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African press review 10 June 2014

A Kenyan imam is assassinated. SA mine-owners say they may mothball mines. Al-Sissi sticks with the same PM. Boko Haram kidnaps women in Borno state. And there are clashes over who should be emir of Kano.


The main story in the Kenyan Standard newspaper reports that unknown gunmen earlier this morning shot and killed the chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, Sheikh Mohammed Idris, in Likoni, near the coastal city of Mombasa.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

Idris was also the chairman of Sakina mosque in Mombasa, recently taken over by radical youths.

Months ago he urged the police to deal decisively with radicalised Muslim youths causing violence in the name of Islam in Mombasa. This led to the cleric being branded a traitor. He had received death threats.

"Mothballed mines a possibility as talks fail," reads the main headline in this morning's Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay.

The mines in question used to produce platinum. The mothballing (or long-term closure) is one option now being considered by the mine owners.

BusinessDay reports that wage talks between the striking Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and the platinum producers failed on Monday, raising fears that the next move from companies will be to shut down some of their operations and to shed jobs.

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Talks between Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum and the union leadership, facilitated by Mineral Resources Minster Ngoako Ramatlhodi yesterday "dissolved without outcome", leaving union leaders to return to members to renew their mandate and the employers "reviewing further options available".

The five-month strike has contributed to a contraction of the South African economy in the first quarter.

Ramatlhodi indicated that he would withdraw as mediator if the sides failed to reach agreement yesterday.

BusinessDay also reports from Cairo, where newly inaugurated President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi yesterday reappointed Egypt’s prime minister, signalling continuity as he sets out to fix the economy and overcome political divisions after a long period of turmoil and bloodshed.

In comments carried by the state news agency, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb said the current government would stay on in a caretaker role until he formed a new cabinet. Consultations had not yet begun, he said, although officials have said many of the leading ministers, the finance bos for example, are likely to be unchanged.

In the Sowetan it is reported that South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, yesterday gave Speaker Baleka Mbete until tomorrow to reconsider her refusal to create a new ad-hoc parliamentary committee to consider the Nkandla controversy.

Last year the Public Protector found that President Jacob Zuma had derived undue benefit from the multi-million-rand upgrade to his private home in Kwazulu Natal.

Mbete last week turned down an earlier request from the Democratic Alliance for her to set up a committee that could continue the work of one set up by her predecessor Max Sisulu before the general elections in May.

In Nigeria the daily paper Punch reports that gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram have abducted about 20 women near Chibok, the Borno state community where more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in April.

The women, according to Bloomberg, a United States-based news agency, and the Guardian newspaper in London, were taken after the gunmen attacked a nomadic settlement known as Garkin Fulani at the weekend.

Slideshow Mandela

Both sources quote a member of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, as saying the women were herded into vehicles at gunpoint and driven off to an unknown location.

The Sowetan carries the same story, adding that the group also took three young men who tried to stop the kidnapping.

Punch also reports that at least three people were feared dead and scores injured in the northern city of Kano when supporters of the first son of the late emir of Kano and those of the former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Lamido Sanusi, clashed on Monday.

The clashes took place shortly before State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso presented Sanusi with a letter of appointment and the staff of office as the Emir of Kano.

Kwankwaso stressed that the choice of the new emir had been made purely on merit and was devoid of political considerations.

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