Category Archives: Africa

Gambia swears in homegrown judges

Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh

Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh

BANJUL. – The Gambia’s president swore in six new judges to top courts yesterday, with Gambians dominating the list in a country that long relied on foreign justices under the former regime.

Courts were long seen as a tool used by the Gambia’s ex-leader Yahya Jammeh to consolidate power, jailing opposition activists and even members of his own cabinet. Justices from abroad were hired and fired with alarming frequency.

Chief Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow said the four appointed to the Supreme Court and two appointed to the Court of Appeal had all enjoyed “distinguished legal careers here and abroad”. “I am sure their appointment brings much to the legal system,” he said at an introduction ceremony at Banjul’s High Court.

Cherno Sulayman Jallow, a former Attorney General of the British Virgin Islands and Mary Mam Yassin Sey, a former Gambian judge who resigned and went to work for the United Nations as a legal adviser, were appointed to the Supreme Court. Gambians appointed to the Appeals Court were Naceesay Sallah Wadda, a former Gambian justice on the panel sacked by Jammeh last year, and Omar Njie, a former vice-president of the Gambia Bar Association.

Nigerian Abubakar Datti Yahaya and Sierra Leonean justice Nicholas Colin Browne-Marke were also appointed to the Supreme Court, showing that while a “Gambianisation” of the system is under way, judges with common legal systems are not barred from serving.

Headed by the previously appointed chief justice, the Supreme Court now has quorum to hear the country’s most high-profile legal decisions for the first time in several months.

It sat the same day to consider Jammeh’s petition that had aimed to overturn the December election he lost to President Adama Barrow. Jammeh attempted to name new judges to the court in January from Sierra Leone and Nigeria, but none of those nominated arrived for work at a moment of intense regional pressure on the Gambian leader from neighbouring west African states.

In a volte-face, Edward Gomez, a lawyer representing Jammeh, requested the case be thrown out of court “in the best interest of this country . . . to ensure peace, harmony and order.” The judges have adjourned Jammeh’s case until May 24. – AFP.

Citizenship By Investment for Wealthy African Business People

Are you a wealthy African business person? Does the process of a visa application for any country you want to visit frustrate you? Most African countries are limited in the number of countries and territories they can visit without a visa.


The easiest way to remove the hassle from your international travels is to apply for a CBI program. A CBI program is a direct investment program that offers any wealthy African business person the opportunity to acquire a dual nationality and a second passport.


With a second passport, you can enjoy improved access to a variety of first world countries without the hassle of visa applications and time-consuming interview processes.

Why Wealthy Africans need a Second Passport


As a wealthy African business person, you have struggled to build your empire. Finding that you are restricted from traveling and expanding globally due to your nationality can be disheartening. By applying for a CBI program and successfully receiving dual nationality, you have the ability to expand your business anywhere in the world.


The Pro’s of a Second Passport for Wealthy African Business People


The advantages of a second passport for wealthy African business people are numerous. Here are some of the benefits you can expect from your second passport;


  • Unrestricted, visa-free travel anywhere in the Schengen area.
  • The ability to live and work in the Schengen zone.
  • Access to financial and Tax services.
  • A second passport, drivers license, and ID card for you, your spouse and any dependents 21 years old or younger.
  • Access to government health and Pension programs.
  • Visa-free travel to the United States.


CBI for Wealthy African Business People – How does it Work?


CBI stands for Citizenship By Investment. This is a term used to describe and investment immigration process that connects wealthy African business people with government-approved investment projects seeking investment.


By directly investing into these projects, you are rewarded with citizenship in the country you choose to invest. This citizenship enables you the freedom of access to travel and financial services that are available to any citizen of the country.


You can usually select two forms of direct investment to earn your dual nationality. The first is a direct investment into corporations or projects and the second is with real estate acquisition. You are at no time under the obligation to report your dual nationality status to your own state department.


Using a Professional CBI Specialist for a Successful Application


While anyone can apply for a CBI program, the chances of success of private applications are slim. As a successful business person, you understand the importance of leveraging the knowledge and expertise of professionals.


Choosing to work with a professional CBI service consultant is the fastest way to ensure citizenship through a CBI program. They understand the pitfalls of the process and will walk you through every step of your application until successful receipt of your second passport.


Open new Business Opportunities across the Globe with a Second Passport


Operate your business from anywhere in the world with the power of a second passport and a CBI program. Choose citizenship in a country that rewards your property and welcomes your investment.

Ramaphosa ready to meet the Marikana widows

Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa

Cape Town. — Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa is prepared to meet widows of the 44 people who died at Marikana. Economic Freedom Fighters chief whip Floyd Shivambu awoke the National Assembly from its slumber yesterday afternoon while Ramaphosa was answering questions by asking him what he meant with his apology about Marikana this past weekend at an event in the Eastern Cape.

Speaker Baleka Mbete seemed reluctant to allow Shivambu’s question, but Ramaphosa didn’t shy away from answering, unlike when he was asked about the so-called Spy Report.

Ramaphosa said he was asked a question about Marikana by a student, and afterwards, the student said to him that the intention wasn’t to embarrass Ramaphosa.

“I didn’t find it embarrassing. As a public servant and leader, I know I must be accountable,” Ramaphosa said.

“I apologised for the language I used. Yes, I used unfortunate language,” Ramaphosa said.

In the aftermath of the Marikana massacre, it emerged that Ramaphosa, then a non-executive director at Lonmin — the employer of the striking mineworkers, sent an e-mail to government official calling for “concomitant action”.

This happened before police opened fire on striking mineworkers, killing 34. Ramaphosa told the National Assembly, to applause from the African National Congress benches, he sent this email in an effort to prevent further killings, as mineworkers had already been killed in a “most gruesome” way.

“I served mineworkers for nine years,” said Ramaphosa, who was the first secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers’ in the 1980s.

“It could never be that I would want mineworkers killed or anyone for that matter.” He repeated that he was willing to take advice from other leaders, notably “Mama Winnie” (Madikizela-Mandela), who asked him to visit Marikana with her.

“I’m prepared to meet the widows of those workers who were killed, the widows of the 44 killed,” said Ramaphosa. As a leader, I’m prepared to be accountable,” he concluded, amid applause from the ANC, while the EFF sat sullen and quiet. — News24.

Kabila names new 50-member cabinet

President Kabila

President Kabila

Kinshasa. — Democratic Republic of Congo president has named a new government that doesn’t include any main opposition figures among more than 50 officials.

President Joseph Kabila announced the members of Cabinet on Tuesday, about a month after a new prime minister was put in place.

The new Cabinet will serve under Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala, a key player in the opposition coalition known as the Rassemblement that signed a political agreement reached in December.

However, DRC’s top opposition group disagreed with Tshibala being chosen to run the government.

Other key provisions of the December peace deal call for elections to be held before the end of the year, without Kabila as a candidate.

Dozens were killed in violent demonstrations around the country last year after Kabila remained in power beyond his mandate and elections were postponed. — News24

Varsity identifies 3 linked to Nazi-inspired posters

Rector Wim de Villiers

Rector Wim de Villiers

Cape Town. — Stellenbosch University yesterday said it has identified three individuals linked to the planning of the “Anglo-Afrikaner Student” event at the university on Thursday last week.

This after posters surfaced on the campus on Tuesday which appeared to be digitally created copies of Nazi-era Germany posters.

The posters titled “the Anglo-Afrikaner student” calls for students to “fight for Stellenbosch” and attend a meeting at the university’s library on Thursday.

The University’s Equality Unit head Jaco Greeff said the three individuals were being interviewed. “The posters and advertised event promoting racial polarisation/superiority combined with highly offensive references to Nazi propaganda and Neo-Nazism are totally unacceptable,” Greeff said in a statement.

“Given the values of SU and the South African Constitution we cannot condone views, events, publicity campaigns or innuendo that undermine our innate equality as human beings.”

The Equality Unit deals with all discrimination based incidences at the university.

On Tuesday, the university said the posters were distributed without the university’s approval. The university’s library also did not book a meeting for the organisation.

Rector Wim de Villiers called the posters “totally unacceptable”.

“It is also contrary to our institution’s values. There seems to be deliberate mischief-making involved, and if that should be the case, disciplinary steps will be taken,” he said. — News24

Joblessness sparks protest in SA

Mr Mashaba

Mr Mashaba

Johannesburg. – Residents from Eldorado Park and Freedom Park protested over the lack of housing and jobs on Monday.

The protest turned violent; residents and police had running battles along the Golden Highway which runs through both suburbs.

Shaun Jacobs a young protester explained what set off the protests: “There’s no development in this area. There is no future for the youth here. Why do you think so many people from here get involved in selling drugs and stealing? It’s because there are no opportunities,’’ he said.

Earlier residents blockaded the Golden Highway as well as the N12 and N1 highways which led to traffic congestion for people leaving the southern suburbs on their way to work.

Police managed to unblock the highways but the Golden Highway remained shut to traffic well into the late afternoon.

In the morning commuters were seen making u-turns and heading home as all exits out of the suburbs were blocked

Protesters from the two suburbs joined forces as they attempted to push police back. They armed themselves with stones and petrol bombs.

Police retaliated by firing rubber bullets and teargas into the crowd. A few tear gas canisters landed in houses causing panic among the people living in them.

Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) flying squad also entered the fray when reports of the looting of a nearby Shoprite surfaced.

The SAPS flying squad members charged the crowd armed with live ammunition, with a few rounds being fired into the air.

A commanding officer withdrew the flying squad members and opted instead to utilise members of the Public Order Police who are trained for crowd control.

Elija Williams said that the pleas of the communities were ignored by government. He accused politicians of only visiting the area when votes are needed to win elections.

“My grandmother died living in a shack. I’m most probably going to die living in a shack. I don’t want my child to also have to live their entire life in a shack with no electricity,” said Williams.

Some schools in the area had to close and learners were sent home due to the escalating violence.

Some learners cried on the side of the road crying after inhaling teargas fired by the police.

Residents vowed to continue to protest until Gauteng Human Settlement MEC Paul Mashatile came to the area to listen to their grievances.

Protesters vented their frustrations at both local and national government with some calling for the resignation of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba while other could be heard chanting “Zuma must fall”.

Later in the afternoon Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane visited the area calling for calm to be restored. She confirmed that the Shoprite, Spar and BP garage were looted and that twelve people were arrested. – News24.

‘Ramaphosa’s Marikana apology not genuine’

Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa

JOHANNESBURG. — Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) has called on families of the deceased Marikana miners not to allow Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to “use this shameful, regrettable and painful matter for his presidential ambitions”.

Ramaphosa apologised on Sunday for the manner in which the Marikana massacre unfolded, saying he was sorry for the type of language he used at the time.

Azapo said it noted Ramaphosa’s apology with “dismay”. “We reject this apology,” Azapo leader Amukelani Ngobeni said, adding that it did not have to take so many years for Ramaphosa to come to his senses.

“He is not genuine in his apology and it must be rejected. “Ramaphosa must be reminded that whether he becomes president or not, the spirit of the miners shall forever haunt him,” said Ngobeni.

Speaking at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, Ramaphosa told students that he had intervened in the Lonmin Mine strike in Marikana to prevent further deaths. On the eve of the Marikana shooting, Ramaphosa allegedly said in an email discussion between Lonmin management and government officials that events around the strike “are plainly dastardly criminal acts and must be characterised as such”.

He also allegedly called for “concomitant action” against the strikers.

He said at the time he stepped into the situation, 10 workers had been killed and his intervention was to “say there is a disaster looming, more workers had been killed and are going to be killed”.

“I have apologised and I do apologise that I did not use appropriate language but I never had the intention to have 34 other mine workers killed.”

Azapo also criticised Ramaphosa for saying he will not support land redistribution as long as he is not convinced that there is enough production from black-owned farms.

“We understand that this is an ANC position for years. Azapo, however, wants to remind Cyril and his party that the land black people are requesting, is their land. It doesn’t matter whether blacks can work the land or not, it is their land stolen from them and they want it back.

“It is none of Cyril’s business what our people want to do with the land. It’s theirs, they just want it back. Period,” he said. — News24.

Ramaphosa apologises

Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa

GRAHAMSTOWN. — South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has apologised for the manner in which the Marikana massacre unfolded, saying he was sorry for the type of language he used at the time.

Speaking at Rhodes University, Ramaphosa told students that he had intervened in the Lonmin mine strike in Marikana to prevent further deaths.

On the eve of the Marikana shooting, Ramaphosa allegedly said in an email discussion between Lonmin management and government officials that events around the strike “are plainly dastardly criminal acts and must be characterised as such”.

Ramaphosa was responding in a question and answer session with students where one student asked him to address the Marikana massacre. “You say you want to appeal to my conscience,” Ramaphosa said. “My conscience is that I participated in trying to stop further deaths from happening.”

Ramaphosa said at the time he stepped into the situation, ten workers had been killed and his intervention was to “say there is a disaster looming, more workers had been killed and are going to be killed”.

He explained that at the time, some of the workers had been hacked to death and their eyes had been ripped out and their hearts torn out. This, he said, had horrified him.

“You might say that doesn’t matter but it did horrify me as a person and I then said we need to prevent this from happening. Yes, I may well have used unfortunate language in the messages I sent out.”

He then apologised for the messages adding that he had done so in the past. “I have apologised and I do apologise that I did not use appropriate language but I never had the intention to have 34 other mine workers killed.”

He told attendees that having worked for nine years for mine workers, he would not be responsible for their deaths.

Ramaphosa said he served miners diligently, and got everything done to increase their wages as well as their living conditions, during his nine years as the general secretary at the National Union of Mineworkers. “I put everything I had to advance the interest of mine workers. It could never be that I would then say 34 mine workers should be killed. I have apologised — this is where even as a leader, I’m willing and prepared to listen to advice and council of other leaders.”

Ramaphosa said the African National Congress stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had counselled him to address the matter and visit the area. “Madikizela-Mandela has said to me: ‘DP this matter needs to be addressed. I want to go with you to Marikana.’ I have said, ‘Mama, I will accept your counsel.’”

Madikizela-Mandela was pained by the incident, he said. “And I also felt pained by what happened in Marikana. “I am willing to do that. I am going to be led by Mama in this regard.” — News24/HR.

Boko Haram releases 82 Chibok girls

Boko Haram

Boko Haram

LAGOS. — Eighty-two schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram terrorist group have been released in exchange for the freedom of some Boko Haram suspects, the government said Saturday.

“President (Muhammadu) Buhari is pleased to announce that negotiations to release more of the Chibok girls have borne fruit with the release of 82 more girls today (Saturday) after months of patient negotiations.

“Our security agencies have taken back these abducted girls in exchange for some Boko Haram suspects held by the authorities,” said presidential spokesman Garba Shehu on Saturday. “The girls are due tomorrow (yesterday) in Abuja to be received by the president.

“The president expressed his deep gratitude to security agencies, the military, the government of Switzerland, the Red Cross, local and international NGOs for the success of the operation.”

A government source told Xinhua on Saturday that at least 82 out of the more than 200 Chibok girls that were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 in Nigeria’s restive northeastern Borno State had been released.

The source said that the girls were released following negotiations between the extremist group and the Nigerian government. “Yes, 82 girls are freed and they are due to fly to Abuja from Banki town in Borno State,” the source said.  “After lengthy negotiations, our security agencies have taken back these girls, in exchange for some Boko Haram suspects held by the authorities.”

AFP understands three Chadian nationals, allegedly senior commanders under Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, were handed over. — Xinhua/AFP/HR.

Former SA presidents front dialogue drive

Thabo Mbeki

Thabo Mbeki

JOHANNESBURG. – Three former South African presidents and a vice president joined a national dialogue event in Johannesburg yesterday to discuss the political and economic challenges facing the country.

Former Presidents F W de Klerk, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka led by their foundations joined four others to partake in the maiden National Foundations Dialogue Initiative (NFDI).

The NFDI was organised by the foundations of Chief Albert Luthuli, Thabo Mbeki and FW de Klerk.

The Helen Suzman Foundation, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Foundation, the Umlambo Foundation, and the Jakes Gerwel Foundation have also backed the dialogues.

Mbeki, De Klerk and Motlanthe spoke in Parktown, Johannesburg yesterday, representing both South Africa’s last leader under white minority rule and those who led post-apartheid South Africa along with Nelson Mandela.

De Klerk, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela for their work in transitioning South Africa from white minority rule, said President Zuma has failed to uphold the country’s laws.

He called for a national discussion on how to tackle corruption and ensure a radical economic transformation. He also suggested a political change including the redirection of parliament’s role from serving parties to serving the people. “The rose we planted in 1994 is indeed sick,” Mbeki said, referring to the election that brought Mandela to power.

Mbeki added, “No person or institution should have more authority than the will of the people.” Mbeki also said the people have expressed concern in the past three years and it is critical to have a national dialogue to discuss the problems.

This was corroborated by Motlanthe who said the country’s democracy is under a critical condition and needs enhancement. Mlambo-Ngcuka, on her part, called for inclusion in dealing with the problems devoid of racism and xenophobia.

The dialogue follows a High Court ruling that orders President Jacob Zuma to provide documents explaining the reason for his March 30 cabinet reshuffle that created a lot of furore.

This ruling was as a result of a legal action filed in April by the opposition Democratic Alliance party against the reshuffle that saw five ministers lose their jobs including former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Gordhan’s sacking was linked to an alleged intelligence report that accused him and his sacked deputy Mcebisi Jonas of conspiring to undermine the country at an investor roadshow in London.

The country’s credit rating dropped as a result of the cabinet reshuffle and a series of demonstrations were held against President Zuma’s actions.

Meanwhile, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said former ANC presidents Motlanthe and Mbeki should not have shared a stage with “apartheid criminal” De Klerk.

Malema was speaking yesterday after the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court postponed his “land grabs” case to October 13.

“I saw today (yesterday) that Mbeki and Motlanthe are meeting with De Klerk saying they are finding solutions to SA,” the party quoted Malema on Twitter during his speech outside the court.

“That’s a problem because . . . by recognising De Klerk, Mbeki and Motlanthe make a mistake that will lead to white racists thinking they still have a place in SA. The inability of ANC to punish apartheid criminals like De Klerk is why white racists are still proud amongst us.”

He said De Klerk can never find solutions to democratic SA because he presided over the mass murder of black people during apartheid. Malema also used the platform once again to tear into President Zuma and white monopoly capital.

“Zuma is not a problem. He is just an irritation. The real problem is white monopoly capital which we will confront on removing Zuma,” he continued, referencing the motion of no confidence and a possible secret ballot. – News Agencies/HR.

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