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African press review 21 December 2012

Zuma consolidates his hold on the ANC. Ramaphosa looks well placed to become the next president. Fire causes chaos at Lagos airport. And, for once, Nigeria's budget is passed on time. Nolloywood stars are freed by kidnappers. A Kenyan cannibal is tried in the US. 


South Africa's press carries out a post-mortem on the ANC’s conference in Mangaung. It is “one love” says Mail and Guardian as the party’s reelected leader, Jacob Zuma, picks Vice-President Kgalema Motlanthe to head the party's newly established political school.

The Sowetan says the ANC’s Youth League leadership faces the axe as those who supported calls for a leadership change have been left out of the party’s national executive council.

The papers say the corporate sector and the unions are pleased by the appointment of Cyril Ramaphosa to the post of the ANC deputy president.

Business Day claims that the "shrewd businessman" is tipped to crack the whip in Zuma’s government. That puts the ex-trade unionist in pole position to become South Africa’s next president, according to The Sowetan.

The ANC on Thursday tried to quash rumours of Motlanthe's imminent resignation, reports Mail and Guardian. This is after Motlanthe refused to stand for a position on the national executive after losing the ANC presidency to Zuma and declining nomination for the party’s deputy presidency.

In Nigeria the press is reacting to a midday fire that gutted the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, on Thursday, causing pandemonium.

The Punch reports that the inferno, which caused a thick cloud of smoke to invade the six-floor terminal forced air travellers and airport officials to scamper to safety around the 33-year-old airport. No casualties were reported. The papers say the fire started from a piece of electric equipment at a section of the airport under reconstruction.

The papers reports that business is ready to go after the National Assembly passed a 4.9 trillion-naira federal budget on Thursday.

BusinessDay says it is a rare occurrence, since the advent of democracy in 1999 that the nation’s budget has been passed before the end of the year. It means according to the paper, that for the first time the Federal Government is in a position to start spending from the budget from 1 January, if President Goodluck Jonathan assents to the bill by year-end.

Dossier: Sharia wars - Boko Haram v the military in northern Nigeria

And The Nation reports the release of kidnapped Nollywood actress Nkiru Sylvanus (aka Ble-Ble), abducted on Sunday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, with former Mister Nigeria, Kenneth Okolie, during the shooting of a movie.

Vanguard reports that the pair was blindfolded and dropped off at a spot in Owerri, adding that it wasn’t clear if a 100-million-naira ransom demanded by the kidnappers was paid before their release.

Kenya's Daily Nation takes up the case of a confessed Kenyan cannibal, who killed a Ghanaian housemate and ate parts of his body.

Alexander Kinyua, aged 22, apologised in a court in Maryland, USA, for carrying out a separate attack on a fellow student. The paper reports that Kinyua has been confined to a psychiatric hospital in Baltimore on grounds that he is suffering from mental illness.

Uganda's Daily Monitor reports that a 30-year-old woman facing life imprisonment for having sex with a 16-year-old boy. According to the paper, the Entebbe judge commended the woman for confessing the crime and not wasting the court’s time, hinting that he will deliver his verdict on Christmas eve.

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