Tag Archives: Jacob Zuma

South Africa epic looting

Brussels 13.07.2021 In South Africa’s most populous province of Gauteng, which includes the largest city, Johannesburg, at least six people had died, officials announced early on Tuesday, July 13. Another 10 bodies were discovered in the aftermath of the looting spree in the Johannesburg township of Soweto.

The deployment of 2,500 soldiers to support the South African police hadn’t stopped the rampant looting on Tuesday, July 13, although a number of arrests were being made at some areas in Johannesburg.

What had been sporadic pro-Zuma violence degraded into the epic mass looting of the malls and warehouses.
So far the mayhem had not spread to South Africa’s other nine provinces.

The Constitutional Court, the country’s highest court, heard Zuma’s application to have his sentence rescinded on Monday. Zuma’s lawyer presented his arguments that the top court made errors when sentencing Zuma to prison. After 10 hours of testimony on Monday, the court judges said they would study the arguments and announce their decision at a later date.

Police Minister Bheki Cele told journalists on Tuesday that, if the looting continued, there was a risk areas could run out of basic food supplies.

However, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said there was not yet a need to declare a state of emergency over the violence.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said some 26 people had been killed in the province so far. In Gauteng the death toll is 19, including the 10 who died at the mall in Soweto.

South Africa: 30 deaths among looters

Brussels 13.07.2021 Protesters clashed with security forces in several areas of South Africa and looters ransacked shopping malls on Tuesday, July 30, as frustrations over poverty and inequality boiled over in to the country’s worst unrest in years, with the death toll rising to more than 30. (Image above: social networks).

The national defence force is set to quell “free Zuma” protests, after violence and looting in response to the former president’s arrest spread from KwaZulu-Natal to Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

Many of the deaths occurred in chaotic stampedes as scores of people looted food, electrical appliances, liquor and clothing from retail centres.

Yesterday’s events brought a lot of sadness. The number of people who have died in KwaZulu-Natal alone stands at 26. Many of them died from being trampled on during a stampede while people were looting items,” said Zikalala.

The bodies of 10 people were found on Monday evening after a stampede at a Soweto shopping mall as looting continued in Gauteng province, premier David Makhura said on Tuesday, July 13.

Security officials said the government was working to ensure the violence and looting did not spread further, but they stopped short of declaring a state of emergency.

“No amount of unhappiness or personal circumstances from our people gives the right to anyone to loot, vandalise and do as they please and break the law,” Police Minister Bheki Cele told a news conference.

Zuma in prison in KwaZulu-Natal

South Africa former President Jacob Zuma has handed himself in to police to begin serving a 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court.

The high profile convict was admitted to Estcourt Correctional Centre in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday, July 7.

Police had warned that they were prepared to arrest him if he did not hand himself in by midnight.

Zuma, 79, was handed the jail term last week after he failed to attend a corruption inquiry.

The sentencing sparked an unprecedented legal whirlwind in South Africa, which has never experienced a former president jailed before.

Zuma had initially refused to hand himself in, but in a short statement on Wednesday, the Jacob Zuma Foundation said he had “decided to comply”.

His daughter, Dudu Zuma-Sambudla, later wrote on Twitter that her father was “en route [to the jail] and he is still in high spirits”.

South Africa slide to failed state

South Africa faces a precipitous economic and political collapse by 2030 unless it changes its economic model and implements growth-friendly policies, according to Eunomix Business & Economics Ltd. (Image above: courtesy UN photo).

Using a range of measures, the Johannesburg-based political and economic risk consultancy forecasts the country will rank near the bottom of a table of more than 180 countries in terms of security, similar to Nigeria and Ukraine, and have prosperity akin to Bangladesh or Cote d’Ivoire. This negative change means a significant decline from its current position, though it should fare better on governance and welfare measures.

“Bar a meaningful change of trajectory, South Africa will be a failed state by 2030,” Eunomix said in a report.

The consultancy blames a structure created during the White-minority apartheid era that was designed to exclude the Black majority, creating one of the world’s most unequal societies.

Since the advent of democracy in 1994, the ruling African National Congress perpetuated that situation by rejecting job-intensive growth policies and instead raising wages and subsidizing the poor through welfare, Eunomix said.

While less than a quarter of the population is in work, South Africa’s wage bill as a percentage of gross domestic product significantly exceeds that of countries such as India, Thailand and the Philippines.

Eunomix’s recommendation for South Africa’s government is to adopt a “dual-track” strategy of developing and maintaining high levels of social support and paying for it by adopting an aggressive special economic zone policy, which boosts growth and employment, albeit at lower wages.

The ANC’s strategy is “a dichotomy born of apartheid, resistance and crystallized by ideological puritanism and entrenched interests,” the consultancy said. “The country should not choose between imagined opposites. It should adopt a dual-track approach that reconciles them.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa is “very clear” about the need for inclusive growth that addresses inequality, unemployment and poverty, his spokesman Tyrone Seale said.

“Government, business, labor and communities are currently working on an economic recovery plan,” he said. “As South Africa we are clear about our plan to reboot the economy and the need to involve all South Africans.”

Former President Jacob Zuma ushered in a decade of low growth when he focused on increasing the role of the state, instead of supporting a private-sector led recovery after the global economic crisis of 2008, Eunomix said. Prolonged policy uncertainty in areas ranging from mining to telecommunications compounded the slowdown.

The economic impact of recurrent power cuts, rising unemployment and the loss of the last investment-grade rating on South Africa’s debt have only been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak.

“The pandemic is the last nail in the coffin of strategic fiasco,” Eunomix said. “The economy is unsustainably narrow and shallow. It rests on a small and declining working population burdened by very high debt and taxes.”

Zuma arrest warrant issued

A South African court has issued an arrest warrant for the former president Jacob Zuma after he failed to appear at hearing on the grounds of a medical treatment.

Zuma’s lawyer, Daniel Mantsha, presented a document from a “military hospital” to excuse his client absence, but the judge questioned whether the note was valid or even written by a doctor. Prosecutors said it was a criminal offence not to fully explain an absence on medical grounds. Jacob Zuma face charges in a corruption case that he has been avoiding for months, most recently by referring to health issues, preventing him to stand a trial.

“Zuma’s absence is disappointing … we want Mr Mantsha to tell us what the illness is and why Zuma can’t be here. It is a criminal offence for the accused not to be present if he has been warned in court,” said Billy Downer, representing South African the state.

According to former President lawyers, he had two operations in early January before going abroad. However the judge questioned the authenticity of a letter from a “military hospital” in the administrative capital, Pretoria, explaining Mr. Zuma’s absence.

Minister admits Zuma pressure to strike nuclear deal with Russia

South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said to a corruption inquiry that former President Jacob Zuma pressured him to agree to a massive nuclear power deal with Russian Federation to be delivered to President Vladimir Putin in 2015.

Nene refused to approve the construction of eight nuclear reactors, which would have the capacity to generate 9,600 megawatts of energy. The costs of the project, promoted by Zuma, would have been “astronomical,” he said in his statement.

Zuma to be charged with corruption

The South African chief prosecutor Shaun Abrahams announced the state will reinstate fraud and corruption charges against former President Jacob Zuma for the case relating to a 30 billion rand ($2.5 billion) arms deal in the late 1990s.

The decision follows the ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal which set aside the 2009 decision to withdraw the case against the former President.

A team of five senior state prosecutors spent four weeks studying Zuma’s reasons if there are sufficient grounds to pursue him, after submitting the information at the end of January.

Abrahams announced two weeks ago that he had received a recommendation from the team and was ready to make the announcement, which is made public on 16th of March.

Cyril Ramaphosa presidency inspires hopes

Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected as South Africa’s President in a parliamentary vote on Thursday (15.02.2018) after scandal-ridden Jacob Zuma resigned on orders from the ruling African National Congress.

South Africa’s main stock market index jumped nearly 4% putting it on track for its biggest one-day gain in more than two years as investors welcomed Zuma’s resignation after nine years in office plagued by corruption allegations.

South Africa’s main stock market index jumped nearly 4 percent, putting it on track for its biggest one-day gain in more than two years as investors welcomed Zuma’s resignation after nine years in office plagued by corruption allegations, Reuters agency reports.

However the question remains how Cyril Ramaphosa – the closest ally of plagued with corruption accusations Jacob Zuma, – will change the existing practices and put and “drain the swamp” if he has been for a part of the system.

President Zuma reluctant to step down

South Africa President Jacob Zuma said to SABC news that he had offered to go after June, but objected to the way the issue has been handled, underlining that he was not defying the African National Congress (ANC) party, but he disagreed with its decision to ask him to resign.

“It was very unfair to me that this issue is raised,” Mr.Zuma said. “Nobody has ever provided the reasons. Nobody is saying what I have done.”

Mr Zuma’s decision to keep a grip on power has put him at odds with South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s new leader and his expected successor.

Hawks police arrests Zuma’s allies

The raid by the Hawks police unit on the family home of the Guptas have been launched day after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ordered Zuma to step down as head of state after nine years in office dogged by scandal and a stagnant economy.

A dozen heavily armed tactical police blocked off a street leading to the Gupta home in Johannesburg. Police  regards the place as a “crime scene”.

Zuma and the Guptas – a family the Indian-born mogul – deny any wrongdoing. However a Gupta brother and a business associate have been arrested by the Hawks. Other family members have agreed to hand themselves over to police.

The Hawks arrested members of the family who they consider to be flight risks. According to different sources recently Atul Gupta became the seventh-wealthiest person in South Africa, with an estimated net worth of more than USD700 million.

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