African press review 13 July 2015
Julius Malema and the other members of the South African Economic Freedom Fighters say they are not afraid of "death threats" from the local Communist Party. And Egypt lays actor Omar Sharif to rest, without any interest being shown by Hollywood.
The Greek crisis has spread to Africa, or at least to the top of the front page of South African financial paper BusinessDay.
Its main headline reads "Greece must do more to earn rescue," with an article explaining that eurozone leaders told the near-bankrupt country at yesterday's emergency summit in Brussels that the Athens government must restore trust by enacting key reforms before they will open talks on a new financial rescue package.
According to the Johannesburg-based daily, leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will be required to push legislation through parliament today in order to convince his 18 partners in the monetary union to release immediate funds to avert a Greek state bankruptcy and start negotiations on a third bailout programme.
The Eurogroup wants Greece to pass laws changing its value added tax and pension systems, reform bankruptcy rules and strengthen the independence of its statistics office before bailout talks can even begin.
Greece is reckoned to need seven billion eruos by 20 July, when it must pay out on bonds held by the European Central Bank, and another 12 billion euros by mid-August when another bond payment falls due.
Athens defaulted on a loan repayment of nearly two billion euros to the International Monetary Fund last month.
In local news, BusinessDay reports that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party says it is not shocked at the call by the General Secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP)‚ Blade Nzimande‚ for the EFF to be killed off.
Nzimande is reported to have stated at the SACP’s special national congress last week that the Young Communist League should take on the Economic Freedom Fighters to make sure the party "dies".
In a statement the EFF noted that Nzimande has not called for parties like the opposition Democratic Alliance which openly advocates privatisation and neoliberalism to be killed or for racist organisations like AfriForum or parties that defend white interests like the FreedomFront Plus to die.
Instead, the statement continues, he wants the socialist EFF to die because the Economic Freedom Fighters do not depend on white intellectuals as does Nzimande’s South African Communist Party.
Yesterday's reaction from the EFF said the party has managed to "grow into a formidable force‚ both in urban and rural areas‚ and also in intellectual stature‚ without any white supervision".
South Africa is fast approaching a water crisis of "distastrous" proportions‚ according to Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane.
Speaking during a visit to Illovo in Kwazulu-Natal yesterday‚ Maimane charged that the crisis was not just a climate problem but primarily a question of governance.
Maimane claims that dams in Kwazulu-Natal are only 35 per cent full on average. He warned that, without rain‚ this supply would be depleted within two months.
The Cairo-based Egypt Independent gives pride of place to the actor Omar Sharif, buried yesterday following a ceremony at the grand mosque of Mushir Tantawi in an eastern neighbourhood of the Egyptian capital.
Sharif died on Friday of a heart attack. He was 83-years-old and had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
The Egypt Independent notes that journalists outnumbered mourners and that there were no Hollywood stars at the memorial service.
The same paper reports that the Cairo government has launched a monitoring office run by the State Information Service (SIS). The job of this new body, to be called the Fact Check Egypt office, will be to verify information included in foreign media reports about the country.
The office will seek to verify foreign reports and the sources they rely on. The staff have been trained by a US news site specialising in "media ethics", in tandem with the Egyptian government's SIS.
A number of foreign reporters who covered the attacks in north Sinai earlier this month have been contacted by Fact Check Egypt via e-mail and asked to adapt their reports to official government statements.
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