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Africa Press review

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African press review 12 April 2017


National Day of anti-Zuma protests planned for Pretoria but the President will be away in  Soweto for a torrid 75th birthday with thousands of ANC supporters. And Nigerian lawmakers order probe into three-year shortfall in oil and gas revenue in the hunt for 16 billion euros gone missing.


We start in South Africa where the papers are gearing for a massive National Day of Action march to the Union Buildings to press calls on President Jacob Zuma to question his existence and step down as head of state.

Mail and Guardian reports that busses have been paid for, train schedules distributed and t-shirts and placards printed for this Wednesday's Zuma must Fall protests, planned to coincide with his 75th birthday.

Opposition parties will be joined by civic organisations and religious groups in a march led by the Economic Freedom Fighters from Church Square to the Union Buildings.

Mail and Guardian says fear of protest embarrassment forced President Zuma to host the Emir of Qatar under the cover of darkness, a move the paper describes as unprecedented in the country.

However the paper says that it spoke to regional and major branch representatives of the ruling ANC across half of the roughly 50 regions in which the ruling party divides the country and in its words dissenters were nowhere to be found.

City Press leads with a line from a top ANC official which confirms how hard it will be to force Zuma out of office.

Andile Mngxitamaanti, who is the leader of the "Black First Land First" movement, stated at a conference on "the Post-Apartheid State" in Pretoria that the anti-Zuma marches are organised by white monopoly capital.

The paper quotes her as saying that "it is a coup because President Zuma hasn’t done anything illegal.”

However, BusinessDay reports that the Constitutional Court said on Tuesday it would consider whether a motion of no confidence against Zuma could be taken by secret ballot, as pressure continues to mount on him to resign after his controversial cabinet reshuffle.

According to the publication, opposition parties say the motion will be more likely to succeed if held by secret ballot, allowing for anonymous dissent by ANC MPs. The economic newspaper says it is worth noting that the ANC, which has a 62 percent majority in Parliament, has officially stated it will vote against the motion, due on 18 April.

Besieged but unfazed! headlines Times Live. The paper says that Zuma is expected to be in celebratory mood at his birthday rally organized by the ANC at Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, Soweto today.

In Nigeria, the Sun takes up findings by the House of Representatives Committee investigating 16 billion euros of missing oil and gas sales. Proceeds of up to 47 million barrels of oil and gas sold between January 2011 and December 2014 are unaccounted for.