South Africa – COSATU elects new secretary-general

Johannesburg – Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) provincial secretary in the North West, Solly Phetoe was elected the deputy general secretary of the trade union federation on Thursday.

Phetoe obtained 1 679 votes while his rival Oscar Phaka from the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) obtained 677 vote.

Acting secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali was nominated unopposed to fill the position of the federation’s general secretary. He had been acting in the general secretary position left vacant after Zwelinzima Vavi was fired.

Leadership positions that were not contested included; S’dumo Dlamini (president), Tyotyo James (first deputy president), Zingiswa Losi (second deputy president) and Freda Oosthuizen (treasurer).

Phetoe was elected uncontested as the North West provincial secretary at the provincial congress in June.

Tanzania – Daily News backs Magfuli stand on national day

Daily News (Tanzania)

THE spectacle of filth in our urban and rural areas is right, left and centre very heartbreaking. Dar es Salaam, now designated the commercial capital and caretaker seat of government business following the relocation of the national capital to Dodoma, is no exception.

No wonder the cholera epidemic has been reoccurring. Once upon a time, the erstwhile capital has been one of the tidiest in Africa. It no longer is as it ranks poorly in the midst of continental rankings.

Regarded as the country’s mirror, it has backfired into an image of filth mismanagement with a reflective effect elsewhere. Despite commendable efforts by city authorities to make Dar es Salaam cleaner, it is still a far cry from the spotlessly clean and stink-free metropolitan many Tanzanians would like it to be.

There remain certain locations in the city of Dar es Salaam like the Kariakoo Market and Buguruni Market, both within the Ilala Municipality, where only a few tens of hand brooms and a committed people could have made a difference. Yet the stink emanating from certain spots in the market places, especially when it rains, is a national shame. And that is putting it mildly.

The on-and-off outbreaks of cholera, with their devastating consequences to life, human life, are a disaster.

The recent statement from the State House in which President John Magufuli has announced that this year’s Uhuru Day celebrations will be marked differently, in that instead of the usual pomp and pageantry, military parades and displays and children’s mass displays, traditional dances, ngoma, etc; Tanzanians will take part in a special campaign to keep their cities, towns and surroundings clean.

This has been decided upon to check the reoccurrence of cholera and other water and filth borne diseases, which have been calling the shots and leaving a trail of much life destruction in their wake, with no real solution to check repetition in sight.

Tanzanians should take the call and decision to start spending some of their time in collective cleanliness campaigns seriously. If you look at it, some of the killer diseases like cholera and malaria could have been kept at bay with just a little seriousness in making our environment clean.

Let this spirit the president has initiated be sustainable and become a part of the life of every Tanzanian.

Nigeria – Borno Assembly speaker says only one loal government area still in Boko Haram’s hands


on November 27, 2015

By Demola Akinyemi

ILORIN— Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly, in Nigeria and Speaker, Borno State House of Assembly, Abdulkarim Lawan, has said only one local government is yet to be liberated from the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State out the 20 local government areas earlier occupied.

He also assured that the December deadline to rout the Boko Haram insurgents from Nigeria would be met.
Lawan spoke in Ilorin, yesterday, at the Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly organised to deliberate on a model administration of criminal justice act.

The speaker said the Nigeria military had never been so committed in the fight against insurgency.

According to him, “as of now, only one local government is yet to be liberated from the clutch of the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State. That’s the Abadam, located along border town of Niger Republic.

“Nineteen local governments are now in control of the military. And the people are gradually returning to their homes in the affected areas. Military is very serious in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency. We never experienced the kind of commitment from military before.

“They have driven the Boko Haram to the bush. I am sure the military is equal to the task and will meet the time line of December 2015 to rout the insurgents by December. The Chief of Army Staff is leading the military.

“Various local governments captured by Boko Haram have been recaptured with the federal troops stationed there as they proceed to other local governments. So, now only Abadam local government is not liberated. I am sure they are going to liberate every local government in the state.”

He urged the people of the area to continue to support the military to”find an end to this madness and unislamic act. Because Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states have suffered so much due to this security challenge in the last six years. Now, we are gradually getting relative peace. So, I advise the people in all these areas to support the military.”  .

Declaring open the workshop, the state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed said: “A sound criminal justice system is imperative for economic growth, political stability and social equilibrium. It is impossible to have a sound economy without a solid foundation of good laws that can curb anti-social behaviours and other disruptive tendencies in the society.

“Additionally, a sound criminal system is a prerequisite for rule of law which, as you know, is an essential component of good governance. This is because no modern society can thrive unless there are strong laws to guide social, economic and political conduct of its citizens.”

“Unless the citizens are aware of and abide by a robust criminal justice system, the sense of security, peace and lawfulness for economic and political development will be missing.”

Ahmed however lauded the initiative of the speakers of the 36 states of the federation to organize the workshop saying that, their deliberations would go a long way of fashioning out way out of dwindling criminal justice in the country.

People calls African city slums wounds inflicted by gross inequality


Pope Francis visited a Nairobi slum on Friday, calling such areas “wounds inflicted” by a wealthy and powerful elite and urging Africa’s governments to do more to lift their people up from poverty.

The pope, making his first visit to the continent, has championed the plight of the poor both in public declarations and his own way of life, shunning the institutional perks of the Vatican.

Even before he became Latin America’s first pope in 2013, he was known as the “the slum bishop” because of his frequent visits to the shantytowns of Buenos Aires.

Kenya is the first stop on his Africa tour, which also takes him to Uganda and the Central African Republic, a grindingly poor nation riven by Muslim-Christian sectarian conflict.

While calling for religious dialogue and appealing for steps to address climate change when he visited the U.N. offices in Nairobi, Francis has regularly returned to his concern about inequality and poverty in his homilies and speeches.

On his last day in Kenya, the pope visited Nairobi’s Kangemi district, a neighbourhood of potholed roads, open sewers and jerry-built shacks for homes, lying a few hundred metres from smart apartment blocks and gated residential compounds.

Addressing slum dwellers, charity workers and clergy in St. Joseph the Worker Church, the pope spoke of the “dreadful injustice of urban exclusion” represented in such poor areas.

“These are wounds inflicted by minorities who cling to power and wealth, who selfishly squander while a growing majority is forced to flee to abandoned, filthy and run-down peripheries,” he said.


He criticised “faceless private developers who hoard areas of land and even attempt to appropriate the playgrounds of your schools” but he said communal values in poor districts showed there was an alternative culture to the “god of money.”

Children from a school run by the Catholic nuns and priests sang for the pope in the simple church of cinder blocks and wood, built across the road from a row of homes made of corrugated metal.

Francis said one of biggest challenges was a lack of basic amenities. “Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water,” he said, adding no “bureaucratic pretext” should deny a family clean water.

The pope said Africa was not alone in facing what he called a “new colonialism”, a theme he has addressed in travels elsewhere and which he says includes demands of agencies for austerity that most hurts workers and the poor.

Welcoming the pope Musonde Kivuva, archbishop of Mombasa and president of Kenya’s branch of the Catholic charity Caritas, thanked the pope for setting an example of humility with his simple life and for his calls for change.

“More can be done and should be done in all our slums. We do not need to wait for the Holy Father to come,” he said.

Later on Friday, he travels to Uganda, which like Kenya been struck by Islamist militant attacks. On Sunday, he flies to the Central African Republic, where dozens of people have been killed in violence since September.

(Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Toby Chopra)

South Africa – high court sets aside Motsoengeng’s appointment at SABC


2015-11-27 10:54

The Western Cape High Court has set aside the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as chief operating officer of the SABC.

The verdict was delivered by Judge Dennis Davis even though it wasn’t read out in court.

It is the second part of the Democratic Alliance’s court case against Minister of Communication Faith Muthambi regarding Motsoeneng’s appointment.

The case followed a report by Public Protector  Thuli Madonsela, who found that Motsoeneng must be disciplined for, among others, the fact that he falsely claimed to have a matric certificate.

Earlier this year the Western Cape High Court ordered, in the first, interim part of the DA’s case, that Motsoeneng must be suspended and that a disciplinary hearing should go ahead.

Motsoeneng and Muthambi appealed against the decision but the appeal court dismissed the appeal in October.

Motsoeneng took “special leave” while the disciplinary hearin

A million children in desperate need in Central African Republic


Dakar — More than a million children in the Central African Republic are in urgent need of humanitarian aid while almost half of those under five are malnourished, the United Nations said on Friday ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the conflict-torn country.

The majority Christian nation plunged into tumult when mostly Muslim Seleka rebels briefly seized power in a 2013 coup.

Sectarian violence has plagued the country since and fresh fighting broke out in Bangui two months ago, the worst violence in the capital this year, when the murder of a Muslim man triggered reprisal attacks on a largely Christian neighbourhood.

Some two million children have been affected by violence which first broke out in December 2012, and 1.2 million now need urgent aid, said the U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF.

“The violence that has plagued this country has had a devastating impact on the lives of children,” said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF representative in the Central African Republic.

“The humanitarian needs are overwhelming, to meet them we need access and we need greater international support.”

The conflict has uprooted 400,000 people within the country and forced half a million to seek refuge in neighbouring countries, while recent insecurity and attacks on convoys have hindered aid deliveries and lifesaving activities, UNICEF said.

Clashes between mainly Christian anti-balaka militias and mainly Muslim Seleka factions initially cast doubt on the pope’s visit, and risk derailing internationally-backed elections now due on Dec. 27 after being postponed in October due to violence.

Pope Francis is due to arrive in the country on Sunday, and Central Africans on both sides of the religious chasm, even the Seleka, have rallied behind the visit, reducing the risk that his presence could add fuel to the fire of communal tensions.

“We are hopeful that … the Pope’s visit will promote reconciliation in a country that is in desperate need of peace,” Fall added.

UNICEF has received $37 million of the $70.9 million it needs to provide urgent lifesaving interventions for the most vulnerable children in the Central African Republic this year.

(Reporting By Kieran Guilbert, Editing by Katie Nguyen; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit

Kenya – Pope celebrates huge mass, calls for peace and reconciliation


Many thousands of people have been celebrating Mass with Pope Francis at a university campus in Kenya.

Pope Francis made a plea for traditional values, saying “the health of any society depends on the health of its families”.

The Pope earlier urged Kenyans to work for peace and reconciliation on his first trip as pontiff to Africa, amid a rise in militant violence.

He arrived in Kenya on Wednesday, the first stop on a three-nation tour.

Crowds in the capital, Nairobi, waited in the rain at the University of Nairobi sports ground since the early hours of Thursday morning.

People rushing to get inAFP People rushed to get in the queue to hear the Mass at the university
Crowd in the rainAFP Crowds then waited in the rain to join those inside
Pope talking to bishopsReuters Pope Francis was wearing a robe that was specially embroidered for the occasion

Wearing a robe embroidered to look like beads worn by the Maasai, Pope Francis told them: “Our faith in God’s word calls us to support families in their mission in society, to accept children as a blessing for our world, and to defend the dignity of each man and woman, for all of us are brothers and sisters in the one human family.”

He also spoke about abortion and the need for a caring society: “We are also called to resist practices which foster arrogance in men, hurt or demean women, and threaten the life of the innocent unborn.”

Eyewitness: Benjamin Gakuru at the Mass

People queuing in the rainImage copyrightAFP

It was raining the whole night, but people slept in the rain in order to see Pope Francis.

The Pope was very happy to see thousands and thousands and thousands of people.

They came from all corners of Kenya and other parts of the region: DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.

At the Mass people were screaming and raising their flags, and everything was fantastic. People were very excited, excited, excited.

And Pope Francis appealed to young Kenyans “to shape a society which is ever more just, inclusive and respectful of human dignity”.

He said they “should reject everything that leads to prejudice and discrimination”.

‘Be prophets of peace’

The hashtag #PapalMass has been trending on Twitter in Kenya as people have been reflecting on the event and the pontiff’s message.

Gachiru said on Twitter that the mass “has reminded us of the beauty of simplicity and the power of ritual. The songs rang true to the Kenyan heart”.

Amatikide Murunga said that she was “feeling very blessed and inspired by the Pope’s visit to Kenya. [He is] truly a symbol of love”.


  • Christian population is 517 million (63% of total)
  • Protestants make up more than half the number
  • Catholics make up about a third
  • Muslim population is 248 million (about 30% of total)
  • 1.1 billion Christians expected by 2050
  • 670 million Muslims expected by 2050

Profile: Pope Francis

Source: US-based Pew Research Center 2011 survey

Before the Mass, Pope Francis met religious leaders from other faiths and other Christian denominations, who he said should be “prophets of peace” in a violent and hate-driven world.

Referring to attacks carried out by the militant Islamist group al-Shabab in Kenya, he said that God’s name “must never be used to justify hatred and violence”.

The Pope earlier said conflict and terrorism fed “on fear, mistrust, and the despair born of poverty and frustration”.

A leading Muslim cleric in Kenya welcomed the visit, saying it gave hope to the “downtrodden in the slums”.

The BBC’s Anne Soy said that security was very tight for the Mass, but the pontiff played down security fears, joking that he was “more worried about the mosquitoes”.

Soldiers patrol during a mass celebrated by Pope Francis on the campus of the University of Nairobi, KenyaEPA Security was tightened ahead of Pope Francis visit
Pope meeting other religious leadersAP The Pope told other religious leaders that interreligious dialogue was essential

Pope Francis’s five-day visit will also see him go to Uganda and Central African Republic, which has been hit by Christian-Muslim conflict.

He is later on Thursday expected to visit the headquarters of the UN Environment Programme.

He has already spoken of a “grave environmental crisis” facing the world, and said leaders needed to promote “responsible models of economic development”.

Speaking on Wednesday he also made a veiled reference to corruption by calling on leaders to work with integrity and transparency, says the BBC’s Joseph Odhiambo in Nairobi.

President Kenyatta has called on the Pope to pray that Kenya succeeds in its fight against corruption.

About 30% of Kenyans – including President Kenyatta – are baptised Catholics.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) gives a thumb to Pope Francis at the State House of Nairobi on 25 November2015.AFP President Uhuru Kenyatta gives Pope Francis a thumbs up at Nairobi’s State House
Crowds of people gather on the roadside as Pope FrancisAFP About 30% of Kenyans are Catholic

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