Category Archives: Business

STATE READY WITH ARMS DEAL CASE AGAINST FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT ZUMA

PRETORIA– The State says it’s ready for the case against former South African president Jacob Zuma on Friday in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, capital of Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Zuma faces 16 charges relating to 783 instances of alleged wrongdoing relating to a 1990s arms deal with European military equipment makers. Twelve of the charges relate to fraud, one of racketeering, two of corruption and one of money laundering.

Legal experts say Zuma’s new legal counsel is most likely to request a postponement to familiarise themselves with the case.

The State had indicated it was ready from the onset, even setting a provisional trial date for November. However, the same cannot be said about Zuma’s defence team and once again on Friday, the ball will be in the former president’s court.

While his defence had indicated they may seek to pursue a review application, there is still uncertainty about the former president’s legal fees.

Zuma terminated the services of his long-time senior counsel, Kemp J Kemp, due to finances after the opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), took the matter of government’s agreement to fund Zuma legal fees to court.

At Friday’s appearance, the new defence team will probably map out the way forward.

Meanwhile, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has rejected representations by French arms company Thales to withdraw charges against it.

Thales, which has been represented in court by Christine Gurrier, faces charges of fraud and corruption. Gurrier, who travels from France to attend proceedings, was excused from Friday’s appearance.

Zuma supporters are expected to once again gather outside the court to support the former president.

A night vigil was also held in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday night.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

FRIENDS OF ISRAEL LOBBY WANTS PRETORIA TO REINSTATE AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL

PRETORIA– The South African Friends of Israel together with two political parties, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and the Congress of People (COPE), have called on the South African government to reinstate the country’s ambassador to Israel.

Thy made the call as hundreds of Christians and Jews marched to the Union Building in Pretoria to raise concerns over what they described as increasing anti-Israel rhetoric from the government.

South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israeli following the killing of Palestinian protestors at the Gaza border in May as they protested the move by the United States to move its embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Since Parliament took a decision that we should have an embassy there, we are now robbed of access to the leadership of Israel to impact and influence them.” said COPE leader Mosiuoa Lekota.

“Nobody authorised the government to do that. What they’ve done, it’s wrong. They should have asked parliament.”

We as a Christians community see Israel still remains a biblical homeland for our faith and therefore we cannot detach ourselves from Israel because of politics in our country, said South African Friends of Israel leader Bafana Modise.

Meanwhile, one of the country’s leading opposition parties, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had urged the government to shut down the Israeli Embassy in South Africa.

The Lord says in Genesis three, ‘I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you, if the EFF curses Israel, watch what’s going to happen in next years’ elections. If ANC curses Israel, watch what’s going to happen to them next year during the elections, said ACDP president Rev Kenneth Meshoe.

The government said recalling the South African ambassador to Israel was only a temporary measure depending on the progress towards peace.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

EAC, GERMANY HOLD CLEAN ENERGY EXHIBITION IN ARUSHA

ARUSHA, TANZANIA– The Secretariat for the East African Community (EAC) here is hosting the maiden renewable energy exhibition in collaboration with the Germany government, targeting to showcase ways of increasing energy efficiency in the six EAC member nations.

During the three-week event, the German government will exhibit a renewable energy initiative known as Energiewende, which seeks to increase energy efficiency and protect the environment. The exhibition is taking place at the EAC headquarters in this northern Tanzanian city from July 23 to Aug 10.

The EAC Secretariat has invited selected public and private sector players to view the exhibition. EAC Communications Principal Officer Richard Owora Othieno said the exhibition had been shown in about 60 locations in 25 different countries around the globe and it was now East Africa’s turn.

According to organizers, the Energiewende (German for energy transition) is a planned transition by Germany to a low-carbon, environmentally sound, reliable and affordable energy supply. Energiewende,literally meaning energy turnaround or energy revolution, can also be described as Germany’s effort to reduce climate-damaging greenhouse gases or carbon emissions without relying on nuclear energy.

The Energiewende is our answer to the question of how we can make energy supply secure, affordable and sustainable, according to a statement from the exhibition organizers. Energiewende highlights national issues related to policy, the environment, technology and costs.

Meanwhile, the EAC secretariat has started preparations for the forthcoming East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition 2019 (EAPCE’19) to be held in Mombasa, Kenya, in March next year.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Defections Hit Nigeria Ruling Party in Blow to Buhari Ahead of Election

Sixteen senators quit Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s ruling party on Tuesday and the country’s third most senior politician said he might follow suit, in a blow to the leader who seeks re-election next year.

Fourteen of the 16 lawmakers left the All Progressives Congress (APC) to join the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a letter read on the Senate floor stated. Another two senators later left the ruling party while parliament was in session.

Senate President Bukola Saraki, the No. 3 political leader in Africa’s biggest economy, told reporter in an interview a few hours later that the chances of him also leaving the APC were “very, very high.”

In a statement, a Buhari spokesman said no harm would be done to the party by the departures and the APC had “done its utmost to stop the defections,” without providing details.

Buhari expressed “total willingness to work with all members of the National Assembly, irrespective of their political party, for the benefit of the nation,” the statement said.

The fissures threaten to split support for Buhari within powerful patronage networks and among voters ahead of the presidential poll scheduled for February 2019 that will decide who runs Africa’s top oil producer.

The defections, and the suggestion that there may be more to come, have taken place just weeks after a faction within the party said it no longer backed Buhari.

Fighting within the APC coalition, which united to unseat Buhari’s predecessor rather than because of ideological unity, has mounted for years in a struggle for power and influence between those loyal to the head of state and others who say they have been targeted in a witch-hunt by the presidency.

Divisions emerged publicly in the weeks following the APC’s conference in June where new party leaders were elected. Others saw their hopes of greater powers within the party dashed just months before the presidential and legislative elections.

Agenda

The PDP, which was in power from the start of civilian rule in 1999 until Buhari took office in 2015, said in a tweet that 32 lawmakers in the lower House of Representatives had also joined from the APC.

The defections may also make it harder for Buhari to enact his legislative agenda for the remainder of his first term.

Saraki, speaking to reporter, said he was considering his next move. “I will spend the next few days consulting with my colleagues who have defected and also my other colleagues from my state and make my announcement very soon,” he said.

He ran unopposed for the post of Senate president, mainly with the support of the opposition even though he is an APC member. He was not his party’s preferred candidate and the manner of his elevation to the office in 2015 led to strains in his relationship with Buhari.

Since then he has been dogged by accusations of misconduct and investigations since becoming Senate president, though none has led to convictions.

Asked about the raft of defections, Saraki said: “I must commend them for their courage because it took a lot for them to be able to do that in the face of this level of intimidation and harassment.”

The Senate president and his supporters say he has been targeted by political opponents, most recently on Tuesday morning when he said his movements, and those of his deputy, were halted by police. Images of the alleged incident were circulated on social media.

Police denied taking that action.

“The force wishes to categorically state that there was no authorized deployment of police personnel to besiege the residence of the Senate president or his deputy as reported in the media,” a police spokesman said.

He said the allegations would be investigated.

Harassment accusations

Amid an increasingly febrile political backdrop, lawmakers in June issued a series of demands to Buhari including a call for an end to the “systematic harassment and humiliation by the executive of perceived political opponents.”

The president’s supporters have previously rejected the accusations leveled against the former military ruler.

“I am committed to listening to very legitimate grievances and engaging all those who are aggrieved that we can see through their grievances,” Adams Oshiomhole, the APC’s national chairman, told reporters in Abuja after Tuesday’s defections.

However, he said it was best for those motivated solely by personal interest to “return to where they belong.”

Buhari said in April that he would seek another term. His candidacy depends on party approval, though that is usually considered to be a formality for the incumbent.

Nigeria’s main opposition parties earlier this month agreed to form an alliance to field a joint candidate to contest the election.

Source: Voice of America

Migrants Stranded Without Aid as Tunisia Refuses to Let Ship Dock

A Tunisian boat carrying around 40 African migrants has been stranded off the country’s coast without aid for more than a week after authorities refused to let them disembark there, the Red Crescent said on Monday.

Monji Slim, an official of the Tunisian Red Crescent, said the authorities had argued that Malta or Italy should accept the migrants. The Tunisian interior ministry declined to comment.

Slim told reporter the boat was stuck 12 miles off the coast.

“The African migrants at sea are in a bad condition after the vessel’s captain refused to receive aid to pressure the Tunisian authorities to receive them, but no solution has been reached after 11 days at sea.”

It was not clear from where the migrants had originally set off before they were rescued by the Tunisian vessel.

The new Italian government has closed its ports to charity ships operating in the Mediterranean, saying the European Union must share the burden of accepting the hundreds of migrants who are plucked from waters each month, mostly off the Libyan coast.

Rome called this month for migrant centers to be set up in Africa to stop a tide of asylum-seekers fleeing toward western Europe. Tunisia has rejected this proposal.

At least 80 migrants died when their boat sank off the Tunisian coast last month, one of the worst migrant boat accidents in the North African country of recent years.

Human traffickers are increasingly using Tunisia as a launch pad for migrants heading to Europe as the Libyan coast guard, aided by armed groups, has tightened controls.

Source: Voice of America