Life Esidimeni Inquest judgment expected and legal blow to the RAF

 ·10 Jul 2024

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

  • Life Esidimeni Inquest judgement expected today: Today, the High Court in Pretoria is expected to hand down the judgement of the Life Esidimeni Inquest, which concluded last November. This follows the tragic deaths of 144 mental healthcare patients eight years ago, after their transfer from the specialised Life Esidimeni hospital to inadequate NGOs and care facilities, marking one of South Africa’s most significant human rights violations. The families of the victims seek justice for the many who died due to neglect, starvation, and dehydration. [SABC]

  • RAF leave to appeal illegal foreigners judgment dismissed: The High Court in Pretoria has dismissed an application by the Road Accident Fund (RAF) for leave to appeal a judgment. The judgment declared invalid a Department of Transport regulation and RAF management directive that excluded illegal foreigners from submitting claims against the RAF. The court also ordered the RAF to cover the costs of the case. [Moneyweb]

  • Financial strains and political rifts surface in Joburg: Johannesburg’s Finance MMC, ANC’s Dada Morero, expressed disappointment with the EFF, a coalition member, for voting against a R2.5-billion loan from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) aimed at funding capital projects and payable over 15 years. The EFF said that the loan would hit the poor the hardest because the “interest was too much”. Johannesburg is governed by a coalition comprising the ANC, EFF, PA, and other minority parties, distinct from the national unity government (GNU) that includes the ANC and DA but not the EFF. [News24]

  • Reserve Bank loses nearly R1 billion: The Reserve Bank announced a nearly R1 billion writedown on its stake in African Bank Investment Holdings, now valuing the bank at about R7 billion. This adjustment reflects a more cautious outlook on future cash flows due to ABHL’s declining performance this financial year. Consequently, the central bank’s 50% stake is valued at R3.5 billion, nearly 20% less than its R4.3 billion value a year earlier. [Business Day]

  • Markets: The rand edged lower on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell did not give a clear indication on whether the U.S. central bank would cut interest rates soon. On Wednesday (10 July), the rand was trading at R18.15 to the dollar, R23.25 to the pound, and R19.65 to the euro. Oil is trading at $84.42 a barrel. [Reuters]
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