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Press review Somalia South Africa Xenophobia Nigeria

Issued on • Modified

African press review 1 March 2017

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Somalia declares a national disaster as drought puts millions on the verge of famine. Several African countries have expressed anger at the way the South African authorities are handling, or failing to handle, the latest outbreak of xenophobic violence. And how would you feel if you got a monthly water bill demanding 8,500 euros?


Somalia's newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed yesterday declared a "national disaster" due to severe drought which aid agencies say has left some three million in crisis.

The Horn of Africa nation is one of three countries — along with Yemen and Nigeria — on the verge of famine which has already been declared in South Sudan.

The World Health Organisation warned on Monday that Somalia is at risk of its third famine in 25 years. The last one in 2011 killed some 260,000 people.

The agency said more than 6.2 million people — half of the population — needed urgent humanitarian aid, including almost three million who are currently hungry.

Angry reactions to South African violence against foreigners

Several African countries have expressed anger at the way the South African authorities are handling the latest outbreak of xenophobic violence.

According to the Mail & Guardian newspaper, the resurgence of anti-immigrant violence has sparked outrage in other African countries and spurred calls for more to be done to stamp out xenophobia.

Residents of Mamelodi and Atteridgeville took to the streets last week to protest against the presence of undocumented Nigerians, Pakistanis and Zimbabweans, who they accuse of perpetrating crime and taking jobs away from locals. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, who stoned cars and blocked off streets. At least 136 people were arrested.

Protesters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, have since vandalised the offices of South African company MTN in protest over xenophobic attacks. The Nigerian government summoned South Africa’s high commissioner to register its concerns about the threat to its nationals. On Monday, Ghanaian MP Okudzeto Ablakwa called on the African Union to take action.

Anti-immigrant violence claimed seven lives in 2015 before the army and police restored calm, and in 2008 about 60 people died and 50 000 were forced to flee their homes. Attacks have mostly taken place in poor townships, says the Mail & Guardian, where some residents see migrants as competitors for jobs, business opportunities and scarce housing.

Forty-year legal battle sees white farmer compensated in South Africa

A white man has finally been compensated for being forced off his farm in South Africa.

The story is in this morning's Johannesburg-based BusinessDay.

Yesterday, after a forty-year legal fight, an elderly former Eastern Cape farmer was awarded the rand equivalent of one million euros for land he was forced off as part of the apartheid government’s homeland scheme.

The apartheid government forcibly took over three family farms in 1977 to make way for an "independent" state of Ciskei.

Although the courts agreed that Ivor Phillips‚ who is now 82‚ had been forcibly dispossessed of his land without equitable compensation‚ an earlier settlement offer was withdrawn because he was white.

Cape Town resident gets massive bill for leaked water

And spare a thought for a home owner in the Cape Town suburb of Crawford, who has just recieved a bill for using 700,000 litres of water in a month. According to the front page of this morning's Sowetan tabloid, the man has been asked to pay the rand equivalent of eight and a half thousand euros for the water, wasted because of an undetected leak under his house.

The city council did not respond to queries from journalists‚ but referred to a city by-law which states: “No person may negligently‚ purposefully or wastefully permit pipes or water fittings to leak”.

Mo says no and keeps his money for the second year running

The Mo Ibrahim prize for good governance in Africa has gone begging for the second year running.

According to regional paper the East African, the Ibrahim Foundation yesterday said there was no suitable winner of the 2016 Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.

This marks the second year in a row that the Foundation has announced that no former African head of State or government met the criteria to receive the 5 million euro award.

The candidates for the Ibrahim Prize are all former African presidents or heads of government who have left office during the last three calendar years and who were elected democratically and have served their constitutionally mandated term.

Since its launch in 2006, the Ibrahim Prize has been awarded only four times.