Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- President Jacob Zuma knew finance minister Pravin Gordhan was going to be formally charged – yet the minister was still taken by surprise by the accusation of fraud laid against him. Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza and NPA head Shaun Abrahams were grilled in Parliament on Wednesday, facing questions and criticisms from MPs. It was determined that the NPA had informed the justice minister of the charges, who then engaged with Zuma over the matter.
- ‘Load shedding’ for water supplies is now being extended to other parts of Gauteng – specifically, Joburg. The system of water throttling had to be introduced in Tshwane this week, as residents and businesses failed to heed the call to reduce water consumption by 15%. The water throttling will continue until the city is satisfied that enough water is being saved – however the Ekurhuleni metro said the situation would be reviewed in May 2017.
- There are claims that the Fees Must Fall movement has been captured by non-students as protests become increasingly violent. A 26 year old “student” was arrested on charges for attempted murder, after setting a building on fire with security guards trapped inside. Former students have also been arrested along with registered students for taking part in violent actions.
- The Gupta family’s lawyer has softened his words, after threatening Public Protector Thuli Madonsela over her investigation into state capture, saying that he simply wants due process to be followed, and all evidence to be covered. Earlier this week, the lawyer sent a threatening letter to the PP, saying that should the Guptas be brought up in the report, Madonsela would do so at her “own peril”.
- South Africa’s rand recovered on Wednesday after the state prosecutor said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan could ask for a review of a decision to charge him with fraud. However, the recovery was brief, with the currency returning to the weaker levels late on Wednesday. On Thursday, the rand was trading at R14.29 to the dollar, R17.41 to the pound and R15.74 to the euro.
In other news: The Proteas have made cricket history, becoming the first team to put world champions Australia on the receiving end of a 5-0 whitewash in one-day international cricket.