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Former Gangster And Bank Robber Turned Politician Named As Sports Minister

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A former gangster and bank robber who turned into a nightclub owner and opposition politician, Gayton McKenzie has now risen to become South Africa’s minister of sports, arts and culture.

 

 

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Mr McKenzie – the leader of the Patriotic Alliance party (PA) – to the portfolio in the multi-party government that he announced on Sunday after his African National Congress (ANC) lost its parliamentary majority in the 29 May election.

 

 

A prolific tweeter, the 50-year-old relished his appointment, posting a photo of himself putting on football boots and, with a touch of humour, typed: “Thank you for all the well wishing messages, I will reply shortly I’m just busy getting ready, I have work to do”.

 

At his swearing in ceremony three days later, Mr McKenzie had his audience, including Mr Ramaphosa, laughing when, in response to the chief justice asking him to be seated, he quipped: “The last time a judge asked me to sit, he made me sit for 10 years.”

 

Watch here:

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9NoopkUTW8?si=O2Mx9HMYHuN2bFgO

 

For Mr McKenzie’s admirers, his appointment is the latest sign of how he overcame adversity to achieve success. He robbed his first bank before he turned 16, then became, as he put in an interview with a local radio station, a fully fledged gangster, spent seven years in prison, and vowed to change after his early release.

 

“I might have had 12 rand ($0.65; £0.50) in my pocket but I had billion rand in my mind. And that is what people do not understand – they concentrate on what they lack instead of how to get what they lack,” he said in a 2013 interview with public broadcaster SABC.

 

He became a highly paid motivational speaker, got books about his life published, including A Hustler’s Bible, and ventured into various businesses – from mining in Zimbabwe to nightclubs in South Africa – with Kenny Kunene, his soulmate from prison.

 

 

These days, he is better known as a politician, having launched the PA in 2013, with Mr Kunene as his deputy.

 

More than a decade later, the party gained 2% of the national vote and fared better in elections for the provincial government in the Western Cape, getting 8%.

 

Political analyst Kagiso Pooe told the BBC that Mr McKenzie had a “bravado” style, which appeals to his constituency.

 

 

“People want to believe and see someone that comes from their type of background and isn’t shy to say: ‘This is who I am.’ You see it with people like President Zuma, President Trump and other such personalities,” he said.

 

ANTI-IMMIGRATION

 

Mr McKenzie’s campaign against undocumented migrants was a vote-winner for him, the analyst added.

 

 

“Unfortunately, mainstream politicians and parties have shied away from this and he tackles it directly.”

 

Critics denounced his campaign as xenophobic. He waged it under the slogan “Abahambe”, which he has translated from the Zulu as “Let them go” – and, in a publicity stunt, he visited the border with Zimbabwe to chase away people trying to enter South Africa.

 

 

BBC South Africa

 

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Just In: President Tinubu approves N70,000 minimum wage

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President Bola Tinubu has approved N70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers with a promise to review the national minimum wage law every three years.

 

More details later…

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Gov. Zulum Clarifies Son’s Purported Killing Of Chinese National At Indian Nightclub

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The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has denied reports alleging that one of the sons has been arrested and sentenced to prison for the murder of some Indian citizens.

Reports has it that there were unverified rumours, especially on social media platforms, alleging that the first son of the governor, Umar Zulum Umara, killed the Chinese national during a fight at an Indian nightclub.

However, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Abdurrahman Ahmed Bundi, dismissed the reports in a statement on Wednesday.

According to him, no son of the governor was arrested or charged with any crime.

The statement read, “attention of the Borno State Governor’s Media Unit has been drawn to rumours circulating that the son of the Borno State Governor has been arrested for the alleged murder of some Indian citizens.

“This misinformation was published in an online blog, Nairaland, titled “Son of Borno State Governor Murders Someone In India—Politics.” The blog claimed that the Governor also travelled to India, attempting to use diplomatic status to resolve the matter.

“It is on record that Governor Babagana Zulum was on a one-month vacation in Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj and later travelled to Egypt to attend the annual ASUWAN forum conference in Cairo.

“The Media Unit would like to clarify and set the record straight that Nairaland and other online blogs have mischievously spread defamatory content without any speck of truth.

“We hereby warned Nairaland and all those who have spread the false information to pull down this misinformation from its website and platforms within the next 24 hours and offer an unreserved apology to Governor Zulum, his son, and the entire family, or risk legal action. The Governor shall also not hesitate to take legal action against any media outlet that continues to publicise this defamatory information on its platform.

“We would like to inform the public that none of Governor’s Zulum’s son was either arrested or charged with any crime, or involved in any unlawful activities anywhere.

“We urge the public to exercise caution when consuming and sharing information, particularly when it comes from unverified sources and blogs instead of credible media outlets.

“We enjoin all media organisations to engage in responsible journalism of truth and factual verification while recognising the potential harm and psychological trauma the spread of false information might have caused to the Governor’s family.”

 

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Over 600,000 Nigerians sought asylum abroad under Buhari – Report

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Over 600,000 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries between 2016 and 2023, which were years under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari was President from 2015 to 2023 and handed over to President Bola Tinubu who was sworn in on May 29, 2023, after winning in the general elections the same year.

According to a report released on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, by Statisense, a data collection organisation, of a total of 664,384 in eight years, 355,792 persons sought asylum between 2016 and 2019 while 308,592 sought asylum between 2020 and 2023.

On a year-by-year basis, 66,862 sought asylum in 2016, 91,924 in 2017, 84,624 (2018), 112,382 (2019), 73,233 (2020), 83,105 (2021), 83,402 (2022), and 68,852 in 2023.

The figures indicate a surge from the past years, as Statisense noted that within 12 years – 2004 to 2015 – only 204,791 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries.

In total, 869,175 Nigerians filed for asylum in the last 20 years, notably from 2004 to 2023.

The report was posted on the organisation’s X.com handle @StatiSense, citing the United Nations Refugee Agency.

In another report shared by the organisation on Wednesday, it was stated that the Republic of Niger topped countries with the most Nigerian refugees in 2023 with about 200,497 Nigerians and a total of 1,268,464 Nigerian refugees between 2015 and 2023.

Niger, a border country, shares proximity with Nigeria’s north, where residents battle a spate of insecurity in the region ranging from banditry, terrorism and herdsmen-farmers crisis.

Another report also revealed that Nigerians topped the list of African countries who sought asylum in Canada in 2023 with about 10,111 asylum seekers followed by Kenya with 1,345.  It stated that 1,345 Nigerians however sought asylum in the United Kingdom and 5,136 in the United States of America.

Source: The Punch

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