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Like father, like…? Zuma’s son charged with corruption

The son of South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma has been charged with corruption in a court in the commercial city of Johannesburg

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The son of South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma has been charged with corruption in a court in the commercial city of Johannesburg.

Duduzane Zuma is alleged to have been part of attempts to bribe a former deputy finance minister to agree to a top role in government.

The allegation is related to the activities of the controversial Gupta family who are accused of exerting undue influence over President Zuma.

All parties deny any wrongdoing.

In 2015, former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas claimed he had been offered the position of finance minister and a bribe of 600m rand ($44m; £36m)) during a meeting with Duduzane Zuma, businessman Fana Hlongwane and Ajay Gupta.

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The allegation is that had he agreed, Mr Jonas would have used his position as finance minister to advance the Guptas’ extensive business interests – an example of what became known in South Africa as state capture.

His father, Zuma, was forced to resign in February following pressure from the ruling ANC party over multiple corruption scandals, including his ties with the Guptas.

The younger Zuma arrived in court wearing a broad smile and a pair of leg irons. A scene that would, until recently, have been almost unthinkable, the BBC’s Andrew Harding reports from Johannesburg.

The case has been postponed to 24 January 2019 and a bail of 100,000 rand ($7,4000; $5,400) was granted. Mr Zuma was also ordered to hand in his passport.

In 2017, Duduzane Zuma told the BBC that the Guptas had wanted to go into business with him because he was “a likeable guy”.

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Zambian government moves to retrieve body of student killed while fighting in Russia-Ukraine war

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Zambian authorities have resolved to send a delegation to Russia next week to retrieve the body of a 23-year-old Zambian student, Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda, who died while fighting for the Russian military in Ukraine.

Nyirenda’s family and the government are, however, still waiting for answers from Moscow on how he was recruited into the army while serving a nine-year prison sentence in Russia.

Spokesman for the Zambian Ministry of Information and Media, Thabo Kawana, who confirmed this in a statement on Saturday, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is spearheading efforts to bring the body of Nyirenda back to the country for burial.

“The government is also offering support during this trying moment and doing everything they can to arrange for the funeral and repatriation of the body back to Zambia,” Kawana said.

“Using our diplomatic channels and our all-weather cooperation between Russia and ourselves, we will be able to get to the bottom of this matter,” he added.

Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Stanley Kakubo, at a press conference earlier in the week, said that Nyirenda who had been studying at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, was serving a nine-year prison sentence for a drug offense.

He said Nyirenda was killed on the front lines in September, but Russian authorities only just informed Zambia of the death while Zambia is demanding answers over the student’s death and why he had been sent to Ukraine.

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Algerian court sentences 49 people to death for lynching citizen over forest fires

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An Algerian court has sentenced 49 people to death for lynching and burning a citizen, Jamal Ben Ismail, and mutilating his body in the Kabylia region after he was wrongly accused him of causing a vast forest fire in which over 90 people were killed, the Algerian Press Service reports.

However, according to the Algerian moratorium on executions enacted in 1993, the sentences would be concerted to life imprisonment terms.

The report by the APS on Friday said the Casablanca Court of First Instance in Algiers, also handed down judgements “ranging from ten to two years enforceable imprisonment against 28 defendants, in addition to fines ranging from 100 to 200,000 Algerian dinars, while it acquitted 17 other defendants.”

“All the accused were prosecuted on multiple charges, particularly the offence of committing “terrorist acts and subversion against the state security and national unity, involvement in deliberate and premeditated murder.

“Other charges were assault with violence against members of the public force, dissemination of hate speech and incitement to destroy the property of others and armed gathering,” according to the APS.

Local media reports that the then 38-years-old Ismail, had voluntarily gone to a town in Tizi Ouzou in the northwest of the country to help extinguish forest fires.

“When he learned that some of the town’s residents suspected him of being involved in setting fires because he was a stranger to the region, he rushed to hand himself to the police, however, a large crowd of angry citizens snatched him from the hands of the police, tortured him, burned him alive and mutilated his body,” a media report said.

Some videos circulated on social media showed crowds surrounding the police car where Ben Ismail was held, they then dragged him out and started beating him.

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