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11 December 2018 Africa Legal News Watch

Africa Focus

Burundi addresses 'open conflict' with Rwanda

‘There is almost no country in Africa where it is not essential to know to which tribe, or which subgroup of which tribe, the President belongs. From this single piece of information you can trace the lines of patronage and ... Read More

Regional News

General apologises for role in botched coup

One of the ringleaders of a short-lived coup in Burkina Faso in 2015 has apologised to the victims of the attempted putsch that left 14 people dead. General Gilbert Diendere led an elite unit of presidential guards loyal to long-time ... Read More

Prosecution of activists dropped

The prosecution of 52 opposition activists who protested against the re-election of Paul Biya as President has been abandoned. A report on the News24 site notes that they were arrested in Douala in October on the sidelines of a demonstration ... Read More

Kabila hints at seeking re-election

DRC President Joseph Kabila says he will leave office after the this month’s poll, but may seek re-election in the future. Kabila said he would remain in politics after the poll as ‘there is still a long journey ahead’. His ... Read More

Africa International

UK student released from ‘Egyptian hellhole’

A British student who was arrested on suspicion of spying in Egypt has been released after spending three weeks in prison. Muhammed Abulkasem was accused of ‘collecting information of a military facility’ when a picture of a military helicopter was ... Read More

DRC colonel arrested over UN killings

Congolese authorities have arrested a military leader who failed to disclose that he had met two UN experts just two days before they were brutally murdered. The arrest of Colonel Jean de Dieu Mambweni came shortly after a hearing into ... Read More

Court approved extradition of Compaoré’s brother

A French court has agreed to the extradition of François Compaoré, brother of Burkina Faso's ousted leader Blaise Compaoré. François Compaoré fled Burkina Faso in 2014 after his brother resigned amid popular street protests following 27 years in power ... Read More


SA ratifies African free trade area

Parliament yesterday ratified the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Business Report says the AfCFTA was launched during an extraordinary summit of AU heads of state in March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. SA signed the agreement in ... Read More

MTN one step closer to settling forex dispute

MTN and Nigeria's central bank were in talks to settle an $8.1bn dispute, their lawyers said yesterday, as a court in Lagos adjourned the matter to 12 December. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, the dispute is over ... Read More

SA-Rwanda relations sour over Sisulu insults

Pretoria has officially protested to Kigali and recalled its envoy from Rwanda for consultations. The short-lived normalisation of South Africa’s fraught relations with Rwanda has been by frustrated by insults flung at International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu by ... Read More


Constitutional referendum in February

The Chairman of the Libyan High National Elections Commission (HNEC) Emad Al-Sayeh said he expected the referendum on the Constitution to be held in February. This after the House of Representatives in Tobruk approved a law to amend constitutional declaration ... Read More

NGOs object to Amendment Bill

A Bill that seeks to establish a new regulatory authority for Malawi’s NGOs has been heavily criticised. The NGOs have served Parliament with an injunction restraining it from debating the NGO Act Amendment Bill until it is reviewed, but lawmakers ... Read More

Windhoek moves to scrap outdated laws

Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala has tabled a Bill in the National Assembly to scrap 144 discriminatory and outdated legislative pieces from the Namibian law books. The Bill which is at the committee stage, states that the laws have been overtaken ... Read More

Africa Analyses

Global Citizen initiative a threat

There has been widespread response to the Global Citizen initiative and its potential impact on South African politics. Analyst Mcebo Dlamini notes that the theme appeared to be the need to preserve Nelson Mandela's legacy of a united SA ... Read More

Serious criminals do not qualify for refugee status

The Constitutional Court has – in Gavric v Refugee Status Determination Officer, Cape Town and Others – upheld the constitutionality of provisions of the Refugees Act that ban individuals who have committed serious crimes from being eligible for refugee status ... Read More

A Matter of Justice

Quotes of the Week


‘Abuses by insurgents never justify violating people's rights, and the security forces should be protecting the people in Cabo Delgado, not abusing them.’ – Dewa Mavhinga, HRW’s Southern Africa director, on reports that security forces in Mozambique waging ... Read More

Book Review

Louis Botha: A Man Apart

Louis Botha: A Man Apart By Richard SteynJonathan Ball Publishers. R260   It’s a cliché that we must take lessons from the past. There are at least two problems with this. The first is hubris. Each generation feels that is ... Read More

At a Glance

US re-opens mission

* The US has established its first diplomatic presence in Somalia for nearly 30 years. The state department said the ‘historic event’ reflected the progress the east African nation had made. Previously it had been based in Nairobi, Kenya. The US ... Read More