Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- President Jacob Zuma has denied allegations that he failed to file tax returns for the first five years of his presidency. The allegations are in a new damning book by investigative journalist Jacques Pauw, which says that Zuma dodged the tax admin to avoid having his ties to gangsters and the illicit tobacco trade found out. Those implicated in the book deny wrongdoing.
- The Guptas have lost their court battle with the Oppenheimers over the exclusive luxury Fireblade terminal, after the family allegedly pressured finance minister Malusi Gigaba to reverse his decision to approve it. The Oppenheimers argued that Gigaba’s decision to reverse approval on the basis of “the public interest” was flawed, and the judge agreed.
- Experts say that software giant SAP’s surprise move to report itself to US authorities over its Gupta kickbacks is a business decision, as the group could get a 50% discount on any fines for doing so voluntarily. The company first denied, but has now admitted that it paid over R100 million in kickbacks to Gupta companies to secure government contracts.
- Students are ready to once again take action against university tuition fees – and authorities are readying themselves to take them on. This follows the leak of the fee commission report this weekend, which showed that there was no room in South Africa for free tertiary education. Students have already attempted to shut down universities in the past week, demanding the report’s release.
- South Africa’s rand recovered on Friday after two days of heavy losses sparked by a bleak budget, benefiting from an uptick in other emerging market currencies and helped by local exporters selling dollars. On Monday the rand was trading at R14.11 to the dollar, R18.55 to the pound and R16.39 to the euro.