Jacob Zuma

Former President, Jacob Zuma.

Photo: State Capture Inquiry

South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Monday 23 November

All eyes on the State Capture Commission as former President Jacob Zuma returns to the dock, and the Bushiri drama rolls on.

Jacob Zuma

Former President, Jacob Zuma.

Photo: State Capture Inquiry

Another week is upon us, and there’s plenty to keep your eye on with former President Jacob Zuma back in the spotlight at the State Capture Inquiry after last week’s explosive sessions saw Msholozi do a runner halfway through proceedings. We’ve got all the latest news coming your way this week here.


Zuma returns to State Capture Commission

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has seen his fair share of hostile witnesses during the course of the State Capture Inquiry, but the man who arguably warranted the establishment of the commission in the first place might be his most challeging to date.

The commission was forced to adjourn until Monday 23 November after baffling antics ensued on Thursday. Zuma’s legal team argued that due to the alleged friendship between their corruption-accused client and Zondo, the judge should reuse himself. When Zondo adjourned for lunch, Zuma decided that he’d had enough and left without permission. Ultimately, Zondo dismissed the application to recuse himself, and a war of words began between the Zuma camp and those tasked with maintaining the commission’s integrity.

It is yet to be determined what – if any – action will be taken to punish Zuma for his dash for the door, and we can expect plenty of curveballs as the week progresses. 

COVID-19 cases continue to spike in hotspots

Health experts have cautioned that reckless action could lead to super-spreader events and increased COVID-19 infections in rural parts of the country after various cluster outbreaks sparked an increase in reported cases. The biggest hotspot areas are in the Eastern Cape, Free State and the Western Cape, and the spike in cases has many concerned about the prospect of a second wave.

The cumulative total of COVID-19 cases in South Africa is 767 679 with 2 270 new cases having been identified since the previous report on Sunday, and health experts are now monitoring the situation very closely to ensure that the country doesn’t succumb to imilar fate’s now being experienced in the US and across Europe.

Meanwhile, Britain could give regulatory approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine this week, even before the United States authorises it. The Pharmaceutical giants became the first companies to seek emergency authorisation for a coronavirus vaccine in the US on Friday 20 November in an unprecedented move that suggests that a desperately needed aid is soon to become available.

Bushiri saga continues

The drama surrounding the escape of corruption and fraud accused pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary rolls on, with the self-proclaimed prophet having fled to his native Malawi having been released on R200 000 bail days earlier.

They applied for bail in Malawi on the very same day they were set to return to the court for the aforementioned charges, and were released unconditionally. In the meantime, the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court ordered that the Bushiris’ Midstream Estates property in Centurion, worth over R5 million, be handed over after they failed to appear.

The inquest into how exactly the Bushiris managed to leave South Africa continues, and there will be plenty of fallout and development to keep an eye on as the week progresses.

Orlando Pirates: Zinnbauer’s faith in Mabasa pays off

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer’s faith in Tshegofatso Mabasa was repaid after the striker nabbed a winning goal when thrown on in the latter stages of their PSL match against SuperSport United.

The Sea Robbers went into the change rooms at Orlando Stadium trailing 1-0 at half-time after Teboho Mokoena had given SuperSport the lead inside six minutes, but an astute decision to bring Mabasa on in place of fellow goal-scorer Zakhele Lepasa proved pivotal, and the striker tucked away a poacher’s goal to seal another win for Pirates.

Pirates win over SuperSport was their second in four league matches, and while it is too early to declare their season back on track, the three points will be welcomed. They remain unbeaten in the league so far this season and will be looking forward to the MTN 8 Final.

Proteas quick bowls Thunder into WBBL semi-final

Proteas fast bowler Shabnim Ismail produced a miserly spell of 3 for 10 to help the Sydney Thunder secure their place in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) finals with victory over Hobart Hurricanes.

After. Ismail’s spell hamstrung the Hurricanes efforts to build up momentum – with a paltry 115 for 9 from their 20 overs the best they could muster – the Thunder completed the chase at a canter and advanced to the finals series which begins later this week.

The Sydney Thunder will face the Brisbane Heat in the second WBBL semi-final on Thursday 26 November while the Melbourne Stars and Perth Scorchers do battle on Wednesday for the other spot in the grand final.

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