African press review 15 April 2014

The ANC's move to delay the probe into the Nkandla scandal in South Africa, Somalians in Nairobi and Egypt's terrorism act all feature in today's African newspapers ..

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South African financial paper BusinessDay reports that the special parliamentary committee to probe the Nkandla scandal won't be starting work this week. This is because the ruling ANC won't nominate its seven members until April 23.

In the clearest indication yet that the African National Congress will close ranks to protect President Jacob Zuma, the ruling party's decision will leave the committee just seven days to complete its work.

When National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu announced the establishment of the committee to probe Zuma’s response to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on the multi-million rand upgrade to his private home, Sisulu gave the committee until April 30 to complete its work.

The rules of Parliament allow political parties 10 working days to nominate their representatives. The ANC’s decision to use the full time allowed in the rules will seriously limit the amount of work the committee can do.

BusinessDay's editorial says South Africa is going to miss out on global economic recovery.

We know that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says the Treasury has maintained its 2.7 per cent growth forecast for this year, but very few people believe him.

The trouble is that South Africa’s own woes mean that it will not benefit as it should from the global upturn.

Industrial unrest and policy uncertainty are the two worst problems. Mining output contracted by 7 per cent in February. Manufacturing production contracted too over the month. This is likely to mean that growth for the first quarter will come in below expectations, warns BusinessDay, adding that the year as a whole is likely to go the same way.

In Kenya, The Daily Nation says that Christian clergy and the Eastleigh business community have asked the government to be humane in the ongoing crackdown against suspected terrorists and illegal immigrants.

At a joint press conference yesterday, clerics from the Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Africa Inland and Presbyterian churches asked the government to be mindful of human rights as it goes about the business of ensuring security for all.

Eastleigh is a predominantly Somali suburb of Nairobi, and has been the focus of police activity since an explosion killed six people earlier this month.

According to The Daily Nation, there have been 84 explosions in Kenya since 2011 when the Kenya Defence Forces first entered Somalia to fight the terrorist organisation Al-Shabaab.

A source in the Egyptian Cabinet has told the Cairo-based Egypt Independent newspaper that the terrorism act may be cancelled in the light of criticism by international and local rights organizations. Local legal experts have already criticised the legislation as a means to suppress opposition.

Sources at the presidency said President Mansour returned the terrorism act to Cabinet on Monday.

 

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