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African press review 4 September 2014


In Lesotho, the prime minister, Thomas Thabane, is back in town, but the Maseru newspapers appear to have missed his return. Tom has been in South Africa since last Saturday when some boys from the army dropped into the presidential residence to discuss his political future.

He is now understood to be back in Maseru, protected by a contingent of South African police.

According to Lesotho newspaper, Public Eye, the local police have been asked to return to duty. This follows earlier advice from the force's national commissioner that all officers should desert their posts and close police stations. Police were allegedly being targeted by rebel army units says Public Eye at a press conference yesterday afternoon, held at the Police Headquarters, the commissioner appealed to all police officers to report back to work immediately.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

The commissioner went on to regret the theft of police property by army members. Among the items currently unaccounted for are five cases of Savanna Premium Cider.

There's not a word about Lesotho in South African business paper BusinessDay either.

There, the top spot goes to the fact that South Africa has continued its downward trend in the world competitiveness rankings, because of factors such as poor labour-employer relations and weak economic growth.

The country’s ranking fell to 56th out of 144 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness index for 2014 released yesterday. The country ranked 53rd out of 148 countries in the 2013 index.

South Africa ranked poorly on higher education and training, and on labour market efficiency. The country ranks 144th, worst in the world, in labour-employer relations.

BusinessDay also reports on a positive side effect of the struggle between Kiev and Moscow for control of eastern Ukraine.

According to the Johannesburg-based financial daily, Ukraine is to buy one million metric tonnes of coal from South Africa because the military conflict in the Donbass region has disrupted domestic coal production.

The conflict zone is home to much of Ukraine’s heavy industry and coal mines and accounts for about 18% of national economic output.

Dossier: Rwanda remembers genocide 20 years later

The South African Sowetan reports that a monkey sparked a dash for cash in a northern Indian town at the weekend when he showered banknotes from a rooftop.

Under the headline "Robin Hood monkey showers Indian town with cash", we learn that the creature broke into a construction site in search of food.

Finding nothing to munch on, the monkey stole 10,000 rupees (that's about 170 euros) which a contractor had planned to use to pay his workers.

Staff at the construction site tried in vain to catch the thieving primate, who playfully tossed down money from a rooftop before continuing the handouts from a tree, with an eager crowd gathering to catch the cash for nearly an hour.

The main story in the Kenyan Standard newspaper reports that there was a major scare at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport last night after a passenger arrived on a plane from the Democratic Republic of Congo, apparently showing symptoms of Ebola.

Emergency teams including Ebola experts were sent to meet the aircraft.

Last night, the director of Kenyan medical services said tests on the suspected case had not confirmed Ebola.

The Standard says that, by the time the paper went to press last night, about 8PM, the rest of the passengers were still being held at the airport.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

Also in the Standard, news that the International Criminal Court will later this morning deliver a ruling that could make or break the case against Deputy President William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang. The two men are accused of complicity in the organisation of the violence that followed the 2007 presidential election.

The Dutch-based court will decide whether the prosecution should be allowed to bring new evidence to prove that key witnesses have been bribed or intimidated to drop their evidence against Ruto and Sang.

The evidence includes photographs and audio records of some witnesses inducing others to accept bribes to disown their statements. The prosecution wants the judges to consider this evidence when making their final determination in the case.

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