Jacob Zuma Tax

Photo: Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw

South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Wednesday 7 July 2021

In the latest news in South Africa on Wednesday 7 July 2021, judgment in Jacob Zuma’s high court application to avoid jail will be handed down on Friday.

Jacob Zuma Tax

Photo: Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw

Stay informed and up to date with the latest news in South Africa by reviewing all major headlines on Wednesday 7 July.

Former president Jacob Zuma filed a last-ditch court application in a bid to avoid jail after he was found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment in the Constitutional Court last Tuesday. 

The Pietermaritzburg High Court hearing was held virtually. Judgment will be handed down on Friday.


Jacob Zuma latest: ‘A recalcitrant law breaker’ in the ‘wrong court’

“We are dealing with a repetitive recalcitrant law breaker in the form of Mr (Jacob) Zuma and he has now come to ask you to assist him in breaking the law further.”

This was how Zondo Commission advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi summed up former president Jacob Zuma’s application for a stay of execution of the order for the warrant of his arrest in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday. 

Jacob Zuma filed the last ditch court application in a bid to avoid jail after he was found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment in the Constitutional Court last Tuesday.  He was found in contempt of court after he defied a court order to appear before the Zondo Commisison. He also filed an application in the Constitutional Court at the same time on Friday 2 July for the contempt of court order to be rescinded.

Arguing in opposition of the application Ngcukaitobi said Zuma had exhausted at least six opportunities to respond to both the commission and the Constitutional Court regarding his appearance before it and he had decided not to do so.

Ngcukaitobi presented his argument in a virtual Pietermaritzburg High Court hearing before Judge Bhekisisa Mnguni. He said the court order was binding and a lower court could not interfere with the Constitutional Court judgement and the notional that it could was “radically misplaced”.

‘We love Zuma, and hope he wins his court appeal’ – Jessie Duarte

Despite chastising protesters for gathering in their thousands at Nkandla over the past week, the Acting ANC Secretary-General Jessie Duarte has confirmed that the NEC is essentially ‘rooting for Jacob Zuma’ – despite his repeated refusal to abide by the laws of the country. Her supportive message comes during a sensitive time for South Africa.

Jacob Zuma is set to attend a virtual session of court on Tuesday, where he will learn if the first of his two rescission appeals have been successful. This really is Msholozi’s last throw of the dice to stay out of jail, and after some overnight confusion, Police Minister Bheki Cele has confirmed that a forcible arrest will likely happen by Thursday.

The former president argues that he has been sentenced to jail without a proper trial. However, his offence – contempt of court – was determined after he missed several key appointments with both the State Capture Inquiry and the Constitutional Court. If Zuma feels his side of the story hasn’t been heard, most of the blame must lie with him.

During the NEC briefing earlier on Tuesday, Jessie Duarte slammed some of her party comrades for ‘organising mass gatherings’ outside of Nkandla. Angered by Zuma’s supporters, the ANC Top Sixer didn’t reserve the same vitriol for uBaba himself, and instead elected to shower the divisive political figure with praise.

‘Is he hiding in a bunker?’ Ramaphosa taunted for silence on Zuma issue

It has been a full week since Jacob Zuma was sentenced to jail. A LOT has gone off in the past seven days, and just about everyone in South Africa has had something to say about the former president’s defiance of ConCourt’s ruling. Everyone, that is, except for Cyril Ramaphosa – and our current head of state still remains silent on the matter.

DA leader John Steenhuisen has challenged Cyril Ramaphosa to say something – anything, even – in the face of a possible Constitutional crisis. The ANC is fighting a bitter factional war as it stands, and although the 68-year-old may not want to kick a hornet’s nest right now, ignoring the issue won’t make it go away either.

“It’s essential that Ramaphosa speaks up about the events happening in SA, in both the Constitutional Court and Nkandla. If he fails to break his silence, it will create a two-tier system where laws only apply to some people. Many South Africans make sacrifices during lockdown, but what’s happening in Nkandla is a slap in the face for us all.”

“It’s not fair to inflict lockdown laws on businesses when there are these scenes of impunity. A failure to intervene will see Ramaphosa remembered as the president who happily jailed joggers, cyclists, and beachgoers, but did nothing to discipline his own associates in the ANC.” | John Steenhuisen

COVID-19: Traces of Delta Variant ‘dominant in Cape Town wastewater’

Scientists from the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)say that they have detected the presence of the highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in waste water from several towns in the Western Cape, as well as the City of Cape Town.

The SAMRC said in a statement on 6 July that waste water-based surveillance for detecting the Delta variant has been carried out in a number of countries, and a good correlation has been found between viral load in waste water and subsequent COVID-19 cases.

Dr Rabia Johnson, Deputy Director of the SAMRC’s Biomedical Research & Innovation Platform (BRIP), said that the Delta variant has been detected as the dominant variant in towns in the Breede Valley (Worcester, Rawsonville, Touws River and De Doorns), Theewaterskloof (Bot River and Villiersdorp) as well as in 19 wastewater treatment plants in the Cape Town Metropole.

“For the past two months, SAMRC scientists have been screening for  the presence of mutations associated with the Alpha and Beta variants in waste water using qRT-PCR technology, and found both the Alpha and Beta variants, with the Beta variant being predominant,” she said. 

‘Special group’ vaccines latest: DoH RETRACTS circular after public outcry

Following public outcry over a circular distributed by the Department of Health earlier today in which they outlined how “special groups” – including Ministers, Diplomats, as well as their families and people studying abroad – could skip the queue for vaccine registration, the department has quickly moved to retract the measure. 

In a follow up circular sent from the National Health Institute (NHI), Deputy Director General Nicholas Crisp said the the measure is “withdrawn in its entirety”

The circular issued in response to the public’s fury over the “shameless” measure to allow government officials and their families to be prioritised for vaccinations while the rollout for ordinary citizens over the age of 50-years-old remains plagued with delays and issues reads as follows: 

“Following the circular on the vaccination of certain special groups and individuals against COVID-19, there have been numerous comments, queries and submissions that indicate that the circular is not clear in its intentions.” 

Brenda Fassie: ‘Who switched off the life support?’

n the latest episode of Bongani Fassie’s reality series, Finding Bongani Fassie, he questions who made the decision to switch off the life support machine on his legendary singer-songwriter mother Brenda Fassie. The episode aired on Saturday 3 July on Moja Love, DStv channel 157. 

On a quest to discover himself, Bongani Fassie is taking viewers along with him on the journey of finding answers about his life, including the untimely death of his mother, the iconic Brenda Fassie.

Since his reality show premiered on 5 June, Bongani has been carefully looking back at the dramatic fall in his music and family dynamic since his mother’s death.

In May 2004, the Weekend Special hitmaker passed away at the age of 39 after spending two weeks in a coma. Reports initially suggested that she had suffered from a cardiac arrest.

However, it was later reported to have been caused by a cocaine overdose. 


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