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South Africa’s Ramaphosa elected president

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa’s Ramaphosa elected president

Cape Town, South Africa – Late-night negotiations and an eleventh-hour agreement led to the formation of South Africa’s first-ever coalition government on Friday, with President Cyril Ramaphosa at its head.

The multiparty coalition signed its agreement only on Friday, as members of parliament were sworn in after marathon negotiations and back-and-forth calls between Ramaphosa and leaders of other parties.

Late Friday night, Ramaphosa was elected as the country’s president in parliament. Under the unprecedented coalition agreement, the Democratic Alliance (DA) – the African National Congress’s (ANC) official opposition until now – and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) voted for an ANC president for the first time.

The multiparty coalition was prompted after the ANC suffered its worst electoral decline in 30 years. The party holds 159 of 400 seats in parliament – short of the 201 seats needed to have a majority – after winning 40 percent of the vote in the country’s May 29 election.

After days of internal talks within the ANC, Ramaphosa announced last week that the party would seek a “government of national unity”. But the left-leaning Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and former President Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK Party) – which was created months before the election and ate into the ANC’s traditional voter support – refused to join the government, especially with the DA a part of it. The MK Party had also demanded Ramaphosa’s removal from the presidency.

The right-leaning DA, with 21 percent of the seats in parliament, will now be the ANC’s main partner in government with the support of the nationalist IFP. The parties agreed to an eight-page framework that will govern their unity government, including a clause stating that a decision could only be made if “sufficient consensus” was reached.

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This means that Ramaphosa and the ANC will not be able to make decisions without buy-in from coalition partners. The parties agreed to 10 fundamental principles, which included respect for the constitution, and positions against racism and sexism.

In the agreement signed, the parties agreed that “rapid, inclusive and sustainable economic growth” would be the coalition government’s apex priority.

The ‘hard part’ starts now

Former DA leader and negotiating team member Tony Leon said that he had never imagined a world where the ANC and the DA would co-govern.

“The last time I negotiated with the ANC around the new constitution was in 1996, and they had 62 percent support,” he told Al Jazeera.

Leon described the talks since the May 29 vote as “very hard”, but said the president’s election was the “easy part”.

“The next five years are going to be difficult,” he said, adding that trust would make the coalition government functional.

Leon said talks were still incomplete five minutes before parliament’s sitting began on Friday at 10am local time (08:00 GMT).

“We agreed to outline a modality of how you get through today and some signals and signposts of the future. It is about some broad principles and important provisions; at the end of the day, this will not just depend on goodwill. It will depend on trust between the parties,” he said.

The agreement signed on Friday morning did not include details on which parties will occupy what positions in government. Ramaphosa has until Wednesday to determine that. He will be sworn in by the country’s chief justice next Wednesday.

According to the agreement signed, while Ramaphosa has the prerogative to appoint ministers and deputy ministers, he needs to consult leaders of other parties in the coalition before he does so.

Pierre de Vos, professor of constitutional law at the University of Cape Town, said he was wary about what a coalition government might mean for the country’s governance.

“It is difficult to be confident in what’s to come,” he said.

De Vos said that while a coalition government was “good on paper,” South Africa had a fractious society that the ANC kept together for three decades. “When it comes to difficult issues like inequality and racism, the two parties are polar opposite sides,” he said.

The DA has fought against race-based transformation policies, which the ANC has pushed for three decades.

Other analysts said they believe the coalition government would force ideological parties to the centre.

“This coalition agreement is a good thing. It will force the ANC away from the left to the centre and the DA away from the extreme right,” said political analyst JP Landman.

 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

South Africa’s Ramaphosa elected president

Africa

Kenya: Court stops police ban on Gen Z protests

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Kenya: Court stops police ban on Gen Z protests

The High Court of Kenya has suspended the National Police Service’s (IG) ban on protests by Kenyan youths (Gen Z). The ban was issued by IG Douglas Kanja.

Justice Bahati Mwamuye of the Milimani High Court declared the application challenging the ban urgent. The case will be prioritized.

“Pending the hearing on 18/07/2024, a conservatory order suspending the National Police Service’s ban on demonstrations in Nairobi Central Business and nearby areas is issued,” the ruling stated.

The judge restrained the acting IG from enforcing his decision dated 17th July 2024. This order also applies to all other personnel in the National Police Service (NPS) or those supporting them.

This suspension remains until the case is heard on July 18. The judge also directed IG Kanja to communicate these orders to all NPS officers.

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“The Acting Inspector-General of Police must circulate official communication of these orders to all NPS officers and the general public by the end of 19/07/2024. Evidence of this must be filed in court,” the ruling added.

This order followed a petition by Katiba Institute against the State Law Office after the NPS banned planned protests in Nairobi CBD and surrounding areas.

Acting IG Douglas Kanja cited security concerns and previous disruptions as the reasons for the ban. He mentioned that since the protests began in June, there have been significant losses, injuries, and damage to property and businesses.

“Criminals have infiltrated the protesting groups, causing disorder and destruction. For national security, we have credible intelligence that organized criminal groups plan to use these protests for attacks, including looting,” said Kanja.

The acting IG highlighted the lack of leadership within the Gen Z protests, making it hard to enforce safety protocols. Hence, no demonstrations will be allowed in Nairobi CBD and its surroundings until further notice to ensure public safety.

Kenya: Court stops police ban on Gen Z protests

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Man dresses as woman to catch cheating wife

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Man dresses as woman to catch cheating wife

In an extreme attempt to catch his wife in the act of infidelity,  a man identified as Wellington Phiri from Chegutu, Zimbabwe resorted to an unusual and elaborate disguise.

Phiri dressed in his wife Prisca Mhuru’s clothes, including her dress, bra, and headscarf, to sneak into the house where he suspected she was with her lover.

Phiri’s plan, however, did not unfold as expected. Upon arriving at the house and knocking on the door, he was confronted by a man identified as Mabhayo, whom Phiri alleges is having an affair with his wife. Recognizing Phiri despite the disguise, Mabhayo locked the door and threatened him with an axe, forcing Phiri to flee the scene.

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“My neighbour has wrecked my marriage. I learned that Mabhayo was accommodating my wife in his bedroom since he is single. I dressed myself like a woman and visited Mabhayo’s house, knowing he had a weakness for women. His dog tried to scare me, but I kept knocking until he attended to me,” Phiri recounted.

Phiri, who has two children with Prisca, believes Mabhayo’s actions have contributed significantly to the breakdown of his marriage. “After noticing it was me, he locked the door while my wife was inside, took an axe, and threatened to kill me, so I ran away,” Phiri told H-Metro.

Man dresses as woman to catch cheating wife

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Kagame wins fourth term as Rwanda president with 99% votes

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Rwandan President Paul Kagame

Kagame wins fourth term as Rwanda president with 99% votes

Rwandan President Paul Kagame is preparing on Tuesday for a fourth term in office after winning 99.15 percent of the vote in an election with only two competitors allowed to compete against him.

The results of Monday’s election were never in doubt, with Kagame dominating the small African country with an iron fist as de facto leader and then president for three decades.

The election commission published partial results seven hours after polls closed, showing that Kagame had won 99.15 percent of the vote—more than the 98.79 percent he received in the previous ballot seven years earlier.

According to the results, Democratic Green Party candidate Frank Habineza received only 0.53% of the vote, while independent Philippe Mpayimana received 0.32%.

In an address from the headquarters of his ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the 66-year-old praised Rwandans for another five years in power.

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“The results that have been presented indicate a very high score; these are not just figures; even if it were 100 percent, these are not just numbers,” he said.

“These figures show the trust, and that is what is most important,” he added.

“I am hopeful that together we can solve all problems.”

Full provisional results are due by July 20 and definitive results by July 27.

“In general, the electoral process happened in a safe and transparent atmosphere for Rwandans living abroad and at home,” the National Electoral Commission said in a statement.

With 65 percent of the population under the age of 30, Kagame is the only leader most Rwandans have ever known.

Kagame wins fourth term as Rwanda president with 99% votes

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