Zimbabwe main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai (left) and former vice-president Joice Mujuru (right) sign a memorandum of understanding to negotiate a coalition ahead of the 2018 general election in Harare. Photograph: Jekesai Nijikizana/AFP/Getty Images

Movement for Democratic Change and National People’s Front sign pact ahead of 2018 vote

Demonstrators march in protest against South African president Jacob Zuma, to ask for his resignation, in Pretoria. Photograph: Luigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

Ten South African opposition parties unite to seek end to president’s reign

Demonstrators carry banners as they take part in a protest calling for the removal of South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma in Johannesburg on Friday. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Protests following cabinet reshuffle the culmination of years of opposition to president

South African President Jacob Zuma: facing a growing challenge from within his own party. Photograph: Phill Magakoe/Getty Images

Calls intensify for leader to stand down as demonstrations planned

“Complete nonsense”: Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan with the intelligence report  president Jacob Zuma used to justify firing him. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Sacking of ministers sparks street protests and split among ANC leadership

Pravin Gordhan: South Africa’s finance minister and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, head into  to a court hearing in Pretoria. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Coalition communists object to accusation that ministers in bid to upturn government

Sihle Bolani: The South African media consultant claims the ANC mounted a disinformation campaign against political rivals.

Disgruntled consultant claims ANC prepared to spend millions on secret media operation

South African president Jacob Zuma: decision taken by him and the minister of justice Michael Masutha to withdraw from The Hague-based court without parliamentary approval amounted was a breach of the separation of powers. Photograph: Nic Bothma

Pretoria high court says exit of International Criminal Court a breach of Zuma’s powers

A boy has his arm measured to see if he is suffering from malnutrition during a nutritional assessment at an emergency medical facility supported by UNICEF in Kuach,  South Sudan. Photograph: Kate Holt/UNICEF via AP

UN warns millions are threatened by starvation if international community fails to act

Johannesburg’s Oliver Tambo international airport, where police are allegedly confiscating drugs and selling them on

Seized contraband allegedly channelled to streets of Johannesburg for sale

Miners  at the end of their night shift at the Leonine mine in Rustenburg, South Africa. Photograph: Reuters

African leaders showcase mining opportunities at Cape Town conference

Security officials and members of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters engage in a brawl in the National Assembly in Cape Town  during a speech by South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma on Thursday. Photograph: Sumaya Hisham/AFP/Getty Images

Jacob Zuma’s government accused of allowing armed soldiers to enter assembly

An injured man is carried by helpers from the scene of a car bomb attack at the Dayah Hotel, near Somalia’s parliament in central Mogadishu, on January 25th.  Photograph: Said Yusuf Warsame/EPA

Libya, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan still Africa’s major crisis areas, says new report

Zimbabwean pastor and anti-government activist Evan Mawarire, pictured in July 2016, who has been arrested on his return Harare after spendig six months in the United States. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Evan Mawarire detained at airport after returning from six-month exile in New York

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma: some of her critics  believe she only took the job of chairwoman of the African Union Commission to enhance her profile back in South Africa. Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal/AFP/Getty Images

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the president’s ex-wife, is expected to bid for ANC leadership

Cyril Ramaphosa (left) with Jacob Zuma  in Soweto on Sunday for a ceremony marking the ANC’s 105th anniversary. The ANC hopes that Ramaphosa’s return to politics after a spell in the business world will help repair the party’s battered image among voters. Photograph: Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Getty Images

Deputy leader and Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife among those sounding out party and electorate

Striking miners  on August 27th, 2012, near where police shot and killed 42 miners days earlier. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Four years after Marikana Massacre state announces charges and compensation

South African president Jacob Zuma  has survived a vote of no confidence. Photograph: Nic Bothma/AFP Photo/Getty Images

Scandal-hit South African leader will not be head of the party by time of 2019 elections

Alcohol consumption and speeding are two of the major contributors to road traffic deaths on South Africa’s roads

Almost 13,000 people die each year with the N2 being its most dangerous deathtrap

Police fire rubber bullets during recent riots in Cape Town. They have added gunshot detection technology to their armoury in seeking to curb the city’s gang violence. Photograph: AP/Schalk van Zuydam

City official says using gunshot detection technology has cut crime dramatically

South African president Jacob Zuma: ongoing legal battles are threatening to undo his presidency. Photograph: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters

Analysis: President today seeks to prevent release of report into links to businessmen

South Africa’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan:  charged with fraud over early retirement package allegedly approved for a revenue official.  Photograph: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Lawyer refused to take part in fraud investigation into finance minister Pravin Gordhan

 Caroline Nganga, Sr Ursla Agga, Lydia Birongo at the Medical Missionaries of Mary Mukuru Health Centre: They are only too aware of how endemic challenges such as gender-based violence and patriarchy are in the slum, and how difficult it will be to overcome them. Photograph: Bill Corcoran

Poverty persists in Kenyan capital while violence against women is at epidemic levels

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan: was publicly charged with fraud and theft by the National Prosecuting Authority.  Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko

South Africa’s ruling party ‘worse than apartheid state’ over finance minister scandal

South Africa’s minister for finance Pravin Gordhan: Analysts have said the charges against him are politically motivated, and some suspect the hand of president Jacob Zuma is guiding the National Prosecution Authority.    Photograph: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg

Pravin Gordhan refuses to ask prosecution not to proceed with fraud charges against him

South Africa’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan has gained widespread support locally and internationally for the manner in which he has tried to bring corruption and wasteful spending in government under control. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

South African family accused of using links with Zuma to further its business interests

South African public protector Thuli Madonsela:  planned to release findings  on her last day in  office. Photograph: EPA/STR

Court delays publication of inquiry into influence of Gupta brothers in government

Pravin Gordhan, South Africa’s finance minister: many South Africans believe President Jacob Zuma and his allies are behind the charges. Photograph:  Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Jacob Zuma backs Pravin Gordhan, who claims charges are politically motivated

South Africa’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan during a Bloomberg television interview in New York on  October 4th.   Photograph: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg

Pravin Gordhan has won respect for efforts to tackle state-sponsored corruption

Waves for Change hold surf therapy sessions with young people from volatile backgrounds in South Africa

Waves for Change use sport to connect with traumatised youths from townships

A student is seen during clashes with South African police at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa on Tuesday. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Weeks of student protests over rising third-level fees had closed the institutions

Academics, lecturers and students protest against fee increases at universities across the country under the banner #feemustfall outside parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, on Thursday. Education minister Blade Nzimande insisted many students could afford to pay higher fees. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

Campuses in Johannesburg and Cape Town are shut as demonstrations continue

South African president Jacob Zuma  “raised the amount through a home loan obtained from VBS Mutual Bank on its standard terms”. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

South Africa president repays €481,000 owed to taxpayers as ordered by court

Disgruntled members of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party demonstrate near party headquarters, demanding the resignation of President Jacob Zuma and the national executive committee, on Monday. Photograph: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

Protesters call on Jacob Zuma to resign amid party outcry over minister’s statement

An Elephants Without Borders plane flying over a herd of elephants at the Ngoma border between Namibia and Botswana while taking part in the survey in February this year. Photograph: AFP/Elephants Without Borders

Just 350,000 remain in 18 countries, a 30 per cent fall in seven years

South African president and ANC leader Jacob Zuma: faced accusations, which he denied, that the Gupta brothers were offering senior government posts in return for favours. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Family accused of using close relationship with president Zuma to secure favours

Julius Malema, leader of South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters, at a media briefing in Alexander township on Wednesday. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Opposition DA to take lead role in several councils after ANC’s electoral setbacks

President Jacob Zuma: while there were a number of factors behind the ANC’s electoral decline  the unpopularity of Mr Zuma, who is accused of corruption and beset by scandals, was high among them. Photograph: Herman Verwey/AP Photo)

African National Congress takes collective responsibility for loss of four major ‘metros’

Mmusi Maimane, the first black leader of South Africa’s Democratic Alliance party,  at the local elections results centre in Pretoria on Thursday. Photograph:  Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Black voters in urban areas abandon governing party in unprecedented numbers

South African deputy president and  African National Congress deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa. Photograph: GIanluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

Polls show ruling party may lose control it has had in cities since democracy in 1994

Fr Andrew Yakulula with some of the Todonyang mission schoolchildren outside their church. Photograph: Bill Corcoran

Warring tribes, part 2: Church and charities ease tensions over scarce resources

One of the armed watchmen who guards Fr Andrew Yakulula and his mission community in Todonyang in Kenya. Photograph: Bill Corcoran

The Turkana and Dassanech tribes on Lake Turkana are fighting over shrinking resources

The bullet which entered Bill Brogan’s face below his left eye shattered the cheek bone, breached his brain and remains lodged in the skull. Photograph: The Irish Times

Bill Brogan (68) discovered unconscious by wife and son in doorway following shooting

There is a stock crisis in South Africa that is undermining many patients’ efforts to adhere to a treatment plan.

Shortage of HIV antiretroviral drugs hampering fight against Aids

Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius holds the hand of a relative after sentencing at the high court in Pretoria: he was given a six-year sentence but is eligible for parole after serving three years. Photograph: Marco Longari/Pool/Getty Images

Ex-Paralympic athlete avoids 15-year sentence usually given in South Africa for murder

Eight speedboats belonging to Mozambican state company Proindicus  at the Maputo Harbour in Maputo: the firm borrowed  $622 million. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Ireland delays €6 million aid package as secret and questionable loans go missing

Oscar Pistorius takes his place in court during the third day of his murder sentence hearing at the Pretoria High Court in South Africa. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/AFP/Getty Images

Paralympic athlete attends third day of sentence hearing for 2013 murder of girlfriend

Oscar Pistorius leaves the high court in Pretoria yesterday,  on the second day of his pre-sentencing hearing. Photograph: Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images

South African Olympic athlete is being sentenced for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp

Jacob Zuma is in as president of South Africa in May 2009. The NPA’s decision will not only work in Mr Zuma’s favour, but also the ANC’s. Photograph: EPA

Move by the South African National Prosecution Authority has led to accusations it is protecting the president

Miners Matela Hlabathe and Vuyani Elliot Dwadube listening to the judgment in the silicosis court case at the Johannesburg High Court, in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday. Photograph: EPA/Shayne Robinson/Mutiny Media

Up to 500,000 former and current miners contracted lung disease from the 1960s on

Vodacom sign in South Africa

The trainee accountant who came up with the popular texting idea finally won his case by sheer persistence

South Africa’s main opposition party Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane celebrates  the Pretoria high court ruling that corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma could be reinstated. Photograph: Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Getty Images

President may face 783 arms deal-related charges that were dropped in 2009

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane addresses up to 25,000 supporters at the launch of the party’s election manifesto: he told them South Africa under Jacob Zuma was moving backwards, and that change was needed to ensure the delivery of basic services. Photograph: EPA/Kevin Sutherland

Candidates make hay from corruption scandals that have eroded party’s support base

South African president and ANC president Jacob Zuma: he has been accused of high-level corruption which led to calls by the public and  within his party for him to step down. Photograph:  Michael Sheehan/AFP/Getty Images

Despite discontent with leadership, most back the president as ANC faces tough election

Pressure mounts on coach Allister Coetzee to give more black players a chance

South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and president Jacob Zuma stand during the playing of the national anthem in parliament in Cape Town. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reutes

Opposition failed to have ANC leader Zuma impeached for flouting the constitution

 A member of the oppostion party Economic Freedom Fighters reacts during a debate over the removal of the president in parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, on Tuesday. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

Motion to remove president from office defeated as ANC MPs rally to leader’s side

South African president Jacob Zuma: opposition parties and some respected ruling party members called on Mr Zuma to stand down following the court ruling against him. Photograph:  Nic Bothma/EPA

ANC party backs South African president after court rules he failed to uphold constitution

 President Jacob Zuma: the constitutional court unanimously ruled that South Africa’s first citizen had failed to “uphold, defend, and respect” the constitution. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/AP

President violated constitution by not repaying taxpayers’ money used on his home

South African president Jacob Zuma (right) with French president François Hollande during a summit on health and sanitary security. Photograph: Olivier Anrigo/EPA

As more politicians talk of a scandal, the African president’s support is dwindling

President Jacob Zuma at a Human Rights Day rally in Durban:  he was criticised in December for his abortive shuffle of finance ministers. Photograph: Rogan Ward/Reuters

The SA president has agreed after years to pay towards the upgrade of his rural home

President Jacob Zuma answering questions in parliament in Cape Town on March 17th: it is claimed his close friends the Gupta brothers offered the finance ministry in exchange for favours. Photograph: Mike Hutchings

Three Gupta brothers are alleged to have offered South African ministries for favours

The skull from a white male rhinoceros carcass at the Kruger National Park, South Africa, on Wednesday.  The rhino had to be put down by officials from the park after he was shot and injured by poachers. Photograph: Shiraaz Mohamed/EPA

Slight reduction in poaching in South Africa offset by increases in Zimbabwe and Namibia

Jacob Zuma: legal case could lead to renewed corruption charges. Photograph:  John MacDougall/AFP/Getty

No-confidence motion against ‘reckless leadership’ of president dismissed as ‘frivolous’

In 2000, 72 per cent of South Africans  believed interracial relations were improving; by 2012, this had dropped to 39 per cent. Photograph: Lisa Hnatowicz/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Angry debate on social media highlights worsening race relations in ‘rainbow nation’

File image from  January 21st, 2014 shows the controversial homestead of South African President Jacob Zuma in Nkandla.  File photograph: Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images

President had outlined way to end dispute over near-€20m upgrades to private home

Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe (right): Opposition parties are said to believe the 2018 election may be the best chance in decades they have to oust Mugabe’s party from power. Photograph: Jakesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images

Former party colleagues of President Robert Mugabe target 2018 elections

Clockwise from top: Rwanda’s Paul Kagame; Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni; DRC president Joseph Kabila; and  Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza

Rwanda’s Paul Kagame is latest president to alter constitution in order to stay in power

 Nelson Mandela in Dublin in 1990. Criticising their late president is no longer taboo for South African politicians.  Photograph: Frank Miller/The Iris Times

Increasingly divisive SA president Jacob Zuma in opposition sights prior to election

South Africa’s new finance minister Pravin Gordhan (left) chats with Lesetja Kganyago, governor of the Reserve Bank of South Africa, during a media briefing in Pretoria on Monday. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

President forced to change tack after original sacking of minister sent rand tumbling

David van Rooyen being sworn in to succeed Nhlanhla Nene as South Africa’s minister of finance, while President Jacob Zuma looks on, in Pretoria. Photograph: Elmond Jiyane/EPA

SA president faces backlash from markets and opposition parties over dismissal

Chinese president Xi Jinping inspects a guard of honour  in Pretoria, where he announced a $60bn package for Africa. Photograph: EPA/Karel Prinsloo/Pool Chinese president Xi Jinping inspects a guard of honour in Pretoria, where he announced a $60bn package for Africa. Photograph: EPA/Karel Prinsloo/Pool

€55bn Chinese investment in the continent will come with with policy strings attached

China’s president Xi Jinping walks with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation. Photograph: Sydney Seshibedi/Reuters

China is Africa’s biggest trading partner, says South African minister Jeff Rade

Poachers realise that any animal that's got one of these collars or units attached to it is basically off the list

A conservation group has developed units to protect rhinos, whose horns are worth more than €50,000

A young boy fills his cup from a water tanker in Coronation, Johannesburg, as South Africa experiences its worst drought in decades. EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

Agriculture hit as country suffers worst shortages since the 1930s

According to crop modelling, which helps to estimate yields when certain weather and soil conditions are applied, drought will decimate staple foods under a low mitigation future, especially important ones such as maize

A deal at UN conference in Paris is crucial for continent’s future

South Africa’s former president Kgalema Motlanthe in December 2005, when he was general secretary of the African National Congress. Photograph: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP

Ex-president Kgalema Motlanthe says party’s MPs do not respect its own constitution

John and Lynette Rodgers, from Holywood in Co Down, are understood to have drowned while visiting Plettenberg Bay as part of their honeymoon. Photograph: Caroline Smyth Photography/PA Wire.

John and Lynette Rodgers from Co Down drowned after becoming caught in a rip-tide in Plettenberg Bay

Students outside  Union Buildings in Pretoria: On Wednesday 29 students were arrested after protesters stormed parliament during a budget speech. Photograph: Kim Ludbrook/EPA

Week of unrest ends in fierce clashes with police outside president’s office

Some of the thousands of students from Wits University in Johannesburg demonstrate during another day of protest against fee increases. Photograph: Kim Ludbrook/EPA

Students charged at Cape Town court with public violence after protesters storm parliament on Wednesday

Pistorius family spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess speaking to   media outside the home of Oscar Pistorius’s uncle, Arthur, where the athlete is to live under house arrest. Photograph: Kim Ludbrook/EPA

Prison authorities sneak Paralympian out of Pretoria facility in darkness to avoid media

South African president and ruling party African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma  at ANC’s 4th National General Council. Photograph: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

President’s announcement he will not stand for another term adds to concerns

A member of the South African police force arrests a man in a protest against the lack of policing in Masiphumelele, Cape Town. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

Beleaguered police commissioner Riah Phiyega under pressure as murders rise by 4.6%

 Hand of friendship: South African president Jacob Zuma with Chinese president Xi Jinping on a recent visit to  Beijing. Photograph: EPA/Lintao Zhang/Pool

ANC document allies country with China and Russia, in spite of economic risk

Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir: Attended a meeting of the African Union in Johannesburg in June. Photograph: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters

Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir faces charges of war crimes at the International Criminal Court

Boys play soccer in Marikana’s Nkaneng township in front of the Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine in Rustenburg, South Africa. Photograph: Reuters

Government, mining companies and unions reach agreement after weeks of negotiations to stabilise the industry

A derelict gold mine shaft’s winding gear in Johannesburg, South Africa.  The country is  the fifth largest gold producer in the world and has vast amounts of other minerals still to be unearthed. Photograph:  Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Organisation says class action may be only access to justice for workers and families

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius will leave prison on Friday: the lenience afforded Pistorius has sparked outrage on many public forums and on chat shows. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Paralympian’s release from jail after just 10 months has sparked outrage in South Africa

The Springboks: pressure is on the team to record a win before heading to compete in the World Cup in England. Photograph:  Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Union accuses ‘rugby mafia and white establishment’ of excluding black players

The bones of the dead ‘canned lions’ are increasingly being sold to Asia for use in potions and medicines

The outcry over the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe coincides with a documentary on the brutal phenomenon of South Africa’s (...)

Gold and coal mining companies are engaged in what all parties are describing as difficult wage negotiations against a backdrop of falling metal prices. Photograph: Reuters

Metal prices fall as demand tails off

Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi: the number of  millionaires in Mozambique will increase by 120 per cent to 2,200 by 2024, according to New World Wealth. Photograph: Etienne Laurent

Mozambique expected to have 2,200 millionaires by 2024, research suggests

President Jacob Zuma: the public protector said in a report last year that Mr Zuma had unduly benefited from the security upgrades which included a swimming pool, visitors’ centre, chicken run and cattle enclosure

Leader of South Africa’s opposition party says upgrades far exceed security requirement

A political rally in Burundi for President Pierre Nkurunziza:  Africa’s recent history at holding leaders to account does not inspire confidence. Photograph: Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Regionally run court with mandate similar to ICC’s is ultimately desirable

 South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma with school children during the closing ceremony of the 25th African Union  summit in Johannesburg on June 16th. Photograph: Elmond Jiyane/EPA

Scandal around African National Congress seen by some as mocking the constitution

Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir waves to his supporters at the airport in Khartoum on June 15th, on arrival for  South Africa. Photograph: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters

Warning comes following failure to detain Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir waves as he arrives in Khartoum from Johannesburg after a court ordered him not to leave South Africa as it decided whether to arrest him over alleged war crimes.  Photograph: Ebrahim Hamid/AFP/Getty Images

Criminal charges to be considered for those responsible for Sudanese president's escape

Kenyan men work at a road construction site near Isiolo town, 320km north of Nairobi, in July 2008. The road was being built by China Wuyi, a Chinese state company, and funded by African Development Bank and the Kenyan government. Since then the scale of Chinese aid to Africa has increased dramatically. Photograph: Antony Njuguna/Reuters

China accused of using aid programme to forge ties with autocratic regimes in Africa

“This is the moment to invest in the continent,” South African president Jacob Zuma told business leaders, academics and politicians. Photograph:  Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images

World Economic Forum hears growth in Africa is outpacing the global average

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan: led the trade mission which resulted in more than 200 meetings being held between Irish firms and potential business partners. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

34 companies targeted export opportunities in technology, aviation and energy sectors

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