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Summary

  1. New SA finance minister Gigaba withheld junk status information
  2. SA union Cosatu calls for Zuma to step down
  3. Pink Star diamond sells for record sum in Hong Kong
  4. Thousands 'flee South Sudan border town'
  5. Nigerian author shortlisted for top UK prize
  6. Huge fire in Cairo
  7. Michelle Obama 'natural hair' photos widely praised
  8. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Tuesday 4 April 2017

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Tom Spender

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Tuesday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

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

A reminder of today's wise words:

The path of a liar is short."

A Swahili proverb sent by Zakayo Ndiritu, Nairobi, Kenya

Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs .

And we leave you with this picture of a man strolling in the Merkato area of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

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Will Zuma turn up at rally?

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Supporters of President Jacob Zuma are still waiting inside Germiston stadium to see if their under pressure leader is going to address them. 

There's no sign of him yet, but in the meantime the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, has been keeping the crowd warm with a speech in support of the ANC. 

The roughly 300 supporters in the stadium were told "The president will join while we are in the programme", local Times Live news website reports .

You can follow the live stream here:

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Cosatu 'would consider' changing mind on Zuma

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South Africa's largest trade union, Cosatu, says it plans to meet President Jacob Zuma "as soon as possible" at his request, Reuters news agency reports.

It comes hours after the group, a key ally of Mr Zuma's governing African National Congress (ANC) party, called on the president to step down (see earlier entries).

Sizwe Pamla, the union's spokesman, said the meeting would discuss the cabinet reshuffle that triggered a credit rating downgrade by S&P to junk status and the risks this posed to workers in Africa's most industrialised country, Reuters adds.

Cosatu leader S'dumo Dlamini revealed that Mr Zuma had phoned him early on Tuesday, requesting an urgent meeting, the local Times Live news website reports.

Asked whether or not the federation would retract their call for the president to step down‚ Mr Dlamini said they would "consider" that option, the report adds.

'Mr Zuma - you've lost the plot'

An anti-Zuma portest has been taking place in the city of Port Elizabeth, organised by the civil society group Save South Africa

anti Zuma protest
AFP/Getty
anti zuma protest
AFP/Getty
anti-Zuma protest
AFP/Getty

The organisers shared a video showing the rally's large turnout:

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Big response to Kenya mobile bond issue

Wanyama wa Chebusiri

BBC Africa, Nairobi

A delegate uses her cell phone to buy a M-Akiba bond
Reuters

Just a fortnight after authorities in Kenya rolled out the world’s first mobile-only government bond, there has been overwhelming response from investors. 

The programme allows citizens to buy government bonds via mobile phone. The bond, named after the Kiswahili word  akiba  or “savings,” is aimed at encouraging ordinary Kenyans access to the country’s capital markets. 

Investors can buy in increments as small as 3,000 shillings (about $30), compared to the minimum of 50,000 shillings individuals had to spend previously to buy government bonds. 

Rose Mambo, CEO of the Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (CDSC), one of the mobile bond trading companies, said 98,500 people had opened CDSC accounts and 5,000 people had actually bought bonds.

People were being encouraged because the 10% return was guaranteed no matter how small the amount invested and the principal was not at risk, she said.

An ordinary Kenyan can now get a good return on their money. It is encouraging a savings culture among Kenyans."

She said fears among some Kenyans that the money would be used for electioneering by parties in the ruling Jubilee Coalition were unfounded.  

It is an infrastructure bond. The money will not be used for election fundraising. There is an accounting process for how the money is spent."

'Piracy is back' - Somali mayor

Pirate at the water's edge with a gun
AFP
Piracy off the coast of Somalia has fallen sharply in recent years

The mayor of a strategic port town off the coast of Somalia has said that "piracy is back", according to a journalist for Voice of America's Somali service.

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The town of Hobyo, which lies 700km (430 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu on the coast, was a key base for pirates at the height of their activities in 2011. 

It's also close to the area where an Indian cargo ship with 11 crew on board was hijacked over the weekend. 

A pirate leader told Reuters news agency earlier that the boat had been taken to waters off the Somali coast pending ransom negotiations.

Piracy off the Somali coast has dropped significantly in recent years, in part because of extensive international military patrols as well as support for local fishing communities.  

At the height of the crisis in 2011, there were 237 attacks and the annual cost of piracy was  estimated to be  up to $8bn (£7bn).  

Read more: Maritime piracy threatens to return

Sadio Mane 'could be out for rest of season'

Mane
Getty Images

Liverpool's Sadio Mane will miss Wednesday's match with Bournemouth, but Jurgen Klopp says it is "possible" the Senegal forward could be ruled out for the rest of the Premier League season.

Mane, 24, had to be taken off after suffering a knee injury in  Saturday's 3-1 home victory over Everton.

There were reports that Mane, a £34m signing from Southampton last summer, might  miss the rest of the campaign.

But manager Klopp said: "It is not 100% clear. We have to wait a bit."

Read the full story here

Embattled Zuma to address supporters at rally

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Members of the ANC Youth League are gathering to welcome embattled South African President Jacob Zuma, who is expected to address a rally on the outskirts of Johannesburg shortly.

Mr Zuma should expect a warm welcome from those gathered inside the Germiston stadium, who have already been chanting slogans in support. 

The youth wing of the governing ANC party has remained steadfast in its support for the president. 

It said it was " over the moon " at the president's controversial reshuffle, which had "vindicated and restored our confidence in his leadership". 

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Nigerian author shortlisted for top UK prize

Ayobami
PA

This year's shortlist for the UK Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction includes Nigerian first-time novelist Ayobami Adebayo.

She is up against three British authors, an American and a Canadian.

Stay With Me - Ayobami Adebayo

Set against the social and political turbulence of 1980s Nigeria, Stay with Me is a story of marriage and motherhood.

Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage to Akin is to have a child. When his family insist he takes a second wife she is livid with jealousy and becomes desperate to get pregnant before her rival.

What is the Women's Prize for Fiction?

  • The Women's Prize for Fiction is awarded annually to what judges consider the best novel of the year written in English by a female author
  • It was co-founded by author Kate Mosse, who believed female authors were often overlooked for major literary prizes
  • Previous winners of the prize, which has been running since 1996, include Zadie Smith, Ali Smith, Lionel Shriver and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Orange sponsored the award for 17 years before Baileys took over in 2014
  • The winning author receives £30,000 in prize money

Read the full story here

Ghana re-appoint Kwesi Appiah as coach

Appiah
Getty Images

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has re-appointed Kwesi Appiah as the coach of the Black Stars.

Appiah, who will also take charge of the national team for locally-based players, has been offered a two-year contract to start work 1 May.

He replaces Avram Grant who stepped down as coach after the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

It is a second stint in charge for Appiah, who  led the Black Stars from 2012  until  2014.

Read the full story here

The cost of South Africa's junk status

What impact with South Africa's junk status have?

Thousands 'flee South Sudan border town'

map
Google
Pajok is on the border with Uganda

More than 3,000 South Sudanese have fled into Uganda after government soldiers attacked the border town of Pajok, reports say.

The troops killed men, women and children indiscriminately, those who fled told Reuters news agency.

The attack by government SPLA forces is the latest to hit southern towns near the Ugandan border as a three-year civil war drags on in the world's youngest nation. 

"If you ran, you got shot. If you got arrested you got slaughtered," said 35-year-old Lokang Jacky, drawing his index finger across his throat. 

"The town is completely empty," a pastor who gave his name as Mondaa said. "If they catch anybody, they will kill them." 

Refugees and Ugandan intelligence officials said fighting started on Monday morning with a three-pronged assault on the town, which is normally home to 50,000 people. 

South Sudan government officials could not be reached for comment, Reuters said. 

Tergat wants to be Kenya IOC chief

Wanyama wa Chebusiri

BBC Africa

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Former Kenyan long-distance runner Paul Tergat has officially launched his campaign for the position of president of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock). 

The legendary athlete, 48, will face off with three other candidates, among them the incumbent president Kipchoge Keino. 

Tergat held the world record in the marathon from 2003 to 2007 and is regarded as one of the most accomplished long-distance runners of all time.

Boko Haram faction denies starvation reports

The faction of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram led by Abubakar Shekau has released a video denying that fighters are dying of hunger in its north-east Nigerian forest base. 

Nigeria's military last week said it was "ransacking" territory it said it had recaptured from Boko Haram in the hunt for Shekau, who leads one of two main branches of the jihadist group, Reuters reported. 

It also said he might be hiding in the Sambisa forest. 

Boko Haram suicide bombings and gun attacks have increased in the region since the end of the rainy season late last year. 

"It is not true that we have run out of food supply and that we are being killed by hunger," said an unidentified man with a rifle, flanked by others carrying guns, in the five-minute video. 

Nigeria's army said in December that it had pushed Boko Haram out of the Sambisa forest

Nigerian soldiers burn militant camp
EPA
Nigerian army says it is hunting Shekau in the Sambisa Forest

Huge fire in Cairo

People in the Egyptian capital are sharing photos of a blaze in the city, said to be at a sports centre on the Gezira island on the Nile River. There are no reports of casualties so far.

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Scores dead in Sudan tribal clashes

Ahmed Mohamed Abdi

BBC Monitoring

More than 50 people have been killed in West Kordofan State after gunmen from two tribes clashed in a dispute over livestock on 2 April, the Netherlands-based Radio Dabanga website reported.

"Dozens of people were killed in fresh clashes between the Hamar and Kababish tribes in Wadi al-Zeima Locality in Sudan’s West Kordofan State over a dispute regarding thefts of camels on Sunday, according to eyewitnesses," the website said.

"Eyewitnesses told Radio Tamazuj on Monday that nearly 30 people were killed from the Hamar tribe, while 26 people including a woman were killed from the Kababish tribe," the report added.

The conflict-hit regions of Kordofan and Darfur have witnessed heavy clashes between the heavily-armed Arab tribes, resulting in hundreds of deaths in the last few years.

Ghana suicide emergency helpline launched

The BBC's Thomas Naadi has been finding out more about the launch  

Ghana's Mental Health Authority set up helpline after a rise in reported cases

South Africans mock Gigaba for keeping downgrade secret

Map shows #junkstatus trending in South Africa
Trendsmap

#JunkStatus is trending on Twitter in South Africa following the country's credit downgrade on Monday.

South Africans on Twitter have been poking fun at Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, after he revealed that he was informed of the move by ratings agency S&P on Friday, three days before the downgrade was publicly announced. 

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SA-mined Pink Star diamond sells for $71m

pink star
AFP

A giant diamond named the Pink Star has broken the world record for a gemstone sold at auction when it fetched $71.2m (£57m) in Hong Kong.

The 59.60-carat diamond - the largest in its class ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America - was sold to the city's Chow Tai Fook jewellery chain, AFP reports. 

Bidding started at about $56m. The sale lasted for five minutes and involved three bidders before the winning offer came by phone.

pink star
EPA

The sparkling oval-cut rock measures 2.69 by 2.06cm (1.06 by 0.81 inches) and weighs 11.92 grams (0.026 pounds). It was 132.5 carats in the rough when it was mined by De Beers in South Africa in 1999, according to Sotheby's. 

The stone was cut and polished over two years by Steinmetz Diamonds and unveiled to the public in 2003.

The stone fetched $83m at auction in Geneva in 2013 but the buyer later defaulted.

The previous record for a jewel sold at auction was $57.5m last May for the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue sold by Christie's in Geneva. 

Party veterans urge ANC to 'do the honourable thing' over Zuma

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

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African National Congress (ANC) veterans have joined the chorus calling for president Jacob Zuma to step down.

The stalwarts told a media briefing in Johannesburg on Tuesday afternoon that they want the ANC to do “the honourable thing and recall the president.”

This group of former leaders and anti-apartheid struggle heroes comprises of over 150 members.

The veterans said that their principled starting point is because “The 15 member (ANC) integrity commission has (also) requested the president to resign.”

Stalwarts who include former High Commissioners, ministers and many respected activists who served long jail terms fighting white minority rule, said that the president is a law unto himself.

“We take a very dim view of this,” they said.

"If the leadership of the African National Congress doesn’t do it then the people will do it themselves."

South Africa's tough road out of junk status

Matthew Davies

Editor, BBC Africa Business Report

rand
BBC

The immediate impact of South Africa's ratings downgrade by Standard & Poors is largely seen on the screens of financial traders.

The country's currency, the rand, has lost ground, bonds and banking shares have fallen and there is a general air of impending doom.

Of the big three ratings agencies, only Standard & Poors has lowered South Africa's sovereign debt to below investment grade.

Should Moody's or Fitch follow suit, big international investors like pension funds would be forced, under their own rules, to sell their South African government debt. Those rules require two of the three to move to junk status.

South Africa's major banks have been quick to point out that they are financially sound and well positioned to withstand the impact of sovereign rating downgrades.

Nonetheless, banking shares are taking a significant battering.

But the turmoil on the currency, bond and equity markets will spread to the wider economy soon enough.

Read the full analysis piece here

Congo mass graves found


          DR Congo's army has been fighting a militia group in the central Kasai region
AFP
DR Congo's army has been fighting a militia group in the central Kasai region

The UN has said it has found 13 mass graves in the Democratic Republic of Congo's central Kasai province since the beginning of March.

This brings the number discovered since last August to 23.

The UN has been unable to examine the mass graves and cannot say if they were recently dug.

It estimates that 400 people, including women and children, have been killed in clashes between the army and a rebel group.

The government is fighting to put down a rebellion by a group called Kamwina Nsapu, which began after a regional chief was killed.

Both sides have been accused of committing human rights violations.

Gigaba knew but 'did nothing' about junk downgrade

The BBC Africa Business Report presenter has been considering the significance of the decision by South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba not to reveal that the country's credit rating was about to be downgraded to junk status. 

He told media earlier that he had been informed of the move on Friday, three days before the downgrade took place:

I hear him saying "I was informed on Friday morning by S&P"... @mgigaba why didn't use press briefings to curb anxiety #confidence building

so @mgigaba did nothing to prepare the markets & South Africans about the impending downgrade, though they'd told him frankly last week😳

SA's largest trade union slams Zuma's 'negligent leadership'

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South Africa's largest trade union, Cosatu, has been giving more details about why it has called for President Jacob Zuma to stand down. 

Its leadership appears to have been particularly angered at not being consulted over the president's dramatic cabinet reshuffle last week.

It did not join other critics of the president in mourning the loss of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, whose sacking has precipitated the current crisis.

General Secretary of Cosatu, Bheki Ntshalintshali, told media:

There is no finance minister who has been the friend of the workers including Pravin Gordhan; so going forward we will support the new minister where necessary and fight with him where necessary.”

He also attacked the ratings agency behind the downgrade:

We express our disapproval of the credit rating agency S&P’s decision to downgrade the country and we view their reasons about political uncertainty as interference in our domestic political affairs, which should be beyond their scope of work."

But he did not seek to divert blame away from the president himself:

We also hold responsible and culpable the President of the Republic Jacob Zuma because it is his inattentive and negligent leadership and disruptive actions that have emboldened these agencies to interfere in this country’s political affairs."

'Tables have turned' on Zuma after Cosatu call

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Jacob Zuma
Reuters

President Jacob Zuma is certainly politically weaker than he was over the weekend, following today’s call by the trade union federation Cosatu for him to step down.

It is not just about the sudden Monday evening credit rating agency downgrade.

It is precisely because of the decision by a key ANC ally such as Cosatu, which must have come as crushing blow to the embattled president, changing its tune.

How quickly the tables turn.

It wasn’t that long ago when Cosatu stood firmly behind president Zuma as growing voices of dissent were calling for his removal.

What makes the move by the federation of 1.8 million members so significant is that this is the second formal structure within the governing alliance calling for Mr Zuma’s head.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) were the first to break ranks.

Eyes now shift to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ANC, currently meeting, to come out clearly on whether it wants its leader to continue at the helm of one of Africa’s largest economies.

This will certainly strengthen the resolve of those ganging up against the 74-year old president.

Asmara: Sanctions 'inexplicable, unwarranted and Illicit'

Tomi Oladipo

BBC Monitoring's Africa security correspondent

tank in Eritrea
BBC
Eritrea has been under UN sanctions since 2009

Asmara is not mincing its words in condemning the US sanctions (see earlier entry). 

A statement from the Ministry of Information described Washington’s latest measures as “inexplicable”, “unwarranted” and “illicit”. 

It said US policies toward Eritrea were “misguided” and coming from a “malicious” standpoint. 

Eritrea says the move is part of a ploy to extend existing United Nations sanctions – due to be reviewed this month.

US regulations authorise sanctions on any foreign entities that engage in military deals with Iran, North Korea and Syria. 

A recently released sanctions list included Eritrea’s Navy and three entities from Sudan. 

The measures mean the US government cannot trade with or provide assistance to those on the list.

Nigeria oil drivers end strike

Martin Patience

BBC News, Nigeria correspondent

oil tanker
Getty Images

Oil tanker drivers in Nigeria have ended a strike that threatened to cause massive fuel shortages. The workers were protesting over pay and the poor condition of the roads, which damages their vehicles. 

It had been billed as an indefinite strike but in the end it lasted just a day. The union representing the drivers said the government intervened promising to look into its members’ demands.  

Union officials also say that Nigeria’s state-owned oil company agreed to increase transportation fees for its drivers.  

Before it was called off, the strike threatened to create massive fuel shortages, which would have brought misery to millions of Nigerians. 

Last year, a dispute over pricing, led to long queues at petrol stations for several weeks.      

SA finance minister: I knew about downgrade on Friday

South Africa's new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says that the S&P ratings agency had already taken the decision to downgrade South Africa's credit rating to junk status by the time he started his job on Friday, and that he had been informed.

Yesterday, three days after he learned of the pending downgrade, he told media: 

"There’s so much going on in our country that changing a certain individual won’t cause a credit downgrade."

A local journalist has tweeted the reason he gave for not making the information public at the time:

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Nivea pulls 'white is purity' ad

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The cosmetics giant wrote ‘Keep it clean, keep it bright. Don’t let anything ruin it’ alongside the image, which was shared on its Middle East Facebook page.

The image was advertising its ‘Invisible’ range of deodorant, which has a half-black and half-white bottle.

Facebook users said the image was racist. The image was picked up and shared widely among some alt-right groups on Facebook.

Nivea has not yet commented, Metro newspaper reported.

Read more: Who are the ‘alt-right’?

Gordhan no-show as Gigaba addresses SA's junk status

The media briefing from South Africa's new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is under way.

There is no sign of Pravin Gordhan, his sacked predecessor, who was expected to join him at the briefing. 

Local media and journalists are sharing key quotes from his address on Twitter:

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Zuma 'proud' of cabinet reshuffle

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At the same time that South Africa's largest trade union was calling on him to resign, President Zuma was defending his controversial cabinet reshuffle, appearing at an event in Pretoria at the launch of a state-run train service.

The government has tweeted a selection of his comments:

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One journalist has shared a video of the president facing questions about the credit rating downgrade while aboard the train:

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Dramatic day in South Africa

President Zuma's sacking of respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has led to the following developments:

  • Ratings agency S&P has downgraded South Africa's credit rating to junk
  • The rand currency has fallen by 12% against the dollar since last Monday
  • The move was condemed by senior figures from within his own party, as well as the opposition and wider business community
  • South Africa's biggest trade union Cosatu has called for Mr Zuma to step down
  • Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has also said he should resign
  • Mr Zuma has insisted that South Africa's fiscal policy will remain unchanged

Eritrea lashes out at US sanctions over alleged N Korea deal

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

Asmara has criticised a move by the US State Department to sanction the Eritrean army over an alleged military deal with North Korea. The deal was revealed in a report released in February by the UN Security Sanctions Committee. 

The report said that cargo carrying military radio equipment from North Korea was intercepted while on its way to Eritrea.

The Eritrean government dismissed the decision as "inexplicable and unwarranted", saying they were part of plans to extend UN sanctions against the country, due to be reviewed this month. 

Eritrea has been under UN sanctions since 2009 following accusations that the government supported the al-Shabab militant group in Somalia, accusations vehemently denied by Asmara.

Read more: Could pariah state Eritrea come in from the cold?

'The time has arrived for Zuma to step down'

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

zuma
Reuters

South Africa's biggest trade union Cosatu (the Congress of South African Trade Unions), which is allied to the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, has joined calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

Following its Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting in Johannesburg, Secretary General Bheki Ntshalintshali told a media briefing “COSATU no longer believes he is the right person to lead the tripartite alliance”.

“The time has arrived for him to step down and allow the country to be led by a new collective….We shall be communicating the decision to our ally in the ANC,” he added

Cosatu claims that it has a membership of at least 1.8m paid-up members.

WHO aid workers kidnapped in Somalia

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

Somalia's al-Shabab militants have kidnapped four aid workers in the south-western region of Gedo, one of the areas worst affected by a severe drought. 

"The aid workers were working with the World Health Organisation office in Luq town, Gedo," privately-owned Radio Shabelle website reported.

"The motive behind the kidnapping of the aid workers is not known and the regional administration is yet to comment on the incident," the website added. 

Gedo is one of the areas in which al-Shabab militants say they have been delivering aid to people facing the risk of starvation. 

BreakingSA's largest trade union calls on Zuma to go

South Africa's largest trade union federation, Cosatu, has called on Jacob Zuma to step down as president:

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Big reaction to Michelle Obama 'natural hair' photo

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A photograph purportedly showing former First Lady Michelle Obama with her hair tied back, instead of the straight and wavy style she mostly wore during her eight years in the White House, has been circulating widely on social media.

A tweet carrying the photo has been retweeted more than 30,000 times. It is not clear when or where the photograph was taken, but Michelle's husband Barack is writing a memoir of his time as president in Tetiaroa, a South Pacific island once owned by Marlon Brando, according to the Washington Post newspaper .

Here's some of the reaction:

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Hair has become a political issue in Africa and among black communities around the world.

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has said that "if Michelle Obama had had natural hair, Barack would not have won".

Chemical relaxers, which straighten hair, have been popular for years. But while the look is seen by some as professional, others are now calling it un-African.

"Relaxing your hair is like being in prison," Ms Adichie wrote. "You're caged in. Your hair rules you."

Read more:

Being African: What does hair have to do with it?

In pictures: My natural hair journey

'Wear a weave at work - your afro hair is unprofessional'

IMHO: Why we need to relax about black natural hair

Watch live: SA finance minister to respond to junk rating

South Africa's newly installed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is due to speak to the media any moment. 

Joining him at the briefing will be his predecessor, Pravin Gordhan, whose sacking last week has so spooked the markets. 

You can follow the live stream below from the local eNCA news network

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Growing calls for Zuma to step down

Cyril Ramaphosa, Jacob Zuma and Pravin Gordhan
SA gov
President Zuma (C) sacked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan (R) and has been criticised by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (L)

South African President Jacob Zuma is coming under huge pressure after his so-called midnight massacre of ministers on Thursday, in which he sacked widely respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The move has caused the rand to slide in value against the dollar and prompted the country's credit rating to be downgraded to junk status.

Here's an update on some of the most high-profile people and groups now calling for Mr Zuma to resign:

Former President Kgalema Motlanthe

He told Bloomberg news:

The highest court in the land has judged him to have breached his oath of office and I think that in itself makes it difficult for him to command the kind of respect which would be able to rally and unite the various sections of the South African population.”

South Africa Communist Party (SACP) , a coalition partner of Mr Zuma's governing ANC party.

SACP Deputy General-Secretary Solly Mapaila has urged members of Mr Zuma's own party to support a motion of no confidence against him:

We can’t be protecting corruption and be protecting irrational decision making by the president. The ANC must raise the motion itself and not wait for opposition parties. It’s part of the thing they must raise openly.”

The main two largest opposition parties, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Democratic Alliance (DA), have also called for the president to step down.