AFRICA NOW: South African President Zuma Booed During May Day Rally

Jacob Zuma
Pressure on South African President Jacob Zuma to resign has been mounting since he fired Pravin Gordhan as finance minister in March. (Courtesy of ewn.co.za)

South African President Jacob Zuma, dogged for over a decade by allegations of corruption, was recently booed offstage by workers demanding his resignation.

The May 1 chaos that erupted between Jacob Zuma supporters and opponents resulted in the cancellation of all speeches during the national May Day event, which pays homage to the working class.

Though Zuma’s allies say that he will remain in office until his term ends in 2019, a live broadcast showed Zuma hastily leaving the podium and being whisked away in a motorcade from the rally in Bloemfontein city, with sections of the crowd singing (loosely translated), “Have you heard the good news? Zuma is going,” South Africa’s privately owned News24 site reported.

Zuma attended the rally despite powerful affiliates of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) vehemently opposing his presence. Cosatu leader Sdumo Dlamini said the rally had been marred by “chaos,” forcing its cancellation.

Tension Between Ghana, China Brews Amid Crackdown on Illegal Mining

In an attempt to end illegal gold mining in Ghana, varied government ministers have singled out China — the country’s biggest trading partner — for its role in utilizing unethical mining operations thought to be damaging to protected forests, cocoa farms and rivers.

In many cases, the mines are owned by fellow Ghanaians, but are run by Chinese businessmen who are reportedly violating mining regulations in their attempt to extract gold quickly, the Financial Times reported.

“It’s alarming. Before, the locals were not using sophisticated tools but now they have heavy equipment,” Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, the environment minister, told Financial Times.

As he spoke he flipped through photos of floating machinery atop muddy brown waters and pointed to Chinese characters printed on one piece of equipment, citing it as evidence of the problem.

Last month in Accra, an “ultimatum” was released with a call to illegal miners to halt unethical mining practices or face the force of law. The result was the arrest of some Chinese miners and their Ghanaian counterparts. Some Chinese nationals were also charged with violating immigration laws.

National Law Firm Adds Ex-African Bank Official as Partner

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, one of the nation’s leading law firms, recently announced the hire of Kalidou Gadio, former general counsel of the African Development Bank, as its new D.C. partner and co-chair of its Africa and Middle East/North Africa (MENA) practice.

Gadio’s practice is expected to advise companies and entrepreneurs on entering and navigating emerging markets, identifying opportunities and mitigating risks. He is also expected to counsel foreign governments and development institutions on initiatives such as legislative reforms, financial policies and institutional strengthening.

“Kalidou has a very unique background, combining practical project finance and corporate experience with a sophisticated understanding of international law,” said William T. Quicksilver, Manatt’s chief executive officer and managing partner. “Having worked with government leaders and executives in Africa and from around the globe, he is finely attuned to opportunities in cross-border finance and investment. His credentials will resonate with clients doing business internationally, especially in Africa and the Middle East, and he is a significant addition to the firm.”

About Lauren M. Poteat 121 Articles
Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.