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Will Zuma deliver State of Nation Address next week?

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A meeting between President Jacob Zuma and the top six officials of the ruling party could determine whether Zuma will deliver the State of the Nation address next week.

The state broadcaster said on Thursday, that ‘the meeting is expected to center around Zuma’s future as Head of State’.

The State of the Nation Address which is traditionally delivered by the president of the country is scheduled to take place next week on February 8.

The opposition has called for Zuma to be removed from office before he can deliver that address, with plans in the offing for protests should he still be in office.

The State of the Nation Address is an annual event in which the President of South Africa reports on the status of the nation, normally to the resumption of a joint sitting of Parliament (the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces).

The speech marks the opening of the parliamentary year and is usually attended by important political and governmental figures of South Africa, including former Presidents, the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court and other members of the judiciary, the Governor of the Reserve Bank, and Ambassadors and Diplomats to the Republic.

South Africa’s parliament however said Zuma will deliver the speech as planned.

“There are processes going on, every day and every night, and at this point the information we have is that the head of state is President Jacob Zuma,” Baleka Mbete, the speaker of parliament, told reporters.

Scandal-plagued Zuma has faced calls from within the African National Congress (ANC) to step down as president of the country, since deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa succeeded him as leader of the party in December.

Zuma, 75, is currently battling a string of corruption allegations and Ramaphosa has in recent weeks pledged to make tackling graft one of his top priorities.

The National Prosecuting Agency (NPA), the state prosecutor, said on Thursday, it would make a decision on whether to reinstate corruption charges against Zuma this month.

Zuma, who has faced and denied numerous corruption allegations since taking office, submitted documents on Wednesday night to the NPA providing reasons why 783 counts of corruption relating to a 30 billion rand ($2 billion) arms deal arranged in the late 1990s should not be reinstated.

Zuma’s ties to the Gupta family — whose members include a trio of businessmen accused of using their ties to Zuma to amass wealth and influence government policy — has drawn criticism from former allies as well as opponents. The Guptas and Zuma deny any wrongdoing.

Zuma has seen a reversal of fortune since Ramaphosa succeeded him as ANC leader. Zuma still retains the support of a faction within the ANC, but no longer holds a top post.

Motherland News

PM Abiy reiterates Ethiopia’s decision over latest clampdown.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has finally spoken on ongoing anti-corruption and rights abuse clampdown stating that there was not going to be any backing down let alone retreat.

A statement from the Abiy’s office issued in Amharic tasked citizens to rally behind the development as a means of ridding the country of lawlessness and criminal elements.

State-affiliated FBC reported that the statement titled, ‘Let’s Fight (the) Cancer,’ said the government was bent on bringing people behind injustices to book.



The statement said the underlying objective of recent arrests was to get rid of Ethiopia criminals. “… criminals do not care about ethnicity, country, or morality; they only care for themselves.

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“The key to justice is to create a system for innocent citizens to live in freedom and dignity while criminals are held accountable and punished in accordance with the law,” the statement read in part.

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Since early this week, authorities have announced the arrest of over sixty former military and intelligence officials arrested in connection with rights abuse in prisons and gross corruption in the military run business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation, MetEC.

A former head of MetEC, Kinfe Dagnew; and a former intelligence chiefs, Tekleberhan Woldearegay and Yared Zerihun have all been detained and put before courts in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Head of security at the state monopoly, Ethio Telecom, Gudeta Olana, has also been arrested as has head of the entity and brother of ex-MetEC boss, Essayas Dagnew.

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New Zealand denies refusing refugees with holiday visas entry.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, on Friday, rejected allegations that the country’s government was blocking refugees who wished to travel into the country from Nauru on visitor visas.

Nauru’s president, Baron Waqa, also claimed in an interview with Australian media that he had also personally brokered a deal for New Zealand to accept 80 refugees currently located on the island.



“It’s incorrect to say that there is some kind of agreement for 80 specific individuals to take residence or visit,’’ Ardern told media at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

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“The request did not ask about whether refugees could visit New Zealand on holiday visas,’’ he added.

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The country assessed all applications for visitor visas on a case-by-case basis. This applies regardless of a person’s country of origin or nationality.

The country is under pressure to transfer the remaining 30 children from the island.

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