A report from Sky News sheds light on the rising trend of ‘corrective rape’ in South Africa, in which openly gay women are being raped ‘in order to teach them a lesson’.

With this week’s release of Clint Eastwood’s film Invictus, many are wondering if football really does have the impact to be a ‘force for good in Africa’ as it seems to have had in 1995 apartheid South Africa.   The BBC conducted a survey in which they included two historical examples in which football has had an impact on the political, military, and government agencies in Africa and then asked for readers opinions on the importance of the sport.

Ethopian Football Fans

Here are four responses from individuals in various African nations.

“Football, like anything else, can be a focre for good or ill.Off the pitch, its influence to a large exent is positive.In Liberia for instance ,during the civil war when the nation had nothing to look up to,people like George Weah and his team mates through football gave his compatriots the invaluable gift of HOPE for the future.Something to cheer and live for.In Ghana a good performance of the national teams as happened in Egypt 2009, and Germany 2006 helps in calming the political space,

Kojo, Accra , Ghana”

Yes I believe in Africa Football can change Africa. The most important feature with football is its ability to bring people together because of one cause. Africa has many tribes and ethnicities but with football all this is put aside and people celebrate as one. This has been witnessed in Uganda. Its also through football that resources in the dark continent can be discovered and utilized.

kagga Louis, Kampala Uganda”

“Football is the only language that Cameroonians speak in unison. This is a complex country of about 245 ethnic groups, each with its own language and culture. Plus, politics has polarised Cameroonians to the extent that some citizens canot bear to see their fellow country men eye ball to eye ball. But when it comes to football, we are one: enemies become friends. The government is so much aware of this that it can seize advantage of a football mach and raise fuel prices without any qualms.

Austin achunkwe, Buea, Cameroon”

Football can’t change africa for better neither can 8s improve any segment on the continent.since 1930 we heard of football history we having seen d impact football had made cuz we only know of millionaries footballers n having seen any estates of these highly paid soccer legeed.we cheer them everyday but they r not willing 2 give 2 their respective country.footbal had only change our mind from stress and an unhappy spirit.we don’t ve an academy of sport in africa.football made us 2 b happy

Jefferson G Togba, Monrovia, Liberia”

Posted in The Huffington Post, this video taken from CCTV footage, shows a meteor lighting up the sky over South Africa almost two weeks ago .

“There was sudden flash. Like an orange stripe in the sky, followed by a very bright explosion where the sky lit up as if it was daytime,” one resident described to Eyewitness News.

Zulu Ritual Remains Intact

December 4, 2009

Every year during a thanksgiving ritual known as Ukushwama, young members of the Zulu tribe kill a bull using their hands.  Animal Rights Africa, however, has been trying to ban the bull-killing ritual in South Africa. But Judge Nic van der Reyden of the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) province disagrees and ruled this week against the animal rights group.

Digital Journal reported  van der Reyden stating, “the bull was killed to transfer powers to the king, if this is stopped, the symbolic powers would be stopped. In effect, you are killing the king.” Also likening the prevention of the event as “ tantamount to telling Catholics not to take communion”.

ARA claims the ritual takes upwards of 40 minutes and involves dozens of men forcefully trying to break the bull’s neck with their hands and feet.

Meanwhile, Inkatha Freedom Party Member of Parliament, Albert Mncwango told the BBC that the killing “doesn’t even take a minute”.

New sagency Xinhua reported Zwelithini’s spokesman, Nhlanhla Mtaka, comments on the court proceedings, in which he stated, “We view this as nothing but a publicity stunt aimed at seeking donations.  It will be interesting to see how many donations they (ARA) have received after taking this matter to the media.”


South Africa has promised to overhaul the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients within the African nation.  In a speech marking World AIDS Day, December 1, President Jacob Zuma outlined a number of policy changes, which he hopes will be put in place before April 2010.

The BBC reported that UK’s Department for International Development welcomed the changes, saying, “South Africa has turned a corner and is embarking on a new and bold drive to take responsibility for tackling HIV and Aids.  The UK will continue to support South Africa to realize its ambition of reducing new HIV infections and increasing access to effective treatments.”

Zuma announced all South African babies under the age of one will be treated if they test HIV-positive and promised more anti-retrovirals – ‘drugs which the previous government said were too costly’, according to the BBC.

In his speech, President Zuma said, “Let there be no more shame, no more blame, no more discrimination and no more stigma. Let the politicization and endless debates about HIV and Aids stop.”

The speech conveyed a completely different message than the previous president who outright denied any correlation between the HIV virus and AIDS.

However, not every is so confident in the leaders abilities to raise awareness. Al-Jazeera English reports, “In some ways, Zuma is an unlikely champion for Aids activists.  In 2006, while being tried on charges of raping an HIV-positive woman, he was ridiculed for testifying that he took a shower after sex to lower the risk of Aids.

An estimated 59,000 babies are born with HIV every year in South Africa, adding to a country with highest number of people living with the virus- over 5 million.

AIDS IN SOUTH AFRICA

5.2m people with HIV

17% of people aged 15-49 HIV-positive

1.5m adults need Aids drugs in 2009

106,000 children under 15 need ARVs

413,000 new infections in 2009

59,000 of these are children

Source: Statistics South Africa

With less than seven months until the World Cup is set to take place in South Africa, organizers are starting to feel the pressure of hosting a major sporting event.

Sports Illustrated reports that all10 World Cup stadiums are expected to be completed in time for June, ‘but there remain transportation problems and accommodation shortfalls, with 2010 World Cup organizing boss Danny Jordaan admitting those issues won’t be settled until after the draw is made and teams and fans know where they will be going.’

Still, South Africa will be largely benefiting from the soccer tournament.  Sindh Today writes that according to the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi,  the World Cup is expected to inject $7.46 billion into the South African economy and an estimated 415,000 new jobs.

Meanwhile, Financial Times columnist Simon Kuper disagrees, stating, “Unfortunately, the economic story is wrong. Barely any academic economist believes that countries get richer from hosting sports tournaments. South Africa has been told this: when its finance ministry flew in three eminent foreign sports economists for a workshop, they argued that, at best, the World Cup would not reduce South Africa’s economic growth. The country expects 500,000 foreign visitors for the tournament, or fewer than it receives in an average month. Much of the money to be made from them will not be made by South Africans.”

But, Gillian Saunders, head of specialist advisory services at Grant Thornton has a different take on the games. In IOL he said, “We will be on TV screens for weeks, and this is incomparable free media exposure – it would cost billions if we had to do it as advertising.”

Jordaan said he is working to improve South Africa’s global image and “convince skeptical fans from around the world that his crime-ridden country is safe.”

Official government statistics of 50 murders a day don’t help his case. Nonetheless, the government has poured more than $93 million into the South African police department and equipment according to SI.com