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African Press Review 21 July 2018


Nigerian police beat up a magistrate in his own court while a South African airline battles a looming boycott as an SMS sending home black workers with HIV, turns viral.

We begin in Nigeria, where Punch highlights the latest evidence of impunity for the country's police force  the invasion of an Imo state court by armed officers who on Friday reportedly beat up a chief magistrate who discharged three suspected armed robbers.

The paper says the magistrate, lawyers and litigants scampered to safety when the police started shooting into the air, the commanding police officer, accusing the magistrate of taking a bribe.

According to Punch it took the quick intervention of the Area Commander who rushed to the scene to rescue the magistrate.

Punch says at least 80 lawyers led by a former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in the state, rushed to the court premises after reports that two defence counsels of the suspected robbers had been beaten up and whisked away to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department in Owerri.

The paper reports that the chair of the Owerri National Bar Association has described the alleged assault as a blow to the legal profession, and demanded that those who beat the magistrate and lawyers be expelled from the police and arraigned.

In South Africa, TimesLive investigates a crisis that has broken out at Mango Airlines, as the carrier struggles to put out a fire lit by a text message advising seropositive black employees to stay at home.

The publication reports that Mango Airlines confirmed on Friday it was investigating the message which it admitted was sent by one of its employees to another staff member which later went viral on social media.

The message reads: “Mango cannot allow you to work with us‚ you are black and HIV positive. That is just too much for us.”

The daily quotes a Mango spokesperson as saying that the SMS in question does not align with their values or policies adding that they can confirm that it’s not an official communication from the company.

And in Kenya, the Standard has all you need to know about a week-long kidnapping drama that has held the country spellbound.

The newspaper reports that for six days three gunmen barricaded themselves up in a village house in central Murang’a County with a 70 year old woman they had taken hostage in demand for a ransom of 3 million Shillings. 

According to the Standard, the abductors of Margaret Waitherero were finally identified through their mobile phone numbers as they engaged the hostage's relatives about where to send the ransom.

The paper reports that dozens of police officers finally surrounded the house for a dramatic rescue, the siege ending in a gun battle which ended with the death of three suspects, including a 70-year-old woman and the arrest of two prison warders.


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