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18 January 2021 Africa Legal News Watch

Africa Focus

Africa and Trump’s ‘Banana Republic’

As Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency continues to implode, Africa is monitoring developments closely as a new era begins to take shape. In his latest offering, acclaimed cartoonist Zapiro renamed Washington’s Capitol building – the site of last week’s carnage – ... Read More

Regional News

Former PM admits role in gold scam

Former Algerian Premier Ahmed Ouyahia has admitted receiving 60 gold bars from Gulf donors then selling them on the black market. Ouyahia and former Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal are accused of covertly financing the 2019 re-election bid of then-President Abdelaziz ... Read More

Kabila’s ‘assassins’ released

Twenty-three soldiers accused of being behind the 2001 assassination of former DRC President Laurent Kabila have been released after spending nearly two decades behind bars. BBC News reports that a military trial that followed the killing jailed dozens of soldiers ... Read More

Fugitive leader arrested

The Ethiopian Government says it has arrested a key founding member of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). The Defence Ministry said Sebhat Nega, who is now in his 80s, was found hiding in a remote area of Tigray ... Read More

Africa International

Nigeria’s foreign missions plagued by graft

Nigeria's embassies and high commissions around the world are reeling under the burden of corruption, extortion and passport racketeering. That’s according to Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (Cislac), the national chapter of Transparency International, which urged government to urgently ... Read More

Major cocaine shipment seized

Gambian authorities seized nearly three tons of cocaine from a shipment of industrial salt originating in Ecuador, one of the largest ever busts in West Africa. SABC News reports that the 118 bags of cocaine were discovered on Thursday during ... Read More

Diamond tycoon to be tried for graft in Switzerland

A billionaire diamond magnate is to go on trial in Switzerland over allegations of corruption linked to a major mining deal in Guinea. According to a BBC News report, Beny Steinmetz, who has Israeli and French nationality, has always denied ... Read More


Zimbabwean lawyer to head IBA

Sternford Moyo, Chairman of law firm Scanlen and Holderness, has been appointed the new President of the IBA. The Zimbabwean becomes the first IBA President of African descent in the history of the 74-year-old organisation. Moyo succeeds Brazil’s Horacio Bernardes ... Read More

AfCFTA rules of origin close to completion

Members of Africa’s new free trade area should complete their tariff reduction schedules and finalise essential rules of origin by July, a senior official with the bloc's secretariat has noted. African states began officially trading under the African Continental ... Read More

Mega dam talks disintegrate

Negotiations between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, in a long-running dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, have reached a new impasse, the three countries have confirmed. ‘We cannot continue this vicious cycle of circular talks indefinitely ... Read More


President seeks tougher alcohol abuse laws

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for tougher legislation and community mobilisation against the abuse of alcohol. In the ANC's annual 8 January statement to celebrate the party's 109 birthday held virtually, the President said temporary restrictions that were ... Read More

Africa Analyses

How Covid-19 reshaped Africa’s landscape

As the sun set on 2020, a year primarily defined by the Covid-19 pandemic, all segments of society in Africa have been affected. Some areas suffered more than others, but none have been spared. In the democracy and good governance ... Read More

SA a candidate for constitutional delinquency

If a ‘narcissistic autocrat’ like Donald Trump can so threaten the stability of a constitutional system that has endured for more than 200 years, it means SA’s model of constitutional democracy is fragile – and much more so in the ... Read More

A Matter of Justice

Religious freedom win in school salute dispute

Attempts to set up a compulsory daily ceremony for schoolchildren to salute the national flag has come unstuck in Zimbabwe. The education authorities established the ceremony to ‘inculcate patriotism’ and other values, according to the justification their lawyers argued before ... Read More

Quotes of the Week


‘I want to request and encourage the international community to kindly keep their eyes on Uganda because we are part of the global family and we wouldn’t want to be slaughtered in the dark.’ – Ugandan lawmaker Bobi Wine ... Read More

Book Review

Night Trains

Night Trains   By Charles van Onselen Jonathan Ball Publishers. $21   The price exacted from across the African sub-continent for SA’s stalled 20th century industrial revolution is – in human terms – still largely hidden from history. It was ... Read More

At a Glance

Lumumba’s tooth returns

* Belgium will return a tooth taken from the remains of assassinated Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba to his family by the end of June. The tooth was seized from a Belgian policeman who admitted he took it while helping to ... Read More

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