MALAWI’S former works and supplies minister, Abdul Pillane, was arrested on Tuesday night on charges of corruption, an official of the country’s Anti-Corruption Bureau said on Wednesday. Pillane is expected to be brought before a lower court in the administrative capital Lilongwe on Wednesday. The official said Pillane, the first Malawian minister to be charged with corruption since the bureau was set up four years ago, was arrested along with four other unnamed people. He said there were likely to be more arrests on Wednesday linked to the former minister’s corruption charges. President Bakili Muluzi sacked Pillane from his cabinet post earlier this month to pave the way for investigations.


THE Zambian Government threatened on Tuesday to withdraw pension benefits of former President Kenneth Kaunda if he continues to participate in partisan politics. A newly enacted law requires that former presidents relinquish active politics for them to be entitled to pension. Kaunda says the law is discriminatory as it was tailored for him.


THE Angolan government has passed a decree that men between 18 and 20 must register for national service, SABC3 news reported on Tuesday night. This comes amid reports that both the Angolan government and rebel group Unita have been forcing Angolan nationals into military service to fight in the escalating civil war.


NEWSPAPER reports on Wednesday indicated that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Party has announced it will run for this year’s general elections. Party leader John Uys said GLA will contest elections at the national and provincial level in Gauteng, Orange Free State and the Western Cape. Uys said the party aims to oppose discrimination, social and legislated, against homosexuals and to legislate against hate language at all levels of society.


FIVE men were shot dead in Soshanguve, outside Pretoria, on Tuesday in an incident which police believe is linked to ongoing taxi violence in the area. Police spokesman Captain Morne van Wyk said on Wednesday morning that a taxi driver and a passenger were travelling in a minibus in Soshanguve Block T when two men stopped the minibus at about 8.45pm and opened fire with 9mm pistols, killing both men. Earlier in the day, three men were shot dead by two gunmen outside a house in Block W.


SECURITY officers guarding convicted former President Canaan Banana said on Tuesday he is sticking to the conditions imposed by the high court ahead of his sentence to be announced 18 January. Banana, placed under house arrest while he awaits sentencing, has so far posed no problem, a security officer at the former president’s residence, in the plush Mount Pleasant suburb, said. He added that a total of eight heavily armed state security officers are guarding Banana, convicted by the high court on 11 counts of sodomy and sexual assault 26 November, round the clock.


CELLULAR service provider Vodacom has disconnected all 58 cellular telephones allocated to Pietermaritzburg city councillors because their accounts are unpaid. Acting town clerk Rob Haswell said Vodacom had in the past told the council that it could limit calls per councillor to not exceed R200, but this had not happened. “This needs to be taken as a priority, and it is very embarrassing for us for the public to be told we cannot be reached because we have failed to pay for our telephone bills,” said councillor Bill Lambert.

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