Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has accused the media of “problematising” the Guptas and president Jacob Zuma, and “pushing the same narrative” against them over and over again. Mkhwebane has been accused of receiving payments from the Guptas in the past. She denies this and says she has never met them. She said that, as Public Protector, she is free to meet with whomever she pleases. [EWN]
- South Africa’s banking unions are threatening to lead the largest strike in the banking sector since the 1920s, as financial houses threaten to thousands of jobs in a bid to cut costs and better compete in the market. The union, Sasbo, represents over 74,000 employees in the banking sector, has threatened to shut down the banking system if its demands are not me. [Bloomberg]
- A report on editorial interference at the SABC found that while no direct political interference took place, there were personalities within the group that pushed agendas and meddled with editorial policy. Most notably, the report fingered from COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng as a key figure in interfering, saying all his decisions, dismissals and disciplining should be reviewed. Motsoeneng stands by his choices, and said the report was nonsense. [ENCA]
- Julius Malema’s lawyers have argued that the EFF leader’s comments against journalists and the media at his rallies are simply political rhetoric, and calls to “cut the head” of the party’s perceived enemies in the media are not literal, and always coupled with calls to avoid violence. The South African Editors Forum and several journalists are seeking court intervention to stop Malema from exposing private details and rallying supporters against them with violent intent. [Daily Maverick]
- South Africa’s rand slipped to seven-week lows against the dollar on Monday, as prospects of a sharp escalation in the US-China trade war turned investors risk-averse. On Tuesday the rand was at R14.82 to the dollar, R18.01 to the pound and R16.59 to the euro.