News / South Africa

Citizen Reporter
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3 minute read
21 Oct 2021
5:30 am

Daily news update: Zuma to lay charges against Downer, SIU vs Mkhize and Eswatini protests

Citizen Reporter

Here’s your morning news update: An easy-to-read selection of our top stories. Stay up to date with The Citizen – More News, Your Way.

Billy Downer, head of the prosecution, in court during Schabir Shaik's fraud and corruption case, at the Durban High Court on 5 April 2006. Picture: Gallo Images

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Zuma to lay criminal charges against Billy Downer

Former president Jacob Zuma, who back in September said he would lay criminal charges against senior prosecutor, advocate Billy Downer, will be addressing the public in due course.

The Jacob G Zuma Foundation on Wednesday said Zuma’s legal team would address the media outside a police station in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.

The briefing is scheduled to take place on Thursday at 1pm.

Zuma intends to take action against Downer for admitting his conduct was in breach of sections 41 (6) read with 41(7) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Act.

SIU to oppose Mkhize’s application to have Digital Vibes report set aside

Digital Vibes
Former health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has signalled its intention to oppose former health minister Zweli Mkhize’s review application.

Mkhize recently approached the Johannesburg High Court with an application seeking to have the SIU’s report into Digital Vibes’ R150 million contract with the Department of Health reviewed and set aside.

In a founding affidavit dated 14 October, the former minister claimed that had his submissions and evidence been taken into account, the SIU would have come to a different conclusion regarding his alleged involvement in the appointment of Digital Vibes, News24 reported.

Inflation hits 5% for the second time in 2021

Inflation rate reaches 5%
Picture: iStock

Inflation reached 5% for the second time this year in September 2021 with 5.0%, 0.2% up from 4.9% in August and 4.6% in July, representing the fifth consecutive month with annual inflation above the 4.5% midpoint of the South African Reserve Bank’s monetary policy target range.

According to Statistics SA, which released the figures for September on Wednesday, the slight increase was due to price increases in transport, while housing and utilities were the main drivers behind the 5.0% annual rate in September.

At least 80 hurt in Eswatini pro-democracy protests

At least 80 hurt in Eswatini pro-democracy protests
This video grab from an AFPTV video taken on October 19, 2021 in Manzini shows an armoured police vehicle driving in the streets. – Protesters gathered against police brutality in Manzini, Eswatini, a country rocked by a wave of pro-democracy demonstrations. (Photo by AFPTV / AFP)

At least 80 people were injured in Eswatini Wednesday, a union leader said, as security forces cracked down on escalating pro-democracy protests in Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

Civil servants’ union NAPSAWU said 50 of its members were taken to hospital in the capital Mbabane, with another 30 hospitalised in the city of Manzini.

Hundreds of soldiers and police began fanning through both cities early in the day, firing teargas at even small gatherings of people and unleashing volleys of rubber bullets, an AFP correspondent saw.

40 days later, and magistrate court IT system still in disarray

40 days later, and magistrate court IT systems still in disarray
Numerous cases are postponed, judgments cannot be enforced, bail hearings delayed. Master’s offices are also affected. Photo for illustration only: iStock

A broken IT system has caused havoc at magistrate courts and Master’s offices across the country.

The Department of Justice claimed in September that it had suffered a ransomware attack.

But the nature and extent of the attack is also not yet fully known and as of mid-October the magistrate courts and Master’s offices are still in disarray.

(The IT system at the higher courts are unaffected as they fall under the Office of the Chief Justice and not the Department of Justice.)

UCT adopts mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy ‘in principle’

UCT adopts mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy
University of Cape Town. Picture: iStock/ntslsk

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT’s) council has approved, in principle, a proposal requiring that all staff and students provide proof of vaccination against Covid-19 for campus access.

UCT vice‑chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng on Wednesday announced that the institution’s mandatory vaccination policy would take effect from 1 January 2022.

The proposal adopted by the council – UCT’s highest decision-making body – requires all staff (as a condition of being able to perform their duties) and students (as a condition of registration) to provide acceptable proof of having been vaccinated against Covid-19.