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S. A POLICE ARRESTS GUPTA FAMILY.

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Elite South African police (The Hawks) have arrested a member of the Gupta family, in an early morning raid on the luxury Johannesburg home of the Gupta brothers, wealthy friends of President Jacob Zuma accused of influence peddling, the state broadcaster said.

A member of the Gupta family, business friends of South African President Jacob Zuma, was arrested in a police raid on their luxury Johannesburg home on Wednesday, the state broadcaster reported.

The state broadcaster did not provide details of the detainees.

Earlier, the spokesperson of the Hawks, Hangwani Mulaudzi, had confirmed the raid to journalists waiting outside the Gupta home.

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“We can confirm that we are having an operation in Saxonwold, at the Gupta family compound, where our members are currently busy. We do not want to divulge more as to what is transpiring there due to the sensitivity of the operation,” he said.

The Gupta family has been linked to state capture involving the president, one of his sons, Duduzane, and a number of government ministers.

The State of Capture report by South Africa’s former state prosecutor Thuli Mandolesa accused the Gupta brothers of using their wealth to influence government business including the choice of ministers appointed by president Jacob Zuma.

The state capture report was initially contested by Zuma and he only appointed a commission of inquiry into the issues it raised, after the Supreme Court ruled that he must appoint such a commission.

Zuma and the Guptas have consistently denied allegations of any wrongdoing as alleged by the State Capture report.

The Hawks have conducted similar raids on the offices of the Africa National Congress’ secretary general Ace Magashule and the Mineral Resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane, in connection with a multi million rand Estina dairy project that the Gupta family reportedly influenced.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s presidency told the media to ‘await official notification’ of a media briefing by the president, amid expectations that he is about to resign as head of state.

The presidency statement came after media reports that Zuma would brief the nation at 0800 GMT to respond to a ruling party order that he should step down as national President.

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Motherland News

Mozambique: Government set to impose license fees for local journalists.

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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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Crime

South Africa: Man cleared of rape after 13 years in jail

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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.

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