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This Politician's Responses During an 'Aljazeera' Interview Has South Africans Cringing

The former South African National Assembly speaker showed just how divorced the ruling party is from the country's reality.

Baleka Mbete is the former speaker of the South African National Assembly and a member of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). Earlier this year, she stepped down from her position after having been long accused of not holding former president Jacob Zuma accountable for a number of alleged crimes during his tenure. Most recently, she was interviewed by Aljazeera's Mehdi Hasan about several South African political issues. However, her responses were admittedly cringe-worthy, more so among South Africans who feel that the ruling party is divorced from the many realities facing ordinary South Africans.


Mbete was invited to be a part of a conversation that probed into whether the ANC has betrayed the legacy left behind by the late anti-Apartheid veteran, Nelson Mandela. Her responses, which oftentimes failed to answer the questions directly, have left many in genuine disbelief and others angered by her clear lack of accountability.

READ: Why Are We So Obsessed with Making a God of Nelson Mandela?

When asked about the corruption allegations against Zuma's, particularly the infamous R250 million (USD 23 million) he used to build his personal homestead Nkandla, and the swimming pool reportedly built as a fire prevention feature, Mbete responded by saying, "Part of the challenge that we have is that part of that (Nkandla) is actually government property, which is actually for purposes on ensuring that there are health facilities for the president to be looked after or any of the staff." With regards to the 330 000 South Africans who died from not receiving anti-retroviral drugs as result of former president Thabo Mbeki's HIV/AIDS denialism, Mbete said that, "You're saying as if we plotted that people must die, we didn't. Health Committee worked...It wasn't for me, I was busy."

Asked about the tragic Marikana Massacre which saw 34 miners being gunned down back in 2012 and how no arrests had been made as yet, Mbete said quite casually that she would have to go and "look into it". The interview has left many South Africans further despondent about the ANC and their governing of the country.



Watch the full interview below:

Has South Africa's ruling party betrayed Mandela's legacy? | Head to Head www.youtube.com

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Cameroon Holds Vigil to Remember Children Killed in School Attack

Residents in Kumba paid their respects to the seven lives lost, and those injured during the attack over the weekend.

In the latest tragedy to come from Cameroon's historically violent clash between Anglo and Francophone citizens, seven children were murdered after attackers stormed a school with guns and machetes over the weekend.

In what has been deemed as the "darkest and saddest day," by Bishop Agapitus Nfon of Kumba, armed attackers stormed the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, targeting students aged 9 to 12. The tragic event saw dozens of children injured, some critically.

The attack has shocked the nation, with both local and international agencies condemning the horrible offense. On Monday, Cameroonian President Paul Biya denounced the "horrific murder" of the school children, and alluded to the "appropriate measures" being taken in order to bring justice to the families of the victims. Prime Minister Dion Ngute Joseph shared his condolences via a tweet saying, "I bow before the memory of these innocent kids."

The Cameroonian presidency and governing body have blamed Anglophone 'separatists' for the attack, though the group claims no part in the attack.

Human rights groups, however, have blamed both opposing parties, as the conflict has led to the death of over 3,000 deaths and resulted in more than 700,000 Cameroonians fleeing their homes and the country.

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Interview: Meet Velemseni, Eswatini’s Queen of Soul

Soul artist Velemseni's music reflects Eswatini culture and aesthetics. "The Kingdom of Eswatini is a magical and mysterious place, and my music aims to interpret and document that mystique, drawing from genres like Swazi gospel, soul, African soul, cinematic and traditional music," says the artist.