Geoff Hill

Geoff Hill is a Zimbabwean journalist and author of The Battle for Zimbabwe. His book of short stories, Pharaoh’s Bath, will be published later this year.

Will South Africa’s unemployed rise up?

Beginning in the year 2000, Robert Mugabe began snatching white-owned farms for ‘redistribution’ and giving them to the black majority in Zimbabwe. The best properties were given to ministers, generals and retired ambassadors. Many used them as weekend retreats from the city. Mugabe’s wife, Grace, took a vast citrus estate east of the capital, Harare.

Jacob Zuma remains a problem for South Africa

More than 30 years after the Berlin Wall came down, leaders of the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s long-time ruling party, still refer to each other as ‘comrade’. Unless, that is, you’re seen as a problem. ‘Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa will be here,’ ANC secretary general Fikile Mbabula told journalists on Sunday morning as he

Who will win South Africa’s election?

From the start, it didn’t look good this time round for the African National Congress (ANC), which has ruled South Africa since Nelson Mandela came to power in the first democratic elections 30 years ago. Since mid-2023, polls for the ANC have ranged from 38 per cent to the high-40s, a long way down from the 57

South Africa’s migrant crisis

Johannesburg It’s called the ‘Reverse Jive’, retracing your steps to where your journey began, and you’ll hear it talked about all over Johannesburg, especially now, with an election next Wednesday and immigration such a hot-button issue. South Africa has a huge informal sector where the poor can at least scratch a living In Pretoria, the

The disruptive comeback of Jacob Zuma

Johannesburg For a decade to 1973, Jacob Zuma – or JZ as he is known – was an inmate of Robben Island, the infamous prison built on a 1,300-acre slab of rock four miles off the South African coast. A fellow inmate was Nelson Mandela, also inside for treason. Both went on to become presidents

Why Rwanda isn’t safe for migrants

Kigali is, for now, one of Africa’s safest cities. Walk down a street in the Rwandan capital after dark and there are lights everywhere, police are on the beat and tourists and locals are strolling back to their lodgings or dining al-fresco. There are no potholes where you might twist your ankle and the city

The joy of rescuing snakes

Snake rescuers like me always get asked the same question: have you ever been bitten? I’ve dealt with mambas, giant pythons, cobras – some of the world’s deadliest snakes – and, thankfully, the answer is no. But why do people always assume the worst about these wonderful creatures? People love to hate snakes. They are

Putin has escaped his South African dilemma

As a founding member of the International Criminal Court, South Africa has an obligation to arrest Vladimir Putin should he ever step foot in the country. This posed a problem for Pretoria, given the Russian leader was due to attend a meeting of the Brics trading group in Johannesburg next month. No longer. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday

A trophy hunting ban won’t save Africa’s wildlife

British rule over South Africa ended in 1910, but now parliament is busy with legislation that could have a devastating effect on its old colony. A landmark law to ban trophy hunting imports is making its way through the Lords. The Hunting Trophies Bill would prevent tourists importing animal skins, severed heads and carcasses of certain animals

The Zulu’s new king brings peace, for a moment

A new king of the Zulu was crowned at the weekend. Thousands in South Africa went to Durban to watch the coronation of Misuzulu kaZwelithini. The city was sunny, which meant the Zulu ancestors were happy. The coronation, held at the Moses Mabhida stadium, was a celebration of Zulu tribal dominance. While South Africa’s president,

Back door to Britain

I was working in Johannesburg when I first got wind of the fact that Ireland has become an illegal back door to the UK. If you’re from a country such as South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Fiji or Guyana, you need, not just a passport, but a prearranged visa, obtained from the local embassy for a