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Summary

  1. Bail for Nigeria's former chief of defence set at $10m
  2. Killer of South African anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani to be freed
  3. Renowned cartoonist to sue over his sacking from top Kenyan paper
  4. Ex-girlfriend of South African rapper Flabba is sentenced to 12 years for his murder
  5. Mass slaughter of rhinos increases for the sixth year in a row
  6. A judge finds a South African woman guilty of snatching a baby in 1997
  7. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Thursday 10 March 2016

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams, Lucy Fleming and Clare Spencer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Thursday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

That's it from us today.

To keep up-to-date with news from across the continent, listen to the Africa Today Podcast and check the BBC News website.

A reminder of today's wise words :

When the labourer is praised, his cutlass begins to cut more keenly

Sent by Charles “Neva Giveup” in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Click here to send your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this photo of Karura forest in Nairobi, taken by the BBC’s Charlotte Attwood whilst out jogging this morning.   

Karura forest in Nairobi, Kenya
BBC

She says an online petition has been launched, using the hashtag #savekaruraforest, as campaigners say it is under threat because of the growth of the Kenyan capital. 

Burundi denies rebels were buried in mass graves

The prosecutor-general in Burundi has said he has found no evidence to back up claims by human rights groups that Burundian soldiers killed dozens of people around Bujumbura in December and buried them in mass graves. 

Amnesty International said in January it has found five possible mass graves and a a deliberate effort by the authorities to cover up the extent of the killings by their security forces.

But Valentin Bagorikunda said most of the 79 rebels killed in fighting in December were unidentified and were buried in established cemeteries.

In his report, released today, he added that the only mass grave that was found was in Mutakura, containing bodies of people killed by “insurgents” - a grave not mentioned in the reports issued by rights groups.

satelite image
Reuters
A satellite image shows disturbed earth at a site where witnesses say there is a mass grave

WhatsApp series: Young and Connected: Chapters four and five

Young and Connected is BBC Africa's first ever WhatsApp series – reporting on the recent rise in youth groups who are trying to push leaders to be more accountable and deal with everyday issues. 

The BBC's Maud Jullien has been reporting on the Lucha movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been badly hit by years of conflict. 

Chapter four looks at what Lucha does:

BBC's WhatsApp series: Young and connected, chapter four

And chapter five investigates the dangers the Lucha activists face:

Young and Connected: The BBC's first WhatsApp series chapter five

To subscribe to the rest of the Whatsapp series, you can add +44 7734778817 to your phone contacts. Send a message to the number saying "SIGN UP" to receive the videos in English, or "SOUSCRIRE" to the same number for the French editions.   

Sierra Leone water sachet clampdown

Umaru Fofana

BBC Africa, Freetown

The authorities in Sierra Leone have ordered about 80 companies to immediately stop producing sachets of water and withdraw those already on the market. 

The Standards Bureau and the Water Regulatory Commission say the firms fall below basic standards and their products are unclean. 

A statement from the commission says they must not resume production until they have been reassessed and certified to do so.  

Anger in South Africa over parole for hero's killer

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Limpho Hani pictured here in 1993 during a vigil for her husband in Soweto, South Africa
AFP
Limpho Hani pictured here in 1993 during a vigil for her husband in Soweto

There has been an angry reaction in South Africa to the parole granted to Janusz Walus, the killer of anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani (see 09:41 post).

“It’s a very sad day for South Africa,” his widow Limpho Hani said.

Talking to local 702 radio, she hit out at Janse van Nieuwenhuizen, the Pretoria High Court judge who presided over the case, calling her “nothing but a racist”.

“I am not upset, but I am highly irritated that this white woman can tell me how to feel. 

“She comes with a white superiority complex to tell me I should forgive, I should move on. It is not her husband that was murdered.” 

The South African Communist Party (SACP), which Mr Hani led at the time of his death, has also criticised the ruling. 

“We received the judgment with great disappointment, but in a way the signs that it will come out this way were there because the judge kept asking questions which suggested that she will make an order such as the one she made today,” SACP spokesman Alex Mashilo said. 

Lawyers representing Walus argued that he should be released on parole for the purposes of reconciliation. 

Roelof du Plessis said forgiveness from the Hani family, the SACP and all South Africans was vital so that the country could move on. 

How South Africans and Nigerians perceive each other

Men in hats
Getty Images

South African President Jacob Zuma is back in South Africa after a brief state visit to Nigeria.

He said he wants to take "relations between our two countries to a much higher level".

Those relations between the two countries have been fraught of late. 

So we to know the specifics of what South Africans thought of Nigerians and vice versa.

South African Milton Nkosi and Nigerian Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani independently both picked out one stereotype - that South African women love Nigerian men. 

Read how a Nigerian and South African perceive each other on the BBC News website.

West Ham's Alex Song recalled by new Cameroon boss

Alex Song
Getty Images

West Ham midfielder Alex Song has been recalled by Cameroon for their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations football qualifier against South Africa on 26 March.

Song has not played for his national team since Cameroon's poor 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil where he lashed out at Croatia's Mario Mandzukic off the ball during their Group A defeat in Manaus.

Song's inclusion in new coach Hugo Broos' first squad is a surprise after the 28-year-old announced his international retirement last year.

Broos has named two newcomers in the squad with Sochaux forward Karl Toko, 23, and Anatole Abang of the New York Red Bulls included.

For more on the development, read the BBC Sport story

The next Einstein found in Sierra Leone

An organisation which tries to find the next great scientific mind in Africa think they have found it in Sierra Leone.

Aeronautical engineer Moses Bangura wowed the judges of Africa's Next Einstein competition with his ideas on delivering healthcare by drones:

View more on twitter

The making of Algerian football star Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez
Getty Images

Leicester City football club is unexpectedly at the top of the English Premier League.

Behind their success is a relatively unknown player Riyad Mahrez.

The winger, who also plays for the Algeria national team, scored the winning goal against Watford at the weekend. 

The 25-year-old signed from the French side Le Havre for £400,000 ($572,000) - considered pocket money in the Premier League

His coaches and teammates told the BBC's Steve Crossman that his journey to the top of the Premier League has been far from straightforward. 

Nigeria former chief of defence granted bail

Habiba Adamu

BBC Africa, Abuja

Nigeria’s former chief of defence Alex Badeh, accused of stealing $20m (£14m) from the air force and buying a mansion, has been granted bail by a high court in the capital, Abuja. 

Justice Okon Ebang said the retired air chief marshal should deposit 2bn naira ($10m, £7m) and also produce two guarantors, who own property in Abuja, to deposit $5,000 each as conditions of his bail. 

ACM Badeh denies the 10 charges of fraud, criminal breach of trust and money laundering. 

He was among the military chiefs sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari several weeks after he came to office last year as he was unhappy at how they had handled the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency in the north.

Alex Badeh
Getty Images
Alex Badeh served as chief of defence for two years

Nigerian oil workers 'call off strike'

Oil worker
AFP
Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer

Unions representing workers at Nigeria's state oil giant NNPC have called off their strike after meeting Ibe Kachikwu, the minister of state for petroleum.

They discussed concerns about plans to split the NNPC into 30 companies into the early hours of this morning.

They agreed that the restructuring would continue but that the unions would be involved in the process.

The union's Saleh Abdullahi told the BBC's Ibrahim Isa that they went on strike because the minister had told the media about the changes before telling the workforce.

"There is possible loss of jobs. Because of that fear we had to sit down and discuss this," he said.

Call for joint inquiry into killing of Italian student in Cairo

A poster calling for information on Giulio Regeni after his disappearance
AP
After Mr Regeni disappeared his friends and family made this poster to search for him

The European Parliament has called on Egypt to provide a "swift, transparent and impartial" joint investigation into the death of an Italian student in Cairo more than a month ago. 

Members of parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution saying it condemned the torture and assassination of Giulio Regeni. 

He was in Egypt researching the country's trade union movement, which is viewed with suspicion by the authorities. 

His body was found in February, dumped at a roadside, showing signs of torture. Egypt has denied any involvement by its security services. 

MEPs also noted "with grave concern" that the case was "not an isolated incident, but that it occurred within a context of torture, death in custody and enforced disappearances across Egypt in recent years", the AFP news agency reports.

Elephant returns to Somalia after 20 years

This is the first elephant in Somalia to be seen in 20 years:

Elephant
Save the Elephants

The 30-year-old elephant took three weeks to march hundreds of kilometres to reach Somalia from Tana River in the northern part of Kenya's coastal region. 

And then sat down for a rest:

elephant
Save the elephants

Conservationists from Save the Elephant monitored the trek with a tracking collar. They say the journey suggests that the Kenya-Somalia border area is becoming less dangerous. 

It is thought that elephants had avoided the country because of the sound of guns and grenade during the conflict.

Ethiopia apology over Oromo protests

Hailemariam Desalegn
Reuters

Ethiopia's prime minster has apologised for the death and destruction caused by protests in the Oromia region.

But Hailemariam Desalegn, addressing parliament in the capital, Addis Ababa, said "anti-peace forces" were responsible for the violence.

The protests began over government plans to expand the capital's administrative control into the Oromia region, which have since been dropped.    

Oromia has been hit by months of unrest, in which 200 people have reportedly died - a number disputed by the government.

The authorities deny that security forces have been involved in a violent crackdown.

Oromia at a glance:

  • Oromia is Ethiopia's largest region, surrounding the capital, Addis Ababa
  • Oromo are Ethiopia's biggest ethnic group - making up about a third of Ethiopia's 95 million people
  • The Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) is Oromia's largest legally registered political party, but holds no seats in parliament

Read more on the BBC News website.

Schoolgirls decode Soweto's secret hand signals

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Soweto

If you want to get a bus in Soweto, South Africa, you have to learn another language. 

A whole set of hand signals tell the bus driver where you want to go.

We got two schoolgirls from Immaculata Secondary School to decode just a few of them for us.

If you want to go to the Jabulani area you use this:

Hand signal
BBC

Whereas for the Zola neighbourhood, you use this:

hand signal
BBC

To go to central Johannesburg you point up:

hand signal
BBC

And for the Protea Glen area you use this signal:

hand signal
BBC

But you don't need to memorise these, instead take the BBC School Report virtual tour of Soweto.

Get Involved: Two African novels make Man Booker long list

#BBCAfricaLive

Two novels by African writers have been selected for the Man Booker International Prize 2016 long list.

A General Theory of Oblivion by Angola’s Jose Eduardo Agualusa and Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila from the Democratic Republic of Congo are among the 13 contenders.

The £50,000 ($71,000) British prize for a work of fiction available in English translation will be equally divided between the author and its translator. The judges considered 155 books.

Also on the list is the French author of Senegalese descent Marie NDiaye.

A shortlist of six books will be announced on 14 April, and the winner on 16 May.

Book covers
themanbookerprize.com

Tell us on Facebook which other books should also have been on the list.

Kenyan sentenced to death over night club attack

Abdinoor Aden

BBC Africa, Nairobi

A Kenyan man accused of being behind a terrorist attack at a night club in Mombasa has been sentenced to death by a court in the coastal city.

Thabit Yahya had pleaded not guilty to murdering a female guard who was killed in the attack in May 2012.

Five others were injured after three grenades were thrown at the popular Bella Vista night club frequented by prominent figures.

The blasts were followed by gunfire and the guard, Mary Cheptirim, prevented the gunmen from entering the club.

Kenya's anti-terror police unit said that Yahya spent several years in Saudi Arabia, where he was trained in handling weapons and explosives, before returning in 2011.

Prisoners on death row remain in jail for life as a death sentence has not been carried out in Kenya since 1985.

The end of the rhino?

In our 09:07 post the BBC's David Shukman wrote that new research indicates rhinos have had a grim few years.

Here are some of the more striking figures in that story:

Rhino data
BBC

This would all mean it’s possible that in 10 years there may be no wild rhinos left.

Read the full story on the BBC News website.

Mozambique 'bans school uniform mini-skirts'

A Human Rights Watch researcher has tweeted this headline from Mozambique's main Noticias newspaper:

View more on twitter

The paper reports that some secondary schools have made it compulsory for girls to wear long skirts, which has been welcomed by some teachers, parents and pupils.

One teacher is quoted as saying that skirts had become so short that some students had been in danger of exposing their intimate parts.  

However, it adds that others are critical of the move because of the expense of paying for a new uniform.

Ouch! Zimbabwe batsmen take each other out

Batsmen Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza collide while going for a run during the World Twenty20 match between Scotland and Zimbabwe:

Sibanda needed a bit of treatment, but thankfully he doesn't appear to be seriously hurt.

But overall it was good news for the Zimbabweans who beat Scotland by 11 runs to go through to face Afghanistan on Saturday.

If they win that match they are through to the Super 10 stage where they would face South Africa, England, Sri Lanka and the West Indies

You can get all the highs and low of the match here: Scotland v Zimbabwe  

Cartoonist Gado to sue Kenyan paper over 'politically motivated' sacking

Ruth Nesoba

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Screengrab from Gado's websit
gadocartoons.com

Kenya-based cartoonist Godfrey Mwapembwa, aka Gado, has told the BBC he will be suing the Daily Nation over what he says was the unlawful termination of his contract.

Last year he went on a sabbatical following what he termed was “discomfiture with his works”.

He had just drawn a cartoon in another publication of then-Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, which he says did not show him “in a good light”.

His editor at the newspaper suggested he take some time off - he's not a full staffer but is contracted to provide cartoons until then end of July 2016.

However, last month, he was given a letter from the paper saying it no longer wanted his services.

The paper insists their parting has been amicable, but the cartoonist believes his sacking is politically motivated and says he believes the administration of President Uhuru Kenyatta has been very unhappy with his work.

Gado, who is Tanzanian, told me that the current political climate is worrying for people like him in Kenya - and the gains in freedom of speech made in the past years should be protected at whatever cost

“I am independent - I will not be told what to draw and not draw,” he said, after recounting a time when he got a call from aides of the Kenya’s deputy president unhappy about one caricature.

The cartoonist is a member of the Kenya Union of Journalist (KUJ), which has strongly condemned the recent sackings of journalists who have been critical of the establishment.

"In a span of two months, at least four senior editors have been kicked out of newsrooms on the grounds of redundancy and flimsy grounds to please those who pay the piper," a KUJ statement said last month.

'Whistling demonstration' against Chadian president

Abdourahmane Dia

BBC Afrique

Chadian President Idriss Deby
AFP
Chadian President Idriss Deby has been in power since 1990

In Chad, civil society organisations have staged an original protest - asking people to whistle early this morning and again later tonight as a veiled method of showing their anger at the country's poor governance. 

"This civil action proposes that people whistle for 15 minutes at 05:30 local time (06:30 GMT) and again in the evening at 21:30 (22:30 GMT)," said a statement from one of the groups, which lists a series of complaints against the President Idriss Deby, who has announced he is planning to run for a fifth term in elections scheduled for April. 

"Express your anger from the comfort of your own home, without risking violence being done to you... Blow out, suffocate this dying system which is already choking you", it adds.

Picture of whistles
Mbaïhodjile Dillah Guillaume/Facebook
"I whistle, therefore I am regime change", reads the photo being shared by activists on Facebook

It's not clear how many people have taken part so far, but not everyone is convinced. 

One Chadian commenting on Facebook said he hadn't heard anything this morning, with another describing the entire protest as a "hullabaloo".

Analysis: Behind the killing of South Africa's anti-apartheid hero

Farouk Chothia

BBC News

Janusz Walus
AP
Janusz Walus, who killed Chris Hani in 1993, was granted parole today (see 09:41 post)

The murder of Chris Hani in 1993 backfired on South Africa's white supremacists.

They hoped that the killing of a politician who was idolised by most black people but hated by many of their white counterparts would escalate conflict in South Africa, and open the way for them to seize power in the ensuing chaos.

Chris Hani
AFP
South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission refused to give Walus amnesty for the murder of Chris Hani (pictured here)

But the opposite happened, as it galvanised Nelson Mandela to press South Africa's then-President FW de Klerk to set a date for the first democratic election to end centuries of racial oppression.

Mr De Klerk agreed, and power ebbed away from him with Mr Mandela becoming South Africa's first black president just over a year later.

Janusz Walus, who killed Mr Hani by shooting him at point-blank range in the chin, behind the ear and in the chest, is alive only because Mr Mandela's African National Congress party abolished the death penalty, believing that it should not do what the former regime had done - execute its enemies.  

Sacking of celebrated Kenyan cartoonist draws condemnation

Prominent media figures and human rights campaigners have been tweeting celebrated Kenya-based cartoonist Gado's own work to hit back against his sacking from The Daily Nation newspaper: 

View more on twitter

The cartoon below tackles the recent re-election of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for a fifth term, in an election which foreign observers criticised for its ""intimidating atmosphere".

View more on twitter

The Europe director for Human Rights Watch has tweeted one of Gado's cartoons dealing with freedom of expression, linking to a detailed piece about the story behind his sacking.

View more on twitter

Confusion over Sierra Leone war criminal

Umaru Fofana

BBC Africa, Freetown

Moinina Fofana
AFP
Moinina Fofana was conditionally released from a Rwandan jail last year

Police in Sierra Leone say they have received no direct orders from the UN-backed war crimes court to arrest a former leader of a pro-government militia that operated during the country’s brutal civil war.

Moinina Fofana, the former director of war for the Civil Defence Force (CDF) - known as the Kamajors - was convicted for war crimes and sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2007, backdated to the jail time he had served since 2003. 

But in March 2015 he was granted conditional early release from a Rwandan prison.

On Wednesday, Justice Philip Nyamu Waki issued a public order calling for his arrest for the alleged breach of one of his conditions.

But Mustapha Kamara, the head of the police in southern Sierra Leone, where Fofana lives, says he is not aware of any order to arrest him.

The court says his trial is to start within seven days from the day the order was issued, and if convicted he could be sent back to jail until his prison term runs out in May 2018.

It is not clear what Fofana is alleged to have done but under the terms of his release he is to live in the city of Bo and is barred from engaging in any political activity or threatening witnesses who testified against him.

During Sierra Leone’s 10-year conflict, which ended in 2002, some saw the CDF as defending civilians against rebels. 

Ethiopian woman 'to receive compensation after rape'

The Ethiopian government has been ordered to pay $150,00 (£105,000) in compensation in a landmark case over a woman who was raped almost 15 years ago, according to the international human rights organisation Equality Now. 

Five men were convicted in 2003 over the attack on the woman, who was abducted and raped by the same group of men on two separate occasions when she was 13 years old.

But an appeals court subsequently overturned the men's conviction, arguing that the girl could not have been raped because she was not a virgin, though this assertion was never tested in court.

The victim was forced into signing a sham marriage contract with the ringleader of the group, after being held for a month against her will.

This supposed "marriage" had legal ramifications for the case, because under the Ethiopian penal code at the time, rapists were exempted from punishment if they married their victims. 

Faiza Mohamed from Equality Now, which filed the complaint at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, explained the significance of the ruling:

We can only hope that the message this unprecedented ruling sends will have a ripple effect at all levels of society. It has taken a decade and a half to obtain justice in a case, which should have been very straightforward. The 'disposability' of girls in Ethiopia and around the world needs to end. We cannot be free until every sexist penal code is changed and every single girl is protected from violence"

SA rapper's girlfriend gets 12 years for his murder

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

South African rapper Nkululeko Habedi, known as Flabba
AFP
The rapper was killed in his bedroom on 9 March 2015

The ex-girlfriend of South African rapper Nkululeko Habedi, known as Flabba, has been sentenced to 12 years for his murder.

Judge Solly Sithole said Sindisiwe Manqele should not be granted parole until she had served at least two thirds of the sentence – eight years.

There was a collective gasp from the gallery when the sentence was announced in a High Court in Johannesburg. 

Manqele, whose head was covered in a red scarf, looked on stony faced.

She is appealing the sentence and is currently applying to extend her bail while pending the outcome of the appeal.

Flabba was a member of Skwatta Kamp, considered the pioneers of South African hip hop. 

He died a year ago after a heated row with Manqele. 

Prosecutors say she was jealous of seeing him talking to an ex-lover and stabbed him through the chest. She said she acted in self-defence.

Baby kidnapper: 'I am a victim too'

A South African woman found guilty of kidnapping a two-day-old baby in 1997, has told the BBC she would like to maintain a relationship with the girl she stole from her biological mother.

Speaking to the BBC's Karen Allen before today's verdict, she continued to insist that she had not taken the baby from the hospital, saying she was a victim too.

English Premier League trophy comes to South Africa

The EPL football trophy has been taken on a tour of Cape Town this morning, with several journalists snapping it in front of various landmarks. 

But the big question is surely: Where will it be in 10 games' time?

London (for Arsenal or Tottenham), Leicester, maybe even Manchester? 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Teenage girl 'misses babysnatcher mother'

The South African teenage girl, known as Zephany Nurse, still considers the woman who has been found guilty of kidnapping her from hospital when she was two days old to be her "mother", according to a South African journalist who interviewed her before this morning's verdict.

Giovanna Gerbi told the BBC that the girl said she misses the woman, whom she has not been allowed to see or have contact with since her arrest last year. 

The girl has not been able to finish her final year of high school because of the huge emotional strain the case has placed on her and her family, the reporter added in an interview with the BBC's Newsday programme

The girl has been living with the husband of the convicted woman, who still refers to Zephany Nurse as his daughter, having raised her without knowing he was not the biological father.

He told the court that he had always believed the girl to be his daughter, and had been lied to for nearly 17 years. 

South African peacekeeper killed in Darfur

A South African peacekeeper has been killed and another wounded in an ambush on a military convoy escorting food aid trucks in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, South Africa’s army spokesman has said.

Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said they were part of the hybrid African Union-UN peace mission (Unamid) in Sudan, and had been providing security for a shipment of World Food Programme supplies.

The soldier who was wounded in the attack was evacuated to Fashir for treatment and was now in a stable condition, he said in a statement.

Last month, South Africa's government said it planned to withdraw its contingent of troops from Darfur.

It had been contributing to the peacekeeping mission since 2008 as part of efforts to end violence in Darfur that erupted 13 years ago.

A peacekeeper in Darfur, Sudan
AFP
Unamid has more than 17,700 troops currently on the ground and took over peacekeeping efforts in Darfur in 2007 from an AU force

Killer of anti-apartheid hero 'showed no remorse'

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

South Africa’s justice minister spokesman, Mthunzi Mhaga, has told me that the government is going to study the judgement ordering the release on parole of Janusz Walus, the man who was convicted for the shooting and killing of anti-apartheid struggle hero Chris Hani in 1993 (see 09:41 post).

After examining the ruling, the justice ministry will decide if it will appeal - but they will have to decide soon as Walus, a Polish immigrant, is to be released within two weeks.

Mr Mhaga said the government had opposed the parole because Walus had shown no remorse for the killing and because of the lack of what he called “victim-offender dialogue”.

Chris Hani - archive shot
AFP
Chris Hani was killed in 1993, a year before the end of white-minority rule

Judge on SA baby snatcher: 'Your story is a fairy tale'

The South African woman convicted of snatching a baby in 1997 and raising the child as her own has been refused bail by a judge in Cape Town and has been taken straight to prison.

Here are some quotes from the judgement handed down by Judge John Hlophe at the Western Cape High Court, as reported by the local News24 website:

"I found your evidence astonishing... Firstly, when the baby was handed over, you should have been aware that the baby still had a pin on its umbilical cord. There were no adoption papers.The circumstances were suspicious under which the baby was handed over to you.

"It is clear form the evidence that the biological parents did not give you any permission to remove the child. According to the evidence, you must have been the person who removed the child form the hospital.

"It is clear from DNA evidence that you are not the mother. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to know you don’t buy babies.

"Paying 3,000 rand [$800 at 1997 exchange rates] is a fairy tale to say the least. Had it been legally adopted, the adoption would have been registered separately.

"Your story is a fairy tale... I’m absolutely satisfied the state has proven its case of kidnapping beyond reasonable doubt."

Celeste Nurse, in red, says she is the biological mother of the teenage girl
AFP
Tests have shown Celeste Nurse (L) to be the biological mother of the girl

Killer of South African political hero to be freed

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Janusz Walus, the man who was convicted for the shooting and killing of anti-apartheid struggle hero Chris Hani in 1993, has won an appeal to be released on parole.

Polish immigrant Walus was found guilty, along with white supremacist Clive Derby-Lewis, for the assassination which nearly derailed South Africa’s road to a peaceful negotiated settlement to end white minority rule.

Derby-Lewis was released from prison in June last year after serving 22 years behind bars.

Chris Hani was the most famous African National Congress (ANC) leader after Nelson Mandela and he was also leader of the South Africa Communist Party.

He was shot and killed on the morning of Saturday 10 April, 1993, while picking up his newspapers on his driveway.

Walus is to be freed within 14 days.

Archive shot of a child holding a poster of South African politician Chris Hani
AFP

Cartoonist in Kenya sacked

A renowned Kenya cartoonist Godfrey Mwapembwa, known by his pen name Gado, has told the BBC he has been sacked by one of the country’s leading papers, the Daily Nation, without explanation.

He said that he had returned from a recent sabbatical to discover he had lost his job, without being given any explanation.

Gado is one of Kenya’s most popular cartoonists, often poking fun at the elite.

His website, which says he is the most syndicated political cartoonist in East and Central Africa, says his cartoons tackle “every subject from terrorism and deforestation to Aids and corruption [and] have always stirred debate”.

Gado's Twitter page
@igaddo
Gado was also behind the popular satirical TV puppet show XYZ

BreakingSouth African woman found guilty of baby snatching

Judge John Hlophe has found the woman accused of kidnapping Zephany Nurse from Groote Schuur hospital in 1997 guilty on all three counts against her, South Africa's News24 website reports. 

The biological mother of the child burst into tears as the verdict was given, it adds.

Multiple South African media outlets are confirming the verdict on Twitter: 

View more on twitter

Rhino poaching: Another grim record

David Shukman

Science editor, BBC News

Rhino
AP

The mass slaughter of rhinos has increased for the sixth year in a row, according to grim new figures from international researchers.

At least 1,338 of the iconic animals were killed for their horns in Africa last year.

This is the greatest loss in a single year since an intense wave of poaching began recently.

Since 2008, as many as 5,940 rhinos have been killed although scientists fear that could be an underestimate.

The findings were compiled by researchers from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Read David's full story here.

Verdict due in South Africa baby-snatching case

A judge at the High Court in Cape Town in South Africa is delivering his verdict today in the trial of a woman accused of kidnapping a newborn baby girl in 1997. 

Police accuse her of fraudulently pretending to be the girl's biological mother since snatching her from a world famous hospital in Cape Town city.

The 50-year-old woman was arrested last year after enrolling the child, named as Zephany Nurse, in a school.

Celeste and Morne Nurse, the parents of a similar-looking girl at the school, became suspicious, and alerted police.

DNA tests have proved that Zephany was their child.

Wise words

Today’s African proverb: When the labourer is praised, his cutlass begins to cut more keenly. Sent by Charles “Neva Giveup”, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

When the labourer is praised, his cutlass begins to cut more keenly"

Sent by Charles “Neva Giveup” in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Click here to send your African proverbs.

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Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page, where we'll be keeping you up-to-date with developments across the continent today.