5 important things happening in South Africa today

Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:

Coronavirus: In South Africa, there have been 3,197 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 3,585,888. Deaths have reached 94,397 (+132), while recoveries have climbed to 3,418,123, leaving the country with a balance of 73,368 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 29,540,132.

  • Vaccine mandates: The CCMA has ruled in favour of a business that fired its worker for refusing to get the Covid-19 vaccine. The employee refused the vaccine on the basis that it was against her human rights. However, as her role was in training – interacting with other workers and trainees – and she could not be moved to another position in the company, she was incapacitated by her refusal to get vaccinated and was dismissed. The CCMA upheld the dismissal, calling it substantively fair. Before introducing the mandatory policy, the company consulted with workers for three months where the policy was explained to them in detail. [News24]

  • Corruption: Legal experts warn that the National Prosecuting Authority does not have the capacity to deal with all the PPE corruption cases comings its way, given that it is already struggling with the caseload related to state capture. The Special Investigation Unit has published its final report on Covid-19 PPE corruption, finding that 68% of the government contracts it investigated were irregular. 386 people had been referred to the NPA for prosecution following the investigations. Accountability Now director advocate Paul Hoffman says that the NPA lacks capacity, and this is a failing of parliament, which, he says, has not been serious about its anti-corruption stance. [702]

  • Contempt: Civil action group Outa has initiated contempt of court proceedings against roads agency Sanral and its former CEO. Outa won a court order in November 2021 for the roads agency to supply it with information around tolling operations on key routes. However, Sanral has failed to provide these. The agency said it intended on challenging the court order but missed the deadline and the extended deadline to submit papers. Outa said that Sanral was trying to delay the process but has to date not given any reason for the hold-up – it is now approaching the courts to force it into action and said it would pursue the matter to finality. [Moneyweb]

  • Denied: The Supreme Court of Appeal has hammered the final nail in public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s attempt to resurrect the ‘SARS Rogue Unit’ case that the courts previously dismissed as a work of fiction. Mkhweban’s 2020 report into the rogue unit claimed that public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan had violated the executive ethics code and misled parliament. However, the courts found the report to be irrational and bereft of any sound legal or factual basis. An appeal to the ruling was dismissed, and now the SCA has also dismissed taking the case further. Mkhwebane has been saddled with mounting personal cost orders over the report. [Daily Maverick]

  • Markets: The South African rand weakened on Tuesday, as worries about a potential military conflict in Ukraine and policy tightening by the US Federal Reserve boosted the dollar and dented appetite for riskier assets. Markets had until recently mostly shrugged off a build-up of Russian troops near Ukraine’s borders, but tensions have ratcheted up lately. NATO said on Monday it was putting forces on standby and reinforcing eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets, while Russia denounced Western “hysteria”. On Wednesday, the rand was trading at R15.22/$, R17.20/€ and R20.56/£. [Reuters]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today