African press review 17 March 2017

Will out-going African Union Commission chair, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, get a cabinet post in South Africa? What will the South African Constitutional Court decide to do about the payment of grants to the republic's 13 million poor? And why are members of Namibia's Herero and Nama people happy to be in court in New York?


Gunmen in South Sudan have attacked an aid convoy, killing two people.

The International Organisation for Migration said yesterday that the convoy was attacked on Tuesday as it was returning from the central town of Yirol where staff and health workers had been assisting communities affected by an outbreak of cholera.

The dead were a civilian and a health worker. Three other people were injured.

At least 100,000 people are suffering from famine in South Sudan, where a three-year civil war has made it difficult for aid workers to reach those in need.

From the African Union Commission to the South Africa Cabinet

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is tipped for a top job in the South Africa Cabinet.

Regional paper the East African says Dlamini-Zuma returned home yesterday after handing over the chair of the African Union Commission.

Dlamini-Zuma is being tipped for a cabinet position in President Jacob Zuma’s administration in what sources say would ease her path to succeed him as national leader.

Zuma is expected reshuffle the cabinet in mid-April.

Jacob Zuma is on record as saying the ANC is ready for a female leader and the job will not automatically go to his current deputy Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa is considered Dlamini-Zuma's biggest challenger for the top post.

The winner of the presidency of the ruling party would be a strong favourite to succeed Zuma as South African president after the elections to take place in 2019.

Thirteen million poor South Africans await Constitutional Court decision

South Africa's Constitutional Court will announce its decision in the social grants row tomorrow.

The Johannesburg-based paper BusinessDay says the court has been asked to supervise the payment of social grants to ensure they are made available to recipients on April 1. This after Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini failed to ensure a replacement service to distribute grants when the contract with private company Cash Paymaster Services expires at the end of this month.

Thirteen million South Africans receive social grants.

BusinessDay says the court will decide whether to extend the invalid contract between the South African Social Security Agency and Cash Paymaster Services or create a new one. Also to be decided is if the private company will continue to be responsible for the payment of grants for a year or 18 months. The court is likely to give instructions on how a new tender process should work to find a legal distributor of grants.

The Post Office hopes it will be considered for the job.

Constitutional Court again embroiled in high-stakes political battle

The Mail & Guardian says the social grants crisis is a test of the powers of the Constitutional Court which is, once again, being asked to deal with a highly politically charged matter.

The Mail & Guardian says Cash Paymaster Services, the private company contracted to pay out grants on behalf of the social development department, is suspected of exploiting grant recipients, specifically by promoting financial products such as funeral policies and micro loans.

Century-old African genocide case to be heard by a court in New York

More than a century after a long-ignored genocide took place in Namibia while under German colonial rule, descendants of the victims had their day in court in New York for the first time yesterday.

The story is in today's Kenyan Daily Nation.

Between 1904 to 1908, tens of thousands of Herero and Nama people were killed by German troops following a series of rebellions against colonial rule.

Germany and Namibia have been in talks for the past two years about a joint declaration on the massacres.

The tribes filed their class-action lawsuit in January seeking compensation and demanding that they be included in the negotiations between the two countries.

The case will be heard in New York in July.

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