The building on the posh Avenue Foch has been earmarked for confiscation since France's top court upheld Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue's conviction on embezzlement and money laundering charges in July. The saga is straining already tense relations with Equatorial Guinea.
Since he became president in 2018, Cyril Ramaphosa has little by little turned key embassy postings into consolation prizes for former Zuma ministers he wants to keep out of government. This has exasperated career diplomats, who are concerned that top diplomatic posts are going to politicians without experience on the international stage.
Zeyad Alzarzour Khalifa, the all-powerful boss of the Plaza Ledger hotel, was in mid-September unceremoniously booted out of his job. The move opens the door to Libya's sovereign wealth fund taking back control of the luxury hotel, and it could end years of bad blood between Tripoli and Bangui.