Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- The arrests of former senior Eskom executives for defrauding the power utility of R745 million is just the start, says the Hawks, with more arrests imminent. The executives were granted R300,000 bail. According to the Hawks, there are several ongoing investigations into fraud and corruption at Eskom, with one suspect even in the UK, which South Africa is in extradition talks with. The accused reportedly split a R30 million kickback amongst themselves on an inflated R745 million contract. [IOL]
- Justice minister Ronald Lamola has taken a swipe at the UAE for apparently purposely delaying the signing of extradition treaties which would allow South Africa to get the Guptas back in the country to stand trial, and allow it to recover the billions stolen from the economy. In an address at the UN, Lamola said it was a travesty of justice that some countries would purposefully block such action when the economy is in the state it is. The UAE hasn’t signed the treaties over an apparent problem with the Arabic translation. [Daily Maverick]
- Former president Jacob Zuma is heading to the supreme court of appeal (SCA) in his next attempt to avoid paying the costs of his many court battles against the Public Protector. In 2018 the High Court denied leave to appeal its punitive cost orders against Zuma, which was laid down over his reckless legal action against the Public Protector, which the judges said were against his role as head of state at the time. He owes around R330,000 in unpaid fees. [IOL]
- The fight for Tshwane rages on – but no matter the outcome of its legal action against the ousting of its mayor and speaker in the metro, the DA will be losing the city, according to the ANC and EFF. The High Court has granted the DA and urgent interdict regarding the ousting of its mayor, with judgement reserved in the case. However, the EFF and ANC has vowed to support each other in seeing his permanent removal. [ENCA]
- South Africa’s rand firmed against the dollar on Thursday, clinging to gains as a high carry yield and a decision by Fitch not to lower the country’s credit rating underpinned demand. Fitch on Wednesday affirmed South Africa’s long-term foreign and local currency debt ratings, helping lift the rand to a four-and-a-half month high against a backdrop of mildly positive global sentiment. On Friday the rand was at R14.23 to the dollar, R18.52 to the pound and R15.81 to the euro.