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Angola: The Future Looks Bright for Angola’s Dos Santos Clan

Photo: Angop

Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos and First Lady Ana Paula dos Santos. (file photo)

By Antonio Cascais

Angola's president-elect Joao Lourenco has promised to stamp out cronyism and corruption. But outgoing President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and his family look as entrenched in power as ever.

On September 24, Angola's new president Joao Lourenco will be sworn in, signaling an end to the 38-year iron-fisted reign of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Dos Santos didn't contest the elections held in August 2017 due to ill health.

Although the outgoing president hand-picked Lourenco as his successor, the impending political transition is still making dos Santos' hangers-on nervous, said Luaty Beirao, a hip-hop artist who went in and out of the presidential palace as a child.

But the inner circle of the tightly-knit dos Santos clan aren't worried.

"Essentially, they think they are still in control," Beirao said. After all, he said, those who profited from the dos Santos' network of political patronage have had enough time to prepare for the new era and bring their wealth to safety.

Family controls the purse strings

Even with dos Santos out of the presidential seat, several of his family members are firmly ensconced in state affairs (dos Santos is said to have at least nine children from five wives).

Isabel dos Santos, his eldest daughter, heads the state-owned oil company, Sonangol. She's said to be Africa's richest women, thanks to her father, critics say. According to Forbes magazine, in 2016 her assets in Angola included a 25 percent stake in Unitel, the country's largest mobile phone company, and 42 percent of the Banco BIC bank.

Her brother, Jose Filomeno dos Santos, heads Angola's $5 billion sovereign wealth fund which invests Angola's enormous oil revenues.

Then there's the ex-wives, sons-in-law, parents-in-law and cousins, as well as generals, ministers and governors, who have also benefited from their connections to the family.

Dos Santos and his clan have "appropriated the country's entire economy," said Rafael Marques, a prominent Angolan journalist and anti-corruption activist.

"The country has been cut up and divided among the family as well as a few ministers and generals," Marques said.

Angola has some of the biggest oil reserves in Africa but one of the most unequal distribution of incomes in the world and one of the world's highest rates of child and maternal mortality.

The profits from "plundering" the country are hidden abroad, said Rafel Marques, with former colonial power Portugal being "the most important for laundering Angola's stolen funds."

Many Angolans hope that the dos Santos' network of power will fall apart when he leaves office. After all, his successor Joao Lourenco has promised to clean up corruption and nepotism.

Rapper Katrogi Nhanga Lwamba, known as MCK, dismissed this as "just campaign talk."

"You can't combat corruption with speech like Joao Lourenco does, you have to take concrete action," he said, "and prosecute it rigorously." Not that this is what he expects. Rather he believes that "suitcases stuffed with dollars" will continue to flow out of the country.

Dos Santos remains a serious political force

In fact, it's questionable if Lourenco will be able to restrict the interests of his predecessor even if he wanted to.

Dos Santos might be stepping down as president but he will stay on as the leader of the ruling MPLA party.

"As party chairman, he can continue to determine who belongs to the government and he will continue to influence the government agenda," emphasized journalist Marques.

In addition, shortly before the 2017 elections, Angola's parliament passed a new law limiting the power of the incoming president to fire the heads of the army, police and intelligence services. The move is seen as an attempt by dos Santos to retain power of the military even after he leaves office.

Dos Santos has also been granted a seat on the country's Council of the Republic, a position which makes him immune from prosecution.

"Joao Lourenco will be a president who controls neither the army nor the police nor the economy of the country," Marques said.

"If you ask me he isn't a president but rather a lapdog of the former presidential family."

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Len McCluskey compares himself to Mandela and Gandhi

Spot the pygmy! Two of these three men made the world a better place, Self-righteous trade union firebrand Len McCluskey this week compared himself to those giants of freedom, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. Was he justified in drawing parallels with men who single-handedly changed the course of their nations' histories? Read LEO McKINSTRY's analysis of their lives and achievements, and decide for yourself ... : Born in 1918 in the village of Mvezo in South Africa's Cape Province, the son of the village chief and counsellor to the tribal king.

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KPMG South Africa CEO resigns after investigation into work for Gupta family – Independent.ie

KPMG

By Kalyeena Makortoff, Press Association City Reporter

September 15 2017 4:39 PM

KPMG South Africa CEO resigns after investigation into work for Gupta family

Independent.ie

A string of executives at KPMG’s South African office have stepped down after an internal investigation revealed that its work for the country’s powerful Gupta family “fell considerably short of KPMG standards”.

http://www.independent.ie/world-news/kpmg-south-africa-ceo-resigns-after-investigation-into-work-for-gupta-family-36136324.html

http://www.independent.ie/world-news/article36136320.ece/bb6f3/AUTOCROP/h342/ipanews_6930b548-2d60-406a-8b7e-8f65a678357d_1

A string of executives at KPMG’s South African office have stepped down after an internal investigation revealed that its work for the country’s powerful Gupta family “fell considerably short of KPMG standards”.

The professional services firm confirmed on Friday that Chairman Ahmed Jaffer, chief executive Trevor Hoole and chief operating officer Steven Louw had all resigned, alongside five other partners from its audit, tax, forensic and risk management teams.

It follows a “comprehensive investigation” by KPMG International, which was prompted by “various allegations” regarding work done on behalf of the Gupta family as well as work conducted for the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in 2014-2015.

“While the investigation did not identify any evidence of illegal behaviour or corruption by KPMG partners or staff, this investigation did find work that fell considerably short of KPMG’s standards,” KPMG International said in a statement on Friday.

“Based on the results of this investigation, significant actions have been taken and are being announced today with respect to KPMG South Africa.

“These actions include a series of leadership changes, changes in the governance of KPMG South Africa, and enhanced quality control procedures in certain areas.”

It comes just days after the UK arm of PR firm Bell Pottinger collapsed in the wake of a scandal that exposed its own links to a “racially divisive” campaign for the Guptas, a family that is said to have close ties to President Jacob Zuma.

Bell Pottinger building

KPMG said its investigation showed that management at certain Gupta firms misled KPMG South Africa’s audit team, specifically regarding its party relationships and the “commercial substance of significant unusual transactions”.

It said that the team should have resigned as auditors earlier than March 2016.

Members of the South African office have also been criticised for going to a Gupta wedding in 2013, and while that was not seen as a breach of company rules, KPMG said it accepts that “partners should not have attended”.

However, KPMG said there was no evidence to suggest that the company was involved in any activities linked to potential money laundering, tax evasion or corruption.

The South African office said it “regrets” that its association with the Guptas and their business entities “went on for far too long”.

It is now set to donate 40 million rand (£2.2 million) which it earned from working for Gupta entities to anti-corruption and education charities, and offered to refund or donate the 23 million rand fee (£1.2 million) it received for a contentious report it put together for the SARS tax agency.

KPMG South Africa’s new chief executive Nhlamu Dlomu -a former HR executive and KPMG South Africa’s head for people and change – apologised on behalf of the firm.

Jacob Zuma

She said: “This has been a painful period and the firm has fallen short of the standards we set for ourselves, and that the public rightly expects from us.

“I want to apologise to the public, our people and clients for the failings that have been identified by the investigation.

“It is important to emphasise that these events do not represent KPMG, our people or the values we have adhered to over decades of committed client service.

“My pledge and promise to the country is that we can and will regain the public’s confidence.”

Press Association

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The prices of these vital metals are soaring

The prices of cobalt and tungsten have skyrocketed in recent months because of worries that supply of the vital metals may not be able to keep pace with demand. Both are crucial to the functioning of the modern world: Cobalt is used in batteries for electric cars, laptops and cell phones, while Tungsten goes into drills, military projectiles, golf clubs and automotive machinery.

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McKinsey and KPMG Targeted in South Africa Graft Scandal – Bloomberg

After helping topple one of Britain’s best known public-relations companies, South African anti-corruption groups are now targeting U.S. consultancy McKinsey & Co. and auditing firm KPMG LLP for doing work for businesses tied to the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma’s son.

The Guptas, originally from India and including brothers Atul, Rajesh and Ajay, moved to South Africa in the 1990s and are being accused of using their friendship with the president to influence government contracts and cabinet appointments. They deny wrongdoing.

“Instead of raising the alarm, these companies seemed to have played along,” said Lumkile Mondi, a senior lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, who was part of a group of eight academics who in May completed a study into how state-owned enterprises are allegedly being raided. The firms undermined South African laws “in pursuit of profit.”

Anti-graft organizations and the main opposition party are taking their fight overseas while waiting for South African prosecutors to act on allegations against the family. Many of those accusations are contained in a trove of leaked emails that local news organizations have reported on, indicating how the Guptas allegedly used their relationship with Zuma and other government officials to profit from government business. 

For a story on companies reviewing their KPMG ties, click here.

Corruption Watch plans to approach the U.S. Department of Justice within two weeks to probe McKinsey, executive director David Lewis said in Johannesburg on Monday. Save South Africa, which includes civil-society groups and business leaders, has called on companies to drop KPMG because of the work it did for 36 entities tied to the Guptas since at least 2008. Both companies have started internal investigations into their dealings with the family.

Trouble Looming

“I don’t think the U.S. Department of Justice would take the accusations about KPMG or McKinsey lightly,” Magda Wierzycka, chief executive officer of Sygnia Ltd., a Cape Town-based money manager that has terminated KPMG’s services, said by phone. Companies in the country will stop using McKinsey if it had to be fined, while KPMG’s South African business would be “in trouble” if one large corporation had to fire it, she said.

SAP SE, a software company based in Walldorf, Germany, has also been ensnared in the scandal. It said in July that four South African managers were put on leave after media reports that the local unit agreed to pay commission to a firm in which Zuma’s son has an indirect stake for help in winning contracts. An independent investigation is still ongoing, SAP said in an emailed response to questions on Thursday.

Bell Pottinger LLP applied for administration on Sept. 12 after being expelled from a U.K. public-relations body for stoking racial tensions in South Africa while working for the Guptas. The complaint was lodged by the Democratic Alliance, the country’s largest opposition party, which on Thursday in a statement said it will request McKinsey’s local and U.S. representatives be called before a parliamentary committee’s inquiry into state graft.

Gupta Empire

“KPMG risks becoming the Bell Pottinger of the auditing profession,” Save South Africa said in a statement on its website. “Its fingerprints are all over the Gupta empire.”

KPMG last month said it suspended its lead audit-engagement partner in South Africa and fired two others pending the results of its investigation. KPMG spokesman Nqubeko Sibiya didn’t immediately answer emailed questions.

The auditing firm failed to act when businesses controlled by the Gupta family diverted public money to pay for a wedding, according to the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism and Tiso Blackstar Group’s Sunday Times, citing emails known as the Gupta Leaks. Bloomberg couldn’t independently verify the information.

Moses Kgosana, the CEO and senior partner at KPMG at the time, has quit several board positions since the allegations, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Massmart Holdings and logistics company Imperial Holdings Ltd., to avoid them being tarnished. He also had to walk away from taking the chairman role at retirement-fund adviser Alexander Forbes Holdings Ltd.

Ongoing Probe

South African business leaders have a responsibility to distance themselves from KPMG, Iraj Abedian, CEO at Pan-African Investments and Research Services in Johannesburg, said in an opinion piece in the Johannesburg-based news website Daily Maverick. He resigned as a non-executive director of Munich Re’s African unit because it kept KPMG as an external auditor.

McKinsey in July said it’s reviewing documents related to work done for South Africa’s state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. An interim report by Eskom and G9 Forensic found McKinsey and Trillian Capital Partners Ltd., a company linked to the Guptas, made 1.6 billion rand ($121 million) in fees and expected to make another 7.8 billion rand, according to amaBhungane and Scorpio, an investigative unit tied to the Daily Maverick.

Trillian was dropped by McKinsey when the company failed due diligence, the consultancy said in an emailed response to questions. It informed Eskom and Trillian in March 2016. The fees it made from Eskom were in line with similar projects, McKinsey said.

"Our investigation is ongoing,” it said. “We haven’t discovered anything that would require us to notify U.S. authorities."

— With assistance by Arabile Gumede

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Venezuelan president in Algeria amid political crisis

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is visiting Algeria to talk about the oil market and boosting relations, as his country faces international pressure and political crisis. It's unclear whether he will meet with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has rarely been seen in public since a 2013 stroke.

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5 killed in attacks blamed on Somali Islamic extremists

In this Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 file photo, hundreds of newly trained al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area some 18 km south of Mogadishu, in Somalia. Islamic extremist al-Shabab fighters killed four Somali government soldiers and briefly took a town near the border with Kenya on Monday, Sept.

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South Africa’s Ramaphosa steps up criticism ahead of ANC leadership vote – Reuters

Ed Stoddard

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a leading contender to become head of the ruling ANC in December, stepped up his criticism of the government on Sunday, saying state-owned companies had been “captured” and funds looted from them.

Ramaphosa’s remarks during a speech to an African National Congress meeting in the old diamond-mining town of Kimberley were tougher than others he has made on government graft, signaling the issue will be a main theme of his campaign.

He also took aim -- without naming them - at the wealthy Gupta family, friends of President Jacob Zuma who have been accused of using undue influence to win lucrative state contracts. Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

“Many of these state-owned enterprises have been captured by certain people, by a certain family,” Ramaphosa said.

“All of our state-owned enterprises have been captured and we are saying we want to see an end to state capture and the money that has been stolen, we want it back,” he said, to roars of approval from the audience.

South Africa’s top prosecutor said on Wednesday police were examining a trove of leaked documents detailing relations between the Guptas and Zuma, but it was too early to say if a prosecution should be launched.

Ramaphosa said in May that South Africa was in danger of becoming a “mafia state” and he took a swipe in July at the Guptas over media reports that state funds were diverted in 2013 to pay for a lavish Gupta family wedding.

But Sunday’s remarks about a “certain family” were more pointed and come as the race heats up for the ANC’s top spot. The next head of the party, who will be selected in December, will be its presidential candidate in 2019 national elections.

Ramaphosa’s main challenger, veteran politician and Zuma’s ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, will next week be sworn in as a member of parliament, a move which could see the former minister brought back into the cabinet, raising her profile.

Analysts say she has the backing of Zuma’s well-established patronage network as well as organizations such as the party’s Women’s League.

Ramaphosa is a trade unionist-turned-business tycoon who has the backing of a diverse group of unions, communists and investors who do not always see eye to eye but want to rid the ANC of Zuma’s influence and legacy.

The opposition has long accused Zuma of sleaze and influence-peddling while in office. He survived a no-confidence vote in parliament on Aug. 8 but 30 ANC lawmakers voted with the opposition, indicating deep divisions in the party that has dominated South African politics since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Editing by

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Zimbabwe: Mugabe Drops Succession Bombshell

By Everson Mushava

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday said he will not impose his wife as Zimbabwe's next president as he opened up on his troubled relationship with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mugabe told thousands of his supporters at Bindura's Chipadze Stadium, Mashonaland Central that anointing Grace as his successor would be a violation of the Zanu PF constitution.

However, the declaration contradicted his wife who had spoken a few minutes earlier emphasising that the 93-year-old ruler had a right to hand-pick a successor.

Last month the 52-year-old first lady went public demanding that Mugabe anoint a successor as Zanu PF infighting reached frightening levels.

"I will never do that, never," he said. "The party leader will be chosen by the people at congress and as a lawyer, I will respect that."

Mugabe's speech, which appeared like an attempt to cool off tempers after his wife humiliated Mnangagwa, was about the history of factionalism in Zanu PF but also a serious attack on the VP's standing as a politician.

He said he did know how Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Mnangagwa became enemies after plotting against him during the so-called Tsholotsho declaration.

"Prof Moyo chose to support Mnangagwa to take over," Mugabe told the rally.

He acknowledged the existence of G40, which he said was a creation of the likes of national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Team Lacoste, but said Mnangagwa always denied that he was a leader of a faction.

"I asked where Lacoste came from and Mnangagwa said he does not know, if it is the cup [I am the boss cup] throw it away. You cannot suffer because of a cup," Mugabe said.

On G40, Mugabe said: "It was started by Kasukuwere after the election of Barack Obama as the American president. Obama as in his 40s and Kasukuwere said we also want a leader in the 40s and called themselves G40.

"But now Obama is gone, that should end. If he called himself G40, he remained in the country and we have a history and processes to follow."

He said Kasukuwere and Masvingo political kingmaker, Josiah Hungwe once clashed in the politburo, with the Psychomotor minister accusing the Local Government minister of using his position as commissar to build his power base to take over power.

Mugabe said Masvingo had serious tribal problems while Midlands had minor issues which could be sorted out.

The Masvingo problems, he said, started during the days of the late Edson Zvobgo, who he said was a self-proclaimed tribalist.

"I met the Masvingo provincial leadership after [Tourism minister Walter] Mzembi was sent by the provincial MPs who called for the axing of [late Provincial Affairs minister] Shuvai Mahofa and Josaya Hungwe," Mugabe said.

He said they tried to resolve the problems but did not manage and a lot of work still needed to be done.

Mugabe also spoke about Moyo's dossier detailing Mnangagwa's alleged plot to seize power.

"Moyo once said in the politburo that he will never support Mnangagwa again," Mugabe said after chronicling Mnangagwa and Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi's history.

He warned Mnangagwa against being pushed by people into trying to oust him.

Mugabe said Moyo's dossier included allegations that the VP forced former broadcaster Godfrey Majonga to jump from the second floor of a Harare apartment after they clashed over a girlfriend.

Majonga suffered serious injuries and is now wheelchair-bound. Mugabe said Mnangagwa had prepared his own 85-page dossier against Moyo but requested for more time before he presents it to the Zanu PF politburo because he was not well.

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Five roaming lions raise alarm in South Africa – Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Five lions are on the loose in a rural area about 35 miles (60 km) west of South Africa’s commercial capital of Johannesburg, police and conservationists said on Saturday as they launched operations to capture them.

There have been a spate of such incidents this year in South Africa, which unlike most African countries keeps large, dangerous wildlife in enclosed reserves to prevent conflict with people and livestock.

It is unusual, however, for lions to roam so near a city. The area where the animals have been sighted near the town of Fochville is a patchwork of cattle farms, open countryside, crowded squatter camps and gold mining communities.

Police said officers received a call late on Friday from a farm where the lions had attacked livestock.

“They investigated and were surprised to see a pride of five lions on the farm, busy feeding on a cow. They were able to identity a large male and four smaller lions,” a statement said.

Authorities do not know where the animals came from as there are no predator reserves nearby.

Carl Thornton, the head of Pittrack K9, an NGO that specializes in anti-poaching and tracking operations, said conservationists were alerted several weeks ago after a driver reported hitting a lion with a vehicle.

Lion tracks were subsequently identified in the area and the carcasses of a donkey and a trio of impalas, an African antelope species, were found.

A lion was also filmed on a farmer’s CCTV camera and the initial assumption was that there was a single lion prowling in the vicinity.

Thornton said the capture operation involved baiting the cats with a carcass injected with sedatives.

“You chain a carcass to a tree and then play a distress call of a buffalo calf,” he said. The hope is to capture them alive and place them in reserves.

Editing by Helen Popper

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Tributes to ‘Chillies’ as police prepare for any heat ahead of gangster’s funeral – Times LIVE

Police have swelled their ranks in Umlazi ahead of the funeral of infamous carjacker Sandile “Chillies” Bhengu on Saturday.

Bhengu was gunned down by police in the township last week after officers on patrol noticed a suspicious vehicle. He is alleged to have opened fire on officers‚ who returned a salvo.

In the wake of his death‚ mourners have paid tribute to the flashy criminal by spinning cars‚ loosing off gunshots into the air and‚ on Friday‚ torching two stolen cars in the township.

Police sources confirmed that units from the Flying Squad‚ Dog Unit and TRT had been deployed en masse.

On Wednesday an alleged cash-in-transit robber found himself in handcuffs on after he was arrested on the fringes of a memorial service for Bhengu. The man‚ linked to a host of robberies‚ was nabbed after firing his gun into the air in tribute to his fallen cohort.

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US hits South Sudan officials with sanctions over crisis

The Trump administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions on two senior members of South Sudan's government, a former official and three South Sudanese companies for undermining peace, security and stability in the crisis-stricken nation. The departments of State and Treasury announced penalties against South Sudan's deputy defense chief Malek Reuben, Information Minister Michael Makuei and former military chief of staff Paul Malong.

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In South Africa, political sex scandals don’t hurt powerful men, just the women entangled in them – Quartz

The political rumor mill would have South Africans believe that the next man to lead the country is a sugar daddy, or locally known as a “blesser.”

“Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, whose presidential campaign is modeled on moral and ethical leadership, appears not to practice what he preaches,” read the Sunday Independent newspaper’s Sept. 3 lead in what is the latest sex scandal starring a South African politician.

South Africa is an outwardly conservative society in which the family unit is the foundation. Rampahosa, long seen as South Africa’s president-in-waiting, is just the latest in a long string of politically powerful men embroiled in a scandal where women are the victims, ranging from extra-marital affairs to the more grave accusations of sexual harassment and battery. South Africa is an outwardly conservative society in which the family unit is the foundation. There is also a strong undercurrent of patriarchy that ensures that the scandalous behavior of powerful men does not affect their standing in society.

Moralizing over the salacious details of Ramaphosa’s alleged extra-marital affairs may have caused a stir for a moment in the news cycle, but his bid for the presidency remains strong. Instead, as in previous cases, it is the women dragged into these scandals who are most affected.

The most infamous example remains the young women who accused president Jacob Zuma of rape in 2007. She was attacked by the party’s women’s league and eventually hounded out of the country after he was acquitted. The woman, dubbed Khwezi in an attempt to protect her identity, died last year at the age of 41, but her experience has set the tone for how women used in political scandals will be treated.

Ramaphosa is likely the victim of a political smear campaign that cynically taps into the public shame of South African society—the high rates of violence against and exploitation of women, says essayist Sisonke Msimang. “Gender issues are always collateral damage,” says Msimang. “Time and again what we see is women used in these wars between men.”

“Time and again what we see is women used in these wars between men.” What happens in the bedrooms of politicians shouldn’t be anyone’s business, but it matters when voters assess the kind of country they want, and the kind of person they want to lead it. That conversation need not be salacious, she adds, but instead it is overshadowed by a narrative that pits one faction’s corruption scandals versus the other’s sex scandals. It shows, as the leader of the ANC’s Women’s League who defended a deputy minister who assaulted a woman once said, everyone has “little skeletons.”

These particular skeletons began rattling in Ramaphosa’s closet just weeks before the African National Congress’ elective congress, where he hopes to be elected leader of the party, and almost by default, South Africa’s next president. After a Saturday evening court bid to gag the newspaper failed, he offered an exclusive to a rival Sunday paper in which he admitted to one extra-marital affair eight years ago. The front-page scandal, the deputy president maintained, was part of a plot that used state security resources to create a dossier of transgressions to derail his political ascent. In his first appearance since the scandal, Ramaphosa told his colleagues in parliament on Sep. 6 that he would be accountable and make a full statement in a few days.

“The women are inconsequential, the real target is that man, but the sexuality of those women, their own lives, everything about them is cheapened in the hunt for that big prize, which is the man,” says Msimang.

In Ramaphosa’s case, the newspaper justified publishing the story from a moralistic position. Ramaphosa is the head of the South African National Aids Council and has spoken out against “blessers,” a local colloquialism for wealthy men who sponsor the lavish lifestyles of usually, much younger women. Ramaphosa himself has blamed sugar daddies for spreading HIV in a country that has one of the world’s largest populations living with HIV/Aids. The newspaper described some of the eight women Ramaphosa “preyed” on with his “massive wealth” as “emotionally battered” and in need of cash.

In other incidents, there is rarely a justification provided beyond the tabloidization of real political issues. In May, when minister in the presidency Jeff Radebe was caught demanding nude pictures from a staff member at the Union Buildings, all he had to do was to apologize and weather a social media storm. The woman was vilified. Radebe and Ramaphosa find themselves in the company of the finance minister, the minister of police and the president—all of whom still have their jobs.

“I think it points to possibly some real questions about why, at the level of political leadership, we struggle with leadership in relation to violence against women,” said Lisa Vetten, a researcher on gender-based violence, speaking on Redebe’s scandal.

Those questions will likely go unanswered because the gender issues disappear in a political fog. The women identified in these scandals are slandered or identified as a “third force” trying to usurp the ANC, said socio-political analyst Oliver Dickson.

What it does, says Msimang, is lower the discourse about gender issues in South Africa for the sake of party politics. Prominent South Africans are then forced to come out in defense of the perpetrator and in doing so, blame the victim.

“What matters is that we get Jacob Zuma out,” says Msimang, imagining the choices these defenders have to make. “On the back of who? Young women.”

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Togo: Govt Slows Internet Ahead of Opposition Demonstration

The Internet is slowed down in Togo as the opposition announced a demonstration for this Wednesday and Thursday. Citizens had trouble communicating on the Internet this morning, while rumors of a cut were circulating since last night. Public Service Minister Gilbert Bawara told a local radio that this was for security reasons.

Citizens say the purpose of the cut would be to prevent the coordination and media coverage of an opposition demonstration announced for Wednesday and Thursday.

Discussions on social networks show that people are looking for advice on using VPNs, which is used to bypass censorship, but it cannot help when connections are down.

The opposition is protesting against Constitutional reform recently announced by President Faure Gnassingbé, aimed at amending the presidential mandates. The Togolese fear violent repression of the demonstrations, since soldiers were seen occupying strategic places in the capital Lomé.

Demonstrators were attacked in August, resulting in several deaths.

Translated from French by Michael Tantoh

Togo

Opposition Plans Big March for Reform

A coalition of opposition political parties on Monday called on the Togolese people to demonstrate for institutional and… Read more »

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