Africa – 5 December 2014

South Africa marks Mandela death anniversary
South Africans have started marking the first anniversary of the death of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, who died last year at the age of 95.
Official ceremonies to mark the passing of the former South African leader will include an interfaith prayer service early on Friday, followed by a wreath-laying commemoration by veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle, as well as a cricket match.
Bells, hooters, and traditional horns called vuvuzelas, will be sounded for three minutes and seven seconds, followed by three minutes of silence, combined to equal a six-minute and seven-second ceremony designed to symbolise Mandela’s 67 years of public service.
Many other events are due to take place over the weekend and beyond, including widespread artistic performances, as a way of remembering and celebrating the former president who led the country out of the apartheid era after enduring 27 years in prison.

Kenya army plane crashes in Somalia
A Kenya military plane has crashed in southern Somalia, the army said, citing “technical problems” while Somalia’s al-Shabab fighters claimed they had shot it down.
There are reports that the pilot is dead and two members of the crew are missing after Thursday’s incident.
Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi, reporting from Nairobi, said that the jet came down at around 3:15pm local time, according to a military spokesperson.
In a statement, Colonel David Obonyo said the warplane “while returning from a combat mission in Jamaame, southern Somalia, developed technical problems and crashed in the general area of Kismayo”.
However, a spokesperson from al-Shabab told Al Jazeera that the group had shot down the fighter jet.


Swapo sweeps elections, Geingob wins presidency

Namibian Prime Minister Hage Geingob and his party, the South West Africa People’s Organisation (Swapo), won a landslide victory in presidential and legislative elections billed as Africa’s first e-vote, the electoral commission said Monday.

Geingob (73) who ran on a platform of “peace, stability and prosperity”, becomes president-elect of the vast desert nation in southwest Africa with a massive haul of 87% of the vote.

“It’s the will of God that the people of Namibia came out in big numbers and thought that I should take over,” he said.

“I have a heavy responsibility that I cannot do only on my own. I will be a president of all Namibians. No Namibians will be left out.” In the race for the legislature, Swapo took 80% of the vote, winning 78 of the 96 seats in the national assembly.

Becoming the strongest opposition party in Parliament, the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance won five seats, with 4.8% of the vote.

Mail &Guardian


Case dropped against Mubarak for death of 239 protesters
An Egyptian court has dropped its case against former President Hosni Mubarak over the killing of 239 protesters in the 2011 revolt that ended his three-decade rule.

Mubarak (86) was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for conspiring to murder the demonstrators, sowing chaos and creating a security vacuum during the 18-day revolt, but an appeals court ordered a retrial.

His supporters erupted into celebration when the verdicts of that retrial – which also cleared Mubarak’s former interior minister Habib al-Adly and six aides – were read out. The defendants had denied the charges.
Those supporters outside court, carrying pictures of the ex-air force officer who loomed so large over the most populous Arab nation for three decades, far outnumbered families of protesters who died in the Tahrir Square revolt.

The judge said criminal charges should never have been brought against Mubarak in the case. The decision can be appealed, however, and the former leader was not freed because he is serving a three-year jail term in a separate embezzlement case.

Mail &Guardian