Nasiru Bello, National Coach of Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) has expressed the optimism that the men’s team would win laurels in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria will feature in table tennis event in the games tagged 2018 Gold Coast holding in Australia from April 4 to April 24.
“I foresee our men’s team doing better in this year’s Commonwealth Games because both the home-based and foreign-based are preparing well and are in top shape to improve the medal hauls.
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I am in constant touch with the players; they are eager to distinguish themselves in the various events that they will feature in,’’ Bello told NAN on Wednesday in Lagos.
The coach said that foreign-based Segun Toriola and Aruna Quadri would use the 2018 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Top 16 Cup to fortify their readiness for the Commonwealth Games.
He noted that the Africa Top 16 Cup would hold in March in Nairobi.
“The forthcoming championships will really help our two key players; some of the players they will be competing with in Kenya will also be in Australia for the Commonwealth.
“Our players are experienced and have all it takes to make the difference both in the Top 16 in Kenya and Commonwealth Games because they are ambitious,’’ he said.
He said that foreign-based players were expected to join the home-based to tidy up preparations for the Commonwealth Games in which they would feature in singles, team and doubles events.
Bello noted that Toriola won gold in the men’s single event at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England.
He also noted that Nigeria won a bronze medal in the men’s team event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, Scotland.
NAN reports that the Commonwealth Games known as 2018 Gold Coast which holds in Queensland, Australia, will feature 275 events in 18 sports with 70 countries participating.
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Mozambique: Government set to impose license fees for local journalists.
Mozambican government has announced plans to introduce license fees for local and foreign journalists.
Local correspondents will pay $2,500 per trip for media accreditation while foreign correspondents living in Mozambique will be charged $8,300 per year.
Mozambican journalists reporting for foreign news outlets will be required to pay $3,500 for an annual accreditation.
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This is 50 times more than the country’s statutory minimum wage, estimated at around $70 per month.
The plan fees have attracted serious criticism as the move has been viewed as an apparent attempt to discourage reporting from the country.
Mozambique’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) has warned that the imposition of licensing fees on the country’s mass media must not compromise the fundamental right of the public to information.
In a statement, the CNDH, added its voice to the chorus of criticism of the proposed fees.
It conceded that the government has the right to update licensing and accreditation fees, but said such a measure should not undermine the right to information.
The CNDH points out that the current legal framework on access to information “takes as its guidelines the greatest divulging of information and free access to information… In other words, access to information is a matter of public interest and this access should be promoted and facilitated”.
It added: “The legal framework meant that the relevant state bodies must take measures to promote the broadest possible access to information”.
CNDS also warns that the enormous fees imposed by the July decree are not in line with the guidelines contained in the legal instruments on the right to information that are in force in the country.
The justification given for the fees is that they are necessary to ensure the sustainability of the sector – but none of the money raised by the fees will go to the media.
The decree states that 60 percent of the money from the fees will go to the state budget, and the remaining 40 per cent will go to the government’s press office (Gabinfo).
Meanwhile, the government is showing signs of backing down.
On Tuesday, its spokesperson, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ana Comoana, said the decree will be discussed with interested parties before its implementation.
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South Africa: Man cleared of rape after 13 years in jail
After 13 years behind bars in Westville Prison, Njabulo Ndlovu will become a free man after being acquitted of rape at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Durban.
The 35-year-old uMlazi man was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of the 2002 gang rape of a pregnant woman who knew him as they went to the same school and their fathers had worked together.
He was 19 and a second-year student at the University of Durban-Westville (today the University of KwaZulu-Natal) at the time. He testified during the trial that he had been nowhere near the place where the gang rape took place.
During the trial, three of the five accused were discharged due to lack of evidence, while Ndlovu and another remained in prison. After Monday, only one accused will remain in prison.
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While Ndlovu was in prison for over a decade, he never lost hope, as he continued pursuing law studies and received a law degree from Unisa in May this year.
And on Friday, a full bench of judges upheld the appeal against Ndlovu’s conviction and sentence. He now intends to sue the minister of justice for damages.