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Death Toll Rises to 72 As Violent Protests Continue over Zuma’s Imprisonment

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About 72 people have now been killed in the violence that erupted in South Africa, following the imprisonment of ex-President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of court, following his refusal to appear before a graft panel.

The 79-year-old was convicted of defying a court order to testify before an inquiry probing allegations of corruption against him during his term as president.

The violent demonstrations, which started in KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma’s province, spread to Gauteng province on Sunday with many shops looted and several injured.

Shops and businesses have been looted and vandalised, while vehicles and debris were left burning on roads.

According to the South African Police Service, many of the deaths recorded in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces occurred “in chaotic stampedes as thousands of people stole food, electric appliances, alcohol and clothing from shops”.

“The total number of people who have lost their lives since the beginning of these protests has risen to 72,” the police said in a statement.

The police added that 1,234 people have been arrested in connection with the violent riots.

Ten people were also said to have been killed in a stampede during mass looting at a shopping centre in Gauteng province on Monday.

Despite the deployment of soldiers to quell the riots, the protests and looting have continued.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had, on Monday, warned of “life-threatening consequences” as the unrest has disrupted supply chains, putting South Africa at risk of food and medicine shortages.

Condemning the looting, David Makhura, Gauteng province premier, said criminals have hijacked the protest.

“It is extremely sad. Looting is not a solution. We are losing lives. We cannot afford this. We are calling for calm; we are calling for peace,” Makhura said.

“This is destroying everything we had been building. The progress we had made in the township economy is being reversed by this looting, destruction and shutting down. The looting has to stop.

“It is already hampering the mobility of ambulance services, the delivery of oxygen and the administering of vaccines. This has all been affected by the blocking of roads.

“We are losing lives now; businesses are shutting down. All leaders in communities, political parties, religious leaders and civil society, we must all come together and say the looting and the violence cannot take place in our communities.

“We understand the unemployment situation, but the looting must stop, this is undermining the economy.”

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Travel Agent Scams Cristiano Ronaldo of £250,000, Jailed

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A travel agent, named Maria Silvia scammed Manchester United striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, out of £250,000 (about N140 million) after the football star entrusted her with his credit cards and pin.

The 53-year-old travel agent also scammed Ronaldo’s super-agent Jorge Mendes of £14,000 and Manchester United winger, Nani, of over £1,500.

Due to her wrongdoing, Silvia got a four-year suspended prison sentence on Sunday after being earlier convicted by a Porto criminal court in 2017.

It was also revealed that Ronaldo was targeted for three years between February 2007 and July 2010.

The paper read, “Afterwards the travel agent had to plug the hole in the firm’s accounts. She, therefore, began to bill those trips to Cristiano Ronaldo, who had an account at Geostar and for practical reasons, handed the agent a virtual credit card and pin code. It was a green route to taking money out.”

Quoting a renowned Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticias, Sun Sports reported that the 36-year-old Ronaldo submitted a statement to the police after flying to the court to meet up with his lawyer.

The travel agent, who currently works as a cleaner, was first interrogated in 2011 before her eventual sentence on Sunday, September 19, 2021.

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I am Getting Better, Says Hospitalised Pele

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Brazilian football legend Pele said Sunday he is “punching the air” to celebrate “every better day” after the 80-year-old suffered his latest health scare.

“As you can see, I’m punching the air in celebration of every better day,” Pele wrote on Instagram beside a photograph of him sitting in a hospital chair, watched over by two medical staff.

The three-time World Cup winner was Friday briefly transferred back to an intensive care unit at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, where he underwent surgery earlier this month, after suffering breathing difficulties.

“A good mood is the best medicine and I have plenty of that. It couldn’t be different,” he added Sunday.

“I have received so much affection that my heart is full of gratitude. Thanks to all the amazing staff at Albert Einstein Hospital!”

His condition had been described as stable.

Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento also posted a photo of herself next to her father in the hospital on Friday, seeking to cheer up his fans.

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We Won’t Accept Second Position in 2023 – NEF

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The Northern Elders Forum has said the north was in the process of rebuilding itself and was not prepared to play second fiddle in a nation where it clearly enjoys numerical strength.

Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said this while delivering a keynote address at the maiden Maitama Sule Lecture Series organized by the students’ wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups, held at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on Saturday.

He said, “We will lead Nigeria the way we have led Nigeria before whether we are President or Vice President, we will lead Nigeria. We have the majority of the votes and democracy says vote whom you want.

“Why should we accept a second class position when we know we can buy a form and contest for first class and we will win?

“Why does anybody need to threaten us and intimidate us? We will get that power but be humble because power comes from God. We inherited leadership and being honest is not being stupid.

“The North has pride; we are humble enough to know that we are going to run Nigeria with other people but we are not going to pay a second fiddle to anybody. We may not have the most robust economy, there are people who are trying to strangulate us even more than we are being strangled.

“We are ready for this. We will consider every economic adversity, challenge. We will fix the Northern economy and we are the only one who can fix this Northern economy. For that reason, we are not for sale. We are in the process of rebuilding the North and we will rebuild the North from 2023.

“Whether the North holds power in 2023 or not anybody who wants to break up in this country will say so, they are just looking for excuses. This is democracy. If they don’t like what Nigeria is, they will say they want to break up from this country, we don’t pay attention to those people, we are focused on the fact that we are running a democratic system.

The NEF’s spokesman added, “If the majority of Nigeria voters vote for a candidate from the North and he becomes the President and somebody doesn’t want to live under the Nigeria President, the person can leave.”

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