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Muhammadu Buhari
Nigerian presidential candidate warns about vote-buying
6 December 2018, 7:45 PM

The main challenger to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019’s election has advised Nigerians against selling their votes as concerns persist over possible electoral fraud at the landmark polls.

Atiku Abubakar, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), claimed Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had offered cash inducements to voters.

“This is what the APC is doing. They are buying PVCs (permanent voter cards). They will come to you and give you 10 naira, 20 naira, 50 naira to buy your PVC,” he told supporters.

“They are buying your future,” he was quoted as saying in local media after a campaign rally in the central city of Ilorin on Wednesday.

There was no immediate response from the APC but civil society groups, local and foreign observers have previously voiced concerns about leading parties offering cash for votes.

The practice of using PVCs bought from voters to rig elections was said to have been widespread during recent governorship polls in the southwestern states of Ekiti and Osun, both won by the APC.

In Ekiti, both the APC and the PDP were accused of offering voters 3,000 to 5,000 naira ($8-13, 7-12 euros).

During the PDP presidential primaries in October, some candidates, including Abubakar, were accused of offering financial inducements to delegates.

Abubakar, a former vice president to Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007 who used to run the country’s customs service, has also been accused of widespread corruption.

He denies the allegations and has challenged his detractors to produce concrete proof.

Buhari, 75, was elected in 2015 on promises to tackle endemic corruption, end Boko Haram’s deadly Islamist insurgency and boost the economy.

He is hoping for a second term of office but Abubakar, 72, said, “In terms of corruption, Nigeria is worse off today than we were in 2014.

“In terms of economy, we are the poorest country in the world today. In terms of insecurity, we are the most insecure than at any other time in history.”

Lion
Lion on the loose in KwaZulu-Natal
6 December 2018, 7:04 PM

Community members in Gluckstadt are living in fear after a lion mauled a 27-year-old man in Vryheid on northern KwaZulu-Natal. It’s alleged that the lion has been on the loose for more than six months.

It has been killing wild buck and cattle belonging to the community in Mawana Game Reserve.

The provincial wildlife authorities have no idea where the lion escaped from as the nearby game reserves, uMfolozi and Ithala, say none of their lions is missing.

Sabelo Masondo from Gluckstadt escaped from the jaws of the lion late in November.

“I was walking on the road. I heard some strange sound. I got shock of my life when I realised it was a lion and it was too late. I tried to run away, but it grabbed me on the knees. I escaped by climbing the fence and threw myself on to the other side as the lion pierced my skin under armpit. My clothes were destroyed including shoes,” says Masondo.

Mawana Game Reserve Manager Paul van Deventer says he contacted the Ezemvelo KZN wildlife and has installed cameras around the farm which show the lion helping itself to the animals.

“We are trying our best to assist in this situation of this whole topic about the lion on the loose and just to convince everyone it’s not our lion. We have never had lions before. In order to get more information we had a camera trap up and it’s been about four months after we got only one picture. There is a lot of cattle farmers around the area … community farmers and private farmers that lost a lot of cattle. There is this one guy has lost 20 cattle’s at the moment,” says Paul van Deventer.

Sibongile Mani
Court case of R14 million NSFAS student postponed
6 December 2018, 6:10 PM

The case of the Walter Sisulu University (WSU) student who erroneously received a R14 million payment from National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), has been postponed to January the 18th in 2019 for trial.

This after the accused Sibongile Mani, a third year Accounting student on Potsdam campus of the university, made a brief appearance in the East London Magistrate’s Court in the Eastern Cape.

Mani is facing theft charges after she spent over R800 000 of that amount.

The Hawks arrested her in May after she failed to report the “error”.

NPA Regional Spokesperson Tsepho Ndwalaza says Mani has a case to answer.

“Well, I am in a position to confirm that the case has been postponed to the 18th of January for the start of the trial and we believe that we are ready for the trial and we will take it from there. We know for a fact that the accused has got a case to answer in a court of law and whatever the court is to decided it will depend on the evidence we have. (If) its conclusive or not,” says Ndwalaza.

US Marine Corps jets
Five missing after US military aircraft crash off Japan
6 December 2018, 3:31 PM

Several United States (US) Marines are missing following a still-unexplained accident off the coast of Japan.

US Officials say two Marine Corps jets might have collided mid-air on Thursday during a refueling exercise that went fatally wrong.

Seven soldiers were involved but so far two have been found.

One was been pulled to safety from an F-18 fighter jet and another was found 10 hours after the collision and brought aboard a Japanese military vessel.

Japan’s Defence Minister says that person is in a stable condition and Japanese forces will do their utmost to rescue the six missing.

In a statement the Marine Corps said the F-18 and a refueling jet were involved in what they called a mishap and that the two were conducting regular training.

They didn’t elaborate on the nature of the incident.

US military aviation accidents around the world have jumped nearly 40% in four years, killing at least 133 service members, according to the Military Times.

It’s prompted hearings in Congress to address the rise.

initiates
Traditional leaders disturbed by increase in initiate deaths
6 December 2018, 2:15 PM

The Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders says it’s disturbed by the rising number of deaths among initiates. Nine lives have been lost since the beginning of the summer initiation season.

In the latest incident an 18-year-old initiate died after his hut caught fire. Other deaths were caused by botched circumcisions in some parts of the province.

Traditional leaders want these cases to be investigated.

Chairperson of the provincial House of Traditional Leaders, Mwelo Nonkonyane, says, “We have no doubt that there is a need that we need to roll our sleeves and work together to make sure that this death is the thing of the past. We are determined as the House of Traditional Leaders and our Provincial Government to make sure that this is not going to happen again.

Hence, we convey our sincere condolences to the bereaved families and want to assure our people that we are not going to leave any stone unturned to prosecute those that are involved in this matter,” says Nonkonyane.

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