But most French rap songs show a deep urge to articulate what would otherwise go unexpressed in words, and - whatever your feelings about the genre - many do so with invention. The French language, with its repeated end of word inflections, is widely recognised as lending itself to rap, and even masters of the form in the US have been complimentary. Today many French rappers are saying that if only their words had been listened to, the suburban violence might never have occurred.

In December 2003, Willard E. Brown confessed to the 1984 rape and stabbing death of Deborah Sykes after DNA testing linked him to the crime. His confession led to the release of Darryl Hunt, who had served about 18 years of a life sentence for a crime he always denied committing. On February 6, 2004, Superior Court Judge Anderson Cromer vacated Hunt's murder conviction in the case. Cromer dismissed the case against Hunt "with prejudice," meaning he can never be tried in the murder again. Over the course of its inquiry from 2005-2007, a citizens committee revealed mistakes made by law-enforcement officers in the handling of the Sykes case and three other rape cases that occurred in the same time frame. In February 2007, their report was released and the city issued a formal apology to Darryl Hunt.

But if you think this singer is yet another rapper getting rich by glamorising the violent lives of gangsters, you would be mistaken. "The aesthetic should always serve a moral purpose, it's what's called artistic responsibility. The French writer Albert Camus and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre followed this idea, and I want to do the same," he says.

Translating Osho's words to the page doesn't do her proper justice - as you'd expect from an actor, her work is visual, narrative and pivots on her perfect delivery. British-born, of Nigerian parentage, Osho bases much of her act on the idiosyncrasies of the UK's Nigerian community, opening with a sketch about the "free bus" (buses where passengers can jump on in the middle and fare dodge). "The only time the 25 bus is empty is when an inspector gets on," she comments, before racing into an acid parody of two Nigerian "princesses" arguing.

The SS Mendi, a former mail ship requisitioned as a troop carrier, had sailed from Capetown with more than 800 African volunteers, some as young as 16, most seeing the sea for the first time. It also carried five white officers, 17 non-commissioned officers, and a crew of 33. The men had volunteered to join the South African Native Labour Corps. They were not trusted to bear arms - another bitter point - but were instead destined to work as labourers.

Normally, it is impossible to determine the true owner of such companies. But our document reveals that in December 2003, Friedhelm Eronat personally owned Cliveden Sudan. Channel 4 News has obtained confidential photographs, taken by African Union monitors last July in Suleia, a village just to the north of Block C. The following month I went to other nearby burned villages. In them, I met people still on the run from Suleia. They said they had been bombed by government planes. Some had then been shackled and burned alive, many shot dead; others wounded; women, raped. Suleia is 180km from Block C's first well. Cliveden Sudan insisted to us that the 'wells' are 1000km from the conflict zone.

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