African press review 13 April 2016
We begin in South Africa where the front pages are dominated is the pressure being piled on President Zuma to step down for failing to refund public funds used to renovate his private Nkandla home and to resolve the unprecedented crisis facing the governing party. This, in light of a damning Constitutional Court judgment that he violated the Constitution in his handling of Nkandla.
The Times Live
"Zuma should reflect and do the right thing", headlines the Johannesburg newspaper. The publication culled the line from a statement issued by the Executive Committee of the ruling African National Congress ( PEC) in the strategic Gauteng Province, after a special meeting on Monday which ended with the powerful constituency breaking ranks with the party over Zuma's future.
Mail and Guardian
Meanwhile, the ruling party's Gauteng branch found the President's Nkandla apology "not enough to restore confidence in the ANC, the Mail and Guardian reports. This, while the Cape Times observed that the Gauteng ANC leadership "fears that Zuma will cost them votes in local elections in the country’s economic hub".
The ANC's Gauteng chapter did not back Zuma’s re-election as ANC leader in 2012, observes the Johannesburg-based daily.
But it explains that Zuma who has ruled the party since 2007 continues to enjoy "plenty of support in the state and the ANC's 4,200 branches nationally, with his allies dominating the party’s national executive committee, the security services and Parliament".
Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza says "ANC members may help President Jacob Zuma pay for the upgrades on his Nkandla homestead". According to the City Press, Mabuza was speaking after a meeting of ANC groups on Tuesday at which they decided to rally in support of Zuma.
The City Press underlines that Mpumalanga structures, including three regional executive committees, the ANC Women’s League and the uMkhonto weSizwe Veterans’ Association joined the ANC Youth League in its unconditional acceptance of Zuma’s apology.
“What must be paid will be paid and if he – Zuma - doesn’t have the money he might request ANC members to pay,” the Mpumalanga Prime Minister is quoted by the paper as saying.
There is renewed outrage in Nigeria about the fate of the girls after the Nation reported that five telephones belonging to some of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls were used to call some of the parents.
The paper cites the chairman of the Chibok girls ‘parents group, Yakubu Nkeki, as the source of the information. Nkeki is quoted as saying that anxious parents who tried to return the calls" received death threats".
Finally this morning, the Vanguard reports this morning that President Muhammadu Buhari began his 5-day visit to China with an appeal to his hosts in Beijing to "stop seeing Nigeria only as a consumer market".
Buhari reportedly spoke during an accord signing ceremony at Beijing's Great Hall organized by President Xi Jinping on Tuesday.
The paper says China offered $15 million in agricultural assistance to Nigeria promised to increase its scholarship aides to Nigeria from 100 to 700 students on a yearly basis. According to Vanguard the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries stood at 14.9 billion dollars in 2015 with Nigeria accounting for just 8.3 per cent of the total trade.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe