Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- The ANC government has taken an official position that US and UK forces are conspiring to initiate regime change in South Africa and the general Southern Africa region. They base this view on a so-called ‘intelligence report’ headed by secretary general Gwede Mantashe, that paints opposition parties, NGOs, businesses and a host of other ‘ant-ANC’ groups as working under imperial forces to overthrow the government. Hash-tag campaigns – like #ZumaMustFall and #FeesMustFall are also part of this movement.
- Despite the ANC’s account of the official outcomes of its weekend NEC meeting – including that president Zuma is to remain leader of the country – alliance members and former ANC leaders are not staying silent, calling the party’s backing of Zuma a betrayal to the country. In particular, the SACP says it will not be silenced on the matter, while the ANC stalwarts have called on ANC MPs to launch a motion of no confidence in Parliament. Cosatu will hold discussions around whether it should remain in the tripartite alliance at all.
- The infamous business breakfasts hosted by Gupta media with the SABC may be on the rocks, as reports cite sources saying that the new interim SABC board is not comfortable with the arrangement and want it scrapped. The breakfasts draw top government officials as speakers and often involve millions of rands in sponsorships from SOEs. They are seen as channels to filter money through to officials without raising too many eyebrows.
- A judicial inquiry into state capture has now received official backing from every power group in the country – but is still being held back by Zuma’s court battle against the Public Protector. The ANC has officially endorsed further investigation into state capture, but legal experts warn that there is a direct bias and conflict of interest present in a party that fully supports the key player implicated in state capture, and analysts predict that any ANC-led investigation will lead to ‘whitewashing’ as seen in the Arms Deal investigations.
- South Africa’s rand weakened on Monday after President Jacob Zuma defeated over the weekend another call from inside the ruling party for him to step down, while stocks closed flat, hampered by the banking sector. On Tuesday, the rand retreated further and was trading at R13.00 to the dollar, R16.67 to the pound and R14.47 to the euro.