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African press review 18 March 2017

The social grants payment crisis in South Africa is over, for the next 12 months at least. Uganda reels in the wake of the latest boda-boda killing in which the country's second highest-ranking policeman was shot dead. And Khartoum donates food and medicine to help those hit by famine in neighbouring South Sudan.


Thirteen million South Africans and one government minister breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday.

The Johannesburg-based daily paper BusinessDay reports that the Constitutional Court yesterday ruled that the private company Cash Paymaster Services could continue to pay social grants for the next 12 months.

This means that there's no longer any danger that the republic's most needy citizens will be left without money when the current contract for the payment of grants expires at the end of this month.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini described the court decision as "a victory for the people of South Africa," and as a second chance to show she is capable of doing her job.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has condemned yesterday's killing of the Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi by gunmen described by the president as thugs riding on motorcycles.

Uganda's second most prominent policeman was shot and killed in his car along with two other officers as he left his home in Kampala.

As a consequence of these repeated murders in the city and other towns, according to the Kampala-based Daily Monitor, the president has directed the immediate installation of cameras in all major towns of Uganda and along the highways.

The Monitor also notes that, in the past seven years, at least 12 killings have been carried out by killers riding motorcycles, who escape from the crime scene and are never traced in spite of police efforts.

The director general of Ugandan Internal Security is quoted by the paper as saying there is need to organise and monitor the so-called boda boda or motor-cycle taxi industry.

The former president of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change, Kizza Besigye, says the lack of clear monitoring and supervision of the boda boda riders is one element of what he called “a collapsing state”.

At least six people have died in Burundi following torrential rain and flooding that triggered landslides and caused widespread damage, according to the regional paper the East African.

And the same daily paper reports that Khartoum has come to the rescue as famine ravages neighbouring South Sudan.

According to the report, Sudan has donated 15 metric tonnes of food and medical supplies to its neighbour.

Sudanese Health minister Someia Idris told the media on arrival at Juba International Airport yesterday that Khartoum was concerned about the suffering of the people in South Sudan.

The South Sudan humanitarian crisis has been provoked by the civil war between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those allied to his former deputy Riek Machar.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir recently ordered the opening of border corridors to ease access by humanitarian agencies attempting to help famine-stricken South Sudan populations.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has taken measures to recover 130 million litres of missing petrol.

The story is in today's Guardian.

It appears that two named distribution companies have been unable to account for the missing fuel, held on behalf of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. They have been ordered to return the missing product or repay the cash value of the missing petrol.

Nigeria is to increase petrol imports to make up for the shortfall.

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