• South Africa's anti-graft tzar vows to overcome setbacks

    08/Nov/2015 // 234 Viewers

     AFP/File / by Sibongile Khumalo | South African Public Protector Thuli Madonsela speaks during an interview with AFP about her fight against corruption

     

    PRETORIA (AFP) - 

    South Africa's anti-corruption ombudsman is an optimist, and perhaps she needs to be.

    Thuli Madonsela hopes that President Jacob Zuma will pay back public funds used to upgrade his private residence, in a scandal that has become a damaging symbol of the country's post-apartheid era.

    More than $20 million (19 million euros) was spent on Nkandla, the president's rural homestead, triggering criticism of hugely-inflated costs for "security improvements" that included a swimming pool and chicken coop.

    Zuma's refusal to admit any wrongdoing embodies allegations of corruption, greed and unaccountability surrounding the African National Congress (ANC) party that led the struggle to overturn white-minority rule.

    Public Protector Madonsela told AFP that she had not given up in her battle over Nkandla -- which has brought her international renown, as well as bitter criticism from Zuma loyalists.

    "He could still change and decide that, despite the advice he got, he wants to do the right thing. That door is not closed yet," she said, in an interview in her Pretoria offices that are decorated with awards and certificates.

    Madonsela's highly-critical Nkandla report, released in March 2014, was met with counter-investigations by the police minister and others exonerating Zuma.

    "Of course the reaction to it is a setback," she said.

    "You've got to deal with (my report) rationally, reasonably and fairly. The response we got ... was irrational."

    The dispute over Zuma's property thrust Madonsela into the spotlight, earning her a spot in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world last year.

    But since she was appointed -- by Zuma -- in 2009, she has tackled a formidable array of much bigger corruption issues, including land reform, transport infrastructure tenders, police misconduct and arms deals.

    - Humble beginnings -

    Some of the cases date back to the pre-1994 apartheid years, a period that she said still haunts the country as a whole culture of government corruption went undetected for decades.

    "If we are investigating conduct failure, it is often difficult because some state agencies give you the wrong information, but we have our own sources who make it easier," she said.

    "Key to any investigation is whistleblowers. We do have a big problem of corruption."

    Softly-spoken Madonsela, 53, rose from humble beginnings in the township of Soweto to become a constitutional lawyer, working as a technical adviser on drafting South Africa's democratic constitution after the end of apartheid.

    As dismal economic growth, crime, rumbling social tensions and high unemployment fuel pessimism about South Africa's future, she says her office is a sign of the country's ability to protect its institutions.

    "In other countries, it is taboo that you could ask how much was spent on the president's home. But we have an environment that allows us to do that," she said.

    Despite the lack of government response, the Nkandla probe shows South Africa has a "strong constitution where the rule of law is applied to everyone, regardless of whether you are a cleaner or a president," she added.

    "We have a strong democracy that has multi-agency oversight."

    - 'Do something' -

    Madonsela, who was accused at the height of the Nkandla controversy of being a CIA spy by one deputy minister, calmly dismisses suggestions of political pressure in her work, saying none of her staff have faced intimidation.

    She is due to stand down when her seven-year term ends in October 2017, and has recently launched perhaps her most risky strategy yet.

    She has allied with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a radical left-wing opposition party, in a Constitutional Court bid to compel Zuma to pay back the Nkandla money.

    The case will be heard next year.

    "The first step towards a solution is admitting you have a problem, the second step is to do something," she said.

    by Sibongile Khumalo


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  • Presidential campaign kicks off in coup-riddled Burkina Fasso

    08/Nov/2015 // 221 Viewers

    A presidential campaign starts Sunday in Burkina Faso, with the winner poised to re-establish democracy after the long rule of former soldier Blaise Compaore in a nation prone to coups.

    An attempted coup in September led by Campaore's onetime presidential guard chief, General Gilbert Diendere, caused authorities to postpone presidential and legislative polls from October 11 until November 29.

    The coup was foiled by a popular uprising -- much as street protests toppled Compaore himself at the end of October 2014, angry at his bid to change the constitution in order to extend his 27-year rule.

    Diendere has been charged by a military court on 11 counts, including a "crime against humanity", after clashes that claimed 14 lives and left 251 wounded, according to transitional government figures.

    In the most controversial decision ahead of the vote, the interim authorities headed by Michel Kafando have ruled that nobody who backed Compaore's bid to keep power can stand for elected office.

    The powerful Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), which long functioned like a state-run party that won every election, is unable to field candidates in the deeply poor west African country, which has a population of nearly 20 million.

    The CDP choice, Eddie Constance Konboigo, has been barred from standing and so have all members of Kafando's interim regime, but Compaore will cast a long shadow over the polls from his exile in Ivory Coast.

    Seven of the 14 candidates played important roles in the fallen regime, without backing Compaore to the end.

    Roch Marc Christian Kabore and Zephirin Diabre, considered the frontrunners, are both former government ministers.

    Kabore worked with Compaore for 26 years, serving as prime minister and then speaker of the National Assembly. He also ran the CDP for more than a decade, but quit the party in disgrace 10 months before Compaore was ousted.

    Diabre, an economist, long opted for an international career, but also served at home as minister of the economy and finance. He also joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from Compaore.

    AFP,DGW


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  • Beatrice Stockly, Swiss, kidnapped for the second time in Timbuktu, Mali

    09/Jan/2016 // 801 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 9, 2016: (DGW) Reports reaching us say a Swiss woman, a missionary named Beatrice Stockly  was overnight Thursday to  Friday abducted by gunmen in Timbuktu, Mali. She had also previously fallen prey to abductors sometimes in 2012, DailyGlobeWatch was reliably told in Bamako, the Malian capital.

    No group has claimed responsibility for this abduction as of the time of filing this report. The victim a Swiss national has been living in Timbuktu for years, our reporter was reliably informed.

    Cases of abductions of foreigners  are rampant in this desert region by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb who of  demand for cutthroat ransoms. Ironically, she was said to have been kidnapped about four years ago and was released later the same month.

    However, the Swiss foreign ministry gravely concerned about the woman's safety has commenced working doggedly for the woman's release but no agreement has been brokered yet as no group has claimed responsibility, DailyGlobeWatch understands.Meanwhile, the Swiss foreign ministry had before now issued a statement advising its citizens against travelling to Mali because of the high risk of abductions from which they raise money for terrorist's operations.

    France has intensified its  military campaign in the region with a counter-terrorism force of no fewer than 3,500 troops in conjunction with about 10,000 United Nations peace-keeping force in the country.

     

     

     

     

     


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  • Why Gani Adams, Asari Dokubo must return Libya’s looted fund

    09/Jan/2016 // 786 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 9, 2016: (DGW) It is unfortunate that the good people of Libya today suffer from insecurity and deprivation while elements that conspired with our people’s number one enemy, Muammar Ghadafi to loot and bring hardship on the people of Libya enjoy their loot.

    As representatives of the Libyan people, we are committed to seeking retribution on all the infidels that conspired with Ghadafi to loot and bring our people to this sorry pass.

    Among the worst of the enemies of the Libyan people are the external collaborators who in the guise of furthering the ‘Pan-Africanist’ agenda of the late dictator, helped in one way or more to entrench Ghadafi’s rule and therefore prolong the suffering of our people.

    Monies belonging to the Libyan people were filtered away in the name of currying favours, supplying mercenary fighters and arms procurement among other excuses.

    Some prominent ‘freedom fighters’, among them Asari Dokubo and Gani Adams of Nigeria are among those who recently discovered documents were shown to have been used in this diabolical theme to defraud Libya.

    The duo of Asari Dokubo and Gani Adams have both between themselves collected nothing less than $70 million (seventy million US dollars). Records show that Asari collected about $48 million, and Adams about $23 million, although both may have collected more than has already been discovered.

    We are still looking for more evidence of such looted funds but demand the immediate repatriation of such funds back to the rightful owners, the people of Libya.

    The people of Libya may be willing to forget this crime against them if the money stolen is returned; however it would be difficult to forget.

    Our plea is for the concerned persons to repatriate our money without any further delay to avert consequences; the type which would be difficult to imagine or comprehend.

    Signed: Abass Ibn Idris
    Global Civilians for Peace in Libya

     


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  • Again, JAMMEH blows hot, shuts down another radio station in The Gambia

    09/Jan/2017 // 1228 Viewers

    Yahya Jammeh of Gambia has rejected the poll results and as proceeded to the Supreme Court

    Another private radio station has been shutdown by Gambian authorities, deepening the ongoing political crisis in the country, the AFP news agency reports
    Paradise FM is the fourth radio station to be ordered off air this month.

    Plain clothes policemen claiming to be acting on information ministry orders told the station to stop broadcasting late Sunday, sources told AFP.

    The station had hosted an opposition spokesman, Halifa Sallah, as well as to a ruling party spokesman, Yankuba Colley, to discuss the political crisis, the report says.

    Three other radio stations have been ordered off air in similar circumstances so far in January, with only one of them – Afri Radio – later allowed to continue broadcasting on the condition it plays only music, the report adds.

    President Yayha Jammen is disputing the victory of opposition candidate Adama Barrow despite earlier conceding.

    Mr Jammeh’s party has filed a petition at the supreme court which will be heard on 10 January.


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  • Hossam Bahgat arrested in Egypt for publishing 'false report'

    09/Nov/2015 // 456 Viewers

    Hossam Bahgat has been arrested yesterday by Egypt's security operatives over a report he published about the kangaroo trial of former army officers, sources disclosed to DailyGlobeWatch in Cairo.

    The detained journalist and human rights advocate was summoned and questioned by the country's military intelligence over a false publication in his October report: Hossam, sources told our reporter, said in a report that 26 military officers had been charged with treason and convicted for plotting a botched coup.


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  • Johannesburg limits water use as drought worsens

    09/Nov/2015 // 264 Viewers

    AFP | A cow roams through the dried up Mfolozi River in Ulundi on November 9, 2015 as a severe drought affects South Africa

     

    JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - 

    Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city and economic hub, on Monday imposed emergency water restrictions as supplies deteriorated due to a drought, the worst to ravage the country in three decades.

    "We are pleading with our customers to take more precautionary measures on how to use the water," the city's environmental affairs spokesman Anda Mbikwana told AFP.

    The decision was prompted by a warning from Rand Water, the country's main water utility, early Monday that supplies were declining.

    Residents have been asked to stop watering their gardens during the day to prevent evaporation, to re-use bath water and take shorter showers.

    The drought has left farmers reeling in at least five of South Africa's nine provinces.

    Among the worst affected areas is North West province, where dams are only carrying half of their normal capacities, with one dam, Molatedi, at only five percent capacity.

    Source: AFP


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  • Libya agrees new national unity government: UN

    09/Oct/2015 // 199 Viewers

     AFP/File | UN special envoy for Libya, Bernardino Leon, speaks at a press conference on September 12, 2015 in the Moroccan city of Skhirat

     

    SKHIRAT (MOROCCO) (AFP) - 

    Libya has agreed to form a new national government headed by Prime Minister Fayez el-Sarraj after months of tortuous negotiations, United Nations envoy Bernardino Leon said Friday.

    "After a year of work on this process, after working with more than 150 Libyan personalities from all the regions, finally the moment has come in which we can propose a national unity government," Leon told a news conference in Morocco.


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  • : JUST IN: AU, ECOWAS leaders storm BANJUL tomorrow for talks with JAMMEH

    10/Jan/2017 // 1183 Viewers

     

    West African leaders on Monday resolved to meet with Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh, on Wednesday in Banjul to discuss the need for him to respect his country’s constitution.

    Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, made this known in Abuja when he briefed newsmen on the outcome of a meeting of some ECOWAS leaders in Abuja.

    The meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in his capacity as the mediator in the crisis in The Gambia.
    Onyeama told newsmen that the meeting deliberated on the current state of affairs in The Gambia and shared views on the way forward.
    Onyeama said: “They deliberated on the current state of affairs in The Gambia and shared views on the way forward.

    “They agreed on the determination to resolve The Gambian political crisis in a manner that every step of the way conforms with the constitution of The Gambia and respects the will of the people of The Gambia.

    “They expressed particular concern at the deteriorating situation that has been reported in respect of security in The Gambia in particular, the closure of some of the radio stations and media and house arrest that have been taking place and also the refugee situation that is being created with the mass exodus of a large number of people to the interior and to neighbouring countries.

    “In view of this, the meeting agreed that a certain number of president’s will visit President Jammeh in The Gambia in two days’ time, and that again will comprise the mediator, President Buhari together with the President of Liberia and hopefully, the President of Sierra-Leone.

    “Others on the visit are the co-mediator, the former President of Ghana (John Mahamma) as well as the President of the ECOWAS commission, the Special Representatives of the United Nations and also a representative of the African Union.”

    Onyeama said the meeting with Jammeh would take place on Wednesday and that discussions with him would dwell on the need for him to respect the Gambian Constitution.

    Those who attended the Abuja meeting included Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who is also the chair of the ECOWAS authority; the President of Senegal, Macky Sall; and the former President of Ghana, John Mahama, who is also the co-chair mediator with President Buhari.
    The President of the ECOWAS commission and also the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Dr. Mohammad Ibn Chambas, also participated in the meeting.

    Chambas is also the head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel.
    Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, was at the venue of the meeting, which lasted for about four hours.


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  • Lake Chad blasts blamed on Boko Haram kill 37: security sources

    10/Oct/2015 // 190 Viewers

    N'DJAMENA (AFP) - 

    Three explosions blamed on the Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram killed 37 people Saturday in a Chadian city on the shores of Lake Chad, security sources said.

    Another 52 people were reportedly wounded in the attacks, one targeting the fish market at Baga Sola and the other two occurring at a refugee camp on the outskirts of the city.


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