Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- A draft document on the SABC ad-hoc committee’s findings has been leaked, revealing that MPs want an investigation into wasteful and fruitless expenditure at the broadcaster amounting to over R5 billion – and they want it paid back. The leaked report also found that the SABC board had failed in its duties and needed to be dissolved and replaced, while communications minister Faith Muthambi’s conduct has also been called into question.
- One of the key witnesses mention in the Public Protector’s apartheid state looting report says that he was misquoted, weakening what was seen as a key piece of evidence in ordering Absa to pay back R2.25 billion from an apartheid-era bailout. The witness in question is former Reserve Bank governor Chris Stals, who was quoted as saying there was an agreement in place to get money back from Absa in 1995. Stals has now come out and denied any agreement was ever in place.
- South African billionaire Johann Rupert says he’s ready to take on any accusations or action against him and his family related to the Absa report, adding that he’d love to put it to rest. Rupert was implicated in the original Ciex report, on which the Public Protector report is based, through the Rembrandt group. The report is not final.
- A Facebook group has popped up petitioning to raise money so that it can send controversial Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr and farmers’ rights activist Henk van de Graaf to meet US president Donald Trump, to discuss alleged ‘white genocide’ in the country. The petition has 200 signatures and has so far raised R20,000 of its R100,000 target in 12 days.
- South Africa’s rand rose to its highest in two months on Tuesday, gaining as much as two percent, benefiting from a brighter commodities outlook and uncertainty about the outlook for U.S. economic policy that has favoured emerging market currencies. On Wednesday, the rand was trading at R13.54 to the dollar, R16.69 to the pound and R14.47 to the euro.