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President Cyril Ramaphosa accused of misleading parliament

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South Africa’s corruption watchdog has accused President Cyril Ramaphosa for deliberately misleading the parliament.

The finding was made at the same time that the country’s former President Jacob Zuma announced he was withdrawing from a separate corruption inquiry.

It’s been a dramatic morning in South Africa as the country struggles to tackle high-level corruption.

First came the news that the former President Jacob Zuma was refusing to continue giving evidence at a public inquiry into the corruption that took place on his watch.

He accused the judge-led inquiry of being biased against him. Judge Ray Zondo disagreed and expressed his disappointment.

Then came a separate announcement from the public protector – a state official charged with exposing corruption.

Busisiwe Mkhwebane said the current president had misled parliament over a donation his election campaign received, via his son.

Mr Ramaphosa insists he knew nothing about the donation at the time.

There is speculation here that the public protector has become a partisan figure – and that a sinister campaign is under way, a fight-back by marginalised elites in the governing ANC, who are looking to seize power.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Harvey Elliott banned for 14 days over offensive Kane mock

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Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliott has been suspended and fine by Football Association (FA) for a period of 14 days after a video emerged of him mocking Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

The clip, that was posted on Snapchat and recorded while Elliott was still a Fulham player, shows the 16-year-old derogatorily impersonating the Spurs striker under the caption “F***ing m*ng”.

The FA’s explanation of the offence committed also suggests that Elliott’s words in the video were “aggravated by reference to a disability”.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp signed the talented forward in the summer, with him having made his first-team debut for the Reds in their Carabao Cup win over MK Dons in September.

The England Under-17 international is Fulham’s youngest ever player after featuring for them in a Carabao Cup tie against Millwall in September 2018 at just 15 years of age.

He is also the youngest player to have played in the Premier League after coming on as a substitute against Wolves in May 2019, although he hit the headlines shortly after his move to Anfield after the impersonation video emerged on social media.

The teenager would go on to apologise to Kane for his actions in an update posted on Instagram,  writing at the time: “I would just like to wholeheartedly apologise for any offence caused on the back of a video of me currently circulating on the internet.

“The video was taken whilst messing around with friends in a private environment and was not directed at any individual but I realise that my actions were both immature and senseless.

“I would like to stress that the contents of the video do not represent who I am as a person or how I’ve been brought up, and I am truly sorry.”

And the FA have now released a statement confirming Elliott’s punishment which will see him unable to play domestic football until October 24, while he has also been ordered to pay a fine of £350 and complete a “face-to-face education course”.

The statement read: “Harvey Elliott has been suspended from playing in all domestic club football for a period of 14 days, running up to and including 24 October 2019, after admitting a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a video posted on social media and providing a public apology.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Hong kong unrest worsens

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Hundreds of mask-wearing pro-democracy protesters marched through Hong Kong’s central business district on Friday, occupying a main thoroughfare and disrupting traffic as the Chinese-ruled city braced for another weekend of unrest.

Chanting their core demands, the crowd occupied the district at lunchtime before peacefully dispersing.

Hong Kong’s metro operator opened all stations for the first time in a week ahead of more planned anti-government protests, while the city’s legislature began its first session since protesters stormed the building in July.

Pro-establishment and democratic lawmakers shouted at each other before the session, underscoring the tension and divisions in Hong Kong after four months of often violent anti-China protests.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam invoked British colonial-era emergency laws last Friday and banned the wearing of face masks which protesters have used to shield their identities.

The protests have plunged the city, an Asian financial hub, into its worst crisis since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997, posing the biggest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

What began as opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition bill has evolved into a pro-democracy movement fanned by fears that China is stifling Hong Kong’s freedoms, guaranteed under a “one country, two systems” formula introduced in 1997.

China denies the accusations and says fore1ign countries, including Britain and the United States, are fomenting unrest.

The Chinese embassy in Bangkok on Friaday condemned Thai politicians for showing support for Hong Kong activists.

“This is wrong and irresponsible. China hopes that relevant people will understand the truth about problems in Hong Kong, act carefully and do useful things for the friendship between China and Thailand,” the embassy said in a statement.

Ninety people have been arrested for anti-mask law violations in the past week, pushing the total number of arrests since June to more than 2,300, police said on Friday. Many of those arrested are under 16, authorities said.

Police said they were investigating four reports of blackmail involving emails from a group claiming to be pro-democracy and threatening to target shops unless they fund protests via bitcoin.

“The intimidating messages even include videos of rioters inflicting extensive damage to shops over the past few weeks,” said acting police chief superintendent Kong Wing-cheung.

Protesters have targeted China banks and shops with links, or perceived links, to mainland China.

Many residents fear the emergency laws may be expanded, further eroding civil liberties, but the government said on Thursday it would not bring in any other measures.

Source: Reuters

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