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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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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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Watch the First Episode of Flame’s Documentary Series ‘Welcome To My Life’

Flame takes fans behind the scenes in his new documentary series.

From interviews to smoking sessions, performances, studio sessions and a visit to the hair salon, Flame gives fans a glimpse into his life and adventures.

The South African hip-hop artist and producer shared the first episode of an ongoing documentary series titled Welcome To My Life. The first episode, which he shared today, shows Flame and his affiliates—the likes of Ecco, Mellow and others—going about their business.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Photo: Ben Depp.

Watch Yilian Canizares & Paul Beaubrun's Beautiful Video For 'Noyé'

"Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Yilian Canizares and Paul Beaubrun connect for the serene "Noyé," one of the highlights from Canizares' latest album, Erzulie.

The Cuban singer and Haitian artist are now sharing the new Arnaud Robert-directed music video for the single, which we're premiering here today.

"Noyé is a song that comes from our roots," Yilian Canizares tells OkayAfrica. "Inspired by the energy of love. The same love that kept Africa's legacy alive in the hearts of Haiti and Cuba. We wanted to do a stripped down version of only the essential pieces from a musical point of view. Something raw and beautiful where our souls would be naked."

The striking music video follows Canizares and Beaubrun to the waters of New Orleans, the universal Creole capital, where they sing and float until meeting on the Mississippi River.

"Noyé is a cry of love from children of African descent," says Paul Beaubrun. "Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Watch the new music video for "Noyé" below.

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