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DR Congo police arrest 10 anti-Kabila priests, over 250 protesters.

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Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are holding ten priests and over 200 protesters who defied a protest ban over the weekend to demand that President Kabila steps down.

What was dubbed a peace march turned violent as police fired live bullets and tear gas to disperse the church organized protest. Reports indicate that six people died in the ensuing chaos.

“We have registered the case of 10 priests who have been arrested, including Father Dieudonne Mukinayi of Saint Christophe Parish in Binza Ozone. He is detained in a residence of a government official alongside eight parishioners,” Georges Kapiamba of a local NGO Congolese Association for Justice told the UN-sponsored Radio Okapi.

According to information we have, they were or continue to be mistreated. Their clothes have been torn. Two nuns are missing, 257 demonstrators have been arrested and are being held in various cells in Kinshasa,” Kapiamba added.

A committee of the powerful Catholic Church had called for nationwide protests to force Kabila to respect the terms of a December 31, 2016; mediation that mandates Kabila to step down at the end of his tenure – last year.

Elections could not hold for lack of security, funds and an incomplete voters roll, there is pressure on Kabila to organize the polls this year but it is not known if he will announce his candidature – contrary to the current law which bars him from contesting.

Motherland News

Families Identify Church Collapse Victims in Anguish

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Tears and anguish characterized the atmosphere as the grieving families of 13 worshipers killed in a church collapse arrived at the Richards Bay mortuary to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

The worshipers died when a wall collapsed at the Pentecostal Holiness Church near Empangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal last Thursday night.

The KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department co-ordinated with various departments including health, home affairs and the police, to assist in speeding up the body identification process.

Six worshippers were from Ulundi, four from eSikhawini and three from Maqwakazi in uMlalazi.

Describing the collapse, Phumelele Simelane from eSikhawini said worshippers had just had their evening meal and were preparing to sleep when the wall caved in.

Simelane was with her 6-year-old son, who is recovering in hospital. She said she came to the mortuary to support congregants whose relatives died.

The Mthembu family, who lost grandmother Thembi Mthabela, 54, and Andiswa Mthembu, 10, in the tragedy were overcome with grief.

“Thembi loved going to church and she always took Andiswa with her. Andiswa was doing Grade 3 at Nyathini Primary School. As a family, we are very traumatised and it is hard for us,” said a relative, who did not wanted to be named.

Buhle Mzila, whose sister Samke, 33, died, said the family had lost a breadwinner.

Samke, who worked at the Ulundi Municipality, was with her 9-year-old daughter during the incident.

Buhle said her niece, who was in hospital, was in a state of shock about her mother’s death.

“Samke loved the church, she always made sure she attended every service. She played a big role in terms of assisting the family. We are still going to feel her absence,” said Buhle.

A sobbing Mbongeni Langa said his mother had died in a “place she loved”.

The memorial service will be held tomorrow

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Motherland News

CAF Sidelines Nigerian Centre Referees for 2019 AFCON

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Out of the Twenty-seven centre referees penciled down for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, countries like Burundi, Mali, Zambia and Sudan are represented on the list, but no Nigerian referee was selected for the big occasions.

However, only one assistant referee from Nigeria named Baba Adel was listed among the twenty-nine assistant referees selected by the African Football Governing Body.

The competition will be held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017.

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