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Ex Angolan minister Augusto Tomas arrested over corruption

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Angolan authorities arrested and charged Mr Augusto da Silva Tomás, a former transport minister, over corruption allegations.

Tomás was arrested on Friday over crimes of corruption and embezzlement and is confined at São Paulo prison.



He is the first top government official arrested over corruption allegations since independence from Portugal in 1975.

Tomás served as a government official under Dos Santos’s government and was fired in June, 2018 by President João Lourenço.

In 2008, former president José Eduardo dos Santos appointed him as the country’s transport minister after serving as the state secretary for the state-owned business sector.

He also served as economy and finance minister (1995-1996), Cabinda province governor (1991-1995), industry and commerce deputy minister (1990-1991), and industry deputy minister (1989-1991).

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President Lourenço took over from José Eduardo dos Santos in August, following an election, marking the end of a 38-year reign.

Lourenço has fought against corruption and fired government officials linked with his predecessor.

He has fired Ms Isabel dos Santos, dos Santos’s first daughter from the top job at Sonangol, the state-owned oil company as well as her half-brother José Filomeno dos Santos “Zenu” from the leadership of Angola’s sovereign wealth fund.

Ms Santos now faces several graft investigations while his brother has been charged with misappropriating public funds.

On Wednesday, Angolan prosecutors dropped corruption charges against a former army chief of staff Geraldo Sachipengo Nunda who was sacked in April by Mr Lourenço.

According to the country’s top court, the charges against General Nunda were dropped because of lack of evidence.

Eight other accused, including a spokesperson for the ruling party, four Thai nationals, a Canadian and an Eritrean national were placed under house arrest in connection to a $50 billion fraud.

Their trials are expected to begin before the end of the month.

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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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