Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: In South Africa, there have been 14,271 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,568,511. Deaths have reached 473 (+76,247), while recoveries have climbed to 2,344,896, leaving the country with a balance of 147,368 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 9,185,756 (+183,704).
- State Capture: President Cyril Ramaphosa has ended his two days of testimony before the Zondo commission on state capture, admitting that the ANC was blindsided by the scale of corruption and state capture networks during the Zuma presidency, and that leaders failed to ‘connect the dots’ in the whole saga. Commentators and analysts have welcomed the president’s appearance but say that many questions remain unanswered – and it’s up for debate how satisfying Ramaphosa’s testimony will be. The president says that state capture is unlikely to continue, as government and leaders are now well aware of it and how it plays out. [News24 – paywall]
- Target men: Health authorities in Gauteng want to launch a vaccination campaign focusing on men in the province – as it has emerged that men are far less likely to get the jab than women. Adoption of the vaccine in Gauteng has been slower than anticipated, so the province is ramping up its efforts to reach out through mobile clinics, increasing vaccination sites, and encouraging employers to start vaccination programmes. Vaccination has slowed down among men and people over the age of 60. Approximately 2.1 million vaccines have been administered in the province. [TimesLive]
- Mango: The High Court has handed Mango’s business rescue process back to the airline, with the Mango Pilots Association, metalworkers’ union Numsa, and the Cabin Crew Association’s bid to take over the process being dismissed. Mango has now appointed Sipho Sono as the business rescue practitioner and said it would soon be back in the air, with announcements expected to follow. After unions successfully forced the group into business rescue, Mango Airlines suspended all flights and services from 27 July. [EWN]
- Irony: After former president Jacob Zuma tried to turn his back on the International Criminal Courts (ICC) during his time in office, his supporters are now, ironically, hoping to approach the group to lay vague charges against president Cyril Ramaphosa. This is the latest move from Zuma’s support base, after failing to garner support from local authorities in their campaign in defence of the former president. ICC experts and advisors say there is no basis for his supporters to approach the court and described it as a mockery of its function. [Daily Maverick]
- Markets: The rand, alongside other currencies, enjoyed a reprieve in the market and gained some lost ground on Thursday. The rand continues to be driven by global events, particularly US growth, inflation and expected monetary policy. On Friday, the rand was trading at R14.81/$, R17.38/€ and R20.44/£.