By Panashe Chigumadzi (@panashechig)
A roundup of the biggest news and newsmakers from last week.
1. Chibok Girls – Parents of Chibok girls want case closed, Say Funeral Rites Already Performed
More than 100 days after their kidnapping, parents of the kidnapped Chibok school girls said they want the matter closed. The parents said they presumed the students to have died for which their funeral rites have already been performed in their (parents’) minds according to their custom. They, however, urged the federal government bring the girls’ corpses for honourable burial.
This position was disclosed yesterday by the #BringOurGirls advocacy group, during its daily sit-out meeting for the rescue of the missing school girls at Unity Fountain, Abuja.
“All they said they want is their corpses to bury them honourably,” the group said.
As a way of driving their demand home, the group said it is vigorously mobilizing people on and offline and via social media towards holding a mega protest march in the FCT.
The group added a new slogan #NotWithoutOurDaughters! in response to a question on when it will stop the campaign.
2. Israel destroys two high rises in Gaza
On Tuesday morning, Israel bombed two Gaza City high-rises with dozens of homes and shops collapsing one building and severely damaging the other in a further escalation in seven weeks of cross-border fighting with Hamas.
Both buildings were evacuated after receiving warnings of impending strikes. Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said 25 people were wounded in the attack on the complex.
The Israeli military said it targeted sites linked to militants but made no specific reference to the two buildings. Israel alleges Hamas often operates from civilian locations.
The latest strikes came as Egypt urged Israel and Hamas to resume indirect talks on a permanent cease-fire, based on an Egyptian proposal for a new border deal for blockaded Gaza. Israel and Hamas have not responded to Egypt’s latest call.
To date the Gaza war has killed at least 2,133 Palestinians and wounded more than 11,000, according to Palestinian health officials. The U.N. estimates more than 17,000 homes have been destroyed, leaving 100,000 people homeless. On the Israeli side, 68 people have been killed, all but four of them soldiers.
3. Michael Brown is laid to rest in Ferguson
On Monday, the unarmed African American teenager shot 6 times by a white policeman, Michael Brown was laid to rest.Rev. Al Sharpton delivered one of two eulogies during the service Monday. With a call to action, Sharpton criticized police who pointed rifles at peaceful protesters in Ferguson. “We have to leave here today and change this,” he said.
Brown’s great-uncle, the Rev. Charles Ewing, drew parallels between the teenager’s life, death and Scripture during his eulogy on behalf of the family. “Michael Brown’s blood is crying from the ground, crying for vengeance, crying for justice,” he said. “There is a cry being made from the ground, not just for Michael Brown but for the Trayvon Martins, for those children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, for the Columbine massacre, for the black-on-black crime.”
They urged the crowd of thousands of mourners to “show up at the voting polls,” because “we have had enough to of seeing our brothers and sisters killed in the streets.”
His father, Michael Brown Sr., wrote his own letter, saying, “I always told you I will never let nothing happen to you. And that’s what hurt sooooooo much, that I couldn’t protect you but we love you. I will never let you die in my heart, you will always live forever.”
Brown’s death on 9 August sparked days of sometimes violent protests in the St. Louis suburb over racially-motivated police shootings across the country.
Among the guests at the service were Martin Luther King III and the Rev. Bernice King; the Rev. Jesse Jackson; the families of Trayvon Martin and Sean Bell; and celebrities Spike Lee, Diddy and Snoop Lion. The White House sent three officials to the funeral. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, however, did not attend.
Two investigations, one federal and one run by state prosecutors are in the early stages of trying to determine what led up to the shooting.
4. Julius Malema asks President Zuma to #PayBackTheMoney
Last Thursday, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs disrupted Parliament during President Jacob Zuma’s response to the Nkandla saga.
Zuma was giving MPs feedback in Parliament on the Nkandla upgrades when EFF MPs started chanting: “Bring back the money.”
The fracas followed a question by EFF leader Julius Malema to Zuma about when he was going to repay money wasted in security upgrades at his Nkandla home.
5. Beyonce takes over MTV and wins Vanguard award
On Sunday night, Beyonce closed the MTV Video Music Awards show with an epic nearly 16-minute medley performance of tracks from her self-titled album.
Beyonce sang and danced in a Tom Form stained glass leotard while Blue Ivy and Jay Z watched from their seats as she declared: “MTV, welcome to my world.”
At the end of the performance she cried as she was joined onstage by Jay-Z and Blue Ivy who presented her with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard.
She kissed her daughter and husband Jay Z, who called her the “greatest living entertainer.”
“I’m so full. I have nothing to say but I am filled with so much gratitude,” she told the cheering crowd as they chanted her name.
6. Mbali Ntuli resigns as DA Youth leader
The Democratic Alliance’s Mbali Ntuli has resigned as youth leader, the party has confirmed. This follows an increasingly strained relationship with DA party leader Helen Zille.
In February, Zille launched a verbal attack on Ntuli , when the youth leader expressed her objections to the DA’s planned march to Luthuli House.
Ntuli’s resignation is the party’s third high profile resignation this year, following the exit of the party’s former parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko in May and chief executive officer Jonathan Moakes resignation earlier this month.
Ntuli will remain a DA member and a member of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature.
– Mail and Guardian