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I’m Not Afraid Of Jail⁠ — S. Africa’s Ex-President, Zuma

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In his first public appearance since investigators documented signs of government corruption, former South African President, Jacob Zuma, told supporters on Saturday he wasn’t scared to go to prison because he had been jailed during apartheid.

The Public Protector, an anti-graft watchdog, said in a report last week that a judge should investigate whether Zuma, cabinet members and some state companies acted improperly in their dealings with wealthy Indian businessmen.

The Gupta brothers, Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, who are friends of Zuma and work with his son, have been accused of influencing cabinet appointments and securing sweetheart government tenders. Zuma and the Guptas deny any wrongdoing.

Thousands of protesters called for the president to resign after the 355-page probe was released and some opposition politicians said Zuma should face criminal charges.

“I’m not afraid of jail. I’ve been to jail during the struggle,” Zuma told a cheering crowd in his home Kwa-Zulu Natal province. Zuma spent 10 years as a political prisoner on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela during white-minority rule.

“There’s no longer any space for democratic debate. The only space there is for court arguments by lawyers. That’s not democracy,” Zuma added.

The Public Protector’s investigation stopped short of saying crimes had been committed but recommended a judge take the investigation forward.

In one case, the report cited “extraordinary and unprecedented” government intervention in a private business dispute involving Zuma’s friends and his son.

This, it said, may have created “a possible conflict of interest between the President as head of state and his private interest as a friend and father.”

Zuma faces a no-confidence vote in parliament next week. He has survived two similar votes this year, backed by the support of his African National Congress (ANC) which controls about two-thirds of the assembly.

Since taking office in 2009, Zuma, 74, has overcome several corruption scandals with the backing of top echelons of the ANC.

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Africa

French Doctors Say COVID-19 New Treatment Should Be First Tested In Africa

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Jean Paul Mira and Camille Locht, two French doctors, have been slammed on social media after stating that a treatment drug for coronavirus should be first tested in Africa.

In the video, the two medical experts cited the use of prostitutes in Africa to carry out test vaccine for the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) as instance.

Mira, head of resuscitation department at Cochin Hospital, also pointed out that the continent should be considered because of its perceived toughness to disease outbreaks.

The video was translated by Rim-Sarah Alouane, who quoted them to have said;

Dr Mira: “If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we do this study in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatment, no resuscitation, a bit like it has been done in some studies in AIDS, where among prostitutes, we try things, because they are exposed, and they don’t protect themselves, what do you think?”

Dr Locht: “So you are right[…]we’re thinking in parallel to a study in Africa precisely to make this same type of approach w/ BCG [vaccine]placebo,I think there is a call for tenders that was released or that will be released & I think we will indeed srsly think about that too”

Responding to the video, the Chief Executive of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera wrote;

We will be looking out for you when you arrive. Please consult Pfizer for their experience with their TROVAN trial in Kano;1996 resolved 14 years later in 2010.If you can’t find them, google it. Whichever way, hide real well cos, we are on the lookout if NIGERIA is on your radar.

They will be well advised to research the Pfizer case and my credentials in this types of matters. It will be a colossal error of judgment to do a trial here that doesn’t comply with the full ethical & safety protocols including “informed” consent. There’s a precedent already.

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Congo’s Ex-President Yombi Opango Dies Of Coronavirus

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Former president of Republic of Congo, Jacques Joaquim Yhombi Opango died in France on Monday of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19), his family told AFP.

Yhombi Opango, who led Congo-Brazzaville from 1977 until he was toppled in 1979, died at a Paris hospital at the age of 81, his son Jean-Jacques said.

Yhombi Opango had been ill before he contracted the virus, his son added.

Born in 1939 in Congo’s northern Cuvette region, Yhombi Opango was an army officer who rose to power after the assassination of president Marien Ngouabi.

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Ghanaian President Akufo-Addo Donates His 3 Months Salary To Assist Victims And Patients Of COVID-19

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President Nana Akufo-Addo has set up a COVID-19 emergency fund to solicit contributions from the public to assist victims and patients of the Coronavirus in Ghana.

In his address to the nation on the 27th of March 2020, the president announced a partial lockdown of Accra, Kasoa, Tema and Kumasi which is to take effect from 1 am on Sunday, March 29, 2020.

As part of the fund, the President announced that he has ordered the Controller General to pay his next three months’ salary into the fund. These months are April, May, and June.

He also reiterated his desire to see Ghana overcome the menace of the spread of the Coronavirus.

President Akufo-Addo concluded by asking all and sundry to stick to his earlier directives and not go contrary to it.

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