South Africa’s Jacob Zuma faces ANC vote of no confidence

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa is facing a vote of no confidence from the leaders of his own party, the ANC.

 

He has survived several parliamentary votes but this is the first time the ANC will formally discuss his position.

 

The top ANC body has extended its meeting to debate the motion, tabled by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom.

 

Mr Zuma has increasingly come under criticism over corruption allegations, with a recent report highlighting his links with the wealthy Gupta family.

Buhari, Zuma, Putin, other world leaders react to Donald Trump’s victory

President Muhammadu Buhari and other world leaders have reacted to the surprise election of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. president.

President Buhari in a statement by a media aide, Femi Adesina, congratulated Mr. Trump, saying he “looks forward to working together with President-elect Trump to strengthen the already established friendly relations between both countries, including cooperation on many shared foreign policy priorities, such as the fight against terrorism, peace and security, economic growth, democracy and good governance.”

Mr. Trump had, in his victory speech, sent conciliatory signals, pledging to seek common ground with America’s partners.

In his congratulatory message, Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, talked about his country’s sour relations with the U.S.

“It is not an easy path but we are ready to ready to do our part and do everything to return Russian and American relations to a stable path of development,” Mr. Putin, for whom Trump expressed admiration during the election campaign, said.

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, congratulated Mr. Trump and said Britain and the U.S. would remain “strong and close partners on trade, security and defence.”

During the election campaign, Ms. May had criticized Mr. Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims from entering the United States, saying it was divisive, unhelpful and wrong.

Egypt’s president congratulated Donald Trump, saying Cairo wants to see more “cooperation and coordination” between the two nations to bolster stability and peace in the Middle East.

According to a statement by his office on Wednesday, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi telephoned Mr. Trump to offer his congratulations and invited him to visit Egypt.

Also, Chinese state media said President Xi Jinping had called Mr. Trump to congratulate him on his victory.

“I place great importance on the China-US relationship, and look forward to working with you to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,” Mr. Xi was reported to have told Trump.

In his statement, President Jacob Zuma conveyed his best wishes on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa.

Mr. Zuma said he “looked forward to working with President-elect Trump to build on the strong relations that exists between the two countries”.

The Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, also congratulated Mr. Trump and said he was looking forward to continued support in his country’s fight against Islamic State.

In a statement on his website, Mr. al-Abadi said he hopes the “world and the United States will continue to support Iraq in fighting terrorism.”

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu said he hoped to reach “new heights” in bilateral ties under Mr. Trump.

Also, the Philippine government said it was looking forward to working with Mr. Trump to enhance bilateral ties.

President Rodrigo Duterte congratulated Mr. Trump and hailed the U.S. two-party system that gave the country’s voters freedom of choice based on party platform, not just personalities.

“I wish Trump success in the next four years as Chief Executive and commander-in chief of the U.S. military.

Mr. Duterte said he was looking forward to working with the incoming administration for enhanced Philippines-US relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law.

Mr. Duterte, who has been compared to Mr. Trump, has criticised the U.S. in recent statements and vowed to “separate” the Philippines from the U.S., vowing to chart a foreign policy that does not mimic that of Washington’s.

Some world leaders have, however, expressed worry with Mr. Trump’s election.

“Trump is the pioneer of a new authoritarian and chauvinist international movement. He is also a warning for us,” German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said in an interview with the Funke newspaper group.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the result was “different from what most people in Germany desired. But of course, we have to accept it”.

Though French President Francois Hollande congratulated Mr. Trump on his victory, he warned that the election result opened a period of uncertainty.

Mr. Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama have also congratulated him via telephone conversations.

Mr. Obama also phoned Mrs. Clinton, “and expressed admiration for the strong campaign she waged throughout the country,” the White House said.

Mr. Trump’s victory represents a huge shift in American politics because of his stand on immigration, foreign policy and minority rights.

Zuma faces no-confidence vote in corruption crisis.

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma faces a no-confidence vote in parliament next week with his presidency mired in crisis, after investigators documented allegations of government corruption.

Thousands of people took to the streets to demand that he should resign from office.

The vote was called by the main opposition, following a report by the country’s anti-corruption watchdog calling for a judicial inquiry into allegations of influence-peddling in the ANC Government.

The report was finally released after the president withdrew a court bid to delay its publication in the face of mass public protests.

Police used stun grenades and water cannon to disperse protesters in Pretoria carrying “Zuma must go’’ placards.

Mmusi Maimane, leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), told a news briefing in Cape Town that the no-confidence debate and vote was scheduled for Nov. 10.

“This motion should not be viewed as a partisan motion – we do not see it as a DA motion.

“I know there are ANC MPs and cabinet ministers who have had enough.

They have an opportunity to actually do something about their anger by Nov. 10,’’ he said.

Zuma has survived his two previous no-confidence votes this year, largely backed by the support of his ANC (African National Congress) which controls about two-thirds of the Assembly.

A senior party official told Reuters that ANC lawmakers were unlikely to break ranks and support the motion this time round.

However, there have been widening fissures in the ruling party this year.

There is growing discontent with the scandals that have plagued Zuma’s presidency and played a role in the ANC suffering its worst electoral losses since the end of apartheid in municipal polls in August.

We are happy you are still in one piece – Mugabe tells Zuma.

A clearly-shaky President Robert Mugabe has told President Jacob Zuma: “We are happy you are still in one piece in spite of what the papers are writing every day.”

Speaking at the opening of a Bi-National Commission in Harare on Thursday, the 92-year old leader told his South African counterpart: “Comrade president, we need each other even more now than before.”

Both leaders are facing growing calls for them to step down, Mugabe from #ThisFlag protesters and Zuma in the wake of the #StateCaptureReport.

Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, said Zimbabwe and South Africa “face renewed assaults on our independence and sovereignty”.

The Zimbabwe president spoke in a much weaker voice than normal and hesitated at times during his speech. There have been concerns over his health for a long time.

Following a couple of embarrassing stumbles in public in recent months, cameras from the state broadcaster resolutely refuse to focus on the nonagenarian as he walks to a podium to give a speech. Thursday was no different, with the cameras fixed on the seated audience.

South African Bank Closes Accounts Held By Zuma Friends

A South African company owned by friends of Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday First National Bank has closed its accounts due to a scandal over its relationship with the president.

“Oakbay has received no reason whatsoever justifying FNB’s actions.

“We are already in the process of moving our accounts to a more enlightened institution,” Oakbay Investments said in a statement.
FNB is a unit of FirstRand

Three other South African companies, including KPMG and Barclays Africa, have severed ties with a firm owned by the Guptas, a family of Indian-born businessmen close to Zuma.

Credit: NAN

Court Slams Zuma For Use Of Public Funds To Renovate House

South Africa’s top court on Thursday delivered a damning verdict against President Jacob Zuma, saying he flouted the constitution over public funds used to upgrade his private residence, sparking immediate calls for him to be impeached.

Zuma “failed to uphold, defend and respect the constitution as the supreme law of the land,” Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said in a strongly-worded ruling from the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg.

The court judgment came as Zuma fights back against separate allegations that a wealthy Indian family influenced ministerial appointments in a scandal that has rocked his government.

Zuma has also been battered by the country’s sharply declining economy. But he retains a strong grip on parliament through his dominant leadership of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, and any impeachment bid looked unlikely to succeed. The so-called “security” upgrades at Zuma’s rural homestead, which were valued in 2014 at 216 million rand (then $24 million), included a swimming pool, a chicken run, a cattle enclosure and an amphitheatre.

“The president must personally pay the amount determined by the national treasury,” Mogoeng said on Thursday.

Read more:

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/03/court-slams-president-zuma-for-use-of-public-fund-to-renovate-house/

Zuma Promises To Return Confiscated Funds To Nigeria

South African President, Jacob Zuma, says his government will do everything possible to ensure that the monies confiscated by South Africa during Goodluck Jonathan’s regime are returned to Nigeria.

Mr Zuma made the promise while addressing reporters after bilateral talks with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the Nigerian and South African governments were working on the matter and that the relevant structures were already recovering some of the loots.

Th South African leader also told reporters that investigations were ongoing to ensure that anything that was illegally taken to South Africa would be returned.

On the issue of xenophobia, the South African President described it as unfortunate, promising to address it ones and for all.

“Africans should realise that they are the same and should avoid conflicts and attacks on each other,” he stressed.

The Nigerian leader also addressed reporters, touching different issues.

Credit: ChannelsTv

South African Women Protest Against Sexualized Painting Of Zuma, See Painting 18+

Female supporters of South African President Jacob Zuma on Friday marched through the capital Pretoria to defend him against attacks including a satirical painting depicting him engaged in a sex act.

Several hundred members of African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) rallied outside the Union Buildings, the official seat of the government, where huge student protests were held last week.

The emergence of a nationwide student protest movement has shaken Zuma’s government amid dire economic data, high unemployment and growing mistrust of the ANC two decades after the end of apartheid.

The ANC Women’s League held its march to demonstrate its loyalty to Zuma, 73, who was recently depicted in the graphic painting by a local artist Ayanda Mabulu.

“The painting denigrates the president, not just him, but women as well, given how a woman is portrayed,” Toko Xasa, ANCWL spokeswoman, told AFP.

“We can’t allow that to happen.”

An ANCWL statement before the march attacked “the portrayal of the President’s genitals in the mouth of a woman,” and said the event would celebrate Zuma’s role in transforming the country since apartheid.

“We, therefore, stand firm in saying ‘hands off President Zuma’ as the leader of the (ANC) organisation and father of the nation,” it said.

Entitled “The Pornography of Power”, the brightly coloured painting depicts Zuma in a sex act surrounded by symbols and characters that the artist said represent rape, colonialism, slavery and exploitation.

Mabulu, the artist, defended his work and said that the protest was misguided. See painting below:

Credit: Vanguard

Zuma Blames Apartheid For Weak Economic Growth

South African President Jacob Zuma blamed the country’s tepid economic growth on apartheid Tuesday, describing it as “colonialism of a special type”.

Addressing reporters in Pretoria, Zuma said South Africa suffers from “complex historic problems” that are unique on the continent.

“Other countries in Africa never had a racially based economy,” said Zuma at a briefing where he took stock of reforms implemented by the government since the beginning of the year.

“We are trying to address the legacy of apartheid, and it’s going to be with us a long time,” said Zuma.

“At the same time it (South Africa) must be competing with countries that never had such a challenge.”

Read More: yahoo

South African First Lady Involved In A Plot To Poison Husband, President Jacob Zuma

South African First lady Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma has reportedly admitted to knowing about a plot to poison the president.

The City Press reports it has well-placed sources indicating she will soon be charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Ntuli-Zuma was apparently banned from the Nkandla homestead earlier this year following claims of a plot to poison Zuma.

It’s understood a docket has been opened with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) with sources saying Ntuli-Zuma has made a statement to investigators.

The City Press is reporting that while sources in the NPA say top bosses are aware of the matter, spokesperson Vuyo Mfaku has denied this.

An investigation is now underway to find out whether NPA staff leaked information about the probe.

Ntuli-Zuma was first suspected when the president became ill in June 2014.

Zuma was told that he had been poisoned by more than one doctor during his trip to the US in August last year.

Xenophobia in South Africa: Nigerians Report New Cases

The President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Ikechukwu Anyene has raised alarm over fresh cases of xenophobic attacks launched by South Africans against Nigerians and other foreign nationals residing in Sternkopf, Namakwa Municipality, Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

Anyene said two cars belonging to Nigerians were burnt while their homes looted in renewed attacks.

 “The National Secretariat of Nigeria Union has received report of xenophobic attacks from Mr Kennedy Osagie, the Northern Cape Province chapter chairman of the union. The report indicated that South Africans attacked Nigerians. Two cars belonging to Nigerians have been reportedly burnt and they have been going from house to house looting and destroying their property. Six Nigerians have taken refuge with their families in nearby SpringBok community and they do not know the whereabouts of the other Nigerians” he said.

The Nigerian Consul General to South Africa, Uche Ajulu-Okeke, confirmed the incident, said investigations into the renewed attacks is ongoing

“The Nigerian Consulate in South Africa has received report of new xenophobic attacks in Northern Cape Province of South Africa. The mission has commenced investigation into the incident and will ensure that Nigerians are safe in South Africa,” she said.

Zuma Leaves SA For Buhari’s Inauguration

South African President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to leave the country on Thursday to attend the inauguration of Nigerian President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari. The inauguration of the former military leader, who won elections held two months ago, is scheduled to take place in Abuja on Friday.

Following Buhari’s win over incumbent Goodluck Jonathan at the end of March, Zuma was among the first Heads of State to confirm attendance of the swearing-in ceremony.

In his congratulatory message, Zuma expressed his commitment to working closely with President-Elect Buhari to enhance the good bilateral relations which exist between South Africa and Nigeria, paying particular focus on the strengthening of economic cooperation.

He also congratulated the people of Nigeria for conducting a “peaceful, transparent, credible, free and fair election” as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria.

A statement from Zuma’s office stated South Africa and Nigeria enjoyed “warm and cordial” relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1994, which culminated in the creation of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) in 1999.

The two countries have already signed 34 Bilateral Agreements and cooperation continues to grow. “The Working Visit to Nigeria presents an ideal opportunity for President Zuma to further strengthen and consolidate historic and strategic relations between the two countries, and to discuss regional and international issues of mutual concern,” his office stated.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, will accompany Zuma to Nigeria.

Credit: CAJ News

Xenophobia: Stay Away From Nigeria, NANS Tells South Africa President Jacob Zuma

The National Association of Nigerian Students has advised South African President, Jacob Zuma, to stay away from the inauguration of the president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.
The organisation also threatened to storm the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, should Zuma step into the country’s airport.
According to the association, Zuma should keep off as his visit will be an insult to the sensibility of Nigerians over his alleged poor handling of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other migrant foreigners in South Africa.
A statement by NANS President, Tijani Usman, noted that Zuma’s inability to “apologise to Nigerians like he did to Mozambique”, despite the sacrifices the country made for South Africa, was unfortunate.
He said, “We wish to advise the South African President (Jacob Zuma) to rather stay at home and

address burning issues, rather than embarking on a visit that is the least desirable.

“The South African President’s failure to apologise to Nigeria for the losses the country and our citizens incurred during the xenophobic attacks on foreigners leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. There is therefore, no point felicitating with a people who clearly do not matter much to you. President Zuma’s visit will only amount to pretence.”
NANS further restated its earlier position that it will henceforth not hesitate to clamp down on South African investments in the country should any incident of xenophobic attacks recur.

Xenophobia: South Africa Repatriates 5,645 Immigrants

South Africa has repatriated 5,645 foreigners since the end of xenophobic attacks in late April, the government said yesterday. A Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, who said this in a statement, added that the foreigners chose to leave South Africa voluntarily.

Malawians made up the bulk of the foreigners, numbering 3,506, followed by Zimbabweans (1,440) Mozambicans (682), while Tanzanians had (17). Mr. Radebe said the repatriation process started soon after the latest spate of xenophobic violence ended in April.

“The Department of Social Development continues to work closely with other relevant departments, as well as civil society organisations to provide support to displaced foreign nationals,” Mr. Radebe said. The official also said over 1,000 foreigners received trauma counseling.

According to the statement, 10 women with children under 12 months of which three had just given birth were flown to their respective countries on their insistence. Mr. Radebe further said the department would continue to do its work to ensure that the underlying socio-economic issues that gave rise to tensions between South Africans and foreign nationals were dealt with.

He also defended the current Operation Fiela (meaning “sweep’’ in Sesotho language) launched after the end of the xenophobia attacks. He said the operation was meant to address the security challenges in a structured and coordinated manner.

(NAN)

Xenophobic Attacks: Zuma Pleads For Jonathan’s Support In Telephone Conversation

President Jacob Zuma has had telephonic discussions with President Goodluck Jonathan of  Nigeria on recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa, according to a statement by the South African presidency.

The two Presidents reaffirmed the warm and cordial relations between South Africa and Nigeria and pledged that the two countries will continue to work together for the good of their peoples and the continent as a whole.

President Jonathan expressed his support for the efforts of South Africa to arrest the attacks on foreign nationals and to ensure the safety and security of all citizens, including foreign nationals and those from the African continent, in particular who bore the brunt of the attacks earlier this month.

President Zuma will attend the inauguration of the President-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari, next month.

Creditvanguardngr

Xenophobia: International Criminal Court To Probe Zuma, Zulu King

Following a petition from the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has decided to probe the xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other African citizens in South Africa.
SERAP had in a petition dated 23 April 2015 and sent to the Court requested the Prosecutor Mrs. Fatou Bensouda to use her “good offices and position to investigate allegations of hate speech by the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, which has resulted in killing, violence and discrimination against Nigerians and other African citizens living in South Africa, as well as the
complicity/negligence of the country’s law enforcement agencies to prevent these crimes against civilian population.”

In response, the ICC in a letter dated 28 April 2015, and signed by M.P. Dillon, Head of Information & Evidence Unit of the Office of the Prosecutor said, “The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court acknowledges receipt of your documents. This communication has been duly entered in the Communications Register of the Office. We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. As soon as a decision is reached, we will inform you, in writing, and provide you with reasons for this decision.”

SERAP in its petition had urged Mrs Bensouda to “bring to justice anyone who is responsible for these international crimes prohibited under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”

SERAP also said that it “considers the use of speech by the Zulu King to promote hatred and/or incite violence against non-nationals such as Nigerians, particularly in the media as a clear violation of the provisions of the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court.

“Grave statements by political leaders/prominent people that express discrimination and cause violence against non-nationals cannot be justified under any law. This hate speech generated fear and hatred that created the conditions for violence and discrimination against Nigerians and other African citizens. SERAP believes that this has given rise to individual criminal responsibility under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” the organisation said.

The organisation argued that, “the statement by the Zulu King amounts to a harmful form of expression which incites or otherwise promotes hatred, discrimination, violence and intolerance. We are seriously concerned that crimes against humanity are often accompanied or preceded by the kind of statement made by the Zulu King.”

“Once the climate of violence has been created, direct and public incitement to crimes builds on it, exacerbating the situation by further heating up passions and directing South Africans’ hatred towards non-nationals such as Nigerians. Hate speech by King Zulu is legally tied to contemporaneous, large-scale violence and inhumane and discriminatory treatment of Nigerians and other African citizens,” the organisation also argued.

The organisation also said that, “The statement by the Zulu King has contributed to a climate of fear, demonization and dehumanization of Nigerians and other African citizens, thus violating their human dignity through humiliation and expulsion from the human community. SERAP is seriously concerned that hate speech by the Zulu King amounts to crime against humanity of persecution and has directly contributed to an infringement of the right to life, equality and non-discrimination of Nigerians and other African citizens.”

“SERAP considers the statement by the Zulu King and the apparent complicity/negligence by the country’s law enforcement agencies to prevent the violence and discrimination as amounting to active encouragement of South African citizens to develop feelings of contempt for Nigerians and other African citizens; as amounting to incitement to violence and discrimination against Nigerians and other African citizens, and to mistreat them; and as amounting to an appeal for South African citizens to separate themselves from Nigerians and other African citizens,” the organisation further stressed.

“The statement by the Zulu King and the apparent complicity/negligence by the country’s law enforcement agencies to prevent the violence and discrimination has contributed to the level of persecution against Nigerians and other African citizens. According to Professor Bassiouni, persecution in this instance is “a state action leading to the infliction upon an individual of harassment, torment, oppression, or discriminatory measures, designed to or likely to produce physical or mental suffering or economic harm, because of the victims’ beliefs, views, or membership in a given identifiable group (such as non-nationals),” the organisation also said.

The petition further reads:

“In the Mugesera case, the Canadian Supreme Court held that hate speech may constitute persecution, even if it does not result in the commission of acts of violence. In arriving at this conclusion, the court considered that a link was demonstrated between the speech at issue and the widespread or systematic attack against the civilian population. Thus, the post-World War II jurisprudence generally establishes that hate speech not urging an audience to commit imminent violence can constitute persecution.”

“The government does not have the political will to bring those suspected to be responsible for crimes under international law to justice. Given the complicity/negligence by the country’s law enforcement agencies to prevent the violence, killing and discrimination, it is unlikely that the government will take any serious action to bring perpetrators to justice.”

“Without accountability for these serious human rights crimes, the victims will continue to be denied access to justice, and impunity of perpetrators will remain widespread and the result will continue to be a vicious cycle of violence and discrimination against Nigerians and other African citizens living in South Africa.”

“SERAP believes that substantial grounds exist to warrant the intervention of the Prosecutor in this case. Under Article 17 of the Rome Statute, the Court is a court of last resort, expected to exercise its jurisdiction only if states themselves are unwilling or unable genuinely to investigate and prosecute international crimes. Also, pursuant to the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor has power to intervene in a situation under the jurisdiction of the Court if the Security Council or states parties refer a situation or if information is provided

Xenophobic Violence: Why Are The Citizens Not In Their Countries? – Jacob Zuma

President Jacob Zuma on Monday hit out at other African countries after South Africa faced a backlash over the wave of anti-foreigner attacks in the country.

While Zuma condemned the violence, saying immigrants contributed to the South African economy, he also questioned why so many had flocked to South Africa.

“As much as we can have a problem alleged to be xenophobic, our brother countries contributed to this,” he said.

“Why are the citizens not in their countries?”

Earlier in April, mobs in Johannesburg and in the port city of Durban targeted migrants, ransacking
their homes and burning shops.

Seven people died and thousands were displaced.

South Africa faced a backlash over the attacks and regional relations have been strained, with Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique organising for some of their fearful citizens to return home.

Nigeria has also recalled its ambassador in Pretoria over the attacks while there have been widespread calls for South African products to be boycotted.

But Zuma went on a counter-offensive Monday, saying his government would strengthen measures to tackle illegal immigration.

“Some of them (immigrants) had very serious allegations against their own countries to explain why they are in South Africa,” Zuma said, speaking on Freedom Day that marks the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.

“In fact, some of them warned us that there is almost certainly another wave of refugees coming given the developments in their own countries.

“We have to address the underlying causes of the violence and tensions, which is the legacy of poverty, unemployment and inequality in our country and our continent and the competition for limited resources,” Zuma said.

Many South Africans have blamed the attacks on poverty and a severe jobs shortage in Africa’s second biggest economy. Undocumented immigrants are often accused of accepting work for less pay.

The spate of attacks has revived memories of xenophobic bloodshed in 2008, when 62 people were killed, tarnishing South Africa’s post-apartheid image as a “rainbow nation” of different groups living in harmony.

The South African army was deployed in some of the worst hit areas last week in a bid to crack down on the violence against immigrants.

Xenophobic Attacks: Zuma Should Take Full Responsibility, Falana Says

Lagos based lawyer and rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has said President Jacob Zuma and his party, the African National Congress, should take full responsibility for the xenophobic attacks on black immigrants in South Africa.

The legal luminary, while reacting to the attacks in a statement on Monday, said the ANC had failed to address the rising wave of unemployment in the country, adding that there was mass disenchantment with the Zuma-led government.

He said, “Zuma’s economic programme has excluded the people from the dividends of democracy. Out of sheer ignorance, the masses have engaged in misdirected antagonism by unleashing mayhem on hapless Nigerians and others who have been driven out of their own countries.

“The xenophobic attacks are unfortunate but President Zuma should take full responsibility for the mess on the ground. Grand official corruption is on the increase in South Africa while waste of scarce resources is the order of the day”.

Falana also tasked the Federal Government on the need to ensure the evacuation of Nigerians from the country.

“Instead of risking the lives of Nigerians who are easy targets of xenophobic attacks, the government should bring them back home”, he said.

Source – Information Nigeria

South Africa Offers GMB Seized Nigerian $15m

South Africa has indicated her willingness to return the more than $15 million seized from some Nigerians last year in a move designed to please the country’s new president.

This is contrary to claims earlier by South African Ambassador to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni,  that the money  seized by the South African Government had been released to Nigeria.

It would be recalled that the South African Government had, on September 5, 2014, seized $9.3m cash belonging to Nigeria and a month later seized another $5.7m, claiming that both funds were to be used for illegal purchase of arms.

But The Mail & Guardian reported yesterday that, Muhammadu Buhari, president-elect made positive overtures to Jacob Zuma of South Africa before the elections and relations between the two countries are likely to improve.

“South Africa is considering returning the Nigerian money that it confiscated last year, or clearing the way to sell arms to the West African country”  The Mail & Guardian reported.

The newspaper also has learned through diplomatic sources that South Africa has begun talks to work out a process to return the money in an effort to start off on a clean slate with the recently elected government of the Nigerian president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.

South African law enforcement agencies seized $15 million in two batches: $5.7-million that had been wired to Standard Bank and $9.3-million in cash, which was confiscated.

It was brought into the country through Lanseria airport in Johannesburg in three suitcases by a delegation said to represent the Nigerian government. In both cases, the money was suspected to be for illegal use.

Now South Africa wants to use the money to extend an olive branch to Buhari’s government and mend relations between the two countries, which became strained during the tenure of outgoing president Goodluck Jonathan.

“The positive thing about [Buhari] is that one of the people who supported him is Atiku Abubakar. That makes him our man and he will automatically work well with [President Jacob] Zuma,” a government source said

Source – www. nigeriacommunicationsweek.com.ng

Police Investigating S.A president over Home Spending

South African police are investigating President Jacob Zuma over a $23 million taxpayer-funded refurbishment project at his rural homestead, according to parliamentary papers.

 In a written police response to lawmakers published Monday, police confirmed that an investigation into spending at Zuma’s Nkandla home “has been initiated.”

Zuma, who was reelected in May, has insisted that he had no knowledge of the work on his home, including the construction of a swimming pool, private clinic and amphitheatre.

His government has insisted all the refurbishments were security related.

The issue has become a lightning rod for criticism of Zuma’s administration, which is seen by many South Africans as tolerant of corruption and incompetence.

Opposition leader, Mmusi Maimane, of the Democratic Alliance said “now the police must do their jobs.”

Maimane and other opposition politicians had called for Zuma to be the subject of a criminal investigation over the issue, and have demanded he resign.

The public ombudsman Thuli Madonsela in March ruled that Zuma had “benefited unduly” from the construction, ordering him to pay part of the cost.

The home is in a rural village in the north of KwaZulu Natal.

Zuma has faced both political and public wrath of the excessive spending, in a country battling rampant unemployment and inequality.

Credit: Yahoo News

South Africa: Some South Africans Protest Obama Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to touch down in South Africa within a matter of days, and his schedule includes meetings with political leaders, student groups and an honorary degree from the University of Johannesburg. There are several groups, however, calling for a boycott of Obama’s visit.

When Obama arrives in Johannesburg on Friday, he should expect a sideshow beside his warm welcome by South African dignitaries.

Some South African communist groups, student organizations, Muslim groups, unions and other political organizations are planning what they hope will be large protests of Obama’s visit.

The groups say they will demonstrate for the closing of Guantanamo Bay detention camp, for the stoppage of any wiretapping of emails or phone calls, and against the involvement of the U.S. in conflicts throughout the world, including Syria.

Phutas Tseki, the Gauteng Province chairman of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, said Obama has failed to keep his campaign promises.

“One of the things that we are standing up against here is the hypocrisy of the Obama administration. When Obama was elected he said to the world that he would lift the U.S. embargo on Cuba, that was not done. He said to the world he would close Guantanamo Bay. That was not done. Obama promised the world that we would be in a state of peace – that was not done. Instead, Obama administration is approving the supply of weapons to people who are not a state, to people who are not a government, such as it is happening in Syria. These are the type of actions that we are opposed to,” said Tseki.

Among the activists protesting the Obama visit is Yousha Tayob, with the Muslim Lawyers Association. His group had asked prosecutors and police to arrest Obama as a war criminal on his arrival in South Africa. Prosecutors have rejected the request, which the group is now appealing to a high court.

Their request for an investigation and arrest was based on the usage of Guantanamo Bay and drone strikes used to kill alleged terrorists, among other things.

“Absolutely shocking, absolutely shocking. So these are all the things we rely on in the docket and our NDPP and Police Authorities have seen fit not to even to investigate the matter,” said Tayob.

The groups have three major protests planned, two on Friday and one on Saturday outside of the University of Johannesburg, which plans to bestow an honorary doctorate of law on the U.S. president.

Masete Levy of the South African Students Congress urged the university not to move forward with the plan.

“Our contention is very simple – that President Obama and the imperialist U.S. regime have consistently undermined international law and created a situation of anarchy, war and disruption of normal human life in the world.” said Levy. “We think that as a university based in a country that respects democracy, human life, freedom and the general liberty of human species, the University of Johannesburg must not implicate itself as a university that respects violations of human rights and international law.”

South Africa’s Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said Friday the protesters should be allowed to protest. But he also said this visit by a U.S. president is important for economic and political relations between the two countries.

Obama is expected to meet with key leaders, including South African President Jacob Zuma, during his three-day visit.

Source: allAfrica.com

South Africa: Mandela Remains Critical – Zuma

Former president Nelson Mandela’s condition remains critical, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

“Mandela remains in a critical condition in hospital and doctors are doing everything possible to ensure his well-being and comfort,” Zuma said in Johannesburg.

Zuma and deputy ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa visited Mandela at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria on Sunday night.

“… I was told by the doctors, that Madiba’s health had changed in the past 24 hours and he was now critical,” Zuma said.

“They were doing everything… to make him feel comfortable.”

Mandela was asleep when Zuma visited.

“It was late when we got to the hospital and he was already asleep. We were there, looked at him, and we saw him,” he said.

“We had a discussion with the doctors and his [Mandela’s] wife, Graca Machel… and then we left.”

Zuma said he was not in a position to give further details.

Answering questions from reporters, Zuma said Mandela’s condition would not affect United States President Barack Obama’s planned visit to South Africa.

“If there was such a visit… and somebody fell sick, I don’t think we would stop the visit… So we [are] not going to stop because Madiba is sick,” Zuma said.

“So Obama is coming… ,” Zuma said.

Obama was due to arrive in South Africa on Friday.

In reply to another question about Mandela’s condition, Zuma reiterated: “I am not a doctor… when a person is critical, he is critical… I am not in a position to say how critical… .”

Mandela, 94, was admitted to hospital on June 8 for treatment of a recurring lung infection.

The briefing by Zuma was initially scheduled as an off-the-record editors’ briefing on the economy and youth, but evolved into a fully fledged press conference.

Source: AllAfrica.com