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Duduzane Zuma bailed after appearing in South African court on corruption charges

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Duduzane Zuma, the son of former president Jacob Zuma‚ insists he is ready to face the corruption case against him “as soon as possible” – and says it is “plain and undisputed that I am not guilty of any wrongdoing”.

In an affidavit filed at the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Johannesburg‚ Duduzane Zuma stated that he would plead not guilty to charges that he was involved in an alleged Gupta family plot to “buy” former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.

“I do not fear any conviction with reference to the said matter‚” he stated. “I am informed that the current charges apparently relate to the allegation that I was allegedly present when Mr Ajay Gupta made certain alleged proposals and promises to Mr M Jonas to become the new Minister of Finance on 23 October 2015. Apparently, he also offered to pay him some monies.”

He stressed that the allegations that had surfaced about that meeting made it clear “that I‚ in my personal and/or any other capacity‚ made no proposals of whatsoever nature to Mr M Jonas‚ either as alleged or at all”.

“At worst for me‚ I was only present when Mr Ajay Gupta allegedly met with Mr M Jonas on the afternoon of 23 October 2015.”

Duduzane Zuma has claimed‚ as he has in the past‚ that the Jonas meeting had been set up by controversial businessman Fana Hlongwane‚ and was aimed at discussing “personal issues” between Hlongwane and Jonas.

He further referred to sworn claims by Ajay Gupta that he had an “alibi” for the time when he was alleged to have met with Jonas – and could prove this alibi with “cell phone records”.

“Although I met Mr M Jonas on that day‚ I also denied any wrongdoing with reference to any corruption.

I, therefore, do not fear any conviction based on these allegations‚ as I am innocent of the alleged charges levelled against me‚ and I will stand my trial as soon as possible to prove it.

“I point out that this charge has already been under investigation since March 2016‚ and as far as I am aware‚ I was never regarded as a suspect in the matter up until 6 July 2018.”

Duduzane Zuma has made it clear that he knows he may face further “State Capture” charges‚ or be called to give evidence before the deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s Commission of Inquiry looking into State Capture.

“I am returning to South Africa fully aware of the fact that there is a pending commission of enquiry on state capture at which I may have to give evidence and at which I may indeed wish to give evidence‚ if I am required to do so.

“I am also aware that as unjustified as any possible criminal charges flowing from such allegations might be‚ there, in fact, ‚ might be‚ possible criminal charges flowing from such allegations. I deny that I am guilty of any criminal acts in relation to these averments.”

In his bail affidavit‚ Zuma has also accused the Hawks of unlawfully arresting him “without a warrant of arrest” when he arrived in South Africa last week. Zuma flew in from Dubai – where he has been living since January this year – so that he could attend his younger brother Vusi’s funeral and appear in court on culpable homicide charges.

According to Duduzane‚, this showed that he was not a flight risk and should be granted bail.“I do not wish to live the life of a fugitive‚ or to expose my wife and children to such a life of fugitives.

I also do not want to embarrass my family and to be known as a fugitive of justice‚” he stated under oath.

Throughout his bail affidavit, Zuma Junior stressed that he needed his passport in order to travel for work. As part of his bail deal with the state, however, he has now handed his two passports over.
Timeslive

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Chris Cash: The UK Parliamentary Researcher Accused of Spying for Beijing Authorities

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In March of this year, a British parliamentary researcher was arrested on suspicion of being a Chinese spy. The researcher, Chris Cash, was revealed to be a 28-year-old history graduate with links to many Tory MPs. He had been seen associating with senior Tories such as security minister Tom Tugendhat and Foreign Affairs Committee chair Alicia Kearns. Cash was believed to have been recruited as a sleeper agent while living and working in China and sent back to the UK to infiltrate political networks critical of the Beijing regime.

Cash was the leader of the China Research Group, a body advocating for a more hawkish British policy towards China. Co-founded by Tory ministers Tom Tugendhat and Neil O’Brien in April 2020, the group focused on industrial, technological, and foreign policy issues. The group’s website claimed that it aimed to provide informed knowledge on China and promote debate and fresh thinking about how Britain should respond to the rise of China.

Chris Cash was arrested in Edinburgh and released on bail until early October, along with another suspect. It is unclear how much access Cash had to foreign affairs intelligence or what kind of influence he may have held in Westminster. While he held a parliamentary pass, he did not have security clearance.

China has denied all accusations of involvement in an espionage scheme involving Cash, calling them malicious slander.

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Pope Sends Prayers to Comfort Morocco Earthquake Victims as Death Toll Surpasses 2,000

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On Sunday, Pope Francis expressed his prayers and support for the victims of the powerful earthquake that hit Morocco, resulting in the highest number of fatalities in over 60 years. During his Angelus message, he prayed for those injured and those who lost their lives, along with their families.

The Pope also expressed his gratitude towards the rescue workers who are working tirelessly to help the victims. He concluded by saying that they stand in solidarity with the people of Morocco during this difficult time.

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African Union’s Inclusion in G20: A Significant Acknowledgment of a Continent with 1 Billion Inhabitants

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The world’s most powerful economies, the G20, have welcomed the African Union (AU) as a permanent member, recognising Africa’s more than 50 countries as important players on the global stage. US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi both expressed support for the AU’s permanent membership.

The AU has advocated for full membership for seven years and, until now, South Africa was the only African country in the G20. The AU represents a continent with a young population of 1.3 billion, which is set to double by 2050 and make up a quarter of the world’s population.

Africa’s 55 member states have long pushed for meaningful roles in global bodies, including the United Nations Security Council, and want reforms to the global financial system. The continent is increasingly attracting investment and political interest from global powers like China, Russia, Gulf nations, Turkey, Israel, and Iran. African leaders are challenging the framing of the continent as passive victim and want to be brokers instead.

They seek fairer treatment by financial institutions, delivery of rich countries’ long-promised $100 billion a year in climate financing for developing nations, and a global tax on fossil fuels. The AU’s full G20 membership will enable it to represent a continent that’s home to the world’s largest free trade area and abundant resources needed to combat climate change. The African continent has 60% of the world’s renewable energy assets and over 30% of the minerals key to renewable and low-carbon technologies.

African leaders want more industrial development closer to home to benefit their economies. Finding a common position among the AU’s member states, from economic powers to some of the world’s poorest nations, can be challenging, but Africa will need to speak with one voice to influence G20 decision-making. African leaders have shown their willingness to take collective action, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a high-profile G20 member, Africa’s demands will be harder to ignore.

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