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African press review 29 November 2016

Several South African government ministers throw their weight behind the campaign to oust President Jacob Zuma. He has promised a reshuffle. Egypt denies sending soldiers to help the regime in Syria. Uganda's king Charles Wesley Mumbere is still in jail. And how bad is the situation in South Sudan's Central Equatoria?

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A group of South African government ministers has threatened to resign if Jacob Zuma stays on as president. This is the top story in the Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay.

The financial daily says the threat can be viewed as a pre-emptive strike against Zuma, who has been planning a cabinet reshuffle to get rid of his political opponents.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and the ANC's economic transformation chief, Enoch Godongwana, are among those leading the charge against the embattled Zuma.

The ruling ANC's national executive committee has so far failed to agree on the president's fate, despite extending their weekend meeting into yesterday.

BusinessDay says ministers who spoke out against the president at that meeting face a stark choice should Zuma remain in office: they can either resign and allow the president to fill their positions with his own loyalists, or they can wait for the president to reshuffle them out of office.

While the ANC’s national executive committee continued to debate Zuma’s future yesterday, the president found time to host his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, who was on a brief visit to Pretoria.

What happened to hair at the Pretoria High School for Girls?

Incidentally, the most popular news story on social media in South Africa this year has nothing to do with President Zuma. According to a BusinessDay review of the events that excited the greatest amount of public interest in the past 12 months, top spot goes to the the Pretoria High School for Girls hair saga.

In case you've forgotten, pupils at the Pretoria institution protested against racism.

They challenged the school’s management and the Gauteng Education authorities to deal with various allegations, including teachers insisting pupils neaten their fuzzy black hair and that they speak English during private conversations.

Zuma does, however, make the BusinessDay top 10, at number six, for finally paying back the millions of rand in public money spent on improving his private home and farm at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.

Ugandan traditional king still behind bars, supporters arrested

Charles Wesley Mumbere, the King of Rwenzururu Kingdom in Uganda, is still in jail.

The traditional ruler from the far-western Rwenzori region which straddles the border with the DRC was arrested along with 30 royal guards following clashes which led to the deaths of more than 60 people last weekend.

Mumbere is accused of attempting to establish an armed militia with a view to fighting for the independence of his kingdom.

Meanwhile, according to regional paper the East African, the death toll from the fighting at the royal palace in Kasese District, western Uganda over the weekend has risen to 62, according to the police.

Forty-six royal guards were killed in an exchange with the Uganda People's Defence Forces and police. The East African reports that 139 royal guards have been arrested.

Egypt denies sending soldiers to help Assad

Egypt denies sending military personnel to Syria. That's the top story in this morning's Cairo-based Egypt Independent.

Egypt’s foreign ministry has denied the presence of Egyptian troops in Syria, reiterating its commitment to non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries.

Last week Lebanese newspaper As-Safir cited “well informed Arab sources” confirming that Egypt had sent a group of 18 helicopter pilots to fight alongside the Syrian Army.

What is really happening in South Sudan's Central Equatoria region?

The Sudan Tribune claims that South Sudanese authorities yesterday prevented a ceasefire monitoring team from reaching Yei to assess the security situation in the troubled Central Equatoria region.

The team, operating under the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism said it had been denied freedom of movement while trying to reach Yei to conduct an assessment of the situation in the area.

Earlier this month Adama Dieng, the UN special adviser on prevention of genocide, called for a probe into human rights violations in Central Equatoria, stressing the gravity of the situation there.

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