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Thousands urge South Africa’s President Zuma to quit

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Thousands of demonstrators gathered in the South African capital Pretoria on Wednesday for further protests urging President Jacob Zuma to step down.

The march to Union Buildings, the official seat of government, was organised by a coalition of opposition parties following nationwide rallies against Zuma last week.

Zuma’s recent sacking of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan unleashed public anger over government corruption scandals, record unemployment and slowing economic growth.

Wednesday’s march was led by the radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, along with the Democratic Alliance (DA) and smaller opposition parties.

“I came because Zuma has to step down. He sold the country. I don’t want him anymore,” Mavis Madisha, a 37-year-old EFF supporter, told AFP.

Gordhan’s sacking triggered unprecedented criticism from senior figures in the ruling African National Congress (ANC), including from Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The ANC has since tried to close ranks behind Zuma and has vowed to defeat a no-confidence vote in parliament.

The vote is scheduled for next Tuesday but may be delayed due to a legal tussle over whether it should be a secret ballot for lawmakers.

Zuma, who turned 75 on Wednesday, is due to step down as head of the ANC in December, and as president ahead of the 2019 general election.

He is seen as favouring his ex-wife, former African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to succeed him.

The president branded last week’s protests, which attracted tens of thousands of marchers, as racist.

The dismissal of Gordhan saw the Fitch and Standard & Poor’s agencies cut South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to junk status due to fears of political instability and growing corruption.

Zuma has been accused of being in the sway of the wealthy Gupta business family, allegedly granting them influence over government appointments, contracts and state-owned businesses.

The ANC has lost popularity in recent years and slipped to 55 percent of the vote in last year’s local elections — its worst ever result.

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Motherland News

Ghana: video of police assault on nursing mother goes viral

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Ghana’s social media space – Facebook and Twitter – has been buzzing with a call for the arrest of a police officer for assaulting a nursing mother.

A viral video shows the said officer in what starts like a tussle with the woman in a banking hall. Subsequently, he is seen hitting the woman with an umbrella, punching and slapping her on the face.

Reports indicated that the woman, a client of the savings and loans company, where the incident occured had arrived when the company had closed.

She ostensibly got in despite the close of business and refused to leave till she could withdraw a sum of 250 cedis ($50). Social media users are calling for the immediate arrest of the police officer. 

Local media portals also report that the police heirachy has confirmed that a probe had been opened into the alleged incident and that due process was going to be pursued.

The video continues to be widely shared on Facebook with some prominent media personalities joining the calls for justice for the woman.

 

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Trump extends Somali immigrants’ stay in US

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Somalis living in the United States under protected status have been given permission by the Trump administration to remain in the country for at least another 18 months, because of ongoing violence in the North African nation.

At least 500 Somalis in the United States with Temporary Protected Status will be able to re-register for an extension of their status through March 17, 2020, according to a Thursday statement from the Department of Homeland Security. The status grants beneficiaries the ability to legally work while they are in the United States.

 

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