- Simon Allison
The health care workers who put their lives at risk to fight Ebola should be honoured, not quarantined. KATHRYN STINSON, who recently returned from Sierra Leone, experiences fear, loathing and hysteria from friends, colleagues and fellow parents… and is plagued with a need to keep washing her hands. By GROUNDUP.
The Gauteng government held a memorial service on Thursday for those who died in the collapse of TB Joshua’s Lagos church. Again we heard they died serving the Lord. While this may offer some comfort to relatives, those responsible are yet to be brought to justice and eleven families are still waiting for their loved ones' remains. By ANDREA TEAGLE & GREG NICOLSON.
Amid allegations of gross incompetence and corruption at the South African Embassy in Uganda, Jon Qwelane has quietly returned to South Africa after his four-year term as High Commissioner to the notoriously anti-gay country has come to an end. And while Qwelane is no longer “in the employ of the state” he might still have to face charges of hate speech relating to a column published in 2008. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The people of Tunisia, the northernmost African country and epicentre of the recent Jasmine Revolution, conducted a peaceful election a few weeks ago, which has gone unnoticed by many South Africans. Situated on opposite ends of the continent, South Africa and Tunisia face similar social problems, such as high levels of youth unemployment and similar concerns about corruption. In our search for solutions to these problems, we potentially have much to learn from how our two countries have chosen to tackle the legacy of economic crime involving an old elite. By MICHAEL MARCHANT.
Equatorial Guinea have stepped in at the eleventh hour to take over the hosting rights of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. That in itself is not a problem, but the country’s human rights abuses and the fact that they were disqualified from the tournament earlier this year paint CAF in a rather bad light. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
For more than 12 years, the South African government fought to keep the contents of the Khampepe Report under wraps. Finally, they failed, and the details of a damning cover-up were revealed: Zimbabwe’s 2002 elections were rigged, and South Africa knew all about it. Zimbabwe has been paying the price for this ever since. Now it’s South Africa’s turn. By SIMON ALLISON.
After months of prevarication, Botswana’s President Ian Khama finally decided on a deputy. Meet Mokgweetsi Masisi, formerly minister of education and now the man almost certain to succeed Khama in the top job. But he wasn’t Khama’s first choice – even the president can’t have it all his own way. By SIMON ALLISON.
Last month, Nigeria’s parliament gave President Goodluck Jonathan a $1 billion war chest. The money is to buy arms and equipment to help the army fight Boko Haram. Only problem: no one’s selling, at least not to Nigeria. South Africa and the USA have already said no. Since when did arms dealers develop a moral backbone? By SIMON ALLISON.
Most politicians, in most countries, would have cancelled campaigning after the devastating suicide bombing at a school in north-eastern Nigeria on Monday. Not Goodluck Jonathan. With barely a mention of Nigeria’s deteriorating security situation, Jonathan launched his re-election campaign on Tuesday. He can afford to be tone deaf – with the opposition in chaos, this election is his to lose. By SIMON ALLISON.
There’s not a lot of critical, independent journalism coming out of Angola – a country that desperately needs journalists to hold its corrupt government to account. Most of the good stuff that does exist comes from the over-worked keyboard of Rafael Marques de Morais, a fearless investigator who has repeatedly lifted the lid on the worst excesses of the Dos Santos regime. SIMON ALLISON caught up with Marques at Wits University in Johannesburg, where he delivered the 2014 Carlos Cardoso Lecture.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the excitement and the romance of Burkina Faso’s popular revolution. But revolutions solve nothing on their own, it’s what comes next that really counts. Unfortunately, Africa’s recent track record in this department is poor. The odds of a success story, at least in the short term, are not in Burkina Faso’s favour. By SIMON ALLISON.
The Africa growth story is making headlines: Africa’s population is rising faster than that of any other region in the world. Its cities are growing. Its middle class is getting bigger. The youth bulge is expanding. China’s trade with the African continent is booming and Nigeria – Africa’s most populous country, by a factor of two – has overtaken South Africa as the continent’s biggest economy. But look a little closer and many things are not quite as they seem. By GEORGINA ALEXANDER and JOHN ENDRES for AFRICA CHECK.
Somehow, in Mozambique’s presidential election earlier this month, Renamo doubled their share of the vote. How did they pull it off? Civil war, that’s how. It’s an unorthodox and dangerous political strategy that has paid off handsomely for Renamo – although perhaps not for the rest of the country. By SIMON ALLISON for ISS TODAY.
It is true that the further you are from the Ebola crisis, the more biblically paranoid you are about the disease. Going to the heart of where Ebola is thought to have originated in West Africa – a small picturesque forest village called Meliandou in Guinea – made me realise that. By SUZANNE BEUKES.
For a while, it seemed that Niger’s wealthy elites had discovered the cure for infertility. But what looked like a miracle turned out to be quite the opposite as authorities uncovered an international baby smuggling ring that implicated some of the country’s top officials. MERCEDES SAYAGUES reports.
So much for Africa’s model democracy. As Botswana votes on Friday, it does so in an unprecedented climate of fear and intimidation. The incumbent, President Ian Khama, will probably win again – but what has he sacrificed to prolong his stay in State House? SIMON ALLISON and ANDREA TEAGLE report from Gaborone.
Well, that didn’t last long. The ceasefire between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government – announced on Thursday, with much fanfare, by government spokesmen – has already been broken. If, that is, it actually existed in the first place. A skeptical SIMON ALLISON considers Nigeria’s track record on this subject.
Although final results are still to be released, it’s already clear that Mozambique’s ruling party has clung onto power by a comfortable margin. Perhaps too comfortable – both major opposition parties are contesting the results, alleging widespread irregularities. Even so, Frelimo has not had it all its own way. A precipitous drop in support means the party has lost that precious two-thirds majority in parliament, and might just have to compromise every now and then. By SIMON ALLISON.
Botswana only has one power station. Unfortunately, it’s broken, leaving the country without any of its own electricity. Never fear: a most unlikely guardian angel is at hand. Eskom, take a bow! The beleaguered parastatal might not be very popular in South Africa, but in much of the region it is all that’s keeping the lights on. Although this may not be quite as benevolent as it seems. By SIMON ALLISON.
Marc Ravalomanana has reluctantly spent the last five years in South Africa. All the while, he’s been pining for home – and political power – in Madagascar. But his unexpected and unsanctioned return on Monday didn’t go quite according to plan, and he now finds himself locked up as a guest of the country’s new president in a remote military facility. Nonetheless, his impatience might just force Madagascar to finally confront its demons. By SIMON ALLISON.