Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- The National Prosecuting Authority could have stopped the Gupta family 16 years ago if it had decided to prosecute a R120 million tax and customs fraud case linked to the family. A new report alleges that in 2001 Gupta-owned Sahara Computers and another company, Trump Technology – allegedly a front for Sahara – were investigated by the the Scorpions for exchange-control contraventions, fraudulent VAT claims and customs fraud committed between at least 1999 and 2001.
- The Gupta email leaks have officially resulted in action for the first time, with a new Treasury report referencing the emails extensively in calls for the suspension of former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe, along with suspended chief financial officer Anoj Singh and former acting boss Matshela Koko. This is the first time that the email tranche – which has revealed how the Gupta family has captured various arms of state and siphoned off billions of rands from state-owned companies – has been given official weight by government.
- President Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward Zuma, is in hot water for alleged racist comments he made in an open letter addressed to former ministers Pravin Gordhan and Derek Hanekom. In the document, he referred to Gordhan as “a stooge of white monopoly capital” and Hanekom as an “Afrikaner Askari”. The ANC has since slammed Zuma and has ordered him to retract the letter.
- The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is embroiled in a tender irregularity controversy following its decision to award a multi-million rand contract to a leading auditing firm which has been pocketing millions from the corruption-busting unit since 2006. At the centre of the controversy is a R7.5-million tender for a review of organisational structure for the SIU that was awarded to Deloitte Consulting last month.
- South Africa’s rand weakened on Friday, faltering in the face of technical barriers and political worries after an executive at the power utility Eskom was suspended pending an investigation into graft allegations. On Monday the Rand was trading at R13.01 to the dollar, R17.00 to the pound and R15.26 to the euro.