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South Africa: Ramaphosa to battle Zweli Mkhize for ANC 2024 presidential ticket

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It’s a two-horse race for the presidential ticket of South Africa’s ruling party, African National Congress nominated just two candidates to run for its top job on Saturday.

The party’s nomination leaves President Cyril Ramaphosa to face the health minister he suspended over corruption allegations in a party vote.

President Ramaphosa removed Zweli Mkhize from the cabinet in June last year over allegations of corruption concerning COVID-19-related contracts to a communications company controlled by former associates.

The party’s five-day conference in Johannesburg has divided it between its two main rival power blocs, one coalescing around the incumbent Ramaphosa and the other around former President Jacob Zuma.

Ramaphosa recently escaped impeachment amidst the “Farmgate” scandal and is expected to win reelection as leader of his party this weekend.

The ANC faces the genuine prospect of losing its majority in parliament as Ramaphosa’s opponents want him to step down over a scandal involving the discovery of a stash of cash at his farm.

President Ramaphosa’s chances are mainly challenged by the re-emergence of loyalties supporters of former leader Zuma, who is himself being investigated for allegedly colluding with three Indian businessmen to siphon off state funds during his tenure between 2009 and 2018.

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Court okays continued trial of Mauritania Ex-President, Ould Abdel Aziz

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A court in Mauritania has ruled that the trial of former President, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz for illicit enrichment can continue.

The court on Tuesday decided not to rule on challenges to its jurisdiction until the end of the proceedings.

The ex-president’s lawyers have been battling over the court’s jurisdiction, with an argument that the criminal chamber could not try Mr. Aziz and his dozen co-defendants.

The court ruled on the jurisdiction and decided that it would be decided at the same time as that of the guilt or not of the defendants after the debates on the merits of the case.

His lawyers also requested the release of Aziz who has been placed in detention the day before the opening. The court ended up rejecting these requests.

Mr. Aziz, alongside two former prime ministers, former ministers, and businessmen, has been on trial since January 25 for having abused his power in order to amass an immense fortune.

He led this pivotal country between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa from 2008 to 2019, an era shaken by coups and jihadist actions but returned to stability under his presidency.

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Tunisian president dismisses foreign minister, Othman Jerandi

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Tunisian sit-tight President, Kais Saied has sacked Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi on Tuesday and replaced him with the former ambassador to the European Union and Belgium Nabil Ammar.

According to a statement from the presidency’s office, which announced the development, no reason was given for Jerandi’s dismissal or Ammar’s appointment.

Jerandi who was appointed foreign minister in 2020tweeted earlier on Tuesday that he had phoned his Syrian counterpart after Saied had tasked him with directing aid to Syria and Turkey in response to the earthquakes there.

” A call with my brother, Dr. Faisal Al-Miqdad, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Syria. I informed him of the sympathy and solidarity of Tunisia, the president, the government, and the people, with brotherly Syria, and we coordinated regarding the extension of Tunisian solidarity authorized by the President to support its efforts in confronting the effects of the earthquake. May God have mercy on the victims and speed up the recovery of the wounded.

May God protect Syria and its people from all harm” (Translated)

President Saied sacked the government, suspended parliament, and seized a string of powers in July 2021. He also sacked the prime minister and moved to rule by decree, but at that time he kept Jerandi in place.

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