African press review 23 April 2013

Monitoring corruption in both Nigeria and South Africa is a key subject in today's newspapers..


The Punch in Nigeria reports from Borno where a weekend clash between government troops and suspected Boko Haram militants left at least 185 people dead.

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday ordered an investigation into the incident. His office, however, said it believed the figures might have been “grossly exaggerated.” Authorities of the Defence Headquarters in Abuja have put the casualty total at 25.

President Jonathan has also been reacting to recent US claims that Nigeria is deeply corrupt.

On Monday the president admitted that corruption was pervading the nation’s system. He, however, said the reports of the menace were being exaggerated.

According to the US Department of State’s report released at the weekend, government officials and agencies, including the police, frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.

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

Jonathan accepted that there were cases of corruption in the country, but insisted that the menace was being “over-amplified”.

According to South African financial paper, BusinessDay, Sdumo Dlamini, the president of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, has accused Corruption Watch, an anti-corruption agency set up by the federation and closely associated with general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, of meddling in union affairs.

The agency was established early last year to probe corruption, but is now at the centre of the vicious battle unfolding in Cosatu for control of the unions.

Dlamini said in an interview on Monday that Corruption Watch had deliberately entangled itself in union power battles. His claims will add to the intensity of a struggle for the soul of the union movement, which is a powerful ally of the ruling African National Congress.

On its African Business pages, BusinessDay reports that the authorities in Zimbabwe are in the process of amending the controversial indigenisation laws which will force mining companies to cede 51% of their shares to the state, but without any financial compensation.

A Zimbabwe cabinet minister, who requested not to be named, confirmed to Business Day on Monday that all resource companies in Zimbabwe will be affected by the amendment.

The Bloomberg news service on Monday said the draft law was intended to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe benefit fully, and without cost whatsoever, from enterprises that exploit the nation's natural resources.

According to BusinessDay, the amendment to the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act comes despite earlier agreements between the Harare government and Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum and Aquarius Platinum, companies which have all signed deals to cede majority shares in their Zimbabwe units in return for cash compensation.

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