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African press review 2 October 2015

A South African bill on the private security industry is likely to strain relations between Washington and Pretoria, and could see the US vote against further development funds for Jacob Zuma's administration. The Nigerian president continues the slow extrusion of his cabinet, four months after elections.


Rules and regulations are causing headaches in South Africa.

The main headline in this morning's Johannesburg-based financial paper, BusinessDay, reads "Security bill threat to SA-US relations."

The story explains that US officials fear a deepening breach in already troubled relations if President Jacob Zuma signs the Private Security Regulation Amendments Bill in its present form.

Slideshow Mandela

Section 20 of the bill, which is awaiting Zuma’s signature, would require multinational private security companies working in South Africa to reduce their shareholding in local subsidiaries to 49 per cent or less, resulting, the industry fears, in a sale of assets at less than fair market value.

But the United States is obliged to vote against International Monetary Fund and World Bank loans to any country found to have expropriated US property without compensation or arbitration. It would also have to deny bilateral official finance and guarantees.

The private security industry in South Africa is worth about 50 billion rand a year, employs 2 million people and involves about 12,000 different firms.

BusinessDay also reports that South African car rental companies have cut purchases by 21 per cent as fewer tourists arrive "because of new visa regulations and other issues".

Another story says the tourism industry has called on the government for relief from crippling visa restrictions as new data show a 50 per cent drop in under-18 arrivals.

The East African reports that Burundian president Pierre Nkurunziza has granted amnesty to minors who were arrested during protests against his bid for a third term in April.

President Nkurunziza said the decision was reached in consultation with parents who promised to get their children back to school.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussien had earlier expressed concern at the situation of 52 minors who were being detained in adult prisons.

Meanwhile, Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari yesterday submitted a cabinet list to parliament for approval but asked Nigerians to continue to be patient as his four-month search for a government is still not over.

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

Foreign investors and Nigerian businessmen have criticised former military ruler Buhari for taking so long to nominate cabinet members when Africa's largest economy is taking a hammering from a plunge in oil prices.

Buhari is restructuring the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and conducting audits of key state institutions such as the central bank and customs and tax authorities as part of the anti-graft campaign that got him elected in March.

The main story in the Kenyan Daily Nation says that the leader of Burkina Faso's short-lived coup was in police custody after handing himself in as authorities ramped up a probe into last month's military rebellion.

General Gilbert Diendere, who had said several times that he was willing to face justice following the 17 September coup attempt, was being held at the Paspanga police base near the centre of the capital Ouagadougou.

The general, who is the former chief of staff to ousted president Blaise Compaore, sought refuge at the residence of the Vatican's ambassador on Tuesday just before an army raid on the barracks of his elite military regiment.

Diendere is likely to face trial before a military tribunal.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

The top story in the Kenyan Standard says that the Employment and Labour Relations Court yesterday ordered teachers to go back to work even as the dispute over their 60 per cent salary increment is heard by the Court of Appeal.

The Labour Court declined to lift the orders suspending the strike for 90 days and for the second time ordered the teachers to resume duty immediately. In a brief ruling yesterday, Justice Abuodha said teachers must obey the orders he issued last Friday and return to class before he can consider their application to have the directive to end the strike lifted.

The two striking unions are expected to meet tomorrow to consider the latest court ruling.

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