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Tunisian leader backs equal inheritance rights for women

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Tunisia’s president promised Monday to submit a bill to parliament soon that aims to give women equal inheritance rights with men, as debate over the topic of inheritance reverberated around the Muslim world.

In a speech marking Women’s Day in Tunisia, President Beji Caid Essebsi said he wants to submit the proposal “as soon as possible,” probably when parliament resumes in October.

The current system, which is based on Islamic Shariah law, generally grants daughters only half the inheritance given to sons, and is standard practice in most Muslim countries.

Many Muslim clerics see the inheritance rules as enshrined in the Quran, Islam’s holy book.

Read Also: Pope leads 1.2bn Catholics to work ‘with determination’ against death penalty

Since independence from France in 1956, Tunisia has been a standard-bearer in the Muslim world for women’s rights. Last month, a woman from Tunisia’s moderate Islamic party was elected mayor of Tunis, the capital, the first time a woman has held the post.

The president’s decision is based on the recommendations of a 300-page government report known as the Colibe report. It recommended the change in inheritance rights as well as proposals to end the death penalty and legalize homosexuality, which now in Tunisia is outlawed and punished with three years in prison.

Essebsi said Monday his decision is based on Article 2 of the country’s Constitution, which he said “stipulates that Tunisia is a state based on citizenship, the will of the people and the supremacy of law” rather than religion.

On Saturday, thousands of fundamentalist men and veiled women marched under a blazing sun from Tunis to Bardo, outside the capital where Tunisia’s parliament is located, to protest the Colibe report.

Culture

SA police arrest seven suspects in connection with rapper AKA’s murder

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The South African Police says it has arrested seven suspects in connection with the murder of rapper, Kiernan Forbes, popularly known as AKA, who was gunned down alongside his close friend, celebrity chef and entrepreneur, Tebello “Tibz” Motshoane, outside a restaurant in Durban last year.

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, who confirmed the arrest of the suspects during a press briefing on Tuesday night, said the hitmen were paid to target AKA but no motive was revealed.

Mkhwanazi said the suspects, all aged below 36, are due to appear in court on Thursday.

“It was clear that AKA was monitored from the airport and Tibz was not the intended target in the murder on Florida Road in Durban. We know they were paid for this,” Lt Gen Mkwananzi said.

The Police boss said investigations has revealed that all the arrested suspects played different roles in the plot to kill AKA.

“The suspects who are behind bars include two gunmen who allegedly fired several rounds at the victims, three spotters who are accused of following AKA from Durban’s airport, someone who allegedly sourced the firearms which were used in the ambush, as well as the alleged mastermind,” Lt Gen Mkwananzi stated.

“Some of the suspects are also linked to other murder cases which are unrelated to these killings.”

According to media reports, the police had announced the arrest of six of the suspects on Tuesday evening while a seventh suspect was arrested on Wednesday morning.

Police spokesperson, Col Robert Netshiunda, said the seventh accused was a 30-year-old South African citizen originally from KwaZulu-Natal province, and is accused of acting as a spotter.

“The two alleged gunmen were found in a hideout in neighbouring Eswatini following a raid which was carried out at the weekend in conjunction with Interpol,” Col. Netshiunda said.

“They appeared at a magistrate’s court in Eswatini on Tuesday. Plans are under way to extradite the duo to face murder charges in South Africa.

“Exhibits recovered during the arrests include four vehicles, firearms linked to the the murders of AKA and Motshoane and empty cartridges.”

At another press briefing on Wednesday, Police Minister Bheki Cele acknowledged that the killings of AKA and his friend which was caught on CCTV cameras, disturbed many people in the country, which has one of the highest murder rates in the world.

“I hope South Africans will sleep better after this. We are all interested to know what the motive was. It is very clear that it was not a case of someone waking up in the morning angry. You can see that in the build-up and co-ordination,” the Minister said.

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Culture

Universal Music Group acquires major stake in Nigerian record label Mavin Records

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One of the biggest global music corporations, Universal Music Group (UMG), has acquired a major stake in Nigerian record label, Mavin Global Music, owned by Michael Collins Ajereh, popularly known as Don Jazzy.

In a statement on Monday, the UMG management said the deal was awaiting regulatory approval.

“Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced a majority investment in one of the world’s most dynamic and exciting independent record labels, Mavin Global (Mavin). The deal remains subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of Q3 2024,” the company’s statement reads.

UMG also stated that Mavin team’s full-service offering in Nigeria will be amplified through UMG’s global network of labels and businesses and will maintain autonomy over its strategy and future talent development.

Versatile producer, Don Jazzy who spoke on the acquisition, said it was a dream come true for him and the artistes on the label.

“I’m proud of the artists, careers and brand we’ve built that have made Mavin the force it is today. In this historic partnership with UMG, we will continue that mission in Africa and across the globe,” he said in a statement he posted on social media.

As part of the agreement Don Jazzy and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Mavin Global, Tega Oghenejobo, will continue leading the company while offering UMG the opportunity to partner with proven local executives and experienced A&R professionals.

Mavin Global is credited with unearthing top Nigeria talents like popular Afrobeats stars, Ayra Starr and Rema, who have gone to to global superstars.

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