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Summary

  1. Nigeria's president says he wants the opposition to be vibrant and responsible,
  2. Witness says Somali government attack killed three children
  3. Ugandan maid convicted of torturing child released from prison
  4. White South African farmers found guilty of attempted murder
  5. Ex-Nigeria President Jonathan shares post about freedom of expression
  6. Relative says Cameroonian detainees on hunger strike are 'very sick'
  7. Libya military leader Khalifa Haftar 'will accept presidency and give up military rebellion'
  8. South African musician Vusi Nova safe after kidnapping

Live Reporting

By Paul Bakibinga and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday’s stories

We’ll be back next week

That's all from BBC Africa Live today. 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:

Your teeth and tongue do fight but they still live together in the same mouth. "

A Kanuri proverb sent by Emeka Aneke in London, United Kingdom

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this image from our pictures of the week from Ghana's capital, Accra, where a woman is dressed up for the annual Chale Wote Street Art Festival.

A picture taken on August 19, 2017 shows a woman wearing a decorative attire during the annual Chale Wote Street Art Festival at James town in Accra.
AFP

UN expert warns of health risks from Sierra Leone's waste dumps

A plastic bag ban is coming into effect in Kenya on Monday, but elsewhere across the continent plastic and other waste remains a huge problem.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur for toxic materials, Baskut Tuncak, has just spent two weeks in Sierra Leone.

Mr Tuncak told Focus on Africa that the dump in the capital, Freetown, poses an "invisible threat" to the health of thousands of people.

Children killed in Somali security forces attack, witness says

Ten civilians, including three children, have been killed in an attack by Somali forces in Lower Shabelle, according to a witness who spoke to the BBC's Somali service.

He added that they were killed "without provocation".

The government has denied this saying, in a statement, that the attack killed eight al-Shabab fighters.

"Our security forces go to great lengths to prevent civilian casualties during all of our activities. No civilians were harmed or killed in this operation," the government said in a statement.

It added that the attack was supported by "international partners" and a spokesperson from the US Africa Command (Africom) told the BBC that the US supplied limited tactical support.

Somali army truck
AFP
Somali's national army is fighting al-Shabab militants to retake control of the country

SA online rhino horn auction ends

South Africa's first online auction of rhino horn has ended today, reports the AFP news agency.

However there were no details of the sale available. AFP quotes a representative of the auctioneers as saying: "There is definitely no feedback today," and that a statement would be released on Monday.

According to AFP the auctioneers did not set an opening price for bids, but the bidders paid 100,000 rand ($7,626; £5,921) to register and it was only registered bidders who participated in the bidding process.

The three-day sale was organised by John Hume, who owns the world's largest rhino farm which is situated north of Johannesburg.

This file photo taken on February 3, 2016 shows cut off rhino horns being weighed and stored at John Hume"s Rhino Ranch in Klerksdorp, in the North Western Province of South Africa
AFP
A cut off rhino horn being weighed and stored at John Hume"s Rhino Ranch

Nigeria's president calls for 'responsible' opposition

Chris Ewokor

BBC Africa

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has called for a responsible and vibrant opposition.

He tweeted his comments after hosting the leaders of both the governing All Progressives Congress and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

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Since the president came to power in 2015, he has not had any strong opposition from the PDP.

The PDP, which governed for 16 years, has been weakened by internal wrangling following struggles over its leadership.

He has only faced vitriolic verbal assaults from the lone voice of Ekiti state's Governor Ayodele Fayose.

Governor Fayose, from the PDP, had been unrelenting in his criticisms of the president – sometimes, to the point of using abusive language.

However, with the PDP leadership crisis now sorted, there are indications it couldd now rise up to the challenge of providing the expected opposition that has been largely lacking for the past two years.

Akon on creating 'iTunes for Africa'

Senegalese-American singer Akon has revealed he wants to create a music streaming service in Africa that can challenge its global competitors.

The artist has announced he is purchasing 50% of the Senegalese company Musik Bi.

He spoke to BBC Africa about why young people needed to invest in the continent and his secrets on making it big

Grace Mugabe's 'first appearance' since alleged assault

Zimbabwe First Lady Grace Mugabe has made her first public appearance since she left South Africa where she had been accused of assaulting a woman, Reuters news agency is reporting.

Mrs Mugabe was granted diplomatic immunity and left South Africa on Sunday.

According to Reuters, the Mugabes attended a farming fair in the capital, Harare, where the first lady was seen smiling and talking with exhibitors.

Mrs Mugabe, however, made no public comment. The Zimbabwean government has not yet made any official comment on the assault case.

A 20-year-old model, Gabriella Engels, accused Mrs Mugabe of hitting her with an electric cable and plug in a hotel room. The first lady was demanding to know where one of her sons was.

Grace Mugabe
Reuters
Mrs Mugabe appeared at an agricultural exhibition

Ugandan judges strike over low pay

Uganda's judges and magistrates have started a countrywide stay away from courtrooms following an announcement Thursday evening by their association's leadership, the privately owned Daily Monitor newspaper is reporting.

The newspaper quotes the president of the Uganda Judicial Officers Association (Ujoa) Godfrey Kaweesa, as saying that the judges have been forced to go on strike because the government has failed to come up with a clear plan to address their welfare issues as agreed a month ago.

Since government has not addressed our issues as promised by the deadline date, we have decided to lay down our tools until action is taken."

According to the Monitor, about a month ago, judges from the Supreme Court down to the lower magistrates courts, met in the capital, Kampala, and voted to down their wigs and gowns by 23 August if their welfare issues were not addressed.

Today, the officials appear to have defied a plea from Chief Justice Bart Katureebe for his colleagues to be patient as the Judicial Service Commission tries to resolve their grievances.

The judicial officers want the highest ranking officer, the Chief Justice, to earn a monthly salary of 55m Uganda shillings ($15,000; £12,000) and the lowest ranking magistrate to get $3,000.

They also want vehicles for transportation, medical insurance and housing, the Daily Monitor reports.

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How not to write about Africa?

Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina's seminal and sarcastic 2006 essay How to Write About Africa has not gone out of date, according to the Washington Post's Karen Attiah.

In this take down of an essay in the New York Times by historian Maya Jasanoff, Attiah says that it uses all the well-known cliches that Wainaina warned about.

The historian was writing about the Congo and Joseph Conrad - author of the 19th Century novel Heart of Darkness.

Attiah quotes the first paragraph: "The smoked monkeys brought the point home. During my first day on a boat on the Congo River, I’d embraced the unfamiliar: how to bend under the rail to fill my wash bucket from the river, where to step around the tethered goat in the dark and the best way to prepare a pot of grubs."

You can watch Attiah here:

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Northern Nigerian Muslim group retracts threat to easterners

A Muslim group that had given the mainly Christian Igbo minority an ultimatum to leave northern Nigeria or face reprisals has backed down from its threat, reports the AFP news agency.

On 8 June the Arewa Youths had given all people from the Igbo ethnic group living in the north until 1 October to leave.

The warning was widely condemned.

AFP is reporting that late last night the Arewa Youths issued a statement renouncing their threat. And that the group admitted that they had come under pressure from concerned national, political, traditional, religious and cultural leaders.

On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari, in his first address since returning from sick leave, called for unity.

The Arewa Youths' ultimatum was in response to calls by the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob), a mainly Igbo group in the south-east, to secede from Nigeria, AFP says.

Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu steps out of the courtroom after being granted bail by the Federal High Court in Abuja, on April 25, 2017.
AFP
The Arewa Youth threat was in reaction to calls by Nnamdi Kanu for Biafran secession

Who is Angola's next president Joao Lourenco?

Angola is about to get its first new president for 38 years.

After Wednesday's general election President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who came to power in 1979, is due to step down. His party, the MPLA, now has an unassailable lead and Defence Minister Joao Lourenco is due to be the next president.

Joao Lourenco
EPA

But who is he?

  • Active in MPLA struggle against Portuguese colonial rule as a teenager.
  • Part of first group of guerrillas to enter Angolan territory from Congo-Brazzaville
  • Received military training and studied history from 1978 to 1982 in the former Soviet Union
  • General in the Angolan Armed Forces in post-independence civil war
  • Defence minister since 2014
  • Said to be one of the few Angolan generals and politicians free of allegations of involvement in major corruption scandals
  • Married to Ana Dias de Lourenco, a former World Bank official, who has held several positions in government as minister. They have six children
  • His small white dog appears in his Facebook photos

Uganda 'maid from hell' released from jail

Uganda's New Vision has tweeted that a maid, Jolly Tumuhirwe, who was convicted in December 2014 of torture for beating up a toddler has been released.

A recording of her acts went viral in East Africa and sparked outrage.

The human rights lawyer who represented her, Ladislaus Rwakafuzi, told the BBC that while he was not present at her release he had been aware that she would set free today.

Mr Rwakafuzi said he has spoken to her 10 days ago.

He said she was sorry for what she had done to the toddler.

He also said that Tumuhirwe had told him that she received counselling while in prison.

According to him, while on the one hand she wanted to personally say sorry to the parents of the toddler, she thought that they would not forgive her.

Mr Rwakufuzi said that the former maid planned to "lie low" up country, away from the city, for a long while.

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SA victim says verdict sets an example

The victim of the two white South African farmers who have now been found guilty of attempted murder has told the BBC that he is feeling "very good" after the verdict, adding that justice has been served.

Victor Mlotshwa, 27, was beaten and made him get into a coffin by Theo Martins Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen in August 2016.

They then threatened to set it alight.

Mr Mlotshwa said that the case will set an example for anyone who continues to be use racist violence.

He said he "was not referring to all whites" but those who still engage in these "racial activities".

Victor Mlotshwa
AFP
Victor Mlotshwa testified in court earlier this month

Kenya court dismisses attempt to stop plastic bag ban

BBC World Service

Kenya's High Court has rejected an attempt to stop a ban on plastic shopping bags, due to come into force on Monday.

Manufacturers of the bags argued that 80,000 jobs would be lost.

This is the third attempt in the past 10 years that Kenya has tried to ban plastic bags.

The environment ministry says anyone caught using the bags will be liable to a fine of at least $19,000 (£15,000) or a jail term of at least a year.

A number of other African countries have banned plastic bags, including Rwanda and Eritrea.

Man surrounded by plastic bags
AFP
Plastic bags have become an environmental menace in some places

#CoffinAssault trends in South Africa as people debate verdict

South Africans are discussing the guilty verdict handed to two white farmers on the charge of attempted murder and five other charges after they forced a black man into a coffin and threatened to set it alight.

Using the hashtag #CoffinAssault some are commenting on the decision to grant the two men bail until the sentencing in October:

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Others are urging people to wait to October to see that justice is done:

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Observers 'critical of Angola election organisation'

Clare Spencer

BBC News, Luanda

Angola's state-owned radio station RNA reports that the group of election observers from the southern African regional group, Sadc, has criticised how Wednesday's general election was organised.

It adds that they said that more people should have been working in the polling stations.

RNA also reports that the observers said that additional electric power generators should have been provided.

The electoral commission says that the governing MPLA has an unassailable lead in the votes counted so far.

Angola election
EPA

South African farmers get bail until sentencing

The two white farmers who have been found guilty of attempted murder after pushing a black man into a coffin and threatening to set it alight have been bailed until sentencing, the judge has ruled.

Sentencing is due on 23 October.

The state prosecutor argued that the two men should spend that time in jail, but this was rejected.

Two farmers in court
EPA

Angola's ruling MPLA wins parliamentary election, commission says

Angola's ruling MPLA party has won the country's parliamentary election, provisional results suggest.

The party received 61% of votes cast during Wednesday's ballot, the Angolan electoral commission said on Friday.

The opposition Unita party, which received 27%, disputes the commission's count. The commission said 98% of the country's votes had been counted.

This week's election marks the end of nearly four decades in power for President José Eduardo Dos Santos.

Voting in the election ends on Saturday 26 August due to delays in getting the ballot papers to more than a dozen polling stations in remote areas.

However, the governing MPLA party has taken such a commanding lead with the majority of votes counted that forthcoming ballots are unlikely to change the outcome.

João Lourenço
Reuters
Angola's presidency will be passed to the country's former Defence Minister João Lourenço

Two farmers 'not safe in prison'

Lawyers are now debating whether the two white farmers found guilty of attempted murder should be out on bail until the sentencing.

The state prosecutor wants bail to be revoked but the lawyer for the farmers says that they will be unsafe in prison, as a South African journalist has been tweeting from the court:

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More bodies from Sierra Leone's deadly mudslide in Guinea

Alhassan Sillah

BBC Africa, Conakry

Nine bodies believed to be from last week's deadly mudslides and flooding in Sierra Leone have been recovered, floating in Guinea's territorial waters.

The bodies, of five men and four women, were discovered floating on the banks of three seaports in Conakry, Guinea's capital, and one in a jetty in an area not far from the border with Sierra Leone.

The Guinean maritime authorities and the local Red Cross have confirmed the recovery of the bodies, which have since been buried.

Bystanders look on as floodwaters rage past a damaged building in an area of Freetown on August 14, 2017, after landslides struck the capital of the west African state of Sierra Leone.
AFP
Heavy rains in Freetown caused mudslides and floods in which at least 500 people died

South Africa prosecutor asks bail to be revoked

In South Africa, the prosecutor in the case of the two white farmers who have been found guilty of attempted murder after pushing a black man into a coffin and threatening to set it alight has asked for their bail to be revoked.

The bail should apply while the two wait to be sentenced.

The BBC reporter in the court room has been tweeting the reaction:

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Farmers' families 'shocked' by guilty verdict in SA coffin trial

The BBC reporter is tweeting from the South African court where two farmers have been found guilty of attempted murder and kidnapping after forcing a black man into a coffin.

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The victim, Victor Mlotshwa, earlier told Nomsa that he was relieved by the verdict saying that justice had been served.

BreakingSA farmers convicted in coffin case

A judge has convicted two white farmers of forcing a black man, Victor Mlotshwa, into a coffin. Our reporter Nomsa Maseko has been tweeting the verdict:

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Boko Haram target Niger's Diffa region

BBC World Service

The United Nations says at least 540 civilians have been killed, kidnapped or wounded by Boko Haram militants in one region of Niger since February 2015.

They targeted the small area of Diffa near the border with Nigeria, which is where they are based.

The UN says about 70% of those killed come from the single area of Bosso.

Security officials say many people are killed in suicide bombings or by being burned alive.

There are more than 300,000 refugees and displaced people living in Diffa.

Children play in a camp in the village of Kidjendi near Diffa
AFP
Diffa hosts refugees who have fled Boko Haram violence in Nigeria

Tanzania gives UNHCR deadline to return Burundians who want to go home

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

The Tanzanian government has given the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, seven days to help repatriate those Burundian refugees who want to go home, or the Tanzanian authorities will do the job themselves.

The UNHCR estimates that there are 240,000 Burundians in Tanzania who have fled the political turmoil, and some of them have registered for voluntary repatriation.

Minister for Internal Affairs Mwigulu Nchemba issued the ultimatum on Thursday while on an official visit to Nduta refugee camp in Kigoma, western Tanzania.

Mr Nchemba accused the UNHCR of delaying the return of the refugees.

Over 8,000 refugees from the Nduta camp are reported to have registered themselves as willing to return to Burundi

Mr Nchemba warned that if UNHCR did not immediately start returning the refugees the government would do so

Within these seven days I want you to have identified trucks to carry people, the food that they were supposed to eat while they are here and other stuff.

If you wont do that, I will ask my colleague, the minister of defence to give us military trucks to send these refugees.”

The UNHCR says it wants to make sure that Burundi is safe enough for the refugees to return.

The Tanzanian government's ultimatum comes only a month since the Burundian President Pierre Nkurunzinza visited Tanzania and called on Burundian refugees to go home as he assured them that the country was stable and safe

Burundian families who fled their country, wait to be registered as refuges at Nyarugusu camp in north west of Tanzania on June 11, 2015.
AFP
Tanzania has a long history of hosting Burundian refugees

Whose car crashed into the sea?

Namibian police are looking for the owner of a car that crashed into the sea near the town of Swakopmund, the Namibian Sun is reporting.

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The newspaper quotes a witness as saying that the driver lost control going round a bend late at night. The car then hit a barrier and rolled over the stones into the sea.

And the driver then abandoned the car at the scene.

Ivory Coast defender Bamba signs new deal with Cardiff City

Ivory Coast and Cardiff City defender Sol Bamba has signed a new three-year contract to remain at the Championship leaders, boss Neil Warnock has confirmed.

Warnock revealed the club had received inquires about the 32-year-old Ivory Coast centre back during the summer.

"We've agreed to give Bamba a three-year deal, which we're delighted with," he said.

"He's done really well, it's only right we give him that little bit of security," he added.

"He is so committed to the club and he doesn't get any older."

Man scoring goal
Getty Images
Sol Bamba has played 44 times for Ivory Coast

Read more from BBC Sport

'I was blinded by lightning, but music has helped me'

Rwandan musician John Hope Singleton lost his sight, and mother, in a freak lightning accident.

Now living in the US, he shares his remarkable story - and musical talents - with the BBC's Prudent Nsengiyumva.

Angola result met with some scepticism

Mayeni Jones

BBC Africa, Luanda

The streets of Angola's capital, Luanda, are calm on the morning after the announcement of the first batch of provisional results from Wednesday's general election. They showed a strong lead for the governing MPLA.

But talking to some of the people on the streets, they are sceptical about last night's result.

All of those I heard from in the run up to the elections said they wanted change. They're frustrated by the high rates of unemployment, Inflation and the shortage of dollars.

At a local market, two days before the vote a friendly crowd formed around me and people chanted "mudanca mudanca" - change change.

So while no-one is surprised that the ruling party is in the lead, there is an element of scepticism from those I have heard from that provisional results show the MPLA currently have a similar share of the vote to the one the party got in the last election.

Some analysts expected the opposition to perform much better given public discontent in recent months.

A guest on TPA, the national broadcaster, said last night that the government's victory had been a fair one and that the opposition owed an explanation to the Angolan people about the reasons behind their failures.

João Lourenço voting
EPA
Early results show that the MPLA, under Joao Lourenco, has a strong lead

Trump reaffirms US support for Egypt

U.S President Donald Trump is reported to have told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that he wants to strengthen ties between the two countries.

According to a statement released by the Egyptian president's office today, Mr Trump called President Sisi last night saying that he wanted to continue "developing relations between the two countries and surpassing any obstacles that might affect them".

The call comes days after it was revealed that the US government was going to cut some aid to Egypt.

According to Reuters, sources had revealed that Washington is planning to cut aid worth $95.7m (£75m) and to delay an extra $195m because Egypt had failed to make progress on improving human rights and democracy.

The Egyptian government on Wednesday responded by saying that the decision showed "poor judgment" and that the decision would have negative implications on relations between the two countries, Reuters reports.

Egypt is an important regional ally for the United States because of its control of the Suez Canal and its border with Israel. Annually, it receives $1.3bn in aid from the US.

US President Donald Trump (R) and Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi take part in a bilateral meeting at a hotel in the Saudi capital Riyadh on May 21, 2017
AFP
Egyptian President Sisi meeting with President Trump in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in May

English-speaking Cameroonian detainees 'very sick'

Randy Joe Sa'ah

BBC Africa, Bamenda

Three of the 12 Cameroonian detainees who are on hunger strike to protest against their jail conditions are now "very sick", a relative told the BBC.

The men are all Anglophones, or English speakers, from the north-west and south-west regions of the country, who have been protesting the alleged second-class status of English speakers in the country.

They first exposed their plight in a video secretly filmed in a dark bunker-like cell where they said they had been held for months.

Their relatives say that as a result of the video they were severely beaten.

Still from the video
.
Asaah Patrick Ndangoh was the detainee who appeared on the secret video

Libyan army band struggles with UK anthem

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was welcomed to Libya this week for a two-day visit.

As you can hear in this clip, the army band needs some more practice playing the British national anthem God Save the Queen:

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Ex-Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan criticises government

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is reported to have hit out at moves by the government of current President Muhammadu Buhari to curb hate speech, the Punch newspaper is reporting

Mr Jonathan shared a picture from a post he made on Facebook in 2014.

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According to Punch the country's Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo stated last week that the Federal Government would treat hate speech as terrorism. The military, in turn, said that as part of its job it would be monitoring social media.

Mr Jonathan's post has been shared over 10,000 times with over 2,000 responses. Here are some of them:

The prophet saw this coming a long while, now we are been repressed, adieu freedom of speech."

Olusola Akinlabi

They don't blame you anymore. They now blame rats for their gross incompetence The Nigerian military now wants to troll Facebook instead of focusing on the fight they are losing heavily in the north east."

Ebele Chiemeke

Your gravest mistake was your weakness towards facing Boko Haram we were trapped and unsafe in our own homes, if there was no Boko Haram you would still be president because nobody hated you in the north for any other reason than this."

Abdul Babangida Hassan

Protests outside South Africa court

South African Judge Sheila Mphahlele is reading her verdict in the case of two white farmers accused of forcing a black man into a coffin.

Outside the court, political parties have organised anti-racist protests, including the youth with of the governing ANC. A journalist has shared some pictures:

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And members of the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, are also there:

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The verdict is being carried live on South African television, where the judge is reading her ruling in English and it is then being translated into Afrikaans:

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Ruling party's 'victory' dominates Angolan front pages

Clare Spencer

BBC News, Luanda

Men looking at newsapers
BBC

People in Luanda catching up with the news that Angola's ruling party won Wednesday's election, according to provisional results from the electoral commission.

The newspaper front pages are naturally dominated by the result.

The government-owned Jornal de Angola goes with the headline "Victory for the MPLA" and says the leader Joao Lourenco has a big lead.

Newspaper front page
BBC

It adds that the former presidents of Portuguese-speaking countries Cape Verde, Mozambique and Sao Tome said the election was transparent.

The privately-owned Pais concentrates on the significance of the share of the vote MPLA got - it means they will not have to form a coalition to keep power in the country.

Newspaper frontpage
BBC

The few people I spoke to on the street were unanimous on two things: the result was not a surprise, and they didn't believe it was true.

I've only spoken to a dozen people in the business district of Angola's capital, Luanda, so this is hardly representative. But it gives an idea of the distrust ordinary people have of the electoral system on Angola.

This is not over yet - a handful of polling stations in remote areas will open on Saturday. They were delayed in opening because the helicopters transporting ballot papers to places with bad roads were delayed.

But if this result is indicative of the final tally, it means the MPLA continue their record of being the only party to rule Angola since independence in 1975.

Change is still coming though. And an analyst told me people in government are gearing up for big changes as power is handed over from veteran President Jose Eduardo dos Santos to Mr Joao Lourenco.

The final results are not expected for another week-and-a-half.

Wife of accused in SA 'racist coffin' case breaks down in court

As we wait for the verdict to be read out in the South African case of two white farmers accused of forcing a black man into a coffin, our reporter is tweeting pictures from the court room:

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Boris Johnson meets eastern Libyan strongman in Benghazi

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said the man who controls eastern Libya has pledged to give up military rule if he becomes the country's president.

Mr Johnson met Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar during a two-day visit to Libya where he urged all sides to compromise in an attempt to unite their country.

Boris Johnson and Khalifa Haftar
BBC

But he told Libyan politicians to learn from Theresa May's mistake - and not to hold an election before they are ready.

The UK has pledged £9m to help tackle people trafficking and terrorism.

Mr Johnson is the first senior western politician to have visited the Libyan military commander on the ground at his home base near Benghazi.

Read more from BBC News Online

SA court packed ahead of 'racist coffin' verdict

Our reporter in the South African court, which is about to hear the verdict in the case of two white farmers who forced a black man into a coffin, has been tweeting pictures of the scene:

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SA musician Vusi Nova safe after 'kidnap ordeal'

South African Afro-pop musician Vusi Nova is reported to have been found safe after being kidnapped outside his home in Johannesburg, South Africa's media including News24 are reporting

Jead Stehr of Muthaland Entertainment is reported to have told News24 that Nova along with members of the band 047 were taken outside his home by a group of four armed men.

The band members were pulled out of their car and the gang fired one gunshot. The group then drove off with Nova and one band member, Ms Stehr said.

The band member was left in the Riverlea neighbourhood of Soweto but Nova was still being held.

Nova was himself then let go of Nova an hour later, Ms Stehr said.

"He phoned in from someone's phone to say he is alive and he was rushing to Brixton Police station," she said.

News24 reports that a police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini told them that she was not able to confirm details about Nova's alleged kidnapping.

Vusi Nova
AFP
Vusi Nova is a well-known singer in South Africa

Verdict expected in South Africa's 'racist coffin' trial

Nomsa Maseko

BBC Africa, Middleburg

Two farmers
AFP
Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins pictured at an earlier court appearance

Judgement in the trial of two white farmers accused of assaulting and forcing a black South African into a coffin and threatening to douse him in petrol and burn him alive is expected soon.

Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson were arrested late last year for allegedly assaulting Victor Mlotshwa and pushing him into a coffin after he was accused of trespassing on a farm.

The victim's mother Malehlohonolo Mlotshwa has told the BBC that she wants justice for her son, who she said had been left psychologically affected by the ordeal. She also said her family still lived in fear.

Mother of victim
BBC
Malehlohonolo Mlotshwa wants justice for her son

The two farmers are facing seven charges including attempted murder, kidnapping, defeating the ends of justice and assault. They were arrested after a video of the alleged attack was posted on social media.

In sworn statements in a previous court appearance, the accused said they had wanted to teach the victim, Victor Mlotshwa, a lesson for trespassing on their farm but meant him no harm.

But a magistrate said their actions were sadistic and racist. Supporters of the governing ANC are expected to protest against racism outside the court.