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Wife of Venezuelan opposition leader to Maduro: ‘Enough already!’

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LIMA (Reuters) – The wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido had a brief message for President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday, following the arrest of her husband’s chief of staff this week: “Enough already.”

Fabiana Rosales, wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognized as the country’s rightful interim ruler, speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Colombian embassy in Lima, Peru, March 23, 2019. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

In an interview with Reuters in Peru, where she met with Venezuelan immigrants before a trip to the United States, Fabiana Rosales said the arrest of Roberto Marrero on terrorism accusations on Thursday was a “farcical” attempt by Maduro to break the opposition’s morale.

“We know what we’re up against. We know what kind of monster this dictatorship is,” said Rosales, a 26-year-old journalist and opposition activist who is considered Venezuela’s first lady by supporters.

Venezuela plunged into a deep political crisis in January, when Guaido invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate. He has been recognized by most Latin American and Western countries as Venezuela’s rightful leader.

But Maduro retains control of state functions and the loyalty of the military top brass. A socialist, Maduro says Guaido is a puppet of the United States and is attempting to lead a coup against him to wrest control of the OPEC nation’s oil reserves, the largest in the world.

Asked if she had a message for Maduro, Rosales said “enough already.”

Rosales said spies and pro-government armed groups known as “collectives” have long followed her and her husband, monitoring their movements and stalking their family members and friends. “I and my family members have received threats of being thrown in jail or killed.”

“But there’s something they’ve underestimated, and that’s that our ideals in this struggle won’t be broken,” she said. “If they thought they can break our morale by arresting Roberto Marrero, or that they could break him, they’re very mistaken.”

Venezuela’s foreign ministry did not answer phone calls seeking comment outside regular working hours on Saturday. Venezuelan authorities have accused Marrero of planning attacks against political figures, and said an arms cache had been seized from his house.

Guaido, 35, told Reuters in an interview on Friday that he was prepared for more people in his team to be arrested, but thought Maduro’s government had reached its final stage.

Rosales said she thought Maduro was too fearful to have Guaido himself arrested.

“I think the regime is thinking about it very carefully. I don’t think they would dare,” she said. “They’ve always been afraid of people who believe in freedom.”

Rosales declined to comment on whom she plans to meet in the United States, but said she has confirmed visits to New York City and Miami.

“We’ll see what happens in coming days. But I’m certain the freedom for Venezuela is getting closer and closer.”

Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Sandra Maler

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Prices on the rise at Pick n Pay after year of deflation

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Pick n Pay [JSE: PIK] posted a 9.5% increase in headline profit (excluding hyperinflation gains in Zimbabwe) on Tuesday morning.

Its comparable turnover was up 6% to R43.1 billion. In South Africa, prices at its stores rose by 2.2% compared to the same period last year. This is a reversal from the year to March, when Pick n Pay’s prices fell by 0.3%.  

Under new CEO Richard Brasher, a former Tesco exec, Pick n Pay has competed aggressively on price. This has helped the chain gain market share after it lost customers in recent years. It also reduced its labour force by a tenth and streamlined operations, investing in logistics and new stores.

Tighter margin management and improved efficiency helped to deliver a 16.4% increase in underlying trading profit in South Africa, the group said.

It launched more than 320 new own brand products this year, which now represent more than a fifth of sales in specific categories. Two million customers visited Pick n Pay’s online shop, with sales growth of 17%. Some 850,000 of its customers have joined its partner bank TymeBank.

The group (which includes Boxer) opened 63 net new stores, and now has more than 1,800 stores, including 744 franchise stores. “As customers increasingly value greater convenience and more tailored ranges, our Pick n Pay and Boxer supermarkets are on average smaller in size than in the past.”

“Our Pick n Pay and Boxer stores now appeal across a very broad range of incomes, preferences and communities. This has positioned the Group well to identify and pursue opportunities for growth in a dynamic and sustainable way within a persistently low-growth economy.”

But Pick n Pay saw an 80% slump in its profit from stores in the rest of Africa, with hyperinflation in Zimbabwe hitting it particularly hard.

An interim dividend of 42.80c per share has been declared, up 9.5% on last year.


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Awesome 2019 year-end conference specials from Gallagher

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As the year speeds towards December, businesses big and small are looking to host their year-end conferences.

And who better to choose than South Africa’s premier multi-purpose conference venue – Gallagher Convention Centre.

To make the choice even easier, Gallagher has amazing year-end conference specials on offer for events of any size.

These year-end conference packages can be booked for a half- or full-day, starting at R415pp (excl. Vat).

Year-end specials are only valid for bookings made before 31 March 2020.

Gallagher’s discounted year-end conference packages are outlined below.

Half-day conference special

Gallagher’s half-day conference special includes the following:

  • Venue hire for a conference venue and a breakfast/lunch venue.
  • Secure parking.
  • Refreshments on arrival.
  • Mid-morning refreshments.
  • Chef’s choice lunch selection with 5 three-course menus to choose from.
  • Notepads and pens.
  • Mints and water.

For each of the refreshment breaks, conference organisers have the choice of selecting one sweet or one savoury option. Two refreshment options can also be selected, where 50% of each item will be catered to guests. All the refreshment options are Halaal.

The half-day conference package costs R415pp (excl. Vat).

Full-day conference special

Gallagher’s full-day conference special includes the following:

  • Venue hire for a conference and lunch venue.
  • Secure parking.
  • Refreshments on arrival.
  • Mid-morning refreshments.
  • Chef’s choice lunch selection with 5 three-course menus to choose from.
  • Mid-afternoon refreshments.
  • Notepads and pens.
  • Mints and water.

For each of the refreshment breaks, Gallagher offers conference organisers the choice of selecting one sweet or one savoury option. Two refreshment options can also be selected, where 50% of each item will be catered to guests. All the refreshment options are Halaal.

The full-day conference package costs R440pp (excl. Vat).

Gallagher Convention Centre boasts a team of experts within their respective fields, which are on-hand to see to your every need.

Their management team has over 380 years of collective industry experience, and their secure parking can accommodate over 5,000 vehicles – making it a no brainer to host your event with them.

What’s more, is that Gallagher also offers a single-call solution where organisers can secure pre-qualified suppliers without having to look any further.

To book your function today call +2711 266 3000 or email them via [email protected].

This article was published in partnership with Gallagher Convention Centre.

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India thump Proteas, sweep Test series 3-0

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Ranchi – India beat South Africa by an innings and 202 runs in the third Test to sweep the series 3-0 in Ranchi on Tuesday.

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Debutant spinner Shahbaz Nadeem claimed the final two wickets on successive balls to dismiss the Proteas for 133 while following on in just the second over on day four. The Proteas started the day on 132-8.

Theunis de Bruyn was out on his overnight score of 30 after coming in to the XI for concussed Dean Elgar, who got a nasty hit on the helmet off paceman Umesh Yadav on Monday.



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