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19 November 2018 Africa Legal News Watch

Africa Focus

Signs of hope for troubled vanilla island

Despite allegations of graft by one of the three former Presidents who are frontrunners in Madagascar’s hotly-contested poll, it appears that the crucial election has gone smoothly. Legalbrief reports that while election observers have flagged some irregularities, there are now ... Read More

Regional News

Prominent journalist released

A journalist and television presenter from Cameroon's restive Anglophone region was released on Saturday after being detained on charges of ‘attacking state security’. A report on the News24 site notes that Mimi Mefo, who heads English news for privately-owned ... Read More

Horrific abuses flagged by campaign group

The DRC has been accused of condoning the torture of political and human rights activists, including the use of gang rape, beatings and electric shock treatment on detainees. The UK-based Freedom from Torture group, which helps rehabilitate torture survivors, has ... Read More

Mass grave discovered

Police in Ethiopia say they have discovered a mass grave with 200 bodies near the border between the Somali and Oromia regions of the country. BBC News reports that hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced over the past ... Read More

Africa International

Saudi Arabia's $1bn bid for Denel partnership

Saudi Arabia has made a $1bn bid for a broad partnership with state-owned defence group Denel that would include acquisition of a minority stake in a joint venture with Germany’s Rheinmetall, a source familiar with the offer is quoted as ... Read More

Diego Novella loses bid to appeal murder conviction

Convicted murderer Diego Novella's application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentencing was denied by the Western Cape High Court on Friday. In papers before the court, Novella claimed among other things that his rights to a fair ... Read More

Danish fraud suspect arrested in SA

A woman who worked for Denmark's social security agency has been arrested in SA, says TimesLIVE. She is accused of defrauding the service of 15m euro (R245m), prosecutors confirmed. The woman, who was employed by the agency for 40 ... Read More


‘Significant decline’ in FGM flagged

Rates of female genital mutilation among girls under 14 have fallen sharply in most regions of Africa over three decades, according to ground-breaking analysis cautiously welcomed by aid groups. The age-old ritual of cutting or removing the clitoris of young ... Read More

MTN battle seen as risk for SA’s financial system

MTN’s fights with Nigerian authorities over $10bn in repatriated funds and back taxes could increase risk in SA’s financial system depending on the outcome, the Reserve Bank has said, according to a Fin24 report. MTN, Africa’s biggest wireless carrier by ... Read More

CPJ staffers leave Tanzania

The travel documents of former Mail & Guardian editor Angela Quintal and a Kenyan colleague Muthoki Mumo were returned yesterday and they have left the country, Legalbrief can confirm. The pair was detained on Wednesday night by Tanzanian authorities and ... Read More


Cairo to amend law restricting NGOs

Egypt plans to amend a controversial law passed last year that places tight controls on NGOs. Ratified in May 2017 by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the law has sparked fears of an intensified crackdown on civil society. Since Sisi took ... Read More

Government slammed over new media regulations

An international press freedom group says new regulations in Egypt amount to ‘extortion’ and aim to silence the country's last remaining independent media. Reporters Without Borders said the new law, which went into effect last month, requires online newspapers ... Read More

Self-defence issue in Firearms Act amendment

Police Minister Bheki Cele says the removal of self-defence as a reason for owning a gun – as provided for in the Firearms Control Act – would reduce proliferation of illegal firearms in the country, notes a Cape Argus report ... Read More

Africa Analyses

Call to revisit border policies

‘Why do we have a border gate to Lesotho, considering that the people of Lesotho are in SA? This also applies to Botswana and Swaziland.’ In a Daily Maverick analysis, Nthakoana Ngatane notes that this comment by EFF deputy ... Read More

Progressive transgender ruling will help tackle prejudice

The soon-to-be-heard Equality Court case being brought against the Departments of Justice and Correctional Services by Jade September could become a ‘ground-breaking case on transgender rights’. The court ‘is bound to confirm’ that our law prohibits unfair discrimination against transgender ... Read More

A Matter of Justice

Firearms verdict a victory for rule of law

The courts in Kenya have declared that the firearms licensing board acted unconstitutionally when it revoked the licence of a controversial politician. The letter informing Senator Johnson Muthama that he could no longer legally possess a firearm was part of ... Read More

Quotes of the Week


‘Today is a unique day of our history, the achievement of the dream of (former President) Samora Machel. With the completion of this bridge ... the connection of southern Africa to the north over land and across our country is guaranteed ... Read More

Book Review

The Man Who Killed Apartheid

The Man Who Killed Apartheid   By Harris Dousemetzis Jacana. R224 In the South African House of Assembly, on 6 September 1966, Dimitri Tsafendas stabbed to death Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd. Afterwards, Tsafendas was declared to be a schizophrenic who ... Read More