Thursday 17 August 2017
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
South Africa’s credit rating may be cut to junk if its policies become “even less predictable” or shift in a way that could undermine the economy, Moody’s Investors Service said. Policy uncertainty and political turmoil have increased in the last two months as the nation’s anti-graft ombudsman instructed lawmakers to change the central bank’s mandate, the mines minister published new regulations that the industry says undermine investment and President Jacob Zuma’s defeat of a no-confidence motion in parliament weakened the rand. South Africa entered a recession in the first quarter.
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe's whereabouts were not known on Tuesday, a South African police spokesman said, correcting the police minister who earlier claimed that she had handed herself in to police. "The negotiations over the suspect handing herself over have not concluded and our investigations have not finalised," police national spokesman Vishnu Naidoo told AFP. "The minister learned later that it just didn't materalise as it was supposed to. "We have identified a suspect but she hasn’t handed herself over yet. We do not know her whereabouts at this stage." Grace Mugabe had been expected in court Tuesday after she allegedly used an extension cord to assault...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe was under investigation by South African police Tuesday after she allegedly used an extension cord to assault a model in a Johannesburg hotel. The alleged attack threatened to spark a major diplomatic incident between the two countries, which have strong political and economic ties. The 52-year-old wife of President Robert Mugabe is accused of beating Gabriella Engels, 20, on Sunday evening at the hotel where her two sons were staying, leaving the victim with injuries to her forehead and the back of her head. "She hasn't handed herself over yet. We do not know her whereabouts at this stage," police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo told AFP.
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
South Africa on Wednesday marks five years since the Marikana massacre when police shot dead 34 striking mineworkers, with commemorations focused on the lack of prosecutions over the killings. The 34 miners were gunned down after police were deployed to break up a wildcat strike that had turned violent at the Lonmin-owned Marikana platinum mine, northwest of Johannesburg, in August 2012. It was the worst police violence in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. On Wednesday, family...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress won’t try to expose its lawmakers who voted in secret with the opposition in the no-confidence motion against President Jacob Zuma, the party’s secretary-general said. “There will be no witch hunt for those who voted with the opposition,” Gwede Mantashe said in a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday. “We don’t know who voted what way.” More than two dozen members of the ANC backed the motion of no confidence in the president...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Jailed South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius briefly left his Pretoria prison on Wednesday to attend his grandmother's funeral. "He left in the morning under supervision of our officials and by 20-minutes-past-one he was back at the facility," Correctional Services spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo told AFP. He was driven from Atteridgeville prison in Pretoria after he had been granted permission to bury his maternal grandmother‚ Joyce Bekker, who according to local media, died last week aged 93. The funeral took place...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/16/17)
Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe returned home on Tuesday from South Africa after failing to turn herself in to police in Johannesburg to face accusations of assaulting a model in a hotel room. There was no immediate public comment on the case from Grace, 52, a possible successor to her husband President Robert Mugabe, 93, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980. But Zimbabwe government sources confirmed she had returned home. "Yes, she is back in the country. We don't know...
(AFP (eng) 08/14/17)
Zimbabwe's vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is seen as favourite to succeed President Robert Mugabe, has been flown to South Africa for emergency medical care, officials said Monday. Mnangagwa, 74, fell ill at a rally where Mugabe spoke on Saturday in the southern town of Gwanda, and suffered severe suspected food poisoning. "Some of his doctors are in South Africa," health minister David Parirenyatwa told reporters in the capital Harare. "He is well. He is much better, he is almost jovial. He was vomiting with diarrhoea and he became dehydrated. He has done a battery of tests." With Mugabe, 93, in increasingly ...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
South Africa's public prosecution service, which is investigating alleged corruption in the awarding of government contracts, has denied reports that it will not accept leaked emails as evidence against President Jacob Zuma's allies. The allegations of influence-peddling in the so-called "State Capture" affair are deepening a divide in the ruling ANC party as factions jostle for control before a conference in December where Zuma's successor as party leader will be chosen. In June, media began reporting on more than 100,000 documents and emails leaked from inside the business empire of the Gupta family
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma indicated that ruling party lawmakers who backed an opposition attempt to oust him should face disciplinary action and said he may consider firing his higher education minister, who has criticized his leadership. More than two dozen members of the ruling African National Congress backed a motion of no confidence in the president on Aug. 8, which the main opposition Democratic Alliance filed after he unilaterally fired his respected finance minister and two ratings companies responded...
(The Guardian 08/14/17)
PR company summoned before disciplinary committee, accused of divisive social media campaign in South Africa to benefit billionaire Gupta family Bell Pottinger, the public relations company founded by Margaret Thatcher’s spin doctor Lord Bell, will on Friday be hauled before the public relations and communications association (PRCA) disciplinary committee over allegations it ran a secret campaign to stir up racial tension in South Africa on behalf of billionaire clients. Mmusi Maimane, leader of South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance party, has...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma wants the African National Congress to identify and punish party members who voted against him in a no-confidence motion in parliament last week. Some 30 ANC lawmakers supported the opposition motion in a secret ballot on Aug. 8, not enough for it to pass but the defection exposed rifts within the ANC that could weaken Zuma's ability to influence the choice of next party leader at elections in December. Addressing an ANC meeting late on...
(Times Live 08/14/17)
Claim of irregular contract is to 'impugn Gordhan's legacy'. Tensions are starting to show between Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's office and the Treasury as allegations of suppressed investigations and the running of parallel structures have surfaced. Cracks emerged this week as the Treasury wrangled with the office of the auditor-general over a R571-million contract awarded for the multibillion-rand Integrated Financial Management System. The system was envisioned to integrate all government payments into a single platform. The row includes allegations by...
(Times Live 08/14/17)
Malusi Gigaba unhappy about 'stubborn' board chair and her deputy Instability and disunity within the board of ailing state airline SAA are placing the continued tenure of deputy chairwoman Tryphosa Ramano in jeopardy. Business Times has learnt that infighting between SAA chair Dudu Myeni and Ramano has become a matter of concern for Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba who, it is alleged, believes it has hurt the national carrier. Ramano, who is expected by many to become chairwoman when Myeni departs...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead...
(Times Live 08/12/17)
ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has rubbished accusations that calls for radical economic transformation are tantamount to anti-white sentiment. Dlamini-Zuma said the policy of radical economic transformation was in fact "pro-South Africa". Dlamini-Zuma was speaking on Friday at an event hosted by the Progressive Professionals Forum in Woodmead‚ north of Johannesburg. She advised white people to get behind radical economic transformation because they would benefit from a peaceful and stable country‚ arguing that failure to include black people in the...
(Financial Times 08/12/17)
Businesses hold off investment as bitter divisions rack ANC. Kutlo Marumo, the man who makes President Jacob Zuma’s trademark leather jackets, emblazoned with the black, green and gold insignia of the African National Congress, should be doing a roaring trade. South Africa’s ruling party is gearing up for a five-yearly conference where thousands of delegates will elect a new leadership and the jackets are a favourite of ANC members. But even Mr Marumo is feeling the pinch as a string...
(AFP (eng) 08/11/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma, who survived a vote of no confidence in parliament this week, is "a fighter but he knows he is bowing out," one of his closest allies told AFP on Friday. Police Minister Fikile Mbalula called for ANC lawmakers to rally behind their leader after at least 30 of them voted to oust him in Tuesday's crunch parliamentary motion brought by the opposition. Zuma, 75, is due to step down as head of the African National...
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
South Africa could escape a further slide to junk status on Friday in the same way the nation’s leader, Jacob Zuma, defeated a parliamentary rebellion and clung onto power -- comfortably but not without some sweating. Moody’s Investors Service is scheduled to release a ratings review two months after it cut the local- and foreign-currency assessments to one level above junk, citing risks to growth and fiscal strength due to the political outlook. That was after it put South Africa...
(Times Live 08/11/17)
"Mistakes have been made‚" KPMG SA said on Friday. The auditing firm announced it had suspended its lead audit engagement partner and was relieving two other partners of their board and executive positions pending the outcome of a review of the work the company did for Gupta-linked companies. However‚ the company is mum on who these partners are. KPMG SA CEO Trevor Hoole admitted on Friday that the global consultancy should have stopped working for the controversial family sooner than...

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