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Africa Press review

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African press review 11 April 2018


South Africa pays tribute to Winnie Mandela ahead of a state funeral on Saturday. Zimbabwe MPs summon ousted President Robert Mugabe to testify about billions of missing diamonds revenue; and a desperate Nigerian State governor urges IDPs fleeing rampaging Fulani herdsmen to "use stones" to defend themselves.

We begin in South Africa, where the papers are set the stage for national tributes organized for Winnie Madikizela Mandela, ahead of her state burial on Saturday.

Times Live reports from the Eastern Cape city of Mbizana where President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed mourners gathered at the Mphuthumi Mafumbatha Stadium on Tuesday.

The paper reports that Ramaphosa spoke out bitterly against people who dare “demonize her character even in death”, by referring to what they deem to be massive excesses on her praxis of the revolutionary struggle against apartheid.

The Sowetan reports that the South African leader’s showered praise on the “fearless” Madikizela-Mandela pointing out that she “hated” corruption and state capture, his remarks apparently directed at his ousted predecessor, Jacob Zuma.

“Winnie served the people of South Africa, not her own family, Ramaphosa stated adding that the ANC would continue with its land reform program to “correct the original sin of the violent dispossession of their people’s land and its wealth”.

South Africa's Mail and Guardian leads with a story that tells volumes about the changing times in Zimbabwe  - news that ousted President Robert Mugabe is set to appear before a parliamentary committee to answer questions relating to alleged looting at the Marange diamond fields.

The paper notes that it will be the first time that Mugabe who ruled the country for nearly four decades will be forced to account for his actions.

Mail and Guardian reports that Mugabe who was forced from office in November last year once admitted that more than 12 billion euros of Zimbabwe's diamond revenue remains unaccounted for.

The paper says the parliamentary mines committee has been very active in recent months, summoning some of Zimbabwe’s most powerful figures to account for the missing diamond billions.

And in Nigeria, Punch makes a splash out of a rather shocking advice Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom gave internally displaced persons who have fled their homes due to attacks by Fulani herdsmen.

"Go home and defend yourselves with stones, Ortom is quoted by the paper as saying to the IDPs during a visit to survivors of a raid by the herdsmen in Gwer West Local Government area of the State.

According to Punch, despite admitting that the attacks were uncontrollable Governor, Samuel Ortom said he was tired of keeping IDPs in camps urging them to go back home and embrace self defence, as he put like “David in the Bible who “used ordinary stone to defeat his enemy, instead of running away”.