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AU pushes for lasting peace in Libya
10 September 2017, 1:04 PM

The AU High Level Committee has welcomed the interest shown by the Libyan people to resolve the current political conflict in their country. The meeting of the six-member panel that includes President Jacob Zuma, ended in Congo-Brazzavile on Saturday night. The one-day meeting was called to find lasting solutions to the Libyan crisis. War has been raging in that country since the fall of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi six years ago. But the AU Panel says parties to the conflict are now committed to find peace. After a marathon meeting on the Libyan crisis, the AU High Level Committee on Libya led by five presidents says peace is on the horizon in the North African country. For the first time in six years, warring parties in the Libyan crisis including the House of Representatives and High State Council gathered under one roof to sort out their differences. President Zuma who is part of the negotiating team, commended Libyans insisting that an inclusive political dialogue is the only viable means to achieve durable peace in that country. Speaking through an interpreter, Chairperson of the AU High Level Committee and Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso says the solution to the Libyan crisis rests with Libyans themselves. And peace efforts in Libya also got a blessing from the United Nations. The UN representative to Libya, Ghassen Salani, says they will work with the AU to ensure lasting peace and stability in the North African country. Salani says the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly starting in New York later this month, will come up with a strategy for peace in Libya. The three-page communiqué painted a positive picture of the solution to the Libyan crisis as Congolese Foreign Minister Jean Claude Gakosso elaborates. With the hope of peace now in the offing in Tripoli, the AU High Level Committee now says there is an urgent need to convene the National Reconciliation Conference in Libya to help take the country to lasting peace and stability.

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– By Ntebo Mokobo

Zuma calls for inclusive dialogue in Libya
10 September 2017, 8:30 AM

President Jacob Zuma says he’s confident that peace and stability will soon be achieved in Libya.

Zuma was speaking to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in Congo Brazzaville on Saturday night at the end of the meeting of the African Union (AU) High Level Committee on Libya.

War has been raging in that country since the fall of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi six years ago.

President Zuma who is part of the negotiating team commended Libyans – says that an inclusive political dialogue amongst them is the only viable means to archive durable peace in that country.

The meeting was attended by the main players in the Libyan crisis as well as five African presidents, the UN and the Arab League.

For the first time all warring parties were in attendance.

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– By Ntebo Mokobo

Factionalism in Zanu-PF comes to fore
9 September 2017, 9:24 PM

Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe has launched a scathing attack on Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

She made the comments at the eighth and final leg of the Presidential Interface Youth Rally, addressed by President Robert Mugabe.

He interacted with the youth on the challenges they face and their expectations from government .

Speculation is rife that while the President of Zanu- PF continues to put up a brave face, divisions are tearing the liberation
movement apart. With reports of factions such as the G40, which is led by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and Lacoste which supports Grace Mugabe.

However, President Mugabe tried to quell the tension and reprimanded both factions: “I can not be found to be involved in factionalism. I have searched for this thing called G40, but I could not find it… but Lacoste is there big time. So I am begging that if we will not associate with those that have been expelled from the party, we should act as such.”

Grace Mugabe launched a scathing attack on the country’s second-in-charge: “Vice president Munangwa won’t turn on you, but a person can change. Change… change and become a better person we can give respect. I said this in Midlands, you will make the President regret appointing Munangangwa as Vice president. No we don’t want that, let it end today.”

The President tried to put out the fires, giving a stern warning to both factions: “Some will say, like I am the President now, then I say I want to leave so and so… I want to leave Mrs Mugabe… I want to leave Emmerson… I want to leave Mphoko as my successor… its contrary to the constitution. I can not do it, it is not allowed. Constitution says a person is elected at a Congress and I follow… I am a lawyer also. Follow the law, follow the regulations very strictly. I don’t want to be said I left my wife. No, that is done by others in French countries.”

Mugabe has urged his Vice to heed the call for unity. The President is expected to depart for New York to address the United Nations General Assembly this week.

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– By Sophie Mokoena

Illegal Zimbabweans granted a second chance
9 September 2017, 7:23 PM

Home Affairs has opened the process of special dispensation for Zimbabwean nationals.

The new Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) will allow Zimbabwean Nationals who do not meet the criteria to be in the
country through mainstream applications an opportunity to be in the country. The announcement comes as the Zimbabwean Special Permit (ZSP) which was started in 2014 comes to an end.

In the previous dispensation, a total of 197-thousand special permits were issued. The Department will start accepting new applications on the 15th of this month until the 30th of November. It is not known how many undocumented Zimbabwean nationals are in the country but the number is estimated to be in the millions.

The permits will be issued for a period of four years and will not be renewable.

Home Affairs Minister Dr Hlengiwe Mkhize says they are aware about the challenges of South Africans amid the influx of foreign nationals in the country.

“We’re re fully conscious of the concerns of South Africans about the number of foreign nationals in the country, but we do believe our legislative framework is tight enough to ensure that we can only facilitate entry in a secure and legal manner.”

The dispensation will cover those who are employed, running a business or studying in the country. It will not be renewable, but will however allow those with previous permits to travel using their expired permits until their new permits are issued.

Mkhize says there’s a project underway at the ports of entry to lessen the influx of Zimbabweans into the country.

“We should look at assisting in setting up economic initiatives on both sides. That’s also something which gradually might lessen the need for people to want to enterprise on the other side of the border. That is on the other side of South Africa.”

“Our inspectors are forever identifying people and they’re exporting them. Our numbers are very high. Maybe we must have a discussion around deportation so that people will realise how much work is being done on a daily basis.”

Mkhize has meanwhile encouraged South Africans to be more receptive to foreign nationals as some come with critical skills and also boost the economy.

– By Phumzile Mlangeni

Mugabe calls on Mngangwagwa to admit his role in dividing Zanu-PF
9 September 2017, 5:52 PM

Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe has launched a scathing attack on a faction led by the country’s vice-President Emmerson Mnangwagwa.

Mnangwagwa was treated for poisoning at a South African hospital last month, after he became ill at a rally addressed by President Robert Mugabe.

Speaking at a rally in Bindura, Grace Mugabe called on Mngangwagwa to admit his role in dividing the ruling Zanu-PF party.

As Zanu-PF members jostle for power, Mugabe has denied leading her own faction – instead accusing vice president Mnangwagwa.

She claims the second-in-charge has ambitions to succeed her husband President Robert Mugabe.

The first lady also addressed the rumours that she bewitched Mnangwagwa after he was hospitalised in Johannesburg in August.

She says she’s aggrieved by the allegations.

Mugabe’s attack on the party’s Vice Peresident gives an indication of divisions in the Zimbabwe’s ruling party.

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– By Noma Bolani



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