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Percy Tau: the new Brighton & Hove Albion attacker

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Percy Tau

Percy Tau became one of South Africa’s most expensive exports when he penned a four-year deal with Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion after leaving Mamelodi Sundowns on Friday.

While he is popular among football fans in South Africa, very few people beyond the Rainbow Nation know who the 24-year-old really is.

Percy Tau was born on May 13, 1994, in a family of eight children in Witbank, Mpumalanga. His older brother, Dumisani, is also a footballer for National First Division (NFD) side Royal Eagles.

Percy lost his brother Mogau Tshehla, who was also a professional footballer for Polokwane City, in a tragic car accident in February 2018, but to his credit, the attacker continued to give his all for the Brazilians.

That’s a sign of a young player, who may be small in stature, but who has the heart of a lion.

His mother, Elizabeth, had to raise all his eight children, including Percy, all by herself 1998, and while she was initially against the idea of him playing football, a young Tau wouldn’t hear anything of it.

He would literally cry whenever his mom didn’t want him to go play football with his peers!

Tau made his professional debut for Sundowns four years ago under the tutelage of Pitso Mosimane after being promoted from the club’s youth structures.

The first two seasons in the PSL were very difficult for him, as he could only manage six league appearances for Sundowns.

This led to Mosimane loaning him out to NFD side Witbank Spurs for the second half of the 2015/16 season. The coach wanted Tau to grow and find himself in an environment he was familiar with – the Mpumalanga province.

The move did wonders for Tau’s confidence, and he was back with a bang six months later to claim his rightful place in Mosimane’s starting line-up at Downs.

Percy Tau made his international debut for Bafana Bafana against Angola in the African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifiers in 2015. He scored his first international goal in an international friendly against Guinea-Bissau in March 2017.

Initially, he was often overshadowed by the much-talked-about CBD of Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly, but steadily his quality began to come to the fore within Mosimane’s selection.

The coach vowed to make Tau the best player in Africa soon after both Billiat and goalkeeper Denis Onyango scooped top awards at the 2017 Caf player awards ceremony, although even before that, he’d delivered glimpses of his class during Downs’ run to the 2016 Caf Champions League title.

Percy Tau went into the Fifa Club World Cup as one of Sundowns’ dangermen, and it was during that tournament the many people around the world began to recognise his talent and ability.

He’s got speed, skill and an eye for goal, and while he is naturally left-footed, he can also use his right without a problem.

Percy Tau is not the tallest of players (he stands at 1.75m), but he is strong aerially and often out-jumps his markers to score crucial goals.

He is a great asset to Brighton long term, and will be for whichever team he joins on loan during the 2018-19 season.
Goal.com

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BUSINESS

Zimbabwe agrees to pay $3.5 billion compensation to white farmers

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Zimbabwe White Farmers

Zimbabwe agreed on Wednesday to pay $3.5 billion in compensation to Zimbabwe white farmers whose land was expropriated by the government to resettle black families, moving a step closer to resolving one the most divisive policies of the Robert Mugabe era.

But the southern African nation does not have the money and will issue long term bonds and jointly approach international donors with the farmers to raise funding, according to the compensation agreement.

Two decades ago Mugabe’s government carried out at times violent evictions of 4,500 Zimbabwe white farmers and redistributed the land to around 300,000 Black families, arguing it was redressing colonial land imbalances.

The agreement signed at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State House offices in Harare showed white farmers would be compensated for infrastructure on the farms and not the land itself, as per the national constitution.

Details of how much money each farmer, or their descendants, given the time elapsed since the farms were seized, was likely to get were not yet clear, but the government has said it would prioritise the elderly when making the settlements.

Farmers would receive 50% of the compensation after a year and the balance within five years. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and acting Agriculture Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri signed on behalf of the government, while farmers unions and a foreign consortium that undertook valuations also penned the agreement.

“As Zimbabweans, we have chosen to resolve this long-outstanding issue,” said Andrew Pascoe, head of the Commercial Farmers Union representing  Zimbabwe white farmers.

The land seizures were one of Mugabe’s signature policies that soured ties with the West. Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup in 2017 and died last year, accused the West of imposing sanctions on his government as punishment.

The programme still divides public opinion in Zimbabwe as opponents see it as a partisan process that left the country struggling to feed itself. But its supporters say it has empowered landless Black people. Mnangagwa said the land reform could not be reversed but paying of compensation was key to mending ties with the West. Reuters

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NEWS

Chinamasa calls U.S. ambassador ‘thug’ as anti-government protests loom

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Chinamasa

Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party on Monday called the United States ambassador a “thug” and accused him of funding the opposition ahead of this week’s planned anti-government protests that authorities say are meant to overthrow the government.

Without providing evidence, ZANU-PF spokesman Patrick Chinamasa told reporters that U.S. ambassador to Harare, Brian Nichols, was involved in subversive activities to topple President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

Chinamasa’s comments echo the Robert Mugabe era, where the ZANU-PF government regularly accused the United States and Britain of seeking to dislodge it from power.

“He (Nichols) continues to engage in acts of undermining this republic and if he does so, if he continues engaging in acts of mobilising and funding disturbances, coordinating violence and training insurgents, our leadership will not hesitate to give him marching orders,” Chinamasa said.
“Diplomats should not behave like thugs, and Brian Nichols is a thug.”

The U.S. embassy in Harare did not immediately respond to Chinamasa’s comments. Political tensions are rising fast in the southern African nation after activists called for demonstrations on July 31 against government corruption, which they blame for deepening the worst economic crisis in more than a decade.

Last month, the government summoned Nichols after a senior White House official said Zimbabwe was among “foreign adversaries” using the civil unrest in the United States following the death of George Floyd to interfere in U.S. affairs.

The U.S., Britain, E.U. embassies and the United Nations have all criticised Zimbabwe for the arrest of journalists and political challengers.
Relations between Zimbabwe and the West were promising when Mnangagwa replaced Mugabe after a coup in 2017, but have soured over the government’s human rights record.

Patrick Chinamasa urged party supporters to defend themselves from protesters and avoid a repeat of the deadly violence that followed post-election demonstrations in August 2018 and the January 2019 protests over a steep fuel price hike.“No, this time no. Use any means at your disposal to defend yourselves,” Chinamasa said. Organisers say this week’s protests will be peaceful. Reuters

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HEALTH

Perence Shiri, Zimbabwe Agriculture Minister Dies

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Perrence-Shiri-Dead

Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister Perence Shiri, a retired general who helped plot the ouster of Robert Mugabe in a 2017 coup, has died, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Wednesday.

Perence Shiri, who commanded the air force for 25 years until he joined the government in 2017, was admitted to hospital on Tuesday, two government sources said. He died in the early hours of Wednesday.

“Shiri was a true patriot, who devoted his life to the liberation, independence and service of his country,” Mnangagwa said in a statement. He did not say how Shiri died.

But domestic media said Shiri, 65, succumbed to complications from the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, which has infected 2,817 and killed 40 in Zimbabwe.

A liberation war veteran,Perrence Shiri had a chequered past. He commanded the army’s Fifth Brigade unit that carried out the 1980s massacres of thousands of civilians in western Zimbabwe as the government sought to quell an insurgency.

The army massacres, known as ‘Gukurahundi’, a Shona term meaning the ‘early rain that washes away the chaff’, remain a sore point for the people of the Matabeleland region, many of whom demand justice and reparations.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change accused Perence Shiri of being among the security chiefs who organised violence against its members after Mugabe lost the first round of the presidential vote in 2008.Reuters

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