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  1. Danger of genocide looms large in Burundi, say UN experts
  2. Yaya Toure says he will no longer play for Ivory Coast
  3. Failed rains in Somalia lead to hunger warning
  4. 'Violence continues' amid political tension in DR Congo
  5. Several South African students arrested during fees protests
  6. Anti-gay US pastor Steven Anderson to be deported from Botswana
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Tuesday 20 September 2016

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Tuesday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page this week. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website

A reminder of today's wise words:

A tree alone cannot withstand a storm."

A Twi proverb sent by Napoleon Dotse Woka, Senchi Ferry, Ghana

Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs

And we leave you with this picture posted on Instagram of the gate of a school in a village in western Ethiopia:

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Influential Catholic body suspends involvement in DR Congo talks

Cenco, the body representing the powerful and historically political Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo has suspended its participation in talks aimed at solving the country's political crisis.

In a statement it said it had taken the move "in order to grieve" and "out of respect for the victims" in the deadly violence of the past two days. 

Exact election dates should be fixed in any future agreement and President Joseph Kabila could not be a candidate in those polls, it added. 

The authorities have already suspended the African Union-backed talks, known as the "National Dialogue", until Friday at the earliest. 

Most of the Congolese opposition had boycotted the talks from the start, saying that they would lend legitimacy to the president's attempts to deliberately delay elections. 

RFI's correspondent in Kinshasa has shared the full statement (in French) on her Twitter account: 

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South African Paralympian slams national airline

South Africa's Paralympic team was welcomed home this morning to much fanfare (see earlier entry).

But one of the country's bronze medal winners, shot-putter Tyrone Pillay, had some harsh words for the national airline, South African Airways (SAA).

It's not clear if he's talking about the flight from Brazil or a connecting flight he may have taken from Johannesburg:

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SAA has not made a comment, but has tried to contact the athlete to get more information:

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Tyrone Pillay

What does violence mean for Congolese election prospects?

Congolese specialist Jason Stearns has been assessing the violence of the past two days in a blogpost for the non-profit Congo Research Group (CRG):

"Something happened yesterday in Kinshasa, a violent screeching of gears in the political crisis as the government decided to resort to brute force to quash popular protest.

"If before 19 September all eyes were focused on the political process - who was participating in the political dialogue, whether it was still possible to hold elections within the constitutional deadlines - today the centre of attention is on the streets of Kinshasa.

"Whether the African Union, the United Nations, and other diplomats will be able to wrest the momentum away from those streets, after the deaths of dozens of people, the torching of political party offices, and the lynching of policemen is up in the air."

Read the full blogpost here 

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DR Congo government suspends talks amid unrest

Poly Muzalia

BBC Africa, Kinshasa

Opposition protesters in Kinshasa, DR Congo
Opposition demonstrators are demanding a date for the election

The government in the Democratic Republic of Congo has officially suspended talks with opposition parties, amid ongoing protests about the organisation of elections due by the end of the year.

The talks, which began at the beginning of the month, were already being boycotted by the main opposition parties, including Etienne Tshisekedi's UDPS.

The government had proposed a dialogue after opposition activists had demanded a precise timetable for the presidential election.

President Joseph Kabila, who has already served two terms, must step down at the end of his current term in December, according to the constitution.

But the electoral commission has said it will be difficult to hold polls by the end of the year.

It had been due to announce the date of the election yesterday, but it failed to do so.

Protesters demanding a date then clashed with security forces in the capital, Kinshasa.

Archbishop Tutu spreads the message of joy from his hospital bed

Anti-apartheid activist and Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu may be back in hospital but he is still determined to spread his message of joy.

South Africa's Depty President Cyril Ramaphosa visited him today in a Cape Town clinic where he is being treated for a recurring infection, his family says.

Mr Ramaphosa said the archbishop was jovial as usual, the AFP news agency reports.

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But it's a video that was posted today on his Facebook account that's got a lot of people talking.

He talks about joy saying:

Joy is laughing with my friend the Dalai Lama. The world is often a difficult place. Full of fear and anger and suffering, but it is important to see that love and joy also fill our world."

I'm asking you to help us show that our world is not beyond hope. Anger, fear and despair. No! These will not have the last word."

The archbishop wants people to #ShareTheJoy.

Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu
Tutu Foundation

Watch the video here.

DR Congo government: Many of those killed were looting

police fire purple teargas at protesters
A wave of violence has followed Monday's demonstrations

A Congolese government spokesman has dismissed figures put forward by human rights groups and opposition activists on how many people have been killed in unrest that broke out on Monday. 

Lambert Mende told the BBC's Focus on Africa radio programme that "the opposition are fond of exaggerating...  [they] think this will discredit the government". 

Opposition groups say that more than 50 people died on Monday alone during protests calling for President Joseph Kabila's resignation.

Mr Mende put the total figure of deaths over the past two days at 19, including two police officers. 

Asked whether the use of force had been excessive he said:

A lot of people died while looting. Many others may have been killed by police and the prosecutor is busy now inquiring."

Mr Mende condemned the suggestion that the international community may discuss possible sanctions against government figures over the violence: 

I am not worried about the UN, the European Union or the British... We are worried about our people dying, even from the opposition. They are our people, we are not a colony of the UN or anybody."

Tanzania win the first Cecafa women's championship

Tanzania beat Kenya 2-1 on Tuesday to win the inaugural Cecafa Women's Championship in Uganda (for teams belonging to East and Central Africa Football Associations). 

Omari Mwanahamisi put Tanzania ahead after only 26 minutes and she doubled the lead just before half-time.

Kenya pulled a goal back through Christine Nafula but the 2016 Women's Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers were unable to find an equaliser.

In the play-off for third place, which was also played on Tuesday, Ethiopia thrashed Uganda 4-1.

Tanzanian team
Tanzania have made history by winning the first Women's Cecafa Championship

The man who built a school for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren

Esther Namuhisa

BBC Africa, Tanzania

Like many men, Tanzanian Meshuko Mapi Laibon dreams of building a family.

The difference for him though is that he's already got eight wives and more than 400 descendants - including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Meshuko Mapi Laibon

Mr Laibon, who says he is 103 years old, lives with them all in a village near Arusha, northern Tanzania.

As well as homesteads for all the family, the village also has a school that he built:

I thought about building a school because my children were going to school very far from home, and sometimes they were not able to go to school because of elephants, people have been killed by elephants and I built them a school because I want my children to learn."

Classroom in the village

The school, named after Mr Laibon, has five classrooms and the teachers are provided by the government. 

Students from other families are also allowed to go.

Scene from Mr Laibon's village

Rights group: Security forces behind majority of Congo killings

man cries outside opposition HQ, while another lies injured in the background
A man weeps outside the opposition HQ where burned bodies were recovered

A senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, who is based outside the Democratic Republic of Congo, has blamed security forces for the majority of deaths in the capital, Kinshasa, while acknowledging that protesters have also been responsible for killings:

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Further violence has followed the initial clashes that broke out on Monday, she adds: 

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Rich countries 'are not prepared to make sacrifices'

The focus of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly is the issue of refugees and migrants around the world.

One of the many people speaking at the summit is Oxfam's executive director Winnie Byanyima. 

She told BBC Focus on Africa's Bola Mosuro that richer countries need to do more to address the problem.  

She said: “Rich countries are behaving like they don’t want to sacrifice any of their comforts in order to respond to the call of humanity.”

Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima calls on rich countries to do more

Protesting South African students 'trying to disrupt classes'

Students at Wits University in South Africa's main city, Johannesburg, are continuing to protest against the proposed rise in tuition fees.

Earlier, there were clashes between the students and police.

A South African news channel is now reporting that the protesters are trying to stop classes:

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Eyewitness news has also tweeted a cartoon which sums up what the government's decision, announced yesterday, on tuition fees means.

Education Minister Blade Nzimande said that universities could increase the fees by a maximum of 8%, in effect leaving the universities to take the flak from the angry students: 

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Warning that 'danger of genocide looms large' in Burundi

A panel of experts has found that gross human rights violations are being committed in Burundi, mainly by agents of the state. 

A new report for the United Nations Human Rights Council said that, given the country's history, the danger of genocide loomed large. 

The experts listed several forms of torture including forcing people to sit on acid and burning them with blowtorches. 

They said ethnically charged language was being used. 

Violence erupted in Burundi in April last year following President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term in office.

Protesters in front of a burning barricade
Protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza in April 2015 were followed by a failed coup attempt in May

Toure quits international football

In our second instalment of news about Ivory Coast's Yaya Toure (see the entry on his Manchester City woes here)...

The midfield star has announced that he has retired from international football.

He wrote on his his website that it was neither the "mutlitude of games" nor the "intensity of training" that led him to make the decision.

He explained:

"I no longer feel able to set myself new goals as a player with the Elephants of Ivory Coast.

"This decision I have made has come gradually, it has slowly matured in my head."

He said that making the announcement "was probably the most difficult match" of his life.

He last played for the Elephants when he captained the team to victory in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

He lifted the trophy after Ivory Coast beat Ghana on penalties in the final in Bata, Equatorial Guinea.

Toure lifting the trophy in 2015

African migrants get work on ex-mafia vineyards

Many migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya eventually arrive on the Italian island of Sicily. 

While some European countries are trying to shut people out, one organisation in a rural Sicilian community believes that migrants are not a problem, but a solution. 

For the last few months a group of them have been trained to work in agriculture in the heartland of the Italian mafia, Corleone, on land confiscated from the gangsters. 

Naveena Kottoor has been looking into the story for BBC Focus on Africa.  

An NGO is training migrants from West Africa to farm land confiscated from the mafia

Toure 'must apologise' before Guardiola will pick him

Simon Stone

BBC Sport

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he will not pick Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure again until he apologises to the club and his team-mates for comments made by his agent.

Toure, 33, has made one appearance for City this season and was left out of their Champions League squad by Guardiola earlier this month.

Afterwards, Toure's agent, Dimitri Seluk, said the midfielder had been "humiliated" by Guardiola's decision and that if City did not win the Champions League, the former Barcelona manager should "have the balls" to apologise to the midfielder.

"He must apologise to his team-mates. He must apologise to the club," said Guardiola. "If he doesn't, he won't play."

Toure was a mainstay of the City team until the arrival of Guardiola at the beginning of this season.

Yaya Toure
Getty Images
Yaya Toure has only played once for Manchester City this season

Somali food crisis: 300,000 children 'need immediate help'

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Nairobi

The UN survey that suggests that five million Somalis face hunger (see earlier story) says that it is the more than one million people living in camps for those who have fled their homes that are the worst affected as they are the most vulnerable to disease.

More than 300,000 children under the age of five are severely malnourished and require immediate help. 

The crisis follows poor rainfall in the south and central parts of Somalia where crop production has fallen by more than half in just six months. 

Farmers have also lost many of their livestock in the recent drought. 

Aid agencies have warned that the numbers could go higher if the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya is closed down and thousands are forced to return to Somalia where they have no homes or livelihoods. 

In January, aid agencies launched an appeal for more than $880m (£680m) to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Somalia but, so far, less than half of that sum has been donated.

People queuing up for food relief
Somalis in camps for internally displaced people are thought to be the most at risk

Activists set up countdown clock for DR Congo president

Tech-savvy Congolese activists have created a special online event as part of their efforts to get President Joseph Kabila to step aside. 

They've invited 70 million people (the country's entire population) to attend "The end of Joseph Kabila's mandate", complete with a countdown clock that tracks the time, to the second, until their event is due to take place. 

The screengrab below is out of date already, but you can go here if you want to keep precise track of the progress being made towards 19 December, the day before President Kabila's second term is due to expire. 

countdown clock ticks down to the end of Kabila's mandate in 89 days, 10 hours, 20 minutes and 5 seconds

Niger’s costly ghost teachers

Students in a class in Niger - archive shot
Some classrooms in Niger would have five teachers, if the statistics were to be believed

An investigation by the Niger's anti-corruption body, Halcia, has found that the government is paying 1,917 teachers who do not exist. 

The fictitious employees were costing the government about $5m (£3.9m) every month, it said.

The investigation covered five out of the country's eight educational regions - and did not include the capital, Niamey, which has the most schools.

It showed that salaries were paid to people whose positions could not be accounted for. 

Deputy chair of Halcia, Salissou Oubandoma, told the BBC Afrique:

The first step toward stopping this fraudulent scheme is to freeze any further recruitment. We have recruited more than are needed.

In fact, in certain big cities such as Niamey, there are so many teachers that for one class, we sometimes have five of them.

In the long run, the government will have to set up a digital database where every civil servant will be identifiable by a unique staff number."

Niger is one of the many African countries where the state is the biggest employer and payroll fraud is a recurrent issue for the government.

Presidential guards 'attacked Congo opposition HQ'

Members of the presidential guard were behind one of the attacks on the headquarters of an opposition party, two injured witnesses have told BBC Afrique. 

The headquarters of three Congolese opposition parties were torched in overnight attacks in the capital Kinshasa. 

There were at least two burned bodies in the destroyed offices of the DRC's main opposition Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS). 

A spokesman for the Congolese army told the BBC he had no comment to make on the accusations.   

The opposition says more than 50 people were killed on Monday during protests against President Joseph Kabila.

The government put the figure at 17.

The security forces were accused of using live bullets against peaceful protesters, who were demanding that a date be set for presidential elections.

burnt out car outside the opposition HQ
There were several fires overnight at the offices of opposition parties

UN: Five million Somalis face hunger

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Women queue for water with buckets
Some 260,000 people died in Somalia as a result of a drought between 2010 to 2012

Five million Somalis are facing hunger due to failed rains, floods and continued displacement in the country. 

Of those, 1.1 million require urgent assistance, according to a new survey by the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). 

Malnutrition levels have also increased dramatically over the last six months with more than 300,000 children under the age of five affected, it says. 

All eyes on Wits University as #FeesMustFall protests hit SA

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

There is currently a stand-off between police and students at Wits University in South Africa's main city of Johannesburg.

Students are protesting against a government plan to allow universities to increase tuition fees (see earlier story).

Scores of students have gathered at the institution's medical campus. The medical students say they have joined the protest because their fees are very high.

Students leaders are discussing what should happen next. 

There are tensions on other campuses including the University of Pretoria, the University of Free State, as well as two institutions in Cape Town. 

Protests are expected to intensify as the week progresses. 

Students around the country will take the lead from those at Wits, which is seen as central to the #FeesMustFall movement.

Students have been sharing pictures of today's demonstrations:

View more on twitter

European countries 'to discuss possible sanctions over Congo violence'

European nations will discuss the possibility of imposing sanctions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has said, Reuters news agency reports. 

Asked if France wanted sanctions like those Washington has imposed for what it described as the violent suppression of the opposition, Reuters quotes Mr Ayrault as saying:

"It's a question we will discuss but the situation is extremely worrying and very dangerous."

The US has already threatened sanctions against political figures over delays in organising elections, due in November. 

Nigeria's Paralympians teach the Olympians a lesson

Nigeria's Paralympic team returned from Rio covered in glory.

It was the top placed African nation in the medals table and came 17th overall.

The country's powerlifters alone won nine medals, including six golds.

This is in sharp contrast to the country's Olympic team, which won just one bronze medal in Rio.

So what lessons are there for the able-bodied athletes?

Powerlifting coach Are Feyisetan has some pointers.

He says his athletes are disciplined about their training, the coaching staff are loyal to the team and the politicians are kept at arm's length.

Read more about the Paralympians' lessons for Nigeria from BBC News Online.

Lauritta Onye
Lauritta Onye celebrated in style after winning shot put gold

Renewed clashes reported in Kinshasa suburbs

The RFI correspondent in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, says there is unrest again this morning. 

She tweets (translated from French below):

"There are still clashes in several suburbs in the city, Matete, Limete and Ngaba. Eyewitnesses are talking about civilian deaths and police being attacked."

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She adds that talks to end the country's political deadlock, known as the "national dialogue", are not going to restart as planned today for security reasons, according to sources involved. 

The opposition says President Joseph Kabila is trying to delay the elections in order to remain in power beyond his two-term limit, which finishes in December.  

Read more: DR Congo president unlikely to give up power

Somalia accuses Kenya of dragging out maritime dispute

In court in The Hague, Somalia has returned fire after coming in for criticism from Kenya, the AFP news agency is reporting.

The two countries are locked in a legal battle at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the location of part of their common maritime border.

Somalia said that Kenya was unnecessarily prolonging the struggle over the potentially lucrative waters, which are thought to hold oil and gas reserves, AFP reports.

On Monday, Kenya described Somalia's claims that it sought to steal the oil and gas reserves as "absurd and hurtful".

Somalia said it took the case to the ICJ after trying and failing to negotiate with Kenya.

Map showing Somalia and Kenya

Police and students clash in South Africa

South African police have clashed with students in Johannesburg during a protest about the rise in tuition fees, the Reuters news agency reports.

It adds that 31 students have been detained.

The students are demanding free education.

The protests, which are taking place in several campuses in South Africa, come in the wake of the government announcing that universities could raise tuition fees by up to 8%.

A South African news service is sharing videos of the protest at Johannesburg's Wits University:

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UN calls on DR Congo security forces to show restraint

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has called on authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo "to ensure that security forces exercise maximum restraint when dealing with the demonstrations". 

Mr Ban condemned Monday's violence in which the government said least 17 people were killed.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says that it has received reports of almost 200 people being arrested following demonstrations in the capital Kinshasa, adding:

"We have received reports of excessive use of force by some elements of the security forces as well as reports that some demonstrators resorted to violence."

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville

The African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security has also called for calm:

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Ping or Bongo? The agony of choice for Gabon leader's sister

In the ongoing post-electoral crisis in Gabon, one particular woman has found herself walking a tight rope, the French magazine Jeune Afrique reports.

And that woman is Pascaline Bongo, the sister of incumbent President Ali Bongo and ex-lover of his main challenger, Jean Ping, with whom she has had a child. 

As the uncertainty over the electoral outcome continues, the Paris-based Jeune Afrique newspaper dedicated a piece to what it describes as Pascaline Bongo's difficult choice. 

Miss Bongo had struggled with making a decision over whether to support her brother or her ex-lover. Ultimately she chose not to back either one. 

Pascaline Bongo
Getty Images
Pascaline Bongo was the chief of staff to President Omar Bongo, the father of the current president

No demonstrations in Kinshasa yet

road bloacked with rocks as protesters stand in background
Protesters blocked roads with rocks on Monday

There have been no demonstrations so far today in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, reports BBC Afrique's Poly Muzalia from the city. 

Shots have been fired in the Mombele district, near the burnt out headquarters of the main opposition UDPS party, he reports. 

Groups of youths have set up some barricades as well. 

Botswana government confirms deportation of anti-gay US pastor

Botswana's government has confirmed that US pastor Steven Anderson will be deported from the country (see earlier entry):

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Last week, he was barred from entering neighbouring South Africa over his anti-gay statements, but the government in Botswana has not made it clear why Mr Anderson is a "prohibited immigrant" there.

Secondary schools in north-east Nigerian state 'to reopen' after two years

Secondary schools in the north-east Nigerian state of Borno, which has been at the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency, are set to reopen next week, the Premium Times is reporting.

They have been closed for two years since a school was attacked in neighbouring Yobe state in March 2014.

The state's education minister Inuwa Kubo said that up to now the schools had been used to house some of the people displaced by the Islamist militants.

More than 200 female students were kidnapped while sitting a school exam in the Borno town of Chibok in April 2014.

Their abduction launched the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. 

It is not clear if the Chibok girls' secondary school will reopen.

Chibok school sign

'Streets calm' amid tension in DR Congo capital Kinshasa

The Bloomberg correspondent in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, has been tweeting in the past hour about a heavy security deployment on the streets:

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He's not reporting any major demonstrations so far, although the main opposition party has called for people to return to the streets: 

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Journalists 'detained' in Sudan after reporting on South Sudan opposition

Two Sudanese journalists were briefly detained for reporting on a meeting in the capital, Khartoum, of the South Sudanese SPLM-IO group, the Netherlands-based Radio Tamazuj says.

The SPLM-IO's leader Riek Machar is currently in the city after being ousted from his position as South Sudan's first vice-president in the aftermath of July's violence.

Radio Tamazuj says the journalists, Tariq Abdallah and Murtada Ahmed, were detained for the day.

The Sudan Journalist’s Network condemned the move saying it was an infringement on the freedom of the press.

Reik MAchar
Riek Machar went to Sudan last month

Two bodies found inside Congo opposition HQ after fire

Two bodies have been found in the headquarters of the Democratic Republic of Congo's main opposition UDPS party in Kinshasa, after it was set on fire overnight. 

BBC Afrique's Poly Muzalia has sent through some grisly photos, that we are not going to publish here, showing the charred remains of one of one of those who died. 

But here is the general scene:

the inside of the building was reduced to ashes

Tributes to veteran South African journalist Allister Sparks

The veteran South African journalist Allister Sparks has died at the age of 83.

He was a known as a liberal anti-apartheid voice and came to prominence in the 1960s and was well known in the 1970s for exposing a big government corruption scandal.

Journalists, and others who knew him, have been paying tribute.

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The president has also paid his respects and praised Mr Sparks for "exposing the evils of the [apartheid] system".

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Opposition HQ set alight in Kinshasa

BBC Afrique's Poly Muzalia in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, has sent through pictures of the fire damage to the headquarters of minor opposition party the New Forces for Union and Solidarity (Fonus).

fire damage
fire damage

The offices of the main opposition party the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) were also set alight overnight (see earlier entry).

Anti-gay US pastor Steven Anderson 'to be deported from Botswana'

Botswana's Mmegi newspaper is reporting that the controversial anti-gay US pastor Steven Anderson is being deported from the country.

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It's reporting on its Facebook page that he is being held at the country's immigration department and "is awaiting deportation".

A week ago South Africa barred Mr Anderson from visiting the country because of his critical remarks about homosexuality.

The home affairs minister said he was refused a visa as the constitution prohibits hate speech.

"I feel sorry for people who live in South Africa, but thank God we still have a wide open door in Botswana," Mr Anderson posted on his Facebook page after the decision to refuse him a visa.  

Steven Anderson

Students arrested in South Africa protests

Several students at South Africa's Wits University have been arrested during protests against a planned increase in tuition fees, Eyewitness News is reporting.

On Monday, the Education Minister Blade Nzimande said that universities could raise their fees by up to 8%.

Last year, student demonstrations - dubbed #FeesMustFall - forced the government to back down on a rise in tuition costs.

Students have been tweeting from the Wits campus in Johannesburg:

View more on twitter
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South African Paralympians welcomed home

South Africa's Paralympians have been welcomed home from Rio this morning.

With seven golds and 17 medals overall, South Africa came 22nd overall and was the second placed African nation after Nigeria.

South Africa's sports minister has been tweeting from the airport:

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Nigeria's Paralympians offer lessons for its football stars