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Published 21st October 2005

Vol 46 No 21


South Africa

South Africa: If Zuma walks free

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The political and economic consequences of an acquittal for Jacob Zuma would reverberate across Africa

South Africans will have to wait nine months for the political trial of the century, when Jacob Zuma's trial for corruption starts in the Durban High Court in July 2006. The ruling African National Congress is divided between supporters of President Thabo Mbeki and those of the deputy President he sacked. Professional politicians and commentators look at all coming campaigns, elections and policy arguments through the Mbeki-Zuma prism. Zuma's business advisor, Schabir Shaik, was convicted at a trial in which Judge Hilary Squires found he had a 'generally corrupt' relationship with Zuma. Yet for Zuma, an acquittal is more than possible. State prosecutors could become snarled in procedural points about the way their evidence was gathered and the admissibility of key documents. Some suggest that, for both political and legal reasons, efforts may be made to negotiate a plea bargain with Zuma, under which the charges are dropped and he agrees not to stand for the ANC presidency. Both camps fiercely deny such talk.


Disaster

Famine threatens and an enfeebled government lacks the authority to act

President Bingu wa Mutharika's declaration of a national disaster because of the food shortages which threaten over half of Malawi's eleven million people may boost contributions t...


Penalty shoot out

Soccer star George Weah kept his election lead and the dealmakers are hard at work

In the second round of the presidential election, due on 8 November, Liberians must choose between ex-AC Milan striker George Manneh Opong Weah and former United Nations Developmen...


No truce yet

The battle between President Obasanjo and his deputy rages on and may sink the ruling party too

Hopes of a ceasefire or even a deal between President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice-President Atiku Abubakar have evaporated despite high level attempts at reconciliation (AC Vol 46 N...


Khartoum's game

Despite energetic denials, Khartoum continues to help Kony and the LRA

In the early hours of 11 October, an Antonov flew over Western Equatoria, Southern Sudan, an unmistakable sound for civilians used to government bombing. Twice last month an unsche...


Gunmen or soldiers?

Two big threats hang over the new regional government of Southern Sudan

The new administration in Southern Sudan is not receiving the promised oil money from the National Congress-dominated government in Khartoum. At the same time, the stability of the...


A proxy election

Orange Revolutionarie smell victory over Banana Republicans in the constitution campaign

National elections are not due until December 2007 but Kenya is the middle of a bizarre election contest between two factions of the same cabinet. On paper, the campaign is about a...


Fighting the battle of Jericho

Khartoum is starving the South of its oil revenue. January's Comprehensive Peace Agreement allocated to the Government of South Sudan half of the revenue from oil produced in the S...



Pointers

Totally broke

The Indeni oil refinery, the only one in Zambia, is jointly owned by the government and the French company TotalFinaElf, which manages it. The owner-partners are quarrelling furiou...


MDC muddle

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change is split, and the future of Morgan Tsvangirai, its leader, is in doubt. Tsvangirai wants to boycott the coming elections, as voting wo...


Bongo-gate

The Paris office of Point Presse Afrique, an agency hired by Zacharie Myboto, was burgled on 24 September, for the third time since May. Computer files were stolen. The police note...


Island story

Support is growing for the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) in Zanzibar ahead of the 30 October national elections, amidst a growing military presence on the islands with report...