African press review 7 September 2012
In Africa, Nigerian mobile phone providers are threatening to withdraw services after Boko Haram attacks, while the continuing fallout from the Marikana mine tragedy is making news in South Africa.
We begin in Nigeria, where The Punch reports that major providers of mobile telephony in the country have threatened to withdraw their services from the country's north following a spate of attacks on their infrastructure that caused an estimated 50 million euros' worth of damage.
The Nigerian Tribune leads on the Federal Government’s approval of the construction of 11 new international airport terminals at the cost of more than 5 billion euros. The paper quotes Aviation minister Prince Stella Uduah saying that the airports will be constructed in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu within two years.
Meanwhile, the paper reports the Nigerian government has lifted the suspension placed on Dana Air following the crash of one of its aircraft in Lagos, kiliing all 153 passengers and crew onboard.
In South Africa, the papers are reporting on the continuing wage impasse at the Lonmin platinum mine in the country's north west, three weeks after 44 people were killed in a bloody standoff with police.
The Sowetan says Lonmin and unions representing mineworkers at the strike-hit Marikana platinum mine have signed an accord to return to work. However, a militant breakaway union was not part of the deal. According to the paper, the Marikana mineworkers are pinning their hopes on shutting down all mine operations to ensure their demands for salary increases are met.
Business Day has posted angry comments about working conditions in South Africa’s mining sector made by the general secretary of the powerful trade union, Cosatu.
Zwelinzima Vavi claims that a handful of multinational conglomerates are making billions of rand in profits while workers operate in wretched, unhealthy and dangerous conditions for a meagre wage.
Mail and Guardian says the firebrand ANC youth leader Julius Malema tried to draw political capital from Vavi’s position when he jumped to call Vavi a brother and a revolutionary comrade.
The paper reports that Cosatu not just snubbed Malema’s peace offering but also distanced itself from Malema’s comments, saying he should not cosy up to its general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi.
Mail and Guardian says that Julius Malema has been the target of harsh criticism by the ruling troika as he tries to exploit the Marikana mine massacre.
The Johannesburg Star takes up the case of 13 workers at a gold mine in Modder East, near Johannesburg. The workers are on trial for public violence after police shot four people during unrest at the mine. Fellow colleagues told The Star that miners were being paid just half of the 448 euros per month being reported.
The Star also reports a man has been sentenced to two life terms for violently raping and murdering his 92 year old grandmother. The paper reports that seconds after hearing his fate, Sipho Kubeka aged 38 told the interpreter that he did not have a problem with his sentence.
As he was being escorted out of the Pretoria courtroom, his sister shouted: “see you in 20 years’ time”. At least four elderly women including a 94-year old granny have been raped in KwaZulu-Natal in the past month, according to The Star.