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African press review 6 February 2018


ANC chiefs call urgent NEC meeting on President Zuma's future while Kenya braces for another crisis.

We begin in South Africa where the papers pop a question - Wednesday will be D Day for President Jacob Zuma?

Mail and Guardian reports that the national working committee of the ruling African Congress had called a special meeting of the national executive committee body to decide on Zuma's fate.

The paper says the NWC, which groups ANC chieftains nation-wide, met on Monday night, after a meeting between Zuma and the party’s top six officials on Sunday night.

The Sowetan reports an outbreak of violence between pro and anti Zuma supporters outside the ANC's Luthuli House headquarters in Johannesburg on Monday as the party's chiefs met inside.

The paper says a delegation of the “Black First Land First” regalia spear-heading a “Hands off Jacob Zuma” protest‚ was attacked by rival chanting ANC supporters as their vehicle approached the main entrance of the building.

According to Times Live, it took a heavy police contingent to separate the two protests. The newspaper also reports that the “Hands off Jacob Zuma” march came to a halt only after they had delivered a memorandum to the ANC‚ demanding‚ among other things‚ that Zuma should remain State President until his term of office comes to an end.

"Tensions seem to have spilled down to the ground of the two distinct centers of power within the ANC’s current leadership structure" writes City Press in a lead article. It claims that the #HandsOffZuma movement considers calls for Zuma’s early exit as tantamount to economic terrorism'.

News 24 says it still looks like journey's end for Zuma, basing its assumptions on the agenda of the NEC meeting released by the ANC namely that their work will include among others issues the management of the transition between the 5th and 6th administration of government and pending actions in Parliament.

Despite the standoff and tense atmosphere, the Star doesn't believe there are many people in society who are holding their breath about anything dramatic coming out of that meeting. The secretary-general has already pre-empted that meeting by stating categorically that Zuma will deliver the SONA.

In Kenya the papers keep track of developments from the swearing in last Tuesday of opposition leader Raila Odinga as the peoples' president.

Daily Nation reports that the Judiciary and the Executive are headed for a clash following the latter’s disobedience of court orders to produce National Super Alliance activist Miguna Miguna in court.

The paper claims that the government also ignored an order directing two cabinet secretaries to restore TV signals to stations switched off on January 30 for covering Odinga's symbolic oath of office.

The Standard says that the US early Monday piled pressure on President Uhuru Kenyatta to switch on three privately-owned TV stations suspended , the American ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec saying that the blackout constituted a disregard for the rule of law and was eroding the country’s democratic space.

According to the publication, the US envoy's statement came after rounds of condemnation from the European Union, religious organizations and civil society groups, who told the Government to follow the law and stop arbitrary arrests.

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