure our team is working in the same direction.”For more than 20 years the board of the directors have discussed changing the name, but could not agree upon one. Having the name of the company with several locations being the same as the name of a town created difficulty and confusion.“The rebrand is part of our long term strategic plan,” Hetterick said. “We enlisted the help of a third party who worked to capture the voice of the customer.”The information captured was used to create brand concepts. Each location has a rebranding lead and those staff members provided input into the brand to go with, made the apparel choices, helped shape the new brand, and are involved in implementing it at their location.“The feedback we captured from customers is being utilized in all aspects of our business and will have an impact far beyond our rebranding,” Hetterick said.As part of the new vision for the company, staff are now operating under a new mission and core values. Learn more at www.redlineequipment.com/rebrand.Redline Equipment has seven agricultural store locations in the Tri-State area: Topeka, IN; Adrian, MI; and four Ohio locations in Archbold, Bellevue, Bowling Green, Ottawa, and Sherwood.last_img read more

Feds: Man Claiming 50% Ownership Of Facebook Forged, Hid Documents

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Facebook#fraud#lawsuit#Mark Zuckerberg#Paul Ceglia#social media#StreetFax.com center_img dave copeland The man who claimed he was entitled to a 50% stake in Facebook because founder Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea from him stands accused of forging documents, filing a bogus lawsuit and orchestrating a multi-million dollar scheme.On Friday, Federal investigators arrested Paul Ceglia, 39, of Wellsville, N.Y. on charges that included fabricating and destroying evidence. The charges were included in a 13-page complaint filed in federal district court in Manhattan.The arrest appears to signal that federal investigators support Zuckerberg’s account of his work-for-hire agreement with Ceglia and seemingly ends the bizarre legal sideshow that has dogged Facebook during its meteoric rise.Facebook Seems Pleased“We commend the United States Attorney for charging Ceglia with federal crimes in connection with his fraudulent lawsuit against Facebook,” said Orin Snyder a partner Gibson Dunn and the attorney representing Facebook and Zuckerberg in the lawsuit. “Ceglia used the federal court system to perpetuate his fraud and will now be held accountable for his criminal scheme.”If convicted, Ceglia could face up to 40 years in prison. Doctored DocumentsCeglia “doctored, fabricated, and destroyed evidence to support his false claim,” according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in New York City. Investigators also found a copy of the original contract between Zuckerberg and Ceglia which makes no reference to Facebook, according to the complaint.Ceglia did contract Zuckerberg to programming work for the website StreetFax.com in 2003. In an April 2011 lawsuit Ceglia claimed Zuckerberg promised him a 50% stake in what would eventually become Facebook. Now, however, Ceglia’s claims are unraveling: federal investigators said Zuckerberg did not come up with the idea for Facebook until months after he worked for Ceglia and that he never received the bogus emails Ceglia cited in his lawsuit as proof of Zuckerberg’s promise.U.S. Postal Inspectors verified Zuckerberg’s account that he had not received the emails by checking email servers at Harvard University, where Zuckerberg was a student and would take on work-for-hire programming jobs like the one he did for Ceglia.An attorney for Ceglia could not be reached for comment Friday evening.We’ll update this post when we hear back from Ceglia or his lawyer. Related Posts last_img read more