Alleged coup plotters back in court

EWN's Africa Correspondent Jean-Jacques Cornish reports on the day's top African news

A judge's gavel. Picture: RSC Inc.

Congolese coup "plotters" back in court.

On Thursday, the group of Congolese men charged with allegedly planning a coup d'├ętat against the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) appeared in court again.

Shaun Abrahams, the prosecutor for the case, spent all his time last week explaining the strength of the State's case.

It is indeed a strong case as there were informers in the "plotters" circle from the very beginning.

Abrahams is now arguing the State's case to oppose bail for each of the 20 individuals; no longer opposition to bail for the group as a whole.

Johan Kotze, who is standing for 19 of the Congolese men, and Dirk Humann, Etienne Kabila's lawyer, are hoping to get a look-in.

The case is getting an increasing interest with members of the Congolese government sitting in on proceeding and Congolese expatriates gathering at the court to make clear their dissatisfaction with South Africa's policy on the DRC.

Tension and emotions are expected to rise even further when the trial does eventually begin.

Egyptian president's sorrow at rioters' deaths

President Mohamed Morsi expressed his sorrow for the deaths of dozens of anti-regime protesters killed in recent violence in the Suez Canal city of Port Said.

On Thursday, Morsi, in a pre-recorded television broadcast, addressed his nation about those who lost their lives over a controversial court ruling in 2012.

Last year, 74 people died in the football riots, a further 40 have died in Port Said, and 16 in Cairo after being sentenced.

Morsi has promised justice for the victims' families and expressed that every bit of Egyptian blood is costly and this kind of unjust behaviour will not be tolerated.

Orders for the resumption of oil production

On Thursday, South Sudan ordered oil companies and pipeline operators to immediately resume production of crude oil for delivery to international markets through Sudan.

This move is seen as part of South Sudan's commitment to implementing an agreement signed between the neighbouring states this week.

Oil production in South Sudan was stopped 14 months ago because the believed that their Northern neighbours, Sudan, were charging too much as piping the South Sudanese oil could only be piped and extracted in Sudan.

However, the deal is back on with South Sudan calling on Malaysia and China to return to the production of oil.

As this is their primary source of income, the resumption of oil production is pertinent to the growth of South Sudan's economy and, hopefully, Sudan's too.