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The fire destroyed the Reading Room of the Jagger Library at the University of Cape Tow [Mike Hutchings/Reuters]

The students ran along the main road as flames – fanned by strong winds – consumed the university’s historic library with its collection of rare books, and other campus buildings on Sunday.

Cape Town’s mayor Dan Plato said at least one firefighter was being treated for burns in hospital.

The fire started early on Sunday near a memorial to politician Cecil Rhodes, located on Devils Peak, another part of Cape Town’s mountainous backdrop, before spreading rapidly up the slopes.

Heavy smoke could be seen from kilometres away, some roads were closed and fire alerts were sent to all mountain hikers.

“All UCT students have been evacuated from campus by emergency services support staff,” the university said in a statement.



Firefighters carry a colleague who collapsed due to the smoke and the heat as they battled an out of control fire on the slopes of Table Mountain [Rodger Bosch/AFP]
The university, ranked among the best in Africa, is largely built on the slopes of Devil’s Peak and is close to where the fire started. Ujala Satgoor, the executive director of UCT Libraries, said on Facebook that the Reading Room of the library had been gutted but that fire shutters had been triggered preventing the flames from spreading to other parts of the building.

“Some of our valuable collections have been lost,” Satgoor said, adding that the library would only be able to assess the full extent of the damage after the building had been declared safe.

“This is indeed a sad day for UCT and UCT Libraries! Although this loss will be felt deeply, we will weather this storm and rise from the ashes.”

Private homes and historical structures such as the Mostert’s Hill windmill had also been damaged in the fire, city authorities said. 

Three helicopters were deployed to battle the inferno with video and photo shared on social media showing students milling around on the main road, amid billowing smoke and the night sky illuminated in orange flames. Aljazeera

Iranian animation ‘Benjamin’ directed by Mohsen Enayati has won two main awards at Kwetu International Animation Film Festival (KIAFF) in Tanzania. Image courtesy


Animation’s synopsis reads ‘Benjamin’s clumsy yet sweet friend, Asher, screws up. This leads to Benjamin’s mother being captured by the king’s soldiers. Benjamin decides to embark on a hazardous journey to save his mother. This makes the beginning of Asher and Benjamin’s adventure.”

Bahman Sabz Cultural Center, which previously premiered award-winning animations ‘The Elephant King’ and ‘Princess of Rome’, is broadcasting ‘Benjamin’.

‘Benjamin’ has previously garnered the best-animated creation award from the 32nd edition of the International Film Festival for Children and Youth Awards in Iran.

The Best Character award and the Best Feature Film award went to Benjamin at Kwetu International Animation Film Festival. 

Kwetu International Animation Film Festival (KIAFF) is newly born Festival in Tanzania. KIAFF provides a large-scale setting for presenting the beautiful works of world animated films with a special focus on East African Animation films. - Mehr News Agency


Beatrice Munyenyezi was deported by the United States after serving a prison term for lying on her naturalisation application. Photo Jim Cole/AP


A Rwandan woman who was deported by the United States after serving a prison term for lying on her naturalisation application has been arrested upon arrival in Rwanda, where she faces seven charges related to the 1994 genocide.

Thierry Murangira, spokesman for the Rwanda Bureau of Investigation, said Beatrice Munyenyezi will be charged for crimes ranging from murder to complicity in rape, which occurred as she was manning a roadblock in the southern city of Butare.

His comments on Friday evening came after Munyenyezi, who had secured US citizenship in New Hampshire in 2003, was flown into Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, accompanied by US federal agents.

Munyenyezi denied accusations of involvement in the genocide during her trial in the US. She did not speak to waiting journalists as Rwandan police took her into custody when she arrived.

During the genocide between April and July of 1994, some 800,000 people were slaughtered, mainly from the ethnic Tutsi minority but also moderate Hutus.

The roadblock where Munyenyezi  is accused of committing the crimes was situated outside a hotel in Butare that was owned by her in-laws.

Munyenyezi’s mother-in-law, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, and her husband Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, were convicted and sentenced by the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha for their roles in the genocide.

Munyenyezi was stripped of her US citizenship and jailed for 10 years in 2013, after she was found guilty by a court of misrepresenting material facts when she secured the naturalisation.

Separately, French authorities said on Friday a Rwandan priest had been arrested on charges of providing, among other things, food to militiamen who massacred Tutsis in his church during the genocide.

Marcel Hitayezu was charged on Wednesday with genocide and being an accomplice to crimes against humanity, according to the national anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office.

He was arrested at his home in Montlieu-la-Garde, southwestern France, a source close to the case told AFP news agency.

“Marcel Hitayezu denied the charges at his initial appearance before a judge,” the prosecutor’s office said.

Rwanda had sought to extradite Hitayezu but France’s Cour de Cassation, the country’s highest criminal court, in 2016 rejected the request, as it did similar requests by Kigali for others suspected of having taken part in the genocide.

French authorities had launched a probe into Rwanda’s accusations against Hitayezu in July 2019, three years after the extradition request.

“He was until Wednesday vicar to the priest at the Montlieu-la-Garde church,” the regional archdiocese told AFP.

“It’s excellent news,” Alain Gauthier, who has spent years hunting down people living in France suspected of having taken part in the genocide, told AFP on learning of the arrest.

“The church must examine how it gave responsibilities to people suspected of having taken part in the genocide,” Gauthier added.

The genocide between April and July of 1994 began after Rwanda’s Hutu president, Juvenal Habyarimana, with whom Paris had cultivated close ties, was killed when his plane was shot down over Kigali on April 6. - Al Jazeera

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