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South African President explains new controversial minimum wage

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South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Friday refuted criticism against the National Minimum Wage (NMW), saying “NMW is a firm and unassailable foundation” from which to advance the struggle for a living wage.

Ramaphosa said this at an event in Bloemfontein, Free State Province to mark the Freedom Day which falls on April 27.

“We must remember that the introduction of the national minimum wage will increase the income of more than six million working South Africans,” Ramaphosa.

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The president was speaking two days after massive protests against the NMW took place across the country.

The government is pushing the NMW, which is 3,500 rand (about 292 dollars) per month or 20 rand (about 1.7 dollars) per hour.

But opponents say the NMW is slavery wages that cannot make both ends meet for the working class.

Ramaphosa said he had no objection to the view that the NMW “is not a living wage and, therefore, will not end income inequality.’’

But he noted that the NMW is agreed to by all social partners.

“A wage increase of that size and that extent is unprecedented in our history, and we must celebrate it,” Ramaphosa said.

The NMW “is like a great hill that we have climbed, but we dare not linger, because there are still many more hills to climb,’’ he said.

“Parliament is currently finalising legislation so that the NMW can be implemented for the first time in the country’s history, fulfilling a demand made at the Congress of the People in 1955,

“This is a great victory for the workers of this country and is a tribute to the social partners, who worked so hard to make it a reality,’’ Ramaphosa said.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Nigeria: Activist freed after months of detention

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Omoyele Sowore a Nigerian human rights activist, pro-democracy campaigner, and founder of an online news agency Sahara Reporters has been released.

On August 3, 2019 Sowore was arrested by the Nigerian Department of Security Services (DSS) for alleged treason after calling for a protest tagged Revolution now.

A judge in Abuja ordered the secret police to free Mr Sowore and pay a fine for their repeated refusal to comply with court rulings on the case.

The police had previously refused to grant him bail, despite being told to do so.

He has pleaded not guilty to treason, money laundering and cyber-stalking.

Human rights campaigners say the case is part of a broader move to restrict freedom of speech in Nigeria.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Nigeria: Court sentenced Orji kalu to 12 years in prision

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President Muhammadu Buhari regime has so far tackle corruption as promised to Nigerians before affirming the Nigerian president.

Though, one can not say whether his efforts are being recognize by Nigerian citizens after coming under criticism with his reform plans.

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday sentenced a former Governor of Abia, Orji Kalu, to 12 years’ imprisonment for N7.2 billion fraud and money laundering.

Orji Kalu is a business tycoon who served as the governor of Abia State, Nigeria from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2007. Prior to his election, he served as the chairman of the Borno Water Board and the chairman of the Cooperative and Commerce Bank Limited.

Kalu was also a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and the chairman of the PPA Board of Trustees.

He was the party’s presidential candidate in the April 2007 general election. He is currently a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) after he officially announced his resignation as a PPA BOT.

The court convicted Kalu, now a senator, on all the 39 counts preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission charge.

Kalu was charged alongside a former Commissioner for Finance, in the state Jones Udeogo, and his company, Slok Nig. Ltd.

While Kalu and his company were found guilty of all the 39 counts, Udeogo was convicted on 34 counts and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.

The court ordered that the Slok Nig. Ltd. be wound up and its assets forfeited to the Federal Government

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