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Published 26th April 1996

Vol 37 No 9


Sacking the Sultan

Dethroning Dasuki and cocking a snook at the Commonwealth will not solve the crisis

These are busy days for General Sani Abacha. Critics of his slow work rate and his indecisiveness are revising their opinions. In one week, he has sacked the Sultan of Sokoto (a historical first), retired 20 of his senior military opponents and sent his Foreign Minister to China in an elaborate snub to Commonwealth ministers meeting on Nigeria. And while Shell dithered about whether to boost its investment, United States' majors Mobil and Texaco doubled theirstooverUS$1,500million. AllthishelpsAbacha,atleastfor the next few months. In the longer term, it looks risky.

Cyril the suit

The ANC's negotiating star is going into business but not to give up politics for good 

Trades union leader, constitutional negotiator, fisherman, devout Christian and now corporate chief, Cyril Ramaphosa looks like the African National Congress' Renaissance man. He w...

The fading Nats

Two years after it lost power, the National Party seems to have lost its credibility too

The National Party spent ten million Rand (US$2.27 mn.) on its relaunch in February. The main results were more defections and derision from the African National Congress. The same...

Africa and the Vatican

Zambia's Archbishop Milingo is challenging some Western assumptions

'I have never defended myself but this time I must speak out,'said Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo after the Vatican's latest – and most serious – attempt to put an...

General Chameleon

Minority parties helped return Kérékou to power with some help from his old friends

Mathieu Kérékou is back in power. Benin's electors preferred the strongman they once rejected to Nicéphore Soglo, the economic reformer whose policies brought them scant rewards. ...


Edging and hedging

President Ahmad Tejan Kabba is edging towards some form of agreement with Foday Sankoh's Revolutionary United Front following their talks at Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire on 22-23 A...

Code breaking

Politburo member Solomon Mujuru (once army commander 'Rex Nhongo') is suing Horizon magazine for Z$250,000 for questioning his accumulation of farms, supermarkets and hotels. His e...

Oil on its own

Separatist-minded Zanzibar has declared independence from the mainland over oil procurement. Ending purchases from the state- owned Tanzania Development Company, Zanzibar President...

Naked guns

Pretoria's relations with Washington and London are being tested again, this time over the bizarre case of a British arms dealer held in South Africa. Paul Grecian was arrested at ...