African leaders look for culprits as Covid-19 crisis worsens

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African leaders, like some of thier western counterparts, seem to be looking for scapegoats amid the global pandemic. Picture: iStock
African leaders, like some of thier western counterparts, seem to be looking for scapegoats amid the global pandemic. Picture: iStock

African leaders appear to be turning on their citizens as efforts to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus fall short and already fragile healthcare systems struggle to cope with an influx of patients.

The message from governments in several nations who initially praised their citizenry for supporting efforts to contain the pandemic has shifted, with some officials now chastising them for not doing enough.

The change in tone marks an attempt by some of the continent’s leaders to partly absolve themselves of the responsibility for the escalating number of infections, and to head off potential social unrest, said Amaka Anku, head of the Eurasia Group’s Africa practice.

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ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has written a letter suspending party president Cyril Ramaphosa in apparent retaliation after he was served with a letter of suspension on Wednesday.
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