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But 7.7 percent of all households still use kerosene appliances for lighting. Because kerosene is highly flammable, malfunctioning appliances can endanger lives.

President Jacob Zuma said his government is committed to lifting more people out of poverty.

South Africa’s population stood at 51.7 million in 2011, up from 44.8 million in 2001.


Poisoning suspect’s family denies his confession

DAKAR, Senegal — The family of a man charged with attempting to poison the president of Benin says authorities are trying to force the suspect to sign a confession by keeping him in a tiny cell without food.

Moudjaidou Soumanou, a former trade minister, was one of three people arrested early last month and charged with conspiracy and attempted murder.

The suspects are accused of plotting to swap President Boni Yayi’s medicine with a toxic substance in exchange for millions of dollars.

The plot allegedly unraveled when one of the three suspects told someone else who then alerted authorities.

Mr. Soumanou’s family says he is now being held in a 3-by-3 foot cell without access to food or daylight. His son-in-law denied the prosecutor’s assertion that Mr. Soumanou already had confessed to involvement in the attempted poisoning.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports