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African press review 16 May 2018


South Africa's ruling party chiefs call for a down-grade of ties with Israel as bloody crackdown on Palestinians worsens.

We begin with reactions in Africa to the massacre of more than 60 Palestinians who marched towards the Israeli border from Gaza on Monday to protest the Trump administration's decision to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In South Africa, Mail and Guardian reports that nearly two thousand people marched to Parliament in Cape Town calling on the South African government to downgrade its Israeli embassy in Pretoria to a liaison office.

The newspaper, claims that the protests were meant to highlight the human rights violations faced by Palestinians and the Israeli laws governing the Palestinians, which mimic apartheid in their point of view.

Mail and Guardian also reports that officials who addressed the march included ANC MP Mandla Mandela, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu, coordinators of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, and notably the ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte who stated that South Africa cannot be friendly with "cowards armed with nuclear missiles who kill children and unarmed people shamelessly and call it self-defense."

In Nigeria, the Tribune takes up the growing controversy in the country over media reports that Nigeria's ambassador to Israel attended Monday’s official opening of the United States embassy in Jerusalem.

According to the paper Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, queried the Nigerian Ambassador to Israel to explain his alleged presence at the event, which was mentioned in a report by the Al Jazeera television channel. But the Tribune says the ambassador denied being or being represented at the event.

Vanguard reports that it was on the strength of the ambassador's response that the Federal Government wrote to Al Jazeera to retract its story. The paper holds that the Trump Administration's decision to officially relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, has drawn widespread condemnation across the world.

And in Kenya, the Standard leads with a bombshell story about a pathologist suspected of stealing body organs from corpses has been charged by a Nairobi court.

According to the newspaper, Dr. Moses Njue, who was once the chief Government pathologist, was accused of secretly taking away a man's heart while carrying out a postmortem on his body.

Standard says that the bizarre theft was not the first case filed against the medic who is facing prosecution for another missing heart and kidneys after a previous autopsy he carried out at Merus Consolata Mission Hospital. The organs were reportedly only discovered missing by a separate team of doctors, after the body was exhumed on orders of a court to verify the cause of the man's death.

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