5 things you need to know in South Africa today

Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:

South African Communist Party (SACP) general-secretary, Blade Nzimande, has called for a meeting with alliance partners after president Jacob Zuma ignored the party’s call for him to step down. “We’re going to be engaging the alliance on this matter on what are the next steps now that we’re going to take,” said Nzimande.

The Supreme Court of Appeal has agreed to hear both president Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority’s arguments against the reinstatement of 783 criminal charges against him – on the same day. James Selfe, the chairman of the federal executive of the DA, said a single hearing date would ensure “that not a single day further is wasted before the SCA can make a final judgement on this matter. “Hearing the two appeals together will also minimise the waste of judicial resources.”

Over R14 billion in civil claims were instituted against the SAPS over the last financial year. The actual number of civil claims was 16‚000‚ up from 2‚887 cases in the 2014/15 financial year according to chairperson of the portfolio committee on police‚ Frans Beukman. He said that the claims were largely attributed to unlawful arrests and detention‚ assaults and shooting incidents‚ adding that the incidents relate to human rights violations.

Parliament’s powers and privileges committee will investigate president Jacob Zuma’s deployment of soldiers during his state of the nation address. The question of why the legislature was not informed that the military would not merely act in a ceremonial role but help to maintain law and order, was raised by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen as a point of privilege in March while deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was answering questions in the chamber.

South Africa’s rand extended gains against the dollar on Thursday and government bonds firmed, helped by slowing inflation and the government’s rejection of the nationalisation of mines and banks. On Friday the rand was at R13.16 to the dollar, R16.83 to the pound, and R14.10 to the euro. 

Read: DA, UDM, Tutu and others join together to form new unified organisation against Zuma

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5 things you need to know in South Africa today