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africa press review

African press review 19 September 2018

The alleged plot to oust South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will not go away as the local communist party wants a full investigation. Rwandan opposition figure Victoire Ingabire is out of prison, promising to enlarge the country's political space. And who is behind the latest fighting in South Sudan's Yei River State?


You will remember the plot to oust South African president Cyril Ramaphosa and return Jacob Zuma to power?

Last week, the alleged plotters made it clear that they were in Durban at the same hotel as Zuma, either completely by chance or for routine discussions.

The matter was considered closed.

South Africa's chief communist does not share this belief.

Yesterday, according to the Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay, Blade Nzimande, secretary-general of the South African Communist Party, called on the tripartite alliance - the ruling ANC, the communists and the trade union confederation Cosatu - to discuss the allegations of a plot against President Cyril Ramaphosa at its next summit.

Addressing delegates at the Cosatu conference‚ Nzimande warned the alliance not to let the matter slide.

"This thing is not only a threat to the ANC‚ it is a threat to our revolution as a whole. And it must be discussed‚ and it must be dealt with‚ we must go to the bottom of it‚" said Nzimande.

Earlier this week, speaking at the same conference, the president himself took a swipe at ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule over his alleged involvement in the plot.

The Sunday Times revealed two weeks ago that Magashule‚ together with former president Jacob Zuma‚ former North West regional premier Supra Mahumapelo, and ANC Women’s League secretary Meokgo Matuba were party to meetings plotting to remove the president.

No one has any idea how the alleged plotters were planning to proceed.

Nzimande said the campaign was directed not only at Ramaphosa but at the working class and all South Africans who wanted to rescue the country from the dark forces hoping to control it.

Burundi warns UN rights body

Burundi has threatened to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council.

This follows a recent report by a UN Commission of Inquiry, accusing the Bujumbura government and its supporters of crimes against humanity.

According to regional paper the East African, Burundi's ambassador to the United Nations, Renovat Tabu, told the Council that the report was “full of lies” and had been“politically motivated”.

The authorities in Bujumbura have threathened to take legal action for defamation.

The three commissioners rejected Burundi’s complaints, saying they were immune from legal action over any alleged defamation and that Burundi’s withdrawal from the Council would achieve little, and certainly will not shield the country from scrutiny.

Out of jail, Ingabire calls for more political space

Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire has vowed to push for the opening up of the political space days after she was released from prison following a presidential pardon. This story is on the front page of the East African.

Ingabire was freed last Saturday after serving eight years of her 15-year sentence.

She was arrested in 2010 soon after returning from exile in the Netherlands seeking to run in presidential elections.

She was charged with inciting revolt against the government, forming armed groups to destabilise the country, and minimising the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Her trial and consequent sentencing in 2013 attracted widespread criticism.

Last November, the Arusha-based African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights ruled that Ingabire's freedom of opinion and expression, as well as her right to an adequate defence had been violated. The Kigali government was given six months to rectify the harm done.

Ingabire is the leader of the unregistered opposition FDU-Inkingi party.

Blame game continues in South Sudan

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has asked opposition leader Riek Machar to intervene to stop the fighting in Yei River State. This is the top story in today's Sudan Tribune.

Hours after last week's signing of the revised peace agreement in Addis Ababa, says the report, Machar's supporters accused government forces of attacking their positions in several areas of the troubled state, not far from the Ugandan border.

President Kiir claims that units of the national army had been attacked by fighters from Machar's group.

The ceasefire monitoring body has launched an investigation.


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