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African press review 14 December 2012

Text by: William Niba
4 min

In South Africa the papers are desperately searching for news about the condition of Nelson Mandela, who is suffering from a lung infection.


The former president, aged 94, was flown from his Eastern Cape home in Qunu to a Pretoria facility on Saturday where he is reported to be responding to treatment.

There is continuing speculation in the press about where exactly he is being treated.

The Mail and Guardian reports that on Thursday the presidency declined to confirm that the revered leader was not being treated in One Military Hospital as initially thought.

BusinessDay believes the government’s posture is probably aimed at keeping off a large contingent of journalists from local and international media who have been camping outside the  hospital.

Most South African papers comment about Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe's acceptance of his nomination to challenge incumbent President Jacob Zuma for the ruling ANC’s top job at aconference in Mangaung this weekend.

The Sowetan underlines that becoming leader of the ANC means a nearly automatic ticket to becoming president in post-apartheid South Africa. But the Johannesburg Star says Motlanthe’s decision is a lose-lose scenario as it will be more about him taking a principled position and less about him winning.

In Nigeria the Punch reports that the army has arrested 63 people, including two policemen, in raids as they searched for Professor Kamene Okonjo, the 82-year-old mother of Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, abducted from her home in Delta State last Sunday.

The paper says political motives have been suggested for the abduction, claiming that konjo-Iweala’s drive to reform a corrupt economy ruffled powerful vested interests, especially fuel importers. Some members of the finance minister’s family are also being investigated, of involvement in the abduction, according to the Nigerian Tribune.

In Ghana the papers are voicing concern about persisting tensions in the country in the aftermath of the 7 December presidential and parliamentary elections that saw the reelection of incumbent President John Dramani Mahama.

The Chronicle reports claims by the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) that heavily armed security agents raided their Accra office as their researchers finetuned their evidence for challenging the results of the election.

The NPP has been telling the press that it discovered 160,000 ballot papers added to Mahama’s total score.

The electronic newspaper My JoyOnline reports that seven people were hurt when irate thugs armed with machetes and wearing Mahama T-shirts stormed Makola Market in the bustling Rawlings Park area of the capital to avenge alleged attacks on some NDC supporters there.

Joy news reports that the National Security Council held an emergency meeting with the two political parties on Thursday to discuss measures to avert attacks and reprisals.

And in Kenya the Nation reports that abortion tops the list of Kenyan online searches in 2012, according to a Google zeitgeist report released on Thursday.

The paper says the findings could be an indication that many Kenyans are engaging in unprotected sex, resulting in unplanned pregnancies. The Standard is relieved to learn that the Kenyans search for news about how to conceive is at number four. Their hunt for tips about how how to seduce and romance are at number six and eight respectively.

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