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African press review 7 April 2017


Credit downgrades, dog poo and dance moves all made top headlines today in Africa’s press.

The top story for South Africa’s BusinessDay is about a new credit downgrading, this time for South Africa's government-owned power utility, Eskom. S&P Global Ratings is lowering Eskom's credit rating from B+ to BB-, the paper reports.

According to BusinessDay, S&P is lowering the rating because it thinks that the South African government is no longer in a position to support the state-run power company if needed.

This comes after South Africa's own foreign-currency debt was downgraded to junk status last week, also by S&P, and seems to be yet more fall-out from President Jacob Zuma's cabinet reshuffle last week.

‘Dog poo’

Along with the fallout, BusinessDay's nasty language for the Zuma government also continues on their opinion pages.

"Like dog poo to a shoe, the ANC top six stick together," is one of their editorial headlines today. It's right above a photo of the ANC's six top leaders cheerfully holding hands at a rally.

The editorial argues that ANC leaders are stinking up the party by sticking together and officially accepting President Jacob Zuma's explanation that he sacked finance minister Pravin Gordhan last week due to “irreconcilable differences” -- despite the fact that many others in the party have called for Zuma's resignation.

In fact, a letter to BusinessDay argues that keeping Zuma was a mistake because it will damage the ANC's chances in future elections.

Zuma, axe murderer?

Getting away – slightly – from news about ANC leaders the Mail & Guardian have a top story about the people's protest movement Save South Africa.

According to the Mail & Guardian, one of Save South Africa's camps in Pretoria was attacked Wednesday. About 10 or 15 people attacked the movement's camp near the treasury headquarter, “damaged a gazebo … and torched the organisation’s banners”.

The paper reported that this attack actually has actually "galvanised more support" for the Save South Africa protest movement – which calls for Zuma to step down.

The Mail & Guardian itself has some very strong words for Zuma today on the opinion page.

"SA's democratic foundations shaken" and "Only the ANC can fix this Zuma mess" were two of the headlines there.

But the most violent condemnation came from an editorial cartoon, which showed Zuma holding an axe dripping with blood, with the headline "State capture is followed by dictatorship".

Dabbing his wounds?

Zuma may not be getting many breaks in the press, but there is an article about him breaking out some dance moves, in the Sowetan.

The "dab" is a dance move that started in the US, and was adopted by Zuma and the ANC during campaign rallies last year.

The dance consists of holding your left arm in the air and covering your head with your right arm.

The Sowetan reported that now the word "dabbing" will be added to the dictionary, although it's not clear whether or not this is thanks to Zuma.

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