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INTERNATIONAL

Omar al-Bashir had £100 million cash stuffed with euros and dollars

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Omar al-Bashir 100 million

Omar al-Bashir is being investigated for money laundering after security services claimed to have found £100 million in cash at his home.

Sacks stuffed with millions of euros, Sudanese pounds and thousands of dollars were allegedly found at Omar al-Bashir’s villa, a source in the East African country’s judiciary said.

It came moments before Sudanese authorities are reported to have arrested several top military leaders from who served during the al-Bashir’s near the 30-year presidency.

Sudan’s public prosecutor has begun investigating Bashir on charges of money laundering and possession of large sums of foreign currency without legal grounds, according to a judicial source.

As much as six million euros, five million Sudanese pounds and $351,000 is claimed to have been in the villa.

‘The chief public prosecutor ordered the (former) president detained and quickly questioned in preparation to put him on trial,’ they said.

‘The public prosecution will question the former president in Kobar prison.’

Pictures published by Netherlands-based Radio Dabanga claim to show sacks of the cash seized from the presidential residence.

Footage has also circulated on social media claiming to show piles of cash that had been seized from the property.

Bashir has been arrested along with his two brothers on allegations of corruption it is claimed. Members of his former government have also been arrested.

The transitional military council (TMC) said earlier this evening that it will retire all eight of the officers ranked lieutenant general in the National Intelligence and Security Service.

Opposition groups had demanded that the security agencies be restructured.

A source in Bashir’s National Congress Party said authorities arrested the acting party head Ahmed Haroun, former first vice president Ali Osman Taha, former Bashir aide Awad al-Jaz, the secretary general of the Islamic movement Al-Zubair Ahmed Hassan and former parliament speaker Ahmed Ibrahim al-Taher.

The source also said parliament speaker Ibrahim Ahmed Omar and presidential aide Nafie Ali Nafie were under house arrest.

Mr Bashir, who ruled Sudan for nearly 30 years, was toppled on April 11 by the Sudanese military after months of public protest.

He is now held at a high-security prison and will be questioned about the cash, sources said. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged genocide crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region, but the military has said they intend to try the former ruler in Sudan.

Hassan Bashir, a professor of political science at the University of Neelain, said the measures against Bashir are intended as a message to other figures associated with his rule that they are not above the law.

‘The trial is a step that the military council wants to take to satisfy the protesters by presenting al-Bashir for trial,’ he said.

Bashir survived several armed rebellions, economic crises, and attempts by the West to turn him into a pariah during his 30-year rule before he was toppled in a military coup.

At a sit-in outside Sudan’s Ministry of Defence that began on April 6, protesters, who slept on the pavement, stood besides posters of Bashir that called on the ICC to put him on trial.DailyMail

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INTERNATIONAL

US issues travel warning for Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe Shut down

The United States has issued a warning to its citizens in Zimbabwe over possible civil unrest in the southern African country.

The US issued the travel advisory on Tuesday warning that “violent crime, such as assault, carjacking, and home invasion, is common”.

It urged those deciding to travel to Zimbabwe to stay alert and avoid openly displaying cash, stay away from political rallies, demonstrations and crowds, as well as monitor local media for breaking events and to be prepared to adjust plans”.

Americans were also urged to carry a copy of their passport and visa, while ensuring the originals are kept safe at their accommodation facilities, and also to keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.

The warning comes as tensions mount in the face of unending fuel shortages, crippling power cuts, the rising cost of living, runaway inflation and continued price hikes of basic commodities and increasing transport costs.

Zimbabwe experienced a wave of violent protests in mid-January after the government increased the prices of petrol and diesel, from $1.33 to $3.34 in local currency for petrol and $1.20 to $3.20 for diesel. African News Agency

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INTERNATIONAL

South Africa election: ANC wins with a reduced majority

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Ramaphosa

South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) has been returned to office after winning the parliamentary election, but with a reduced majority.

The ANC secured 58% of the vote, ahead of the Democratic Alliance (DA) on 21%. The radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), came third with 11%.

A struggling economy and corruption have eroded the ANC’s popularity.

ANC leader, President Cyril Ramaphosa, called on the people to build a united South Africa.

In his victory speech, he said the result showed that South Africans still had faith in the ANC – in power since 1994 – to deliver.

“Let us now work together, black and white, men and women, young and old, to build a South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it as proclaimed by our forebears,” Mr Ramaphosa told supporters in Pretoria.

He called for a South Africa “which is united, which is non-racial, which is non-sexist, democratic and prosperous”.

The BBC’s Will Ross says the ANC may not be too disheartened by the reduced majority.

He says that although its support has dropped, this was not a disastrous performance and some might even be tempted to call it a fairly successful exercise in damage limitation considering the ANC’s corruption scandals and the slow progress in tackling poverty.

Turnout was about 65% in the twin parliamentary and provincial elections – a drop compared to the 73% registered five years ago.

It was the first time the ANC’s share of the vote has fallen below the 60% mark and it will now have 19 fewer seats in the 400-member parliament.
This has been a critical election for the man promising to defeat corruption and boost a stagnant economy.

Cyril Ramaphosa will now argue that he has the mandate to create a cabinet capable of reducing unemployment that runs at 27% – more than half of it among the young. That means sidelining allies of his scandal-plagued predecessor Jacob Zuma.

They will, however, remain entrenched in the structures of the ANC unless prosecutions or the reports of public inquiries into corruption force them to quit.

Perceptions of honest government are critical if Mr Ramaphosa is to attract the investment South Africa needs.

This is Africa’s largest economy and tackling its inability to provide jobs for the young is the great challenge ahead.

In a country where the youth have traditionally led rebellions – in 1976 and again in the mid-1980s against apartheid – the most striking statistic in this election is the fall-off in voting by young people.

More than six million did not register to take part – roughly half of those in the 18-30 age bracket who were entitled to vote.

Disenchantment over corruption and the failure to provide jobs is deep.

It is a trend of alienation that Mr Ramaphosa will need to stem if the long-term health of democracy here is to be guaranteed.BBC

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ENTERTAINMENT

Zodwa Wabantu proposes to Ntobeko Linda

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Zodwa Wabantu Ntobeko Linda

Zodwa Wabantu has over the years proven that she is a nonconformist of note, and on Sunday Mzansi’s fave went “down on bended knees” to propose to her 24-year old lover, Ntobeko Linda. And he said “yes”.

Taking to her official Instagram account the local dancer and socialite shared the special moment with a powerful caption that highlights the plight that most successful women face when their partners aren’t doing well financially.

“We as Women we give our Men Money to Marry us. Hard working Women hide that they Marry themselves by giving their Boyfriends money to go to their families to pay Lobola. Some Women get Desperate to have that Ring on their Fingers.

She continued: But I don’t mind showing reality cause everything that has to do with Zodwa Wabantu is real. Mine is Real, I will Marry him”.

If you think that was dramatic enough then clearly you don’t know Zodwa because the dancer also revealed the prices of the rings.

She pulled receipts, showcasing that the “custom made princess style 9ct rose gold morganite and diamond” ring cost R47,826,09, while the one she bought for her bae only costs R5,217,39.

Zodwa has previously confirmed that she’s been dating Ntobeko for four years and now it seems the couple is ready to take their relationship to the next level.IOL

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