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Jacob Zuma quickly released after reporting to prison

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South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma reported back to prison on Friday only to be swiftly released, in the latest twist over the 81-year-old’s contempt of court sentence.

Zuma was ordered to report back to prison and arrived at 6:00 am (0400 GMT) at a detention facility in eastern town of Estcourt where was “admitted into the system”, the prison service said.

But he was let go in just over an hour as part of a “remission process” aiming to address overcrowding in prison, according to Correctional Services national commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale.

“Upon admission into the system he was subjected to administrative processes… He was then released,” Thobakgale told a press conference in Pretoria.

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in June 2021 after refusing to testify before a panel probing financial corruption and cronyism under his presidency — but was freed on medical parole just two months into his term.

He started serving his term early in July 2021.

His jailing sparked protests that descended into riots and looting that left more than 350 dead in the worst violence to hit the country since the advent of democracy in South Africa.

The following month, he was admitted to hospital for an undisclosed condition before being granted medical parole.

In November last year an appeals court found the release was illegally granted and ordered Zuma back to the Estcourt Correctional Centre in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province.

South Africa’s prison service, which had granted Zuma’s conditional release, appealed the decision, but the bid was dismissed by the Constitutional Court last month.

Thobakgale said the ex-president was ordered to return to jail on Friday in compliance with the ruling.

But Zuma immediately benefited from a remission of non-violent offenders approved by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said.

More than 24,000 inmates, about two-thirds of them under correctional supervision and parole, are to be released under the process, said Lamola.

The move “will alleviate overcrowding” which “poses a direct threat to inmate health, security, and management, and it could lead to a surge in gangsterism,” the minister said.

Mzwanele Manyi, a spokesman for Zuma’s foundation said the ex-president was “at home” and consulting with his legal team.

Zuma served as president from 2009 to 2018 before being forced out over graft allegations.

Besides his 2021 contempt of court conviction he is facing separate charges of corruption in an arms procurement scandal dating to the late 1990s, when he was vice president.

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Missing plane carrying Malawi’s VP found with no survivors

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The wreck of a plane carrying Saulos Chilima, Malawi’s vice-president, has been found with no survivors.

President Lazarus Chakwera made the grim announcement in a press briefing on Tuesday.

The aircraft which had the 51-year-old vice-president and nine others aboard went missing after it failed to land at the Mzuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, the capital.

Chilima was on his way to represent the government at the burial of Ralph Kasambara, former minister, who died four days ago.

Shanil Dzimbiri, former first lady, was also on the flight.

The plane, which flew in bad weather, was turned back from landing at the airport because of poor visibility.

After receiving the news of the missing plane on Monday, Chakwera cancelled a trip to the Bahamas and ordered national and local authorities to “conduct an immediate search and rescue operation to locate the whereabouts of the aircraft”.

“The search and rescue operation I ordered to find the missing plane that carried our vice president and nine others has been completed,” the president said while providing an update.

“The plane has been found. I am deeply saddened and sorry to inform you that it has turned out to be a terrible tragedy.”

The president said the rescue team found the aircraft completely destroyed.

Chilima had been vice-president of Malawi since 2014.

Despite coming from two different political parties, the vice-president and president teamed up to form an alliance during the 2020 elections.

The vice-president left behind a wife and two children.

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Woman killed and swallowed whole by 16-foot python in Indonesia

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A woman has been found dead inside the belly of a snake after it swallowed her whole in central Indonesia, a local official said Saturday.

The husband of 45-year-old Farida and residents of Kalempang village in South Sulawesi province discovered her on Friday inside the reticulated python, which measured around five metres (16 feet).

The mother-of-four had gone missing Thursday night and failed to return home, forcing a search effort, village head Suardi Rosi told AFP.

Her husband “found her belongings… which made him suspicious. The villagers then searched the area. They soon spotted a python with a large belly,” said Suardi.

“They agreed to cut open the python’s stomach. As soon as they did, Farida’s head was immediately visible.”

Farida was found fully clothed inside the snake.

Such incidents are considered extremely rare but several people have died in Indonesia in recent years after being swallowed whole by pythons.

Last year, residents in Southeast Sulawesi’s Tinanggea district killed an eight-metre python, which was found strangling and eating one of the farmers in a village.

In 2018, a 54-year-old woman was found dead inside a seven-metre python in Southeast Sulawesi’s Muna town.

And the year before, a farmer in West Sulawesi went missing before being found eaten alive by a four-metre python at a palm oil plantation.

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UN adds Israel to list of nations committing violations against children

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Antonio Guterres, the United Nations (UN) secretary-general, says Israel’s military has been added to the global list of offenders committing violations against children.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s envoy to the UN, was informed of the decision on Friday.

Guterres is expected to notify the UN security council of the resolution on June 14.

The development follows Isreali’s eight months bombardment of Gaza.

On May 8, the UN published data showing that 34,844 people had been killed, including 4,959 women and 7,797 children, since the war started.

‘IT’S SHAMEFUL’

The Israeli envoy described the UN resolution as a “shameful decision”.

“I am utterly shocked and disgusted by this shameful decision of the secretary-general,” Erdan said.

“Israel’s army is the most moral army in the world so this immoral decision will only aid the terrorists and reward Hamas.”

Israel Katz, Israel’s foreign minister, said the decision “will have consequences for Israel’s relations with the UN”.

Israel has always had a strained relationship with the UN which further deteriorated during the Israel-Hamas war.

Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, and Yoav Gallant, the country’s defence minister, have been accused of war crimes.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking an arrest warrant for Netanyahu, Gallant, and three Hamas chiefs — Yahya Sinwar, leader of the Palestinian militant group; Mohammed Al-Masri, leader of the Al Qassem Brigades; and Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ political leader.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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