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South Africa’s Anti-Graft Body To Investigate Finance Minister

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South Africa’s Anti-Graft Body To Investigate Finance Minister

South Africa’s top anti-graft body says it will investigate whether the Finance Minister breached ethics guidelines over a state pension fund investment, piling pressure on Nhlanhla Nene as he faced questions about his future.

The office of the Public Protector said on Tuesday it would look into a complaint by the main opposition Democratic Alliance party about the investment, carried out when Nene was chairman of the fund and deputy finance minister.

There was no immediate comment from the minister who was due to travel to an International Monetary Fund meeting in Indonesia.

He has in the past denied any wrongdoing connected to investments by the Public Investment Corporation fund.

On Monday, the rand initially sank more than one per cent on a newspaper report that Nene had asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to sack him.

Business Day newspaper said the minister made the request after acknowledging in a hearing that he had visited the Gupta family, friends of former leader Jacob Zuma accused of unfairly winning state contracts.

Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

Nene, who publicly apologized for not previously reporting the visits to the Gupta brothers, has not made any statements confirming or denying the report by Business Day newspaper.

The president’s spokeswoman told Reuters his office was not aware of any such request from Nene.

Asked repeatedly at a media event in Cape Town whether Nene still enjoyed his confidence and what the future might hold for the finance minister, President Ramaphosa made light of the questions and pretended there was something wrong with his hearing.

“I am hard of hearing. I actually have go to an ear (specialist) … see you later,” he said.

The rand later recovered some ground on Monday was flat in the morning session on Tuesday.

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African News

Al-Shabaab Executes 3 Men In Somalia

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Al-Shabaab Executes 3 Men In Somalia

Somalia’s militant Islamist group al-Shabaab has killed three men execution-style, accusing two of them of working for the army. The third man it killed was an elderly clan leader who helped choose candidates for the 2016 parliamentary elections.

Media linked to al-Shabaab reported the killings took place in front of a crowd in Mubarak village in southern Somalia.

The militants, who are affiliated to al-Qaeda, control much territory in rural areas of Somalia and are fighting to overthrow the un-backed government.

The militants are known for killing suspected informants, including those accused of spying for the U.S. And other foreign intelligence agencies.

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African News

Kenya Drops Plans To Introduce Controversial New School Syllabus

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Kenya Drops Plans To Introduce Controversial New School Syllabus

Kenya’s education minister Amina Mohamed says the government has dropped plans to introduce a controversial new school syllabus at the start of the academic year in January because it is not ready to roll it out.

The syllabus has caused huge debate in Kenya as it makes radical changes, moving away from an exam-focused to a competency-focused system, which the government says will improve the chances of building successful careers.

The minister added the government still needed to train teachers, and the earliest it would be able to roll out the syllabus would be in 2023.

She said it would be a bad idea to roll out something with which the government is not at all comfortable.  The minister said the government also takes parents into consideration.

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African News

Tanzania’s President Signs Agreement For The Construction Of Controversial Hydro-Electric Power Project

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Tanzania's President Signs Agreement For The Construction Of Controversial Hydro-Electric Power Project

Tanzania’s president John Magufuli has signed an agreement for the construction of a controversial hydro-electric power project in one of East Africa’s best-known game reserves.

The power plant on the Rufiji River in the Selous game reserve is to be built by two Egyptian firms at a cost of more than three billion dollars.

The project has been strongly opposed by conservationists who warn it would cause irreversible damage to the wildlife habitat, and impact the lives of about 200,000 people who depend on the environment.

The Selous game reserve is a UNESCO world heritage site and is home to a vast array of wildlife.

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