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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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

Zimbabwe: Government, Civil Servants Agree Salary Deal

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Zimbabwe: Government, Civil Servants Agree Salary Deal

Zimbabwe government and civil servants have finally agreed to a salary accord after the government increased its offer to four hundred million dollars, up by fifty million.

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This means government workers and civil servants will each receive an increment of a hundred twenty-nine dollars effective on April the first.

Negotiations for a further salary review, possibly in June, will continue with consideration of other non-monetary incentives.

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Apex council chairperson, Cecilia Alexander, says the welfare negotiations will continue until the welfare of civil servants improved.

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African News

Niger’s Top Court Outlaws ‘Fifth Wife’ Sex-Slave Maids

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Niger's Top Court Outlaws 'Fifth Wife' Sex-Slave Maids

Niger’s top court has outlawed the practice of keeping women as maids and sex slaves known as “fifth wives.”  This ends a decade-long legal battle by one victim that lawyers say could inspire others in the West African nation to seek justice.

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UK-based anti-slavery international, says the “fifth wife” custom, also known as “wahaya,” is when, in addition to the four wives permitted by Islam, rich men take on other, unofficial wives who live as domestic and sexual slaves.

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Thomson-Reuters Foundation says a Nigerien court had initially ruled in favor of the victim’s master, but she appealed the decision.  Last month, the Niger court of appeals ruled that her first marriage was never valid and that all “fifth wife” marriages are illegal.

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African News

Gunmen Abduct Student Football Team In Cameroon

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Gunmen Abduct Student Football Team In Cameroon

Gunmen have abducted twenty University of Buea male football team members in Cameroon’s southwest. A report says university Vice-Chancellor, Ngono Horace Manga, has confirmed the incident.

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The Vice-Chancellor is quoted as saying armed men stormed the university’s football ground and ordered the players who were training for an upcoming competition to leave with them.

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Manga also said the kidnappers contacted university authorities and demanded a ransom.  He did not disclose the amount for which they were asking.

No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

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