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  1. President Zuma apologises over Nkandla affair
  2. He promises to pay back some non-security costs
  3. He calls constitutional court ruling 'helpful'
  4. Says he did nothing dishonest
  5. Says some officials will be disciplined over procurement
  6. US to 'track' money stolen from Nigeria's government
  7. DR Congo game ranger killed by suspected rebels in park
  8. Email stories and comments to - Friday 1 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer, Farouk Chothia, Damian Zane and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back on Monday

That's all from BBC Africa Live this week. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.  

A reminder of today's wise words:

The day you go naked is the day you meet your in-laws"

A Swahili proverb sent by Kamzee Awuol De-yen Arokdit in Juba, South Sudan

Click here to send us your African proverbs

To get your weekend off to a good start, listen to BBC Africa’s Resident Presidents – Olushambles and Kibarkingmad – who take a satirical look at the recent EU-Turkey deal to tackle the migrant crisis:

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And we leave you with this photo from our gallery of the week's best pictures showing playtime off the coast of Tajoura in Dijbouti:  

Young boys dive into the sea from a boat, on March 25, 2016 in Tadjoura, north central Djibouti.

#AprilFools and #Zuma trending in South Africa

#AprilFools is one of the hashtags trending in South Africa following President Zuma's speech - the president is commonly referred to as JZ:

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Jacob Zuma in quotes

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma

Many South Africans were expecting a dramatic resignation speech from their president following yesterday’s Constitutional Court ruling that he had violated the constitution by not paying back state money spent on his private home in Nkandla.

Instead, Mr Zuma welcomed the judgement that backed the earlier view of an anti-corruption body, known as the public protector, that he had “unduly benefited” from some of the $23m (£15m) spent on it.

Here are some key quotes from his national televised address:

I wish to emphasise that I never knowingly or deliberately set out to violate the constitution, which is the supreme law of the republic

The judgement has further strengthened our constitutional democracy and should make South Africans proud of their country’s constitution and its strong and effective institutions"

I did not act dishonestly or with any personal knowledge of the irregularities by the Department of Public Works with regards to the Nkandla project. The intention was not in pursuit of corrupt ends or to use state resources to unduly benefit me and my family. Hence I have agreed to pay for the identified items once a determination is made"

The Nkandla project brought sharply into focus, the problems within the government supply chain mechanisms. The gross inflation of prices in the Nkandla project is totally unacceptable and should never have been allowed, hence government is improving procurement measures to prevent any future recurrence"

I wish to reiterate that any action that has been found not to be in keeping with the constitution happened because of a different approach and different legal advice. It all happened in good faith and there was no deliberate effort or intention to subvert the constitution on my part"

With hindsight, there are many matters that could have been handled differently, and which should never have been allowed to drag on this long, which we deeply regret. The matter has caused a lot of frustration and confusion, for which I apologise, on my behalf and on behalf of government"

ANC: Snap elections will not be called

ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe has wrapped up the news conference in South Africa (see 19:14 post) that went on for more than an hour - dealing with the last questions from journalists.

He ruled out the possibility of snap elections to be held alongside this year's local elections and said the National Working Committee of the ruling party would decide if President Zuma would face any disciplinary action over the Nkandla saga.

Local broadcaster EyeWitness News tweeted some of his other quotes:

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Yesterday the Constitutional Court court also condemned the ANC-dominated parliament for failing to hold Mr Zuma accountable over the repayment of state money on his private home. Mr Mantashe addressed this too:

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President Zuma 'is the cancer at the heart of SA politics'

South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance has issued a statement about President Jacob Zuma's speech this evening, saying it "shows clearly that he has no idea what the constitution requires of him or how South Africans view him". 

He had apologised for the frustration caused by a long-running scandal over improper state spending at his private home in Nkandla - and said he would abide by a court ruling that he must repay some of the money.

To say that he acted “in good faith”, and that it has all been a misunderstanding based on a “different approach”, insults our intelligence and belittles the sacrifices made by so many to establish our freedom"

Democratic Alliance

The party renewed its call for the president to be impeached:

Jacob Zuma is the cancer at the heart of South African politics; he is not capable of honourable conduct, and cannot continue to be President of our country"

Nkandla represents the worst in rampant corruption, but it is but one example. Everywhere in South Africa, corruption is robbing the poorest of the poor of decent services and of the opportunity to get jobs"

Democratic Alliance

Read: How Zuma's Nkandla home has grown

Why Jacob Zuma must pay for:  

Map of President Zuma's home in Nkandla, South Africa
  • Swimming pool
  • Amphitheatre
  • Visitor centre
  • Cattle enclosure
  • Chicken rub

ANC: Constitutional Court ruling a victory for democracy

South Africa's governing ANC has been tweeting some of the main points from the news conference being given by the party's Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe.

He is discussing yesterday's Constitutional Court ruling that said President Jacob Zuma had violated the constitution by refusing to repay government money spent on his private home:

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Watch President Zuma's apology

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma apologised for "frustration and confusion" caused by a scandal over public money spent on his private home:

Jacob Zuma apologises for 'frustration and confusion'

He said he would abide by a Constitutional Court ruling that he should pay back some of taxpayers' money that was used, but denied any wrongdoing.  

If you want to read the full speech, local broadcaster eNCA has published the whole statement.

Who is Jacob Zuma?

Jacob Zuma

• Born in Nkandla village on 12 April 1942 

• Brought up by his widowed mother and had no formal schooling 

• Joined ANC at the age of 17 

• Became active member of its military wing, Umkhonto We Sizwe, in 1962 

• Became president in 2009 after battling corruption and rape allegations 

• Highest court ruled that he violated the constitution by failing to repay public money spent to upgrade his private home, for which he has now apologised

Read Zuma's full profile here

ANC never considered calls for Zuma's resignation

Mr Mathashe is now answering questions from journalists in South Africa at the HQ for the governing ANC.

He reiterated that there was complete unanimity at today's ANC meeting - and  a call for President Zuma's resignation was never on the table.

A BBC correspondent in Johannesburg tweets:

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Analysis: President Zuma, the quintessential escape artist

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

President Jacob Zuma

He has been described as the quintessential escape artist, and President Jacob Zuma has done it again. South Africans were glued to their TV screens awaiting an address. 

Speculation was rife that he would resign. Instead people got an apology, the first since the Nkandla saga erupted six years ago.

The immediate reaction for many is disappointment. Remember though that Mr Zuma is a master tactician who rose to the highest office against all odds. He is not about to let that go without a fight.

True to his smoothness, Mr Zuma peppered his address with denials and promises to never allow this to happen again. He even spoke about how this could only make the country stronger.

The man that has been the cause of anger for many presented himself as a victim of unclear rules, but said that he now knows better and that the country should forgive him and move on. 

It takes a lot of charm and confidence to display such boldness, and the president lives to fight another day.

Read: Jacob Zuma, South Africa controversial and colour leader

ANC: No need to impeach the president

Gwede Mantashe

Gwede Mantashe, the secretary-general of South Africa's governing ANC party, has begun addressing the media - some 25 minutes after President Jacob Zuma finished his speech to the nation.

He says the ANC top brass met today over the Constitutional Court ruling  that the president must repay government money spent on his private home. 

The ANC is convinced there was not intention by the president to deliberately act "inconsistently with the constitution", he said.

Mr Mantashe said it was appropriate that the president had humbled himself and apologised this evening.

He said there was no need to impeach the president - it was an overreaction by the opposition parties.


Opposition disappointed by Zuma speech

South Africa's main opposition party, which has called for President Jacob Zuma to be impeached, has expressed disappointment with the speech:

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Julius Malema - the leader of the opposition EFF - was commenting while Mr Zuma was speaking:

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Zuma apologises but stays in post

Jacob Zuma has finished talking.

When he announced he was going to address the nation there was widespread speculation that he would resign. But he didn't do so.

He apologised and said that the fallout from the scandal will help strengthen the constitution.

Jacob Zuma

Zuma: Let's use the judgement to strengthen our democracy

President Jacob Zuma has apologised, and says the judgement can strengthen South Africa

I apologise on my behalf and on behalf of my government. I urge all parties to respect the judgement and abide by it. Let us use the judgement to build and further strengthen this democracy."

On Thursday South Africa Constitutional Court ruled that President Zuma violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money spent on his private home.

Zuma says some people will be disciplined over procurement

President Zuma said that there will be a review of government procurement policies in the wake of the scandal over upgrades to his private residence.

He said that there may be legal action may be taken against some of those in government who are found to be at fault.

Zuma: We have learnt lessons

President Zuma says the scandal around the upgrades to his private home has served a good leasson:

The judgement has been very helpful... there are lessons to be learned by all of us which auger well for governance in the future."

Zuma: I did not act dishonestly

President Zuma says again that he has agreed to pay for the mansion upgrade but that he did not act dishonestly.

Zuma: I did not deliberately violate the constitution

I wish to emphasise that I never knowingly or deliberately set out to violate the constitution which is the supreme law of the country."

Zuma says mansion scandal has been put to an end

President Jacob Zuma said:

In light of this judgement it puts an end to any other interpretation of this matter."

Zuma calls court decision groundbreaking

President Zuma said that the Constitutional Court decision was "ground breaking" in holding him to account.

It said he should have repaid the money paid for non-security upgrades to his private home

He said: "I will respect the judgement and will abide by it".

Zuma welcomes court decision

Guided by the constitution we have an independent judiciary which is a trusted final arbiter in all disputes in society. Yesterday the constitutional court of the republic playing this crucial role issued a judgement on the matter of security upgrades at my private residence. I welcome the judgement... unreservedly.

Zuma starts speaking

President Zuma begins his address talking about the constitution:

Fellow South Africans I address you during an important year when our country celebrates 20 years since President Nelson Mandela signed the constitution of the republic into law in Sharpeville which took place on the 10 December 1996.

Jacob Zuma

#Zuma trends in South Africa

President Jacob Zuma's address appears to have been delayed.

But as a nation waits to hear what he has to say, speculation is rife and people are linking it to April Fool's day:

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Zuma address to start soon

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma is due to start speaking soon.

You can watch it via this link:

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ANC to speak one hour after Zuma

South Africa's governing ANC has announced that it will be speaking at 18:00 GMT - an hour after President Jacob Zuma is due to speak.

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Sudanese football player thanks team mates for blacking up

A Sudanese player in a German football club said on BBC Outside source that he thought a team photo where his team mates blacked up was "a wonderful thing".

The digitally altered team photo
Deinster SV/Facebook

The  Deinster SV  team posted the image on its Facebook page alongside a message denouncing a racist attack on two players Emad and Amar . 

"Violence against refugees is pathetic," the post reads. "Emad and Amar, you are one of us just like everyone else and we're happy you are with us."

The post made some people uncomfortable. This tweeter wrote ""Protest against racism. Hm. Not really sure about that".

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But Emad Babiker, a striker in the team told Outside Source that he appreciated the show of support:

“I think it’s really nice for my friends. I thank everyone that supports me."

Zuma to address nation

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma is due to address the nation in the next 30 minutes following the ruling by the country's highest court that he breached the constitution by allowing government money to be used to upgrade his private home. 

He has been under intense pressure to resign, with the opposition saying they will introduce impeachment proceedings against him in parliament. 

But his allies in the governing ANC's Women's League and Youth League say they still have confidence in his leadership.  

New Boko Haram video

Nigeria's militant  group Boko Haram has released a new video, vowing that it will continue to fight for its version of Islamic rule.

"You should know that there is no truce, there is no negotiations, there is no surrender," an unidentified masked man in camouflage said Hausa, the main language in the region. 

The message came after an unverified video last month showed Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau looking frail, and suggesting that his time at the helm of Boko Haram may be coming to and end. 

In the latest video, there are men holding AK-47 rifles in front of Toyota Hilux pick-up trucks and a lorry mounted with a military cannon.  

Resignations hit Gabon's ruling party

Nine MPs have resigned from Gabon's ruling party, reports AFP news agency.

The resignations add to speculation that a breakaway party may be formed to challenge President Ali Bongo in elections in August.

Parliamentary leader Guy Nzouba Ndama, who has headed the chamber since 1997, announced his resignation yesterday. 

Ali Bongo
Getty Images
Mr Bongo first came to power in a 2009 vote following the death of his father who had ruled Gabon for 42 years

Will Zimbabwe's indigenisation law cause unemployment?

The BBC's Brian Hungwe has been looking at how a new Zimbabwean law aimed at increasing local ownership is going to affect employees in foreign-owned companies. 

Employees fear becoming jobless and one worker told our correspondent that it doesn't benefit him because if companies like Nestle close there is nowhere for him to go.

Brain starts his report in a heated meeting between foreign investors and the country's indigenisation minister:

Zimbabwe clamps down with its indigenisation laws

'Mass arrests' in Ethiopia

More than 2,600 people have been arrested in Ethiopia's Oromia region in the last three weeks to prevent further protests, an opposition group has said, Reuters news agency reports. 

In January, Ethiopia scrapped plans to incorporate parts of the region into the capital, Addis Ababa, following widespread protests which, according to activists, led to about 200 people being killed by the security forces. 


Although the authorities also promised not to prosecute those arrested, 2,627 people have been "illegally rounded up" in the last three weeks, the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (Medrek) is quoted by Reuters as saying. 

"The whole purpose [behind] why they are increasing their witch-hunt is to simply stop the public from planning or initiating any future public protest," its chairman Beyene Petros told the agency.

The government has not yet commented on the allegation. 

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has previously blamed "anti-peace forces" for the unrest, and has disputed claims that some 200 protesters have been killed.

Bail for Uganda's ex-spy boss

Gen Sejusa accused the president of being a dictator

Uganda's High Court has granted bail to former intelligence chief David Sejusa, following his arrest in January on  charges of insubordination and going Awol (absent without leave), the state-run New Vision newspaper reports

He denied the charges, and his supporters said the case was aimed at silencing him ahead of disputed presidential election last month which saw incumbent Yoweri Museveni extend his 30-year rule. 

Gen Sejusa went into exile in the UK in May 2013 after claiming that Mr Museveni was creating a "political dynasty" in Uganda, and grooming his son to succeed him.

He returned to Uganda 18 months later. 

Zimbabwe dismisses 'voodoo economists'

Zimbabwe's Indigenisation Minister Patrick Zhuwao has dismissed concerns that a new law aimed at increasing local ownership of private companies will scare off foreign investors. 

In a BBC interview, he said: 

Those statements come from voodoo economists and these statements are really very far removed from reality. There is nothing peculiar about this law.

And for anybody to turn around and say that that law is not a good law is attempting to negate the imbalances that were created by racism as a result of our colonial history.

We are a country that really makes sense in terms of investment but it must be investment that also fits in and ties in well with what is required."

The government had set a deadline of today for foreign companies to transfer the majority of their shares to local ownership. 

There are conflicting reports about how many firms have complied with the controversial indigenisation law. 

A previous deadline two years ago was largely ignored. The government has said that any company that does not comply will have its operating licence cancelled.

Burundian comedian freed

A  comedian in Burundi who was arrested for allegedly poking fun at President Pierre Nkurunziza has been freed, an intelligence source has told the BBC Kinyarwanda Service. 

Alfred Aubin Mugenzi was picked up by intelligence agents on Tuesday at a hotel in Muramvya, 50km (31 miles) east of the capital, while on a promotional tour for a beer company, AFP news agency reports.

Burundian President, Pierre Nkurunziza talks to prisoners of the Ngozi Prison 23 February 2006 during his visit to northern Burundi
Mr Nkurunziza defied the opposition by running for a third term last year

Known as Kigingi, Mr Mugenzi is alleged to have lampooned Mr Nkurunziza during a performance in neighbouring Rwanda last year, it reports. 

See our 12:21 post for more details

Model Iman announced mother's death on Instagram

Somali model Iman has announced the death of her mother in an Instagram post:

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Alongside the photo of her father, mother and late husband David Bowie, she wrote: 

Saddened by death of my mom Maryan Baadi. May Allah grant her the highest jennah [paradise]. I beg that you respect my family's privacy during our time of grief #ripmaryanbaadi.

AU chief to step down

African Union commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will step down from her post in July, her spokesman has said, amid speculation that she intends to return to South Africa to run for the leadership of the governing African National Congress (ANC) and becoming the next president of the country. 

Her ex-husband, Jacob Zuma, is due to step down as ANC leader next year and as president in 2019. 

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma on 14 November 2006 at the EU Commission's Headquarters in Brussels
Ms Dlamini-Zuma has been in the AU post since 2012

Some political analysts say she is likely to gain the backing of Mr Zuma, and the ANC Women's League, if she runs for the top job, but will face a strong challenge from South Africa's current Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Possible candidates to succeed her at the AU include Algeria's Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, who is a former AU Peace and Security commissioner,  and his counterpart in Botswana, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, AFP news agency reports. 

Is this an April Fools' day prank?

The BBC's Peter Mwai in Nairobi has spotted this story in the Kenyan newspaper The Standard:

article in the Standard
The Standard

The article says that the Kenyan Film Constitution Board has banned overweight people from appearing on TV in order to make sure children are not "exposed to certain lifestyles that are harmful to their overall growth".

The article doesn't explicitly say it is an April Fools' Day prank but this is the line that made our correspondent suspicious:

"A confidential law sneaked into the country's statute books". 

What April Fools' Day pranks have you spotted? 

Get in touch:

Police truck blocking Uganda opposition leader's house

We reported in our 11:45 post that Uganda's police chief had announced the immediate removal of the police stationed outside opposition leader Kizza Besigye's home in a suburb of Kampala. 

But this picture taken by the BBC's Patience Atuhaire shows that the police van was still there four hours after the announcement.

police van

Mr Besigye has been under house arrest since Yoweri Museveni was declared winner of the presidential elections in February.