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DEBATE HEATS UP OVER SOUTH AFRICAN ‘WHITE PRIVILEGE’

(GIN) – Members of the opposition Democratic Alliance are reportedly squabbling over a casual remark by the head of the party, Mmusi Maimane, who observed that white privilege and black poverty were critical issues that needed to be addressed. “I firmly stand by comments I made on Freedom Day,” Maimane tweeted on Sunday. “South Africa remains deeply unequal, with black South Africans locked out of opportuni ...

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AT AFRICAN CONFAB, A CALL FOR JUSTICE FOR CHILDREN*

(IDN/GIN) – Children are very much on the political and public agenda in Africa today. The African Union has adopted a charter to protect them and a mechanism to hold governments accountable for the fulfilment of their rights. Even so, the reality on the ground is somber and sobering. The number of child prisoners in Africa is in the thousands, and may even be as high as 28,000. Against this background, chi ...

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ZIMBABWEANS CHEER A MUSICAL ‘LION’ RETURNING FROM EXILE

(GIN) - Welcome home Mukanya. After 14 long years in the U.S. state of Oregon, singer, composer and bandleader Thomas Mapfumo has come home to Zimbabwe. His recent performance, for some 20,000 ticket holders at the open-air Glamis Arena, only slowed down as the sun began to rise. "I thought maybe I wasn't going to be able to come back here while I was still alive," Mapfumo confessed. "But by the grace of Go ...

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SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN TAKE PRIZE FOR ANTI-NUCLEAR EFFORT

Using the knowledge gained in the anti-apartheid struggle, two South African women challenged a secret, multibillion-dollar nuclear deal that would have dotted South Africa with nuclear power plants from Russia. The women, Makoma Lekalakala and Liziwe McDaid, waged a five-year court battle against the plants. Against all odds, including a secret agreement between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and former Pre ...

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MORE AFRICAN NATIONS DISCARD TERM LIMITS AND LET LEADERS ‘RULE FOR LIFE’

Absent any influence from the White House towards democratic reforms, a number of African leaders are quietly tweaking their laws to ensure a lock on the presidency for decades to come. Fifteen of Africa’s 54 heads of state hold or have held power for more than 20 years. Yet Africa has the world’s youngest population where the median age is 19.4 years. The past few years have seen presidential term limits e ...

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MAJOR UNREST TESTS SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT ONLY THREE MONTHS IN OFFICE

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa cut short his appearance at the Commonwealth leaders’ summit in London after rising citizen anger at corruption and poor public service at home exploded into violence. South African police fired rubber bullets at protestors while shops were looted, roads were blocked and vehicles set on fire. Some 23 people were arrested and one man reportedly died in the melee in Mah ...

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OBAMA TO DELIVER 16TH MANDELA LECTURE IN SOUTH AFRICA

Former president Barack Obama will deliver the annual Nelson Mandela memorial lecture at a 4,000-capacity arena in Johannesburg in July. Obama met with Mandela in 2005 and eulogized him at his death five years ago, saying “(Mandela) makes me want to be a better man.” The lecture marks 100 years since the birth of the anti-apartheid icon. Under the title “Renewing the Mandela Legacy & Promoting Active Ci ...

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RWANDANS ‘REMEMBER, RENEW AND UNITE’ ON ANNIVERSARY OF GENOCIDE

Rwandans at home and abroad marked the April 1994 Genocide that took the lives of more than a million Rwandans in just 100 days. In Kenya, hundreds of Rwandan citizens held a procession in Nairobi. Ambassador James Kimonyo said the walk offered a time to reflect on what happened in 1994, why it happened and what they should do to ensure that the incident does not happen again. Marking the anniversary in Nig ...

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LGBT ACTIVISTS PLAN FIRST-EVER PRIDE MARCH IN SWAZILAND

LGBT activists in Swaziland are taking hopeful steps towards official recognition in the conservative nation of Swaziland, where male homosexuality is outlawed and members of the government have denounced it as “satanic.” The activists hope to win over some hearts and minds by holding a Pride march and festival in June. If the application by The Rock of Hope for the march and festival is approved, the histo ...

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PRESIDENTIAL RACE TAKES AN UNEXPECTED TWIST IN NIGERIA

Next year’s race for the presidency in Nigeria just got a lot more interesting as a crusading journalist – an upstart known for exposing the millions and billions stolen by a national “loot-ocracy” – announced his candidacy for the nation’s top job. As news spread that the journalist, Omoyele Sowore, was testing the waters for national office, President Muhammadu Buhari, age 75, reminded Nigerians that he t ...

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