12 July 2012

Egypt: African Press Review 12 July 2012

ANC factions come to blows before the president speaks. Is the party exploiting the Mandela family? Will two Kenyan presidential candidates miss the run-off because of a legal engagement? Why was Mwai Kibaki not in London on Wednesday? Is crisis looming over the world's biggest refugee camp? And is Mohammed Morsi playing politics with Egypt's military?

In South Africa The Sowetan reports that a fight between supporters of President Jacob Zuma and expelled ANC Youth League leader, Julius Malema, broke out yesterday in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, just before the president delivered the Nelson Mandela Memorial Lecture.

Rival supporters confronted one another outside the lecture hall and there were a number of arrests.

Inside the Christ Worship Church, where Zuma was to deliver the lecture, ANC Youth League Limpopo chairman Rudzani Ludere was assaulted by ANC members, who disapproved of his call for leadership change.

Five ANC Youth League supporters were subsequently released without charge.

BusinessDay says that the UK's Guardian newspaper yesterday reported that ANC national executive committee member Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the former wife of Nelson Mandela, has complained about the "shabby treatment" the Mandela family received from the party.

The report, based on an "unverified email" which appeared to have been written by Madikizela-Mandela and is believed to have been leaked to The Guardian, claims that the Mandela family is being exploited by the ANC.

The message allegedly says that the family does not matter unless it can be used for some agenda.

The report says the ANC is also accused of exploiting Nelson Mandela's birthday next week at the family's expense. Mandela will be 94 on 18 July.

According to the Kenyan Standard, neither Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta nor Eldoret North MP William Ruto will be in the country for a run-off in the presidential election should they make it that far.

Despite the International Criminal Court consenting to the request by the two accused for their trials to begin after the General Election in March, the expected date for the run-off voting is 10 April, when the trial in the first Kenya case involving Ruto begins.

Uhuru's trial begins the following day, but he, too, must travel to The Hague in advance so as not to breach the rules agreed last month.

Most recent opinion polls have indicated that no presidential candidate will win the race in the first round of voting, making a run-off inevitable.

Kenyatta and Ruto are accused of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in organising the violence which followed the 2007 presidential election.

The Standard also reports that President Mwai Kibaki was missing in action on Wednesday as British Prime Minister David Cameron played host to regional heads of state in London.

Cameron shared the stage with Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, Rwandan president Paul Kagame and Burkina Faso's first lady Chantal Compaore at a summit on family planning. Malawi's president Joyce Banda joined the panel through a video link.

It is not clear why Kibaki did not attend.

The main headline in the regional paper, The East African, reads "Crisis looms at Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp as emergency funds dry up".

Aid agencies warn of a 20-million-euro funding shortfall over the next three months.

The impending crisis at the world's biggest refugee camp also poses a challenge to Kenya's security. Dadaab is now home to almost half a million people. That makes the camp bigger than the French cities of Toulouse or Lyon, for example. Large numbers of people without proper services, children without schools or proper recreation, can only lead to further militarisation, violence and instability.

The Cairo based Egyptian Gazette asks whether the recent decision by President Mohammed Morsi to recall the dissolved People's Assembly should be seen as a political or a legal move.

Some analysts consider this as a political issue, says the Gazette. They believe that it is intended to reestablish presidential authority, at present overshadowed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, rather than confronting or violating the ruling issued by the Constitutional Court.

However, many legal experts insist that the presidential decree violates the rule of law and is an insult to the highest judicial authority in the country.

Apart from this legal debate, says the Egyptian Gazette, the country continues to be subjected to political conflict between the elected president and the military council, as well as between Islamists and liberals and other revolutionaries. The ordinary citizen is suffering from the continued instability and conflict.

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